|On the Waterfront|
|Summary:||Kamron, Saffron, and Cherise talk of water and wit.|
|Date:||5 May 2012|
|Downstream Landing - Stonebridge|
|The East Docks of Stonebridge are known for their structurally sound contruction. The primary planking is assembled out of heavier woods and reinforced at all the main points with the same stone used in contruction of the castle. Ships with a draft short enough to reach this far inland are not always small so the berthings are built wide with the docks themselves running more than one hundred feet over the water. The waterfront area is full of unloaded cargo waiting for transportation either into Stonebridge proper or to head outbound on one of the vessels. At the end is a set of stone steps that lead down to the underdock area.|
|May 5, 289|
As darkness sneaks over the settlement of Stonebridge, Kamron Mallister has found his way to the docks downstream of the crossing that gives the town its name. The oncoming night has stolen the heat of the day, and so the knight is quite comfortable in his mourning blacks. The burgeoning shadows have also chased most of the activity away from the docks, and so the knight is not crowded by bustling dockworkers. Instead, he stands at the base of one of the docks, looking upstream at the stone bridge, a pensive look on his features.
There has been some grace given to the young Banefort as Morla cannot abide by going out and about past sundown. The minder, with thin lips and a stern look, agreed to her charge going for a nightly walk with her guard Punbah and some stand-in to replace Timmen who is still off on Sterling's deliveries to the Banefort. Punbah looks discomforted to be matched with a strange Terrick guard, looking over him with a slight frown on his pudgy face. Saffron walks just ahead of the pair in her own mourning blacks, though she has a braided violet ribbon tied around her wrist with little dried flowers tucked into the weave. She had spotted Kamron at some point during her stroll, and now approaches him from behind.
The Lady Charlton's ventures beyond the Stone Bridge were not a safeguarded secret though her travels had become less and less. On her return for the tower she and her small retinue of appropriate escorts made a detour, intentionally for the docks for the muted pleasures it offered. Certainly not the cliffs near the Crag. But there, even in these darkening hours, she had some spare time to linger. Particular figures would stand out among the dockworkers, finery over linen and cloth attire. Cherise maintained her distance for now.
Kamron is not so lost in thought that he does not notice the approach of three sets of feet. Half-turning away from the blood-soaked stone of the bridge, he looks back to the approaching trio, offering a faint smile. He waits until the Banefort-Banefort-Terrick group gets into easy earshot, then gives a slightly bow, "Lady Saffron. How are you enjoying Stonebridge?" Glancing down to the river gurgling by a few feet away, he adds, "I do like still being close to the water, even if it's not the sea."
"I will say that there is an outright thrill amongst Mistress Morla and several of the maids about the bolt of pale blue silk has completely overshadowed the political tension surrounding the fortification," Lady Saffron says with that slight lilt of amusement in her tones. She steps up to stand beside him, tiptoeing dangerously to the edge to give a full look down into the night-swathed waters. "There is nothing I love so much as the sea," she says, though it is almost as if she has quoted something rather than speaking from her own heart on the matter. She glances over toward her guards, particularly Punbah who is giving Kamron a quiet man-to-man kind of smile. He must really miss his usual partner in Banefort watching, because the Terrick guard is stiff and weighty. He would probably sink if shoved off the dock. He does his duty though, looking around with a hawkish attention, noting every figure and assessing threat levels.
Kamron chuckles softly, "I'm sure that a nice pale blue would set off your hair quite nicely, Lady saffron." There's no obviously 'smooth' tone to his words, just an outright statement. Punbah gets a nod, one eyebrow arching, "Master Timmen is not with you, Master Punbah?" Looking back to Saffron, he grins a little crookedly, "Are you sure those aren't the Banefort words, Lady Saffron? 'There is nothing I love so much as the sea?'" He seems quite at home on the docks, although he does stand a pace or so back from the edge. No sense in begging some mischievous rascal to push him in.
Punbah shrugs, not just his shoulders, but his entire body in response. His deep, rumbling voice responds dutifully, "He is off on an important delivery, sah, to the Banefort. This here is Master Sol." And the new guard just kind of grunts and bows and goes back to treating all moving targets as possible hostiles. Saffron herself looks amused. She takes a step back as well, looking fully to the knight with a small smile dimpling her cheeks. "You are close, Ser Kamron… its actually from a story my father use to tell me. About a man who desired a woman so much, he captured her and trapped her in the sea." She pauses thoughtfully. "My mother never liked it, found it terribly unromantic. But," she looks back out at the gurgling waters, "that was a line that the man would say… 'There is nothing I love so much as the sea.'"
Kamron nods his head at Punbah, and then again at Master Sol, "He looks very capable." Turning his attention back to Saffron, he nods thoughtfully, "Well, it seems to me that he placed the woman he desired beneath the thing he loved so much so he burning love of the sea would not be so unseemly." Chuckles rise to his lips at that, and he shrugs one shoulder, putting on a stiff deadpan expression and tone, "But I must warn you, Lady Saffron, I am a Mallister, and I know that there is nothing so romantic as a man's passion for the sea." His lips press together as he fights of laughter, "It makes swimming… quite delicious."
Leading the cluster of her retainers, a pair of guards taking up the rear Cherise approaches the pair admiring the river's waters. Moreso at ease than sea waters. Garbed in her house colors, the men displaying the proud colors of Hollyholt's red and green, she interjects with a pleasant tone. "A forgive me for intruding, Lord Mallister and Lady Saffron. Of Banefort is it?" She'll ask the two of them, hands folded before her abdomen while the lady's handmaidens mimic the noblewoman's poise.
Saffron laughs, warm and bright, at the Mallister as she shakes her head. "Delicious, I am sure," she states with a twinkle in those pale eyes. "But, I can tell you now, Ser Kamron, that a woman would rather be loved in presence than placed beneath the sea. It always bothered me, that thing… I once asked my father if she wanted to go, if she wanted to be locked beneath the waves… he told me that not all stories end happily with love given and returned, and that the story was not about the wants of the woman, it was about the obsessions of the man." She looks out at the bridge now, her right arm twisted behind her back to clamp the elbow of her left in a comfortable stance. "If I was to retell that story, I would —" And then her words are cut short by the interjection. She smiles, even if a bit disarmedly. The Westerlander is not use to being so easily recognized it would seem. "Yes, that is right. Lady Saffron Banefort." She glances to Kamron.
Kamron shakes his head at Saffron, allowing a grin to play across his lips, "I'm sure. I'll stick to causes rather than romances, Lady Saffron." He arches one eyebrow at Saffron's suggestion of her skills as a storyteller, but he turns over to the group approaching, allowing Saffron to speak first as he bows, "Charmed, Lady, I'm sure. Ser Kamron Mallister, although Ser Kamron or Ser Kam is more than enough." Evidently, he takes more pleasure in his knightly title than his noble one, "Although I'm afraid that you have us both at a disadvantage."
Once confirmed curve in Cherise's lips had deepened. "Always a pleasure to encounter another Westerlander in the Riverlands." She tells Saffron and soon given an identity to the Mallister. "Ser Kamron." Her crown preforms a muted nod being polite as she may. But to even the scores of identities she offers for them, "I am Cherise of Charlton my husband is Ser Aleister." Obviously one who is not in her company at the moment. "On any other occasion I would wonder how persons of such prestige would take leisure in this lovely little place, however over the last few days there have been more than a handful of interesting new faces and companionship."
"Ah, you are from the Westerlands?" Saffron inquires, though something about her name strikes a familiar edge that she cannot quite place. Had she heard of Cherise at the Banefort — no, it was more recent than that. She does her best to mask away the small wonder from her expression, ensuring her smile remains neat and genuine on her lips. "We are well met, then, Lady Cherise. I have not the chance to meet Ser Aleister, but this is my first true stay here at Stonebridge." Then she tilts her head a bit. "I confess I am here for strictly economic reasons. There are some wonderful textile merchants here —" Or at least more wonderful than that currently at the Roost's disposal. "Though Stonebridge has become the site of much activity."
Kamron's features freeze slightly at the identity of the lady and her husband, but it is a subtle thing, a slight pause in his smile before it returns, the young man's voice a little tight as he responds, "I served alongside your husband on the Iron Isles." The fact that the Mallister had seen action -somewhere- recently is clear enough, given the still-healing scar over his right eyebrow. "He is renowned as a skilled fighter." He nods his head as his lips press together slightly and he moves with Saffron's choice of shifting topics, gesturing out to the water and the bridge just upstream, "I find the sound of the water quite calming, Lady Cherise, and I thought it might be useful to be calmed while thinking on the recent events on the bridge."
A nod is given to Saffron, "Yes, I am. My maiden house is Westerling and there have been some occasions where I was given the pleasure of encountering your kin. House Baneford is regarded on high thoughts." Cherise relays easily, at least those were the thoughts of Banefort in her youth. They may have possibly changed over her absence from the Crag's neglected and wounded halls.
There's no absence of acknowledgement from her retainers, they are respectful enough to offer their dues of courtesy for the pair of bodies of status. That faulter in Kamron's stature does not go unnoticed, the Lady is perhaps being too kind in overlooking it. "He is, I have heard often of his tales upon the Isles as well as in Segard. For one who had sustained injuries as he had, I thank the Seven my husband was more than able to return the same kindness afforded to him." The Lady Charlton's gaze sweeps to the waters at their mention, calm and shadowed by the on coming evening hours, the subtle waves held a glow beneath the waning sun. "It can be quite ethereal, given all of houses have an affinity shared with the seas, I am truly not surprised."
