|On The Way Home|
|Summary:||After an amusing run in with Ser Hardwicke and his squire, Justin takes his leisure briefly on the porch of Crane's Crossing where he is joined by others.|
|Related Logs:||Immediately follows Heel, Squire!|
|Town Squire, Stonebridge|
|The surrounding terrain has several small gullies and streams that feed into the waterfront area just adjacent to the town square, the sails of the boats visible over the tops of the buildings. The square is floored in the same heavy stone that the east docks and castle are constructed of while the buildings are a mix of the stone, wood, and mortar. There are quite a few fish vendors with their fragrant catches for sale among groups of tables which tend to be busy most of the time.|
Rarely in Stonebridge, the lady Muirenn takes this brief interlude to explore. Though staying at the Durant estate as opposed to the Inn as requested by her Guardian, she makes her way back to town and accompanied as always by her handmaiden, Septa, and a guard. Fanning herself lightly with a lovely little concoction of silk and lace, she murmers to her maid "Perhaps we can find some of the bronze wool thread we need here in the market."
It's mid afternoon and it's hot out. The Terrick/Mallister group riding back from the tourney has paused in Stonebridge to briefly stable the horses to cool them down and water them. The people have dispersed for an hour or two for drinks, some to the Crane's inn and others to the Common house up the street. They won't be lingering long before the main group pushes on to reach the Roost by nightfall though some may stay over in Stonebridge.
As for himself, Lord Justin is seated out on the porch of the inn. He has his boots propped up into a chair, his ankles crossed while he leans back and drinks ale. The last he's liable to taste in some while that isn't watered down into despairity. He has a half pitcher of it left by his elbow on the small table and has been watching those who are coming and going.
Among these, the Lady Muirenn arrives walking in from the Darant estate with her maids. The young Terrick inclines his head to her though Justin as yet doesn't move to stand, hot and sweaty from the road and cooling down in the shade. He's still dressed in partial maile for the last leg of their trip upcoming, "Lady Muirenn… do you stay over in Stonebridge this eve, or continue on with us?"
Home sweet home? Well, so it seems, since Tia's been at Stonebridge more than anywhere else of late. She has arrived back, and no doubt to start with, she's installed wherever Corrie and Anders are. Such a hot day and the greys she's wearing are not necessarily what one might consider cool colours. She has her maid and guard with her, never a septa for some strange reason, and her harp. She makes her way easily towards the inn.
A smile flashes to wreath her face as Muirenn spots Justin lounging on the Inn's porch. Grey eyes flecked with green dance merrily as she approaches. Though she does not dip her knee, she does incline her head in greeting "You look quite comfortable lord Justin. I had not yet decided whether to spend a day or so longer at the Darant estate. Lady Isemay has sweetly extended such hospitality and I find it facinating learning about their vineyards." The fan waves lazily stirring a bit of a breeze around her as she continues, "But I miss home and with the bandits around, it may be more wise for me to continue on with you and the rest of the family."
"Probably that would be wise, aye." Justin takes his boots down from the chair and dusts it off to make certain it is clean, "Please, come in out of the sun and cool yourself. You'll not be wanting ale, but perhaps watered wine or tea, Lady Muirenn?" Is that Lady Tiaryn also returning from some errand, and with her harp? Justin's face eases into a smile, "Might you play for us, Lady Tiaryn, if it not be an imposition? I trust your knee is mended now?" Is there another chair he might offer her, as well? If not, Justin moves to stand to offer his own to her. He can always go and fetch a third from the other side of the porch.
There's probably a chair, so that's not a big issue. Tia as she arrives offers a smile and a polite curtsey to both the nobles here. "My knee is much better, thank you, Lord Justin. It is nice to see you. On the way back to the Roost, I assume? Or are you staying for a bit?" She smiles to Muirenn as well. "And good day to you as well, Muirenn. How are you enjoying Stonebridge?" And of course, there's the question as to whether Tia will play. She turns back to Justin, and chuckles softly. "Of course I will play. Is there a song you would like to hear?" she asks, as she moves to take the seat, as well as her harp. She can figure out a drink … later. First, there is music.
Veris has left.
Artur had left later than the rest of the family, finally arriving in Stonebridge by horse with his servant. They come up along towards the inn and then move towards the stables, putting their horses in the stables and then moving back around towards the porch. He turns to his servant, "Right, so go secure the room if the other family hasn't already done so and go tell ser Di'ain i want to see him at some point. Also," he reaches in for some silver and gives it to the girl, "get yourself something to eat. It's been bothering you right? That we didn't have any decent food for awhile. Run along now, you're off until sun down."
That done the man makes his way up the proch stopping to spy Tiaryn, Muirenn and Justin at a table, making his way over to them, "Oh, the rest of the family already made it? Lady Tiaryn, Justin, Lady Muirenn."
Considering a moment, Muirenn nods and gathering up her skirts lifts them just a bit so as not to dirty the silk further as she moves up the steps and eases into a chair. "A bit of watered wine would be lovely." The fan moves languidly, stirring the tendrils that have wilted in the heat against her skin. "Yes, the more I think of it, going home would be nice." She smiles as Tiaryn joins them, "Oh, choose what you wish to play Tiaryn." As the older man approaches, her face brightens considerably and she bows her head low in respectful greeting though her voice is mischeviously bright, "Good day my lord. It is good to see you…will you join us?"
It is easy enough to give Tiaryn his chair and grab a third, rather than making her fetch it. Justin reseats himself and picks up his tankard to give her reply, "Anything you like. Perhaps something slow and soothing that we might still converse a bit over it at times? It is fortunate for me that you both play, for I have heard also the Lady Muirenn and she is quite good with the dulcimer."
Justin glances up to his great uncle, "Aye, in about an hour ago. And likely back on the road within another hour. I believe Lucienne would like to make it to the Roost by nightfall tonight." He makes gesture to the half pitcher of ale left, should Artur care to join them and have a cool drink. When a server steps out to see if they will come in or need for anything, Justin speaks low for additional drinking impliments and watered wine to be brought for them. He hands over a few coins to see it done.
<FS3> Tiaryn rolls Musician (harp): Great Success.
Tia grins as she listens. "Lord Terrick," she greets Artur easily with a nod of her head. It's possible she doesn't even know his first name, truthfully. "Alright then," she says, as she sets her mind to what to play. After a moment, she recalls a nice sweet song about the berry picking time of the year, and starts her fingers to playing the melody. It's slow but happy, full of good memories. And hopefully what Justin was looking for.
Saethwyr has arrived.
All too soon he will be burried once more with the concerns of home. Having been unable to relax and enjoy most of the tournament as he had hoped to do, Justin perhaps can't be blamed for relishing one last hour with good music and good drink before it will all too soon be left behind. He savours the ale and has supped well the tournament against the return of lean days ahead.
Gathered around him are his Great Uncle Artur, the Lady Tiaryn now playing her harp in a soothing, quiet but upbeat melody, and the Lady Muirenn. A server returns with additional cups and watered wine, then checks to see if Justin wishes for his pitcher of ale to be topped up, "No, I'll be back in the saddle soon. One is more than enough, thank you." He's cooling down from the hot ride and yet in his partial maile for the road. (set for Saethwyr)
Artur nods at his nephew and moves to sit down in an open seat, "I think I will lady mallister." His attention returns to Justin, "You can leave without me. I'll need to finish up some business here and then I'll make my way back to the roost."
A smile opens up on his face at the harp, "Thank you for the music Lady. It's good as always."
Before Muirenn is allowed to partake of the wine, as is usual when the Mallister maiden is away from home, her maid Miniella takes a small sip from her mistress' goblet. After a moment the rim is wiped and it is offered to her ladyship. Gratefully, the girl takes her own sip and flashes another grin to Artur. With a wave of her hand her retinue moves to allow a space for Artur. "I hope you will not be long coming? With the bandit troubles, I would imagine it is not wise to travel individually? I had thought to stay over with the Darant's but imagined my guardian would rather me return with the large group." Her face turns towards Tiaryn and for a moment, her eyes close as she pauses to just listen to the music.
Tia is concentrating on playing and her fingers are almost magical with the sound they call out of the lap harp. It remains to be seen how she might make a full sized harp sing, since she's not had one since Tall Oaks was razed. She smiles at Artur, her pleasure showing at his compliment. "Thank you, m'Lord. Such compliments are always welcome," she tells him. She peeks at Justin to see whether her choice is approved, though it does meet the requirements that were stated. And she listens quietly to the conversation for the most part. Though she does add, "I am actually glad to be back to Stonebridge and not needing to be in a pavillion or tent. It is so much easier to deal with things such as hair in a proper room."
The door of the stables opens, and from within steps Saethwyr. There are always duties to be seen to, after all, and it seems more so when a horse is owned. Once outside, he lifts his left hand to lightly pull his fingers through his hair, tussling it a bit before releasing it to let it tumble across his shoulders again. And, unless his ears lead him astray in such things, he happens to catch the strains of music brought to life by a harp. This has a way of catching his