|Old Friends and Older Stories|
|Summary:||Discussion of current events and past glories.|
|Related Logs:||The Charlton/Terrick agreement, most logs still not posted. Also The Kraken's Last Stand|
|Entrance Hall, Four Eagles Tower|
|The Entrance Hall is more than two dozen feet high with ornate columns hefting the fresco ceiling above all. Plush seating is arranged around one side for visiting nobility while the other has less comfortable slab stone or wood benches for the peasantry. Alcoves dot the walls for more private discussions and sworn Guards patrol this hall at all times and especially during court. Several hallways and doorways lead off to different areas of the castle with a spiral staircase carved neatly into one corner that winds its way up.|
|1 August, 289|
"But of course," Nedra murmurs, taking in Ser Harold's words at face value, content to ponder over all possible permutations at a later time and quite likely at her leisure. "As are we all," she interjects, another small smile upon her face and responds to the smirk upon Aleister's face and small head tilt with a flash of a quick grin upon hers in turn. "Thank you," she offers in turn, "the comparison seemed most apt," she admits before spotting her cousin Muirenn descending the stairs and turns a warm smile of welcome to Muirenn and a nod to Muir's elderly Septa.
"Hah!" Ser Harold barked out a quick little laugh at Aleister's comments, somewhat loud, plenty good natured, and still clinging to the edges of his rough voice when he followed up with a: "The one time I spared with Ser Jonathor Darry, I got shown up plenty for the rest of my darn life, Nephew." With a thoughtful scratch of his chin, he eyed the younger Charlton up appraisingly. "But if you're of a mind to try, I'm always happy to learn a few new tricks. Nothing teaches a proper lesson as a few bruises to help you remember."
"But perhaps enough salves for two. Just incase I'm not the only one to feel a beating." With a wink, he turned to the sound of Muirenn's arrival, promptly offering the young Mallister girl a properly welcome bow, and a smile that seemed genuinely welcoming. "My Lady Muirenn, always a delight."
Whereas Muirenn enters from the stairs, Kamron Mallister comes in from the front door. He's wearing color again, and although the leather-sheathed axe at his right hip might strain courtesy in a hostile keep, it seems quite accepted by the guards at Four Eagles. The splash of green and yellow surrounded by his kinfolk draws his attention, and the knight turns his steps in that direction. As he approaches, he nods his head, "Ser Aleister… although I suppose I should address you as the Knight of Highfield now." His tone is not exactly warm, but it is certainly polite. He does, however, offer a smile to the Mallisters, "Sister, cousin, coz." That would be Nedra, Muirenn, and Martyn in turn. And then he turns toward Harold, starting to speak, then narrowing his eyes at the other man. A burst of laughter rises to his lips, and he offers out his hand, "By the Seven… Ser Harold Charlton. It's been years."
Martyn smiles a little at Aleister's words, chuckling a little bit as he hears his voice. "I'll see what I can do, Lord Aleister," he offers, with a bit of a smile. And then he sees his sister, offering a bit of a half-wave and a smile in her direction. "Or you could speak directly with the source, after all," he offers to Aleister. Listening to the others for a few moments. Nodding a greeting at Kamron, he offers the man a grin, "Cousin." Pausing for a few moments as the man greets Harold, offering a bit of a grin to the older Charlton, offering a bit of a grin, "Please tell me you've smacked my cousin here in the ribs as well, Ser Harold." Offered with a chuckle.
There's a flash of a smirk in the direction of Harold, but no reply comes forth, for when Kamron makes his foyer into the conversation, Aleister is looking over towards the man, a smile now replacing the smirk before he's giving a slight incline of his head, "Ser aleister is more then sufficent, Ser Kamron." The entrance of Muirenn is noted with a polite incline of his head and as he looks back to Harold, poised to say something, a Charlton armsmen makes an appearance and hurridly approaches Aleister. The young man murmers a mumbled apology for interruption and then whispers something quietly to Aleister. Whatever is said draws a frown to his features, followed by that of a scowl and a quick, "When?" Another murmer from the armsmen comes and he's promptly dismissed. Now, looking rather .. aggitated, the Charlton Lord looks to those gathered before offering, "Excuse me. It seems there is a matter that requires my urgent attention."
First to her brother does Muirenn go. An affectionate hug and chaste kiss upon the cheek is given, then her cousin Nedra receives the same. The warm smile she receives from the older Charlton is reciprocated, "Ser Harold! A pleasure indeed. I have the cuttings ready for you to take to your wife. They are packed in clay vials filled with dirt and arranged in a shallow box. I found it the best way to transplant cuttings when I came here from Seagard. Just be sure to water them a few times during the journey." As Kamron enters, she gives a cheerful wave "Well met cousin." Finally she turns to Aleister. Her gaze is appraising, but the smile she gives is welcoming though curious "You must be Lord Aleister Charlton. I have heard much about you. Allow me to add my welcome to any others. It is a pleasure…" if only because food is very welcome and Charltons always tend to break up monotony "to have you at Four Eagles."
Nedra hugs Muirenn in return, "Good to see you, cousin," is offered with a smile, falling silent briefly as greetings and advice are provided and exchanged, the topic shifting between sparring and plant clippings and watering, back around to some aggravating news for Lord Aleister. By then Nedra's made her way over to Kamron and gives her brother a quick hug of greeting, though she does wait until after he's exchanged his own greetings with Ser Harold.
Ser Harold's earlier smile grew a bit wider as Ser Kamron welcomed him, and returned the greeting by offering his sword arm for a grip. "Ah, young Ser Kamron! Though I suppose the young part is no longer quite as accurate. You're looking fair well. Happier than I last saw you, too." He turned his head to Martyn's direction, and shook his head. "Ah, I've not as it happened. We stood side by side and got battered together, however, at Harrenhal. Long years ago, now. Still, had a good drink to celebrate our bruises afterwards, eh?" He'd turned back to Kamron, smiling still. "The next time was less pleasent.. but.." Whatever stormclouds migth have briefly gathered in Harold's expression was banished with a dismissive shake of his head and another declaration of: "Harrenhal. A tourney to remember!"
Briefly he paused, frowning a touch in Aleister's direction as the man sped off. A bushy brow lifted in question; did he wanted company?
When Aleister left, he turned back to Kamron and the others, pretending nothing had happened.
Kamron raises his eyebrow slightly as Aleister moves to depart, but he nods his head as the new house head excuses himself. The Mallister knight watches the Charlton depart for a moment, and then Nedra is stepping close for a hug, which draws Kam back into the conversation. He returns the gesture of affection, nodding at Harold's explanation for Martyn of their past together, "Harrenhal, a tourney to remember." If he had a drink, he would have toasted. Instead, he just nods, "What… you had to be about my age when we first met." Which is probably too generous by half of the Mallister. Still, he adds for his family's benefit, "The melee there. Ser Harold and I were members of the same lance." He casts one more glance over in the direction Aleister departed in, rolling his shoulders a bit, "I have to admit I wish I knew what that was about. Annoyance among the Charltons here can hardly bode well for The Roost."
Her greeting more or less ignored by Aleister who strides up the stairs, Muirenn gives a faint frown and adds drily, "Well, at least I know now what much to believe." Moving towards one side of the hall where her tall, upright loom has been erected the teenager first helps her Septa into a comfortable chair and then seats herself. Looking around the object she adds, "I always take my herbal tea at night, but I can have something else brought if people would like? The generosity of the Erenfords is not yet drained. There is still wine, ale, and mead I think. I am a believer that politics always tastes better with something to drink."
"Of course," Martyn offers in Aleister's direction as the man departs, watching him head off. He then smiles a bit at the hug and kiss on the cheek from his sister. "I hope you've had a nice day, sister," he offers to her, before he listens with a bit of a nod at Kamron and Harold, offering them a bit of a smile. Pausing at the mention of the drinks, "Sounds like a good idea about now, I suppose."
"Members of the same lance?" Nedra asks, puzzling aloud at this term and glancing from Kamron to Ser Harold and back again. She gives a rueful smile at Muirenn along with a small shrug, as curious as she is as to why Lord Aleister had to depart so abruptly she only glances after the man with the same curiosity that she'd sent between Kamron and Ser Harold.
"I'm certain no insult was intended," Ser Harold murmured in Muirenn's direction, having caught that frown and taken a meaning to her dry note. "Authority and responsibility breeds its own kind of worries."
He looked back to Kamron, shaking his head with bemusement. "Oh, I dare say I had a few more years on me. That, or you've just been graced with more youthful vigor than I ever possessed." No comment on Aleister, or what ripple effects of annoying the Charltons might have.
His smile remained in place, genial and friendly while he turned to Nedra. "We were of a team, to put it in layman's terms. Allies, seeing to hold up the honor of the Riverlands in the face of knights of the whole realm. I remember King Robert there, with his massive hammer, looking like a right savage." He shook his head slowly, amused by old memories. The pitfalls of hanging out with elderly knights. They liked to talk about the old days. "But a drink, aye. I'll take one. I've always had a right favor for some proper Mead, if truth be told."
Nodding to both things Harold said to her, Muirenn beckons one of the pages over "A pitcher of mead and goblets in addition to my tea please." With a shooing motion she adds, "Off you go…run run..I don't want cold tea." Bending she withdraws a sewing basket from beneath her chair. "Septa…I feel quite intimidated. Should I start at the center and work out, or at the bottom and move up." Regarding the strands of linen that have been knotted taught around the loom to create the warp threads of her tapestry, the girl frowns. "The center I think." Looking around at the others, she adds "Members of House Erenford have been quite generous in donating a supply of their stores of wine and mead. They also have spent a significant amount of their personal time doing physical labor and what was necessary to help rebuild some of the cottages in the village. I must admit to an admiration for those individuals who act upon their beliefs in such an outright fashion."
Kamron nods at Harold's description for Nedra, chuckling at the older knight's story-starter, "His Grace was terrifying there in the melee. The pure force of will that he exerted was amazing." Shaking his head slightly, he adds to the story, "But that was nothing compared to the Stony Sept or the Trident, Ser Harold." Shaking his head, he starts into a story he's probably told the other knight at least five or six times, although that was years ago, "Seeing His Grace wade into a true combat with that hammer, and the antlers on his helm… it was awe-inspiring, even standing behind him." Muirenn's offer causes him to shake his head, waving off the offer, "Thank you, cousin. After a long day in the sun, drink would probably be a bad idea." He nods to Muirenn then, "Sers Otto, Brennart, and Nevan… I believe it is… have been very helpful."
Martyn smiles as he listens to the talk for now, but he doesn't add anything himself. Mostly because he doesn't really know what to say at the moment. Glancing out in the direction of the courtyard for a few moments.
Nedra tucks herself into place alongside Kamron, though with the sheer number of her family around her she finds the subtle tension that had made her posture a bit stiff is easing ever so slightly and the smile that forms on her face is much lighter. "Ahh," Nedra exclaims quietly, nodding her understanding to Ser Harold's answer, "I see. Does that phrase relate to jousting as in the actual combat in tourney or is it just a way of phrasing?" she wonders next. "Jousting looks so terribly.. abrupt and painful," is added with a small shake of her head. "Exciting to watch, but again.. abrupt, painful oh and noisy." She studies the loom once Muirenn uncovers the work, a thoughtful expression upon her face, "It's much different than when I paint, Muir. I usually frame the image first then work in the smaller details to give depth," she remarks, though another smile plays along her lips at the mention of the helpful members of House Erenford, "And I quite agree, they are most thoughtful and their sister, Emylie, should not be forgotten either, of course. She's terribly kind."
"Indeed?" Ser Harold asked with a somewhat bemused curl of his lips as Muirenn instructed him on the nobility of the Erenfords. "The Roost is blessed by many friends, it seems. It makes me glad to hear it."
"Hah. Aye, he terrified me, sure enough. No matter what armour you wear, that hammer could have smashed your brains right in. Left plenty men broken, did our King. He was a great warrior." Was, being the central word, and no mention of what kind of King the Baratheon might be. "I can't say I'm sorry to have missed either battles, Ser Kamron." Him having come with the Frey host, late. "I knew many men on the other side I'd rather not have crossed swords with." He shook his head as he sank down into one of the seats, finally, judging that he'd been standing more than long enough. Creaky old knees and all that. "Well, in the Joust I fear I didn't do too well, my Lady Nedra. Unhorsed on the very first day, though I did manage five lances before I was on my back, looking up, wondering where in the hells the Seven had dropped me."
Digging 'round in her sewing basket, Muirenn exhales in a huff "I do believe that the metal threads and the beige thread for the skin tones are in the other basekt upstairs" she grumbles to her Septa. Setting the other basekt down, she rises and in a graceful shift of her hips moves out from around the loom. "If you all will excuse me for a moment, I must fetch something from my quarters." Her grin is warm and touches on everyone before she turns and moves towards the stairs and upwards.
Kamron nods at Nedra's words, chuckling at her description of jousting, "A lance is a military unit. A knight, his squire, and usually several freeriders. It's also another name for a team in a melee of Sevens. A rather archaic name for it, truth be told, but I like it." The knight shrugs a little helplessly at his sister. Looking back to Harold, he frowns a bit, "His Grace led a charge at Pyke as well, Ser Harold." There might be a slight chastising tone to the younger man's words, but it's mild for all that, more in support of Robert than against Harold. "Swarmed through the breech and swept away the reaver line of resistance." Nedra's correction of his compliments draws a nod, "I have not met the Lady Emylie, or I'm sure I would add her name to the list as well." Muirenn's words draw a nod, "Of course, cousin." And then he's looking back to Harold, "The Roost has many friends, but few allies who can help them. That's why the Charlton offer came as such a welcome surprise to me."
"Well, the Joust can be painful, but only if done right?" Martyn comments a bit lightly. Frowning a bit as he says it, though. Nodding a little bit as he listens to Kamron's description of the charge at Pyke. "Quite impressive," he offers, with a bit of a smile, before he adds, "Almost like that crazy guy who took on Rodrik Greyjoy. What was his name again?" It's spoken rather lightly, and with a bit of a grin, before he nods at Muirenn's words. "Of course, sister," he offers, with a smile.
"Of course my Lady," Ser Harold said in Muirenn's direction, offering a dip of his head in acknowledgement of her departure.
A wave of his hand suggested he'd meant no disrespect towards the King in his turn of phrase, -whether that was true or not- and made sure the message was delivered by following it up with: "Aye, it's true. He's a brave man, is King Robert. We'll have to offer him a toast once we've got some mead to toast it with." Smiling he leaned into his seat, allowing his heavy frame to sink a bit deeper than was proper, with a sigh escaping his lips for the contentment of giving his back a rest.
"I find it a pity that it should have come as such a great surprise, Ser Kamron, but I hope that before we leave we'll have come to an agreement that allowed the Roost a chance to return to its former self, its people fed and offered the oppertunities that all men should enjoy in our great kingdom."
"Ahh, so that's what it means," Nedra says after a moment - long moment - of contemplative silence as she absorbs Kamron's explanation of the different uses of the term 'lance'. "Ah, so another one of those words for which there are multiple meanings and just as many applications. That being said," she glances back at Ser Harold, "I've often wondered how the horse feels, Ser Harold. They're trained and all, and quite wonderfully to be doing what they do, and some of those brutes are as much a weapon as the knight mounted upon them, that's for sure. But it's still something that I wonder at, all the same," she says, shaking her head ever so slowly from side to side, waving after Muirenn as well as her cousin departs before she turns back to the gathering of men. "It is a pity, Ser Harold, that such a gesture between neighbors must be conducted with such careful dancing and footwork to be worthy of the highest feat in court fashion," she remarks. "But things are as they are, and ever will be, as long as we act only within our own natures, yes?"
Kamron chuckles at Martyn's witticism, nodding his agreement. The pointed comment, however, causes him to chuckle softly and shrug a little helplessly, "I was a little angry at the time, coz." He runs one hand down the front of his silver-striped vest a bit self-consciously, recently out of mourning. Nodding to Harold, he responds, "I hope so, Ser Harold. Although I must admit that I have little to do with what Lord Terrick decides." Nedra's words get a slightly sad smile, and he nods again, "My sister is right, as usual."
"You, angry?" Martyn comments a little bit lightly to Kamron. He offers a bit of a grin, before he adds, "At times during that battle, I was suspecting you were trying to outdo me for the Most Stupid On The Islands award, cousin. But it turned out differently." He offers another grin, "Thankfully." Nodding a little bit as he listens to the rest. "It's hard to make people and other beasts go against their nature," he offers.
"I suppose it depends on the horse, my Lady Nedra," Ser Harold said. "I've found they've got as many different sorts of tempers as men. Some nasty, some docile, some enjoying nothing more than to graze on grass and get fat and happy, while siring as many foals as they possibly can." The last said with a bit of sly humor. "I can tell you that my own Furious never gets as excited as when he senses we're about to rush headlong against stallions he feels are supremely inferior to himself. Accidents happen at the Joust, and sometimes dishonorable cretin or useless incompetents get their lances too low, and shame on them for it, but mostly it's the men who suffer at the Joust."
"I fear I was never very good at those kind of dances. But a simple warrior, that's me."
"Would the two of you mind regaling me with the tale in its full?" Of Martyn and Kamron. "I fear I missed it, and it sounds like a tale I'd enjoy hearing form the sources themselves."
"And some are born trouble makers with a unique ability to out-smart nearly any locking mechanism on a stall door and, once accomplished, spend the next several hours eluding all manner of reasonable efforts to be rounded back up and returned to the aforementioned stall. I happen to have a horse with this ability, Ser Harold, and if I thought she'd be able to teach that ability to any foals and have it be useful to a knight, I'd have her up to breed a new line. But knowing her, she'd hop over the fence and be gone before anything useful could be arranged," Nedra remarks with a trace of a grin. "As to that sort of fancy foot work, I'm not skilled in it either," she pins a brief look at Martyn before allowing her own curiosity to settle into place and prudently doesn't poke at either her brother or Martyn to answer Ser Harold's question.
Kamron shrugs slightly at Martyn's accusation, "He tried to hit me in the head." A couple of times, actually. Harold's last description of the horse draws a snicker and a pointed look at the other man's stomach, even if he's not exactly fat. The request for the story draws a helpless shrug, "I went seven rounds with Rodrik Greyjoy. Took a bit of help to finish him off, though. There's more of a story, and I can tell you some time when I wouldn't be boring my sister and cousin, who have lived through it," Martyn, "and heard it a time or three," Nedra. Her own story draws a chuckle from him, "Jinx is a bit of a troublemaker… rather like a young girl I knew, sister."
Martyn grins a little bit, "Wouldn't you be angrier if he tried hitting somewhere you could actually take vital damage, cousin?" The words come rather lightly, a sign that this is an ongoing joke, or something like that. He offers a bit of a grin at Harold now. "And before that, on Harlaw, I went head to head with Rogr Harlaw. How that went? Just imagine our spar this morning, but make it even more one-sided." Offered with a bit of a grin, although one hand comes up to rub at the back of his neck, a bit absently. "But then again, such things is what we need to learn from, right?" There's a grin in Nedra's direction as well now.
A right proper guffaw exploded from Harold's chest at Nedra's tale, causing the whole of him to shake with good natured humor. His head tilted back, and his flinty eyes were alight with amusement. "Ah. You sure the horse doesn't have help from someone you forgot to say a kind word to, once? I remember a squire who was with me at Darry, and who'd be the most proper and respectful boy you'd ever know. His Ser was a right bastard, though, however respectful the boy was. Well, after a while he got a little even. Bought himself some powder from the herblady down in the forest, and every day sprinkled a little of this dust on his master's clothes. Itched like hell, and nearly drove him nuts, while the boy smiled and kept his face free of any mischief." Ser Harold smiled and.. hopefully by now the promised Mead had arrived, so Harold could finally wrap his hands around a tankard.
"The small will take their revenge on occasion, if the rules of decency aren't respected both downward as well as upward. Not that I really think you treat anyone but with kindness."
It seemed it was a moment for laughter, because he was soon chuckling again at Martyn's words, while giving Kamron a nod that said: Yes, he'd like to hear it one day when they weren't boring everybody else.
"Jinx is a escape artist of extraordinary cleverness," Nedra replies with a grin at Kamron, "reminds me of a young boy who used to let me tag along and get into trouble in the process with. Tadpoles, if I may remind you, in bath water," she says with a gleam of impish amusement in her eyes. A quick wink is sent to her cousin Martyn, "The only way to learn, cousin, is to fall down often enough that you remember why you wear armor in the first place, I suppose." It's Ser Harold's words, however, that spark her laughter until she has no choice but to nod, "Oh I'm quite sure. She's just as clever here as she is at Seagard and anywhere else in between," and she too reaches for a one of the drinks that Muir had sent down, though on her part it's one of the few cups of tea that would've been sent. "Itch powder, though, I like that as a simple remedy to a impossible solution," she admits, shaking her head slowly.
Kamron shakes his head at Harold, "And was that squire named Harold?" He waves off Martyn's words, "Well yeah. I just wanted to make sure he kept swinging at my head so he didn't hit me somewhere that isn't solid bone." Nedra's words draw a far-too-casual shrug, "Don't know what you're talking about at all, sister dearest." Her words to Harold, however, cause him to narrow his eyes suspiciously, "Don't you even think about it, Nedra Idalia Mallister."
Justin comes down the steps, having recently returned to the tower after spending his day working in the Roost, as he does most every day. Rebuilding efforts, Sheriff's concerns and the like. He does not look pleased about one thing or another, his mouth a hard, thin line but as he comes down the steps and sees the others, he greets them with a nod though he doesn't say anything right off.
Martyn grins a bit at Nedra's words. "Probably. That should mean that I'm a good learner, then," he offers, with a chuckle, before he shakes his head a little bit. "Itch powder… Keep that away, please…" He pauses as he sees Justin, offering the man a bit of a nod. "Ser Justin. Is there something wrong?" Having noticed the man's expression, after all.
The Charlton knight waved Kamron's question away, murmuring sometihng in the lines of: "Oh, hardly important." Though he did swear a shrewd smile while he said it, soon after buried in his tankard of mead. Erenford mead, even. He made a rumbly sound in the back of his throat that was distinctly pleased as the flavor struck his tongue and then washed down on its long way towards his belly. "Though I fear I might've made a mistake here, inciting unintentional mischief in the future." He passed Nedra a wry look, before Justin arrived. A thoughtful look on his face, while he studied the sheriff and dipped his head in quiet welcome.
Nedra's eyes widen ever so slightly, "Would I do that?" she asks in turn, clearly the use of her full name is enough to make her eyes go wide and she affects to look wounded. "Now Kamron, would I ever just /think/ about doing something like that?" she wonders in return, her voice all shades of innocence there, but the impish humor is again easily glimpsed in her eyes. She returns Ser Harold's wry smile with grin before she smooths the grin away, humor still alight in her eyes, "Have no fear, Ser Harold. My brother is entirely capable of dealing with what ever obstacle is tossed in his path. Tadpoles, ants in his boots.. itch powder.." the smile fades to a somber look as Justin arrives, "Ser Justin, good day to you."
Kamron shakes his head at Harold's half-apology, shaking his head and looking over to Nedra, "I think my sister is Lady enough to deal with me more directly if she had a problem with me now. We're not sev — " he stops, corrects, "elev — " stops, corrects, "sixteen any more." Martyn's greeting to the Terrick causes him to look over, starting to offer out his right hand and a grin, but both gesture and expression falls away as he looks the man over. He keeps quiet, allowing the other man to answer Martyn's question if he will.
"Why no, of course not, Ser Martyn. Everything is perfectly peachy." Justin even manages to say it without too much obvious sarcasm. The Terrick passes Ser Kamron a look as though the other Mallister will know precisely why he's ired, but Justin's not saying anything about it. He tugs off his leather riding gloves he hadn't removed yet and tucks them into his belt. His right hand is no longer bandaged, several recent cuts and scrapes along his fingers and palm scabbing as though dragged over a jagged, very sharp surface. "Good evening, Lady Nedra, Ser Harold."
"No why wouldn't I believe that?" Martyn says, with a shake of his head. "Oh yes, because it's just what I would have said in such a situation, right?" A brief pause, before he shrugs a little. "But nevermind that." He moves to get himself some of that mead, before he looks back to Justin, noticing the man's hand. "Heard you had a swimming accident the other day," he offers, a bit lightly.
Nedra eyes Kamron as he stumbles his way through that sentences, trying hard not to laugh: "Would you like some help finding the end of that sentence? Maybe a hunting team, a guide dog and a few well placed torches?" she suggests in a quiet voice.
pose frowns at Justin's sarcastic tone, although the glance at him draws his eyebrows up in surprise, and then down again in anger and annoyance, "Oh for F — " he stops then, turning the curse into a wordless growl. His good humor appears to be entirely gone, so Justin's mood seems to be catching.
Kamron frowns at Justin's sarcastic tone, although the glance at him draws his eyebrows up in surprise, and then down again in anger and annoyance, "Oh for F — " he stops then, turning the curse into a wordless growl. His good humor appears to be entirely gone, so Justin's mood seems to be catching.
Justin wants a drink as well, if it doesn't seem to belong to anyone particular and they are sharing already. Doesn't even matter what it is or if it's any good, since there's been little more than very watered wine or tea here for some while. He'll find himself a cup, or send someone from the hall to go and get him one from the kitchen. Justin is clearly not in a good mood, quiet and not inclined to be very talkative right off. He gives Ser Martyn a rather thin smile, "You could say that." Then he takes a seat where he can put his back to the wall and listen to the others, watching whomever comes or goes from the hall.
Kamron's outburst draws Justin gaze back to that man and he only thins his mouth a bit, quite pissed about something. But no outbursts from him, no. A lot has happened these past months and he's not the squire freshly returned from Riverrun, anymore. So he takes a drink of the Erenford mead in silence.
Sipping his mead now, Martyn blinks a bit at Kamron's outburst, and looks from his cousin to Justin, then back to his cousin, and to Justin again. "What?" he asks, after a few moments, sounding rather concerned now.
Nedra lowers the cup of tea she's holding and sets it, first, into the saucer and then down upon the tray again. "Ahh, it's going to be one of those conversations," she says in a light voice, having already decided not to linger to not enjoy the tone that's already presented. "If you will excuse me, Sers, brother," she gives a small curtsy, "I believe that I'll leave the four of you to it," she says as she straightens and tilts her head in a nod to Ser Harold: "It was a pleasure seeing you again, Ser Harold, my regards to your lady wife," she adds before starting for the door leading out of the hall to the courtyard.
Kamron shakes his head at Martyn's question, "Nothing we can do anything about right now, coz." He nods to Justin a bit, then bows his head to Nedra, "Sorry to cut your evening short, sister. Enjoy the rest of it." He shakes his head with a grimace, then looks over to Justin, "Should we talk about it, or is there just nothing to do?" The knight looks up in the direction that Aleister left in, and he nods slowly, "Well, that may have explained that."
Justin shakes his head faintly to Martyn, "It is nothing, Ser. Let it go and Ser Kamron can fill you in later." It's offered in a more tired tone than angry. He makes a brief gesture to Nedra, "No need for you to depart, dear lady. You have my apology for my interruption." Justin intends to sit here and drink. He does meet Kamron's gaze, then glances in the same direction before he looks to his friend, the man who knighted him, "Explained … what?"
Martyn just shrugs a little bit, taking another sip of his drink now, shrugging a little bit. He doesn't say anything, though, just looking around for a few moments. Looking in even deeper thought than usual, now.
Ser Harold had faded into his mead once Justin's mood seemed to infect the rest of the group. There might have been a moment when he looked as if he intended to say something, perhaps lighten things, but he'd thought better of it obviously. Instead he sipped from the mead in silence, while his steady eyes took in his drinking companions. Only when Nedra made to leave did he stirr, knightly etiquette requiring him to stand up and show proper respect for her delicate beauty and station, with a dipped bow and a smile that just barely touched his lined features. The he was back down, with his mead.
Nedra smiles, shaking her head slowly, "It's quite alright, gentlemen, I want to stop in and speak with Muirenn before it gets much later anyway." With that she smiles once more time before slipping out of the hall.
Kamron gestures up to the stairs, "Ser Aleister got word just a few minutes back that made him rather wroth, and he headed upstairs to speak with someone." He looks over to the Charltons, "My apologies, Ser Harold. We," he gestures to Martyn and Justin, "should probably see to this. It's been good to see you, I hope we have a chance to catch up later." He offers a very dry grin with the next words, "So you'd better come through this next war in one piece. I've a story of Rodrik Greyjoy to tell you, and you'll have to tell me what you did on the Isles." Gesturing to the spread of wine, mead, and tea, he adds, "Please feel free to whatever you'd like."
Well, if Nedra insists on leaving, Justin also rises and offers Nedra a half bow, remembering his manners once more towards a member of his leige lord's house. He quietly retakes his seat and takes another drink before he looks over to Ser Harold, about to ask that man if he might indulge them with telling of the older knight's past campaignes. Or, well not, as Kamron speaks up. Jerold Terrick's third trueborn son listens and he thins his mouth back into a hard line, "Lovely." Oh yes, that's not good either. So much for sitting around listening to the others for a while and drinking. Justin knocks back the rest of his mead and sets the cup down, moving to stand, "And I hope to hear you both. I had asked Ser Harold if he might tell me of some of his past campaigns. I didn't go to the Iron Island, having taken wounds and been laid up. Another time, perhaps." Justin turns to let Kamron lead the way if the other man is going to insist they go and discuss it now.
Well, if Nedra insists on leaving, Justin also rises and offers Nedra a half bow, remembering his manners once more towards a member of his leige lord's house. He quietly retakes his seat and takes another drink before he looks over to Ser Harold, about to ask that man a question. Or, well not, as Kamron speaks up.
Martyn pauses for a few moments as he hears Kamron's words, nodding a little bit both to him and Justin. Hurrying to refill his drink as well, he offers a nod to the other Mallister, to indicate that he's ready to head wherever they go to discuss this. "We will have to talk more later, Ser Harold," he offers after a few moments, before he adds, "I'm a bit curious about how it was to squire at Darry too." Looking back to Justin and Kamron now.
"It's not a war yet, my friend," Ser Harold told Kamron with a small smile, one that failed this time to reach flinty eyes. "I prefer to believe until the moment I dress in armour and mount my horse, that things will turn out differently. Men have marched before, just to sit down and wait a bit, then march some more back home." But usually not when the levies were called as well. "It's been good to see you again too, Ser. The gift of pleaesnt memories you gave me is worth being repaid in full. We'll make sure it doesn't take all these years until next time, eh?" Still wearing his smile, he nodded towards the other men. "And I'll make sure the meads on me."
"Good day, Sers."
Kamron shrugs at Justin's displeasure, "If you're not worried about immediate effects, it can wait, Justin." The Mallister knight chuckles a bit, "I'm willing to sit down and have a drink if there's nothing to be done now." His right hand drops to rest atop the head of his axe, drumming his fingers on the leather cover a moment, "But I think with levies marching, it's liable to come to violence, and then it's just a question of what you call a war and what you call a skirmish."
Justin looks a bit exastberated, "What immediate effects? I've been gone all day to town. She's been gone for hours. If I rode after her and I did manage somehow to catch up to her before she reaches the Mire, I'd be seriously temped to strangle her." He twists his mouth, "I think that would break my knightly vows." But damn, he'd be nonetheless tempted. "I will guestion the guard and Ser Hardwicke, you can be quite certain."
OK, so if they aren't leaving, he'll step over to refill his own glass as well. Yes, Justin's pissed, but there isn't much he can do about it until events unfold. So take a damn drink and see if they are going to try to relax and talk to Ser Harold, or go off to fill in Martyn.
"Ah…" Martyn offers, at Justin's words, nodding a little as he manages to at least put a few pieces of the puzzle in place. Taking a sip from his drink at the moment, just studying the others as he waits to see what they'll do now.
"I suppose we'll just have to wait and see, eh?" Ser Harold muttered with a shrug, and a general demeanor that said he wasn't altogether interested in talking about those possibilities just now. Instead he took another swig of the mead, leaned back and then waited to see whether the men were staying or leaving. Regardless, he had their hospitality and the Erenfords' generosity to burn through, and plenty of time to do it in. With his eyes watching the contents of his tankard, it was hard to tell if he was paying much attention at all to their talk. Or if he was, then he was polite enough to give the illusion of privacy at least.
Kamron pours himself a glass of wine, nodding to Justin with a momentary glance to Harold, then a slight shrug to himself and a turn back to the younger knight, "I can't believe she'd do that." There's a pause, "Alright, I can," he admits after a moment, and he shifts the axe at his hip so that he can perch on the arm of one of the chairs in the group, "I figure Ser Aleister must know by now, Ser Harold, and if he doesn't yet, he will soon enough. Lady Lucienne left despite orders otherwise, and rode off to Stonebridge." Might as well get the cards on the table.
No cursing or flinging his cup across the hall. It'll do no good anyway. Justin quiets back down at once takes a lighter drink of his refilled mead. He resumes his seat and by Gods, would rather enjoy their quiet company than dicuss his difficult sister. As Ser Kamron seems willing to simply be out with it, Justin says nothing.
"Well, I can understand why strangling might sound appealing right now, Ser Justin," Martyn offers after a few moments of pause as he hears that, moving to seat himself in one of the chairs now. It's said rather calmly, but with a bit of a frown as he listens. Otherwise being rather silent as he looks around the hall for a few moments, studying the others present for the moment.
"That would explain it," Ser Harold muttered with a grunt as Kamron shed some light on why his nephew might have looked less than pleased earlier. He gave his chin a proper thoughtful scrub with his rough palm, nails digging into the flesh beneath and paying especial favor to the old scar running up his chin. "Well. In this I'm much in the same spot as you, my friends, head full of possibilities, but nothing to be done about it but wait and see how the dice lands. So, in argument for not wasting our night brooding on disaster, how about we turn our minds to the past instead. Oh, and make sure the Erenfords do a good job keeping a Charlton in a good and drunken mood."
He set his elbows against the table's surface, leaning forward until his torsoe was supported by it. "So, the past, boys?" He lifted up his tankard for a clanker with the others. "Oh, and since I promised I would: For King Robert! May the Gods bless him."
Kamron nods his agreement with Martyn, then chuckles at Harold's words, "Good King Robert! May the Gods bless him." The Mallister raises his cup, draining off a good bit of his wine, then leans back a bit against the side of his chosen chair, "The past it is. All the best battles happen then anyhow, because they're ones you've survived."
Justin drinks quietly, presumably to the toast though he keeps his silence. Grey eyes are watchful of the hall as he leans back in the chair and lifts a spurred boot to lay over his other leg, getting comfortable.
"For King Robert! May the Gods bless him…" Martyn echoes, before he takes a sip from his drink, nodding a little bit. "One of the most interesting things that happened on the Islands was meeting him in person, wasn't it, cousin?" It's offered with a bit of a grin as he looks over to Kamron, leaning back a bit more in his seat now.
Once he'd properly toasted with the others, he tipped the tankard back and let it pour into his mouth eagerly, adam's apple bouncing merrily until he'd managed to away with the whole content, no matter how rich the mead might've been. With an empty thud, it slammed back down onto the table so he could have another poured. "Ah," he declared. "And you've turned remarkably wise, my friend," he said with a chuckle in Kamron's direction. "The mark of an old knight is when he realizes that aye, all the goods ones are all in the past, because you don't have to worry about having your gonards spilled all over the place when thinking of them. Glory's all for the good, but I feel I don't need to be greedy for it. Tasted more'n enough already, I have, no reason for me to run off and steal it from some young squire in far more dire need of it than I."
He chuckled. "Anyways. The Iron Isles? Hah. I took a knock to the head early, and spend most of it with headaches, and wanting to kill anyone who got close or talked too loud. With battles being rather loud, heh, I can't remember half of what I did in the blood craze that followed, and when I wasn't in it, I was scowling at anyon who came close. I'm afraid I'll be a poor source of tales on that one."
Kamron snorts and shakes his head at Harold's accusation of wisdom, "Don't say that? I thought you liked me, Ser Harold." He nods to Martyn though, a broad grin flashing onto his lips, "I'd seen what he could do on a battlefield or in a melee, but getting all that energy directed right at you?" The Mallister whistles softly, "Amazing." Looking back to Harold, he gestures slightly with his wineglass, "So you Charltons like getting hit in the head, eh? Didn't Ser Aleister suffer that fate at Seagard?" He crosses his left leg over his right, then reaches over to try and rap on Martyn's head, "That's the worst place to try and hit a Mallister. Hard as rocks, we are."
Martyn chuckles a bit as he hears Kamron's words, "I think the Charltons have figured that out, cousin. After all, every time I face one of them in a melee or a spar, it's always my ribs they seem to find. Both Ser Aleister, Ser Saethwyr and Ser Harold here. Makes me consider getting some extra armor to use when up against them, after all." A brief pause, and a chuckle. "And yes, getting all that energy and attention directed at us, that was quite interesting."
"Aye, so he did," Ser Harold said with a nod, then reached up to rub the back of his head, searching with his fingers until got the exact right spot. "Worst thing about getting injured, is how it's usually such a stupid mistake that leaves you to it." He chuckled. "Like a mace you aught to have seen if you'd remembered to look around you, rather than focused on the bastard right ahead."
"Rock hard heads. I'll remember this, incase I'm ever in a siege and have a lack of rams to put on the gate. Call for a Mallister, eh?" He chuckled, and continued to chuckle when Martyn mentioned going for the ribs.
His bushy brows also lifted, in question to the passing back and forth between Martyn and Kamron, obviously wanting a more detailed version.
Wildfire sweeps across the entrance hall from the stairs, all green silk and bright crimson hair. Saffron Banefort looks to be purposeful in her strides, though bounding behind her with a greater playfulness is a Reach corgi pup who is trying to nip at those green skirts in a herding fashion. Beyond that, she is alone — no guards, no maids. Curious. She has not yet noticed the Mallisters and the Charlton, her nose in a small, thin book.
Kamron nods at Harold's words about mistakes, "Too right. Mistakes like tossing aside your shield, or forgetting about the stupid reaver that slipped behind you while you were trying to keep the other one from caving your head in." He nods to Martyn, "Ser Saethwyr tagged me in the ribs once myself in that melee. And yes… Mallisters make the best rams. Also great for leading the way up ladders, they don't even need shields. The rocks just bounce off." The bouncing puppy gathers his attention, and he smiles broadly at the puppy's mistress, but doesn't call out right yet, just looking around for her human minders.
Martyn chuckles a little bit as he listens. "Most Mallisters, at least," he offers lightly at Kamron's words, offering a brief grin. "But there's a select few of us cursed with that thing called a brain." It's spoken quite lightly, as he looks around. Also seeing the puppy and Saffron, he leans forward in the seat a bit, his eyes are on the animal for the moment, a bit of a smile as he takes another sip from his drink.
Call him a hide bound old knight, but Harold couldn't help but frown just a touch at the sight of a young maiden deprived of her minders. Even if it was inside the Four Eagles itself, and hardly gone to some damp dark wood perfect for secret tysts. "Since my tales of killing reavers is so full of holes, perhaps you'll accept another tale instead in return for your epic duel? The campaign that got me knighted, perhaps?" Harold asked, having traded his mild disapproval for a smile instead, even as his eyes followed the young lady Saffron. He'd as of yet get up to his feet and greet her properly, but looked as if he was judging the distance to decide when was the absolute last second he could leave it. After all, he was right comfortable there, sprawled out with his mead in hand.
Bear is the first to notice the voyuers, and his large ears perk as he comes to a halt in the middle of the hall. Saffron is still walking onward with perhaps a cloud of oblivion overhead. Those bright brown eyes of the corgi continue to stare at the Mallisters and Charlton, and immediately plops his butt down with his barely-there tail waggling. He starts to loll his tongue at the trio, but then he notices his mistress is still going onward without him. He suddenly releases a loud and pitiful series of whimpers, butt still firmly planted on the ground. Its enough to cut through her concentration, and she blinks several times. Where in the world is she, her expression seems to say as she looks around. Her gaze falls first on Bear, who stops whining now that she's looking at him. "Where's Hara?" She asks the dog, realizing she somehow lost her maid along the way.
Kamron waves off Martyn's words, "Only the main line. My own family isn't cursed by such a thing." Although theoretically, Martyn won't be in the main line either as soon as Patrek marries his Redwyne bride and has a child. He nods to Harold's request, "Done, Ser Harold." He's keeping half an eye on Saffron, however, and when she stops, he rises to his feet, bowing his head, "My Lady? Have you met Ser Harold Charlton?" He gestures to the older man, "Ser Harold and I fought together in the Tourney at Harrenhal." He might give a year for the tourney, but there's really only one to be had. "Ser Harold, my betrothed, the Lady Saffron Banefort. Who has once more left Mistress Hara to run an errand and wandered off?" That last has a gentle sort of teasing tone to it, real affect easily audible in his words.
Martyn smiles, "An excellent idea, Ser Harold." He then offers a smile and a nod to Saffron as he gets to his feet to offer her a bit of a bow as well. "Lady Saffron. Joined the club of those of us walking while deep in thought, I see." He then looks to Bear, offering the puppy a bit of a smile. "Good thing you're guarding her, right?" he offers a bit lightly to the animal.
Finally upon his feet, and for all his size, age and general comfort right there in the lovely seat he'd been nursing warm and loving, he moved light and easy. With his shrewd grey eyes flicking between Saffron and Kamron, he offered a knightly bow. It might not have quite the polish expected in a royal court, but it did more than well enough in the provincial outskirts of the Riverlands. "My Lady Saffron," he intoned, his voice deep and slightly rough, the of moderate hoarseness that came from having screamed ontop of his lungs just one too many times, in battle or at the training yard with insufferable squiers and men-at-arms, and strained his vocal chords. "I find myself struck and scorched by your radience. If I weren't old and married, I might have felt obliged to duel Ser Kamron for your favor right about now." He said it with a crooked smile, eyes dancing with mild humor.
"A pleasure. And a bookish kind as well? Intelligence is the fuel that keeps converastions rich and interesting when the beauty and infatuation fades. I'd say you are a lucky man, Ser Kamron."
He looked back at Saffron again. "We were just about to hear Ser Kamron tell me about his duel, with appropriate assistance from Ser Martyn should he fall into the pitfalls of humility."
"I'm sorry, Sers… I have been… a little without sleep the last few nights, I think my body is trying to wander off without my mind," Saffron says, almost bashful. Usually, she has to consciously ditch her minders, and with a lot of plotting and planning. She even offers a small pink blush as she steps toward the trio of knights. Bear continues to bound after her, content that she is heading right where he wanted to go. He bounces right past her and immediately tackles Martyn's feet, growling playfully up at him. Oh yes, fierce protector. Saffron brightens at the words from the Charlton knight, and she even colors ever more. "Oh, ser… you are not that old, so we will instead lament over the married status instead of the age." She then looks between the trio, clasping the little book before her. "I hope you do not mind a lady eavesdropping on such a tale then."
Kamron grins at Martyn, "Watch out… he bites." There's a pause, "Okay… he gnaws." Harold's compliments cause the younger knight to point at the elder, "I will crack your head in, Ser Harold. Crack. Your. Head. In." The 'threat' is given with a laugh, however, and he shakes it off, gesturing to Saffron to take the seat whose arm he was lately perched upon. "If you don't mind hearing the story again to get to Ser Harold's story." He barely waits for her okay, offering out his wineglass to her and settling back down onto the chair's arm once she's seated. Looking back to Harold, he starts in, "It was the… what, third push? Fourth? The Reachlords had just failed to take the bridges between the Great Keep and the Bloody Keep, and they called in the Northmen and Riverlanders. We went in on the main floor, with others below. A line of reavers took our first charge, and after a few moments, Rodrik Greyjoy and Ser Harras Harlaw came into the fight with a few heavy infantry."
Martyn is unable to hold back a bit of a laugh as his feet is tackled by the puppy, and he bows down a bit to pet the animal. "Yes, you're a fierce protector, my friend," he offers, a bit lightly. "Good work." He offers a bit of a grin at Kamron, "Puppies do that, it seems." A brief pause as he listens to the others, offering Saffron a bit of a smile. "A little without sleep, Lady Saffron? I'm sure that if you ask my sister she can help with that," he offers, after a few moments of pause. Listening carefully to Kamron's telling of how it went, he looks back to Bear, still petting the dog if he allows him.
"Ah, indeed. Lament we shall. I'd offer to make you the target of courtly love, but I fear that would be a most terrible fate on you. Secret love letters requires a certain poetry, and I fear I have none. Or being the adventurous sort who'll stand beneath a maiden's window and sing lovely ballads with the voice of nightingales. Alas, I sound more of a frog when I take to it," Ser Harold murmured as he gave a wave to indicate he had no objection of her joining their little group. With a sigh of pleasure, he sank back down into his seat, and retook his mead with a vengeance. At Kamron's threats, he added with a chuckle: "Besides, my head has been cracked enough times, already. I'd rather what little wit remains not leak out my ears at the end of a Mallister head-charge."
So with those words, he turned his attentions fully to Kamron's tale, eyes flashing alert and with undeniable interest.
Saffron takes the seat indeed, sweeping her skirts under her as she does. Bear is growling playfully at the Mallister, but he eventually just ends up flopped at his Lady's feet. He wags his tailless butt all the same. The Lady herself looks over toward Martyn. "I might have to," she says softly before she rests her cheek against her hand, listening to the familiar tale of Ser Kamron and Rodrik Greyjoy. She does offer a small laugh to Harold all the same, shaking her head. "That is okay, Ser… my knight is very protective."
Kamron chuckles at Harold's words, then settles into his tale. "Like I said, I may have not been thinking so well, because I called out a challenge to the Greyjoy. Couldn't get the picture of Lord Jason falling to him at Seagard out of my mind. It wasn't until he came at me that I realized just how godsdamned tall he was." He doesn't look repentant at the mild curse, despite the presence of his Lady. I got the first solid blow in," he mimes a two-handed sweep up from his right side to just over stomach level, "But he was wearing full plate, and every time he hit me…" the knight shakes his head, "even when he didn't pierce my armor, it felt like being kicked by a horse." Not that he's been kicked by a horse, but it sounds good. "He got my shoulder," he gestures up to his left shoulder, "My arm, dented in my breastplate…" The strictly-average-height Mallister chuckles and winces a little with remembered pain, "And I paid him back to the head a couple of times. I put him down once, but he kept coming back. I've never seen anyone take so much damage, not even Ser Garret at the Seagard melee."
Martyn moves to get himself some more to drink, listening carefully. Offering a bit of a nod at Saffron's words, though. "I'm sure she can help," he offers, after a few moments of pause, before he move back to his own seat, listening carefully to Kamron's story, nodding a little bit as he listens. The expression on his face seems to suggest that he's remembering the battle while he's listening.
The Charlton knight drank up the tale with the occasional nods, his steady gaze following bodylanguage and expression, and the way Kamron did his little enactments as well, which brought a quiet chuckle. "Damn full plate," came a sympathetic grumble, from a knight who wasn't in possession of one, but like everybody else aspired to have it. He also drank up his mead at the rate of a man who hadn't been living with rations, and had a distinctly different opinion of when 'enough' was as a result. Though the fact that it was all Erenford offered might have made him extra entertained with the proximity of drinking his way through the whole of it.
Saffron actually smiles at the grace of the retelling, perhaps even taking some pride in it. After all, she is a storyteller herself — quite a wonderful one if you believe the rumors. She tilts her head as she listens, though she does gently nudge her foot against the puppy at her feet.
Kamron gestures toward Martyn with his cup, "Jump in here any time, coz. You weren't more than fifteen feet away." He nods to Harold then, "Too right. Those Redwyne boys," so, probably four to six years younger than Kam, "at Seagard had it too." Settling into his perch alongside Saffron again, he returns to the story, "I don't know how long we hammered away on one another, but he cut me open from here," he touches the left side of his stomach and then his right, "to here, right below my breastplate." He looks over to Martyn then, "It had to be another ten or fifteen minutes after that," in combat time, which means about a minute and a half or two minutes in real time, "when he finally managed to get my shoulder again," he gestures up to his left, "and crush in my pauldron bad enough that I couldn't lift my arm over my head. I would've been done for then, but Ser Keelin and Ser Kittridge stepped in, keeping him busy while the Half-Septon helped me get the armor back in place. There weren't more than a few reavers left by that point, so pretty much everyone piled in. Don't know who got the killing blow, but when he finally fell, he was dead before he hit the ground."
"I wasn't further than that away, that's true," Martyn offers, before he adds, "But I was sort of busy with some of the other reavers there." Listening to the rest of it, he shrugs a little bit. "So many of us that was trying to take him out in the end, nobody will really be sure of who got the killing blow, I'd say. Except for those that subdued Ser Harras, of course." A brief pause, before he adds, "But my cousin here made sure we were able to present King Robert with the Greyjoys sword as a trophy in the end."
"From Arbor gold to full plate," Ser Harold murmured drily. "Well, I suppose if anyone deserves to be well protected, it's the men who give us heaven in a glass, eh?" He gave a bit of a snort at that, before going back to listening attentively. "A right epic match you had there, Ser Kamron. It's what every knight aught to aspire to, I'd say. A pity you couldn't claim the full honors, but valor nobody would deny." He lifted his tankard - wihch was alerady half full, however that had happened - and proposed a toast: "To the Greyjoys defeat. May they never rise again." Followed by a pause, a touch of a frown and a cynical light there in his eyes which said he had no real hope for such a future.
"And I suppose it's my turn, now."
All those scars cause her to frown tersely, though she is not in the proper company to offer him comfort. No, all she can do is keep her hands in her lap while she looks between the men. Then she nods her head in agreement. "Still makes me awful at ill-ease, Ser Harold… I am just glad the Seven saw fit to look after him so we could meet. I was on my way to the Roost by now, and had no idea what awaited me here." She offers Kamron a little smile before she turns fully to the Charlton. "But, please… tell us your tale."
"Though perhaps before I begin, what were King Robert's words to you, when you presented the sword?" Harold added.
Kamron nods to Martyn, although he chuckles at the last point, "I had lost so much blood by that point that I could barely stand, coz. It was Ser Kittridge who ensured we had the sword to present to the Good King." He nods to Harold as well, lifting up his glass and finishing off the last of the wine within, "I'm just glad that I could see the end of the man who killed Lord Jason, whether I did it myself or someone else did." Saffron's words draw a little laugh, and he reaches over to pat her arm lightly. "I'm rather glad myself, My Lady." Harold's additional question draws a chuckle, a faint quirk of a grin touches his lips, "He said his only regret on Pyke was that he couldn't face Rodrik Greyjoy himself, and he wanted to know if Greyjoy was as strong as his reputation. When I told His Grace that he was, and apologized for the fact I was wearing bandages and an arming jacket in his presence, he said, 'There is no garb more fit for a man than bruises and bandages after a battle.'" He gestures toward the Charlton, "Now then… how you won your knighthood?"
Martyn chuckles a little bit as he listens now, but keeps silent, as he takes another thoughtful sip of his drink. "I'm glad the Seven kept him safe as well, Lady Saffron. And that they decided that the two of you would meet." Turning his attention to Harold now, as the man's about to start his story.
"True words," was Ser Harold's comment when hearing the words of the King, before adding in a harsher tone: "-My- only regret was we didn't smash their castles to pieces, kill their so called Lords, and burned every Stranger be damned ship and shipyard on the Isles, preferably with all their shipbuilders still inside. In the long germ they'd be better off, and so would we. Well. I suppose our children or grandchildren need a bit of glory, too." He gave a distracted and somewhat weary wave of his tankard, then emptied it with a rough backwards throw of his head that saw its content splash down his gullet.
"It's now.. twenty years ago since I was knighted. At the time I was a squire of Ser Raymund Darry, whose brothers were Ser Jonothor of the Kingsguard, and Ser Willem who was the Arms Master of the Red Keep. Good men all three, and I had the pleasure of knowing them all, growing up in the Darry household as a page first." He scratched his cheek as he thought back at those times, his eyes taking an inward direction.
"I'd just turned seventeen, as cocky and confident a boy as you'd ever met, certain I was one day to wear white myself. You don't have this problem west for the Green Fork, but on out side the tribes of savages living on the Foothills of the Mountains of the Moon is a blasted menace. They'd come in force, at last three of their tribes, even if they normally fight each other as much or more as they fight us. They'd burned several villages, and were threatening major settlements. They'd kill the menfolk, then rape and carry off the womanfolk of childbearing age."
"Loot everything that wasnt nailed down."
Saffron listens to the tale unfold with a quirk of her chin. At the mention of the Mountains of the Moon, the Banefort lady perks with some interest. She has some stories from those regions. At the news of those womenfolk, she presses a hand to her mouth in shock, though she does not say a word.
Kamron nods to Harold's words about the fate of the ironmen, "Maybe true. The Good King was going to take Balon Greyjoy's head, but changed his mind at the last moment." Shrugging the decision off, he leans back against the back of the chair alongside Saffron, settling in to listen. He nods along at the set-up, although the fate of the women hardens his face as well, his hand tightening just a little on Saffron's forearm, a bit of a possessive gesture and a protective one.
Listening rather carefully at the moment, Martyn nods a little to what he hears. Smiling at the mention of the Darrys, then frowning a bit at the mention of the savages from the Mountains. Taking a few sips from his drink as he listens, rather carefully now.
"At the time Ser Raymund and myself were visiting one of his kin.." Harold took a few moments to recollect the name correctly. "..Ser Arys the Happy Trout! Short and fat, round as a barrel, but good company. Let me sit at his table though I was but a squire, rather than have to stand and serve. Simply but good fare, and offered his finest wine." His lips cruised with a fond smile at the memory, giving his sometimes brusque appearence a warm and companionable glow. "A landed knight who held a small tower right there at the hills. I think he answered to the Whents, but I honestly can't be certain anymore." He waved the detail away.
"A small tower, no windows on the first floor, with a pull up stairs to get inside. A bit too small to be realy comfortable, but they made up for it with their hospitality."
"They stuck in the night. Set fire to the stables, sacked the village, and then tried to climb into the tower itself. Thankfully me and Ser Arys' armsman were sleeping on the roof, thanks to the heat. Hah, better bedding than inside, I promise you. We turned them off as they climbed, rang the alarm, and the four of us armed and charged, while the Lady pulled the stairs up after us to protect herself. With luck we managed to save the horses, all but one, and the enemies melted away. That was that, though: Ser Raymund declared we were going nowhere until the last of the men who'd attacked the village of his kin were killed or driven of. That was the start of it."
Saffron listens with wide and alert eyes. Her hand has fallen onto the arm of her knight and gives his fingers a tender squeeze. Then she blinks several times, blurting out honestly, "That was the start of it, Ser? My Gods, so much has happeend already." She seems genuinely enthralled at that bursting question.
Kamron nods his head at the description of the tower that sounds rather familiar. And then, of course, the idyllic scene disappears in fire and chaos. He nods to Saffron's question, looking back to the storyteller and prompting him grimly, "Like the reavers, Ser Harold. If you leave them alive, they'll raid again." A somewhat dour vision of the future, of course.
Still listening quietly, Martyn nods a little bit. Raising his drink to his lips again as all his attention is on the story for now.
Ser Harold blinked, then laughed at Saffron's protest. "Oh, worry not. I'll not regale you with the full campaign. That was the start of our involvement, though. It lasted for almost a month, as knights and men-at-arms were gathered to turn back these right murderous bastards. with most men, even men you hate, you're able to see in them a spark of humanity. Of sameness.." He shook his head, absently nodding at Kamron's comment. Yes. Kill them all was very much Harold's sentiment, and he didn't pretend otherwise.
…"One of these hilltribes though, was so alien they seemed monsters of the fairytales in truth. They'd burned their faces, their hands, their bodies entire. Since they hardly wore any armour, you could see all their marks, not of war, but of self mutilation. Their leaders even burned out their own eyes, so as they charged you wild eyed and screeching, you stared not into two eyes.. but one insane one, and one gaping hole of scar tissue." He leaned forward abruptly - and in that moment Harold embodied physical raw violence, of the sort his enemies occasionally saw - planting his hands on the top of the table and half coming out of his chair. He turned his eyes wild and buldging at his audience, sneered and snarled, teeth bared, and -roared-. Then fell back laughing, laughing and laughing more, unable to help himself.
"Ah. Where was I? Oh, yes. The campaign. Though they came in the night and ran away at any sign of strength, gradually we began to herd them back to their mountains, killing by the score. Savage and wild they might be, but no armour to speak of, ill weapons and little tactical awareness."
He paused, poured himself some ale, and took a swallow. "Now, it'd been about a month of this, and we thought we had their mettle. Word came of a band harrowing a nearby village, though, so Ser Raymund and a couple of knights, along with their lances and perhaps twenty foot, went to cut off their likely route of escape. We did a bit too well, and came across not just that band, but three more. Later it was called the Battle of the Honeyfields, though I'll admit it was more a large skirmish than a great field."
The sheer details of Ser Harold's story horrifies the young Banefort. She cannot seem to allow much more of an emotion beyond shock show through her pale expression. She glances toward Martyn and Kamron with some haste before she looks back toward the storyteller.
Kamron leans forward at the description of the tribesmen, his lips curling with revulsion. When he roars out, however, he jumps just a little, then shakes his head with a touch of embarrassment, laughing along with the older man. "Ass." The accusation is pushed out between desperate breaths as he gains some measure of self-control. He grunts at the description of the final battle, nodding his head, "The wildest men are the most dangerous when they don't have a way out. Even with a few-score men on the field…" He shakes his head again, whistling softly under his breath.
Martyn nods a little bit, unable to hold back a grin as he hears the roaring. He doesn't say anything at the moment, just listening carefully for now.
Ser Harold winked when Kamron called him an ass, looking not the least bit ashamed at his own antics. Then he turned more serious as he brought back the details of the battle that had seen him knighted:
"We were outnumbered perhaps three to one, but Ser Raymund considered those fair odds. As soon as he saw his foes, even while the foot were far behind, he ordered the charge. War lances were lowered, and across a field of buzzing bees and beautiful yellow flowers, the thunder of hoofs sounded. At first they looked like they were going to flee; as they usually did when faced with proper knights. However, realizing just how few were attacking, they turned." He paused to wet his tongue for a moment, and to let the tension build.
"Charged us right back. Arrows shot past us, some struck, but no man went down for them. Not so the spears that flew next. One caught Ser Raymund's horse between its barding, and it went down right there, Ser Raymund dragged with it. His leg shattered, which would leave him a limp the rest of his life, while his dead mount was now pinning him down. Our charge was spent without being able to cut through their line, leaving us swarmed."
He made as if surrounded, looking wild in every direction. "Five of them went for Ser Raymund, and without thinking I was on the ground infront of him. I can't tell you how long it lasted, but I can tell you that I took more blows that day than any battle since, even if only a few broke through my mail. My shield was hacked to pieces, and all I could do was defend myself. I didn't even have a thought of trying a killing cut. Nothing but making a wall of steel out of myself and my sword, while fearing that one of them should get past me and kill my master."
He smiled crookedly. "I even forgot to be afraid, when I'd been close to pissing myself when we started that charge. I defended, defended.. near deaf from the din of it all, of the clattering weapons and the screaming men. Of myself screaming, too, as loud as I could."
"Then.. until abruptly they were running. Our foot had caught up with us. The day was saved. I didn't kill a single man that day, but when we dragged Ser Raymund out, he knighted me on the spot."
"Amazing, My Lord," Saffron says in the aftermath of his tale. "Quite a good reason for a squire to become a knight. And quite a story… I've heard such strange things from the Mountains of the Moon, but I ha dno idea it was so fierce." She shakes her head a bit, looking pale despite her calm words. "With that, I think I might need to see Lady Muirenn about a sleeping draught. That is sure to keep a mind reeling for hours." She indeed starts to stand, Bear stirring at her feet.
Despite the previous shock, Kamron leans forward again as the elder knight continues his story. He nods sharply at the conclusion, glancing his agreement toward his betrothed, "And you more than earned your knighthood. For all we talk about vanquishing foes, the true measure of a knight is his ability to defend the defenseless." Saffron's words cause a flicker of worry across his features, but he rises to his feet, "Thank you, Ser Harold. You've proven an excellent storyteller. May I beg my cousin's presence as well to provide suitable escort for My Lady to Lady Muirenn's quarters and then her own? At least until her maid is found again…"
"To protect and defend," Martyn offers a bit quietly, as he drains the rest of his drink now. "Excellently told, Ser Harold," he offers, after a few moments, before he gets to his feet as well now. Nodding a bit at Kamron's words. "Of course, cousin," he replies, after a few very brief moments of pause.
"May you all enjoy a good sleep, Sers, my Lady. It's been an enjoyable evening. I think I shall sit here a while longer, though, and enjoy that lovely spoil of age: Nostalgia." He smiled wryly as he dipped his head to each of his companions, before stretching out even further -until he was near lying in his seat - with full tankard of mead in his hand to continue his path towards drunkenness along with the silent Justin.