"Yes, Westerling," Saffron says, though it is hard to suppress the small pink that colors up her cheeks. She should have known that, and there is a small grace that Mistress Morla is not here to chide over her neglect. The Banefort smiles all the same, nodding her head. "I thank you for that, Lady Cherise. It is not often I hear such high praise from the Baneforts here in Stonebridge." Which might be due to the marrying of houses through Anais, but that is not something Saffron lingers on long. She looks between Kamron and the Charlton lady, before she nods her head in agreement. "I have seen many war-marked men return from the recent battles. They at least wear their scars well." She then smiles a bit. "It was a small blessing that the Roost shares that similarity with the Banefort, Lady Cherise, being so close to the sea. It has made my homesickness not so tiring."
Kamron nods his head slowly at Cherise's words of her husband, although he doesn't comment further on them. "I prefer the beat of the surf, but the sound of any water is the gods' music to my ears, Lady Cherise." He chuckles softly at Saffron's mention of the war-marked men and their scars, reaching up one hand to rub his fingers across the pink flesh over his eyebrow, "Not all of them were quite so lucky as I, Lady Saffron, to have received such a dashing scar." His lips twist in distasteful memory a moment, and then he pushes joviality back onto them, laughing lightly, "Then again, many of them were much luckier, and avoided having their faces marked at all."
"You are more than welcome Lady Saffron." Her cheeks high, her smile large on the delivery of her words and soon it fades into minor amusement. "No, I suppose you would not have heard such kindness upon the lands, given Stonebridge's still open wounds." It had quite a history, pitting house against house with new allegiances forged and broken. But as she speaks of battle scars and compliments, the woman is inclined to, visibly agree. "That they do Lady Saffron, at times an improvement. Being struck in battle, and living, is a blessing its self especially with all four limbs accounted for."
She does allow her eyes to wonder over the small scar that marred the Mallister's features. "Any water Ser Kamron?" She prods.
Saffron frowns a bit then. "There are many open wounds it would seem, Lady Cherise, as the Roost is also suffering without much relief." Though she tightens her lips against further comment, though she holds her left elbow tighter still with her right hand, the arm still looped behind her back. She smiles a bit over toward Kamron as they focus on his scar, nodding her head a bit. "It has been a great blessing to see the amount of returning knights from the Iron Islands." And the prodding, however, she arches up both coppery brows with interest as she looks over to Kamron.
Kamron chuckles, "Well, I haven't seen the swamps of the Mire, so I cannot say if their sounds are the gods' music, Lady Cherise, but river, stream, sea, and fountain. I like them all well, if not quite equally." Saffron's words draw laughter to his lips more fully, "And you wrong me, Lady Saffron." His words hold a light, teasing tone to them, "Here I thought that I was all my relief anyone could ask for. At least, myself, my cousins, and all the various wagons and ships we have brought with us."
Saffron merely smirks at the Mallister knight, though there is quite a glint of mischief in her eyes. "Oh yes… and all the ladies of the Riverlands are swooning over your return, Ser Kamron. I have heard it. You should hear the frantic whispers at your approach, the deep sighs at your departure. It is enough to test one's gag reflex." Though she gives him quite a warm and jovial smile all the same before she looks back toward Lady Cherise. "It is a wonder Ser Kamron gets anything done what with the weight of his ego on his shoulders." And she manages not to look in Kamron's directly this time around.
"I would tell you the swamps have a lack of appeal to them, however a dear companion of mine, Lady Cordelya Flint hails from the northern regions swears they possess a certain charm to them." Not like she cared for them herself, "Perhaps there is peace among the muck and filth." Her voice softens as if resigning to have a little faith. Cherise then listens as Saffron makes a jest about the Ser in their small circle, bidding her dark blonde brows to perk before settling. "Interesting." A pause before asking the pair, "Are you two, familiar with one another?"
Kamron shakes his head with a laugh at Saffron's words, "You're lucky that I have an ego to handle your jibes, Lady Saffron, or I would be inconsolable." He nods his head to the Charlton lady at her words, "I have never seen the attraction of mud and still water, but I'm sure that someone in the proper state of mind would find them quite charming." He bows his head slightly at her question, "We have both been assisting the people of Four Eagles and the Roost with their recovery efforts. I have found Lady Saffron a fine and charming conversationalist, however boring my own wit may be to her."
Saffron perks up a bit at the name Flint — another such name she has heard flitting about her wanderings. Again, she cannot quite place where and in what context the name had come across her memory. She then flashes the Mallister a simple smirk that still possesses a soft dimpling. She says nothing on the threat of an inconsolable Kamron, though Cherise is definitely on point as the redhead quickly turns her attention from the knight to the lady. Perhaps it is the close proximity of the conversation on the entertainment of marriage from Anais, as she appears to be on the teetering edge of denying that she knows anything about the Mallister. Kamron, thankfully, puts everything into a much more tame context, though her ears have flared pink at their curls once more. "Yes. Ser Kamron was one of the first returning knights I met after I arrived at the Roost. He is quite hard on himself — he truly care be quite witty now and then, though his squire is quite good at upshowing him in that department." And she blossoms with an earnest smile.
"I see." Cherise tells the pair, watching the exchange between both Lord and Lady, the woman returns a smile of her own. "A few months have passed since I had last seen the Roost. Many have taken an interest to coming here, to Stonebridge for the trade ships have been almost regular save for the bandits." Which happened upon the roads, perhaps hindering some merchants from reaching the Roost. Cherise takes a small look over her retainers as Saffron issues a compliment, sort of, to Kamron. One that sparks a curl in the corner of Cherise's mouth. "I shall have to lean upon your faith with that Lady Saffron. I am sure the Mallister Ser is quite adept should the need arise."
"The difference being, Lady Saffron, that Percy's humor was crafted by the gods in the form of his utter lack of coordination, while my own is but the efforts of my wit." Kamron's lips curl into a crooked grin as he speaks, and he bows his head to the longer-transplanted Westerwoman, "Thank you, Lady Cherise, but I do admit my talents lie elsewhere." And he leaves just where those talents might be unspoken, unless, of course, they are the subject as he shifts topics to something else the former Westerling mentioned, "Myself and some of the other knights and men in the service of houses Mallister and Terrick have been riding patrols on the roads, particularly between Stonebridge and the Roost. If you wish to travel in that direction, or send something, simply let us know, and we would be glad to ensure that no bandits saw fit to disturb the trip."
It is about at this time that the squat Master Punbah — who, bless his soul, has managed to be quite innocuous up to now — politely clears his throat and steps in toward Saffron. "Lady, you are well past your expected hour of return, and unless Ser Kamron is going to come along to unruffle Mistress Morla's feathers, we should be getting on back to the Inn." There is a slight nervous quality in the guard's expression as if he is sure that the dragon lady of a minder is going to blame him for her charge being out so late. Saffron concedes to a tired exhale, nodding her head. She turns that dimple smile on Cherise, bobbing her head politely. "I am very sorry, Lady Cherise, but I was expected back at the Crane a while ago. I hope to talk more later." And then she looks to Kamron. "Ser Kamron, I'm certain I will see you again tomorrow. Please send my compliments to Percy on his most recent coordination routine." And she smiles as she starts to get swept up by Master Punbah and the hawkish Master Sol.
"In swords and serving Ser Kamron." Of course that's where his talents lied, right? Cherise glances to the man making mention of Lady Saffron's need to depart. Her eyes take in that moment the site of the tower, herself perhaps needing to start her return. "Thank you Ser Kamron, knowing that such capable men are guarding the roads can put many hearts at ease." She'll tell him just before nodding her head to Saffron, "Of course m'lady, I reside in the Tordane Tower, with my young and husband. Your visit would be a welcomed I am sure." Then for the both, "I would bid you both a good evening, I have no doubt this dashing scarred noble Ser would see that your return to the Inn is a safe one hmm?" Her brow perks briefly before her frame dips mutely, marking her gesture for departure. "Good evening to you both, I adore such pleasurable company here in Stonebridge." She'll wait for the traditional motions of parting before making her own leave, the lady's small retinue keeps tight on her shadow.
Kamron chuckles softly at Punbah's words, "I did promise to sing A Rose of Gold for Mistress Morla." He adds, aside, to the ladies, "I haven't much of a singing voice, but I have learned quite a few songs in my travels, and Lady Saffron's chaperone does seem to enjoy them." Cherise's question draws a momentary laugh, "Axes and annoyance, actually, Lady Cherise." He bows his head, "Good evening. I look forward to the further pleasure of your company if I am long in Stonebridge or if you chance to travel to the Roost." Shifting his attention back to the Banefort, he bows his head once more, "What do you say, Lady Saffron? Is my company not so tiresome that you will not accept it long enough to return to the inn, so that I may regale the aged Mistress Morla with one more song?"
Saffron inclines her head to Lady Cherise in earnest response to her words. "I have yet to visit the Tordane Tower, perhaps I will make time to stop by. May the night treat you well, Lady Cherise." And then she is beginning to step away, but not until Kamron speaks up about A Rose of Gold. There is a faint warm twinkle of amusement in her pale eyes, and she smiles to the Mallister. "Alright, alright, Ser Kamron Mallister… you may join me, for Mistress Morla's sake." Though it is impossible to hide the actual gratitude in the young woman's face. She commits herself to those gestures of parting, though only after Ser Kamron has stepped along side her and her two strangely polar-opposite guards stride dutifully behind the departing pair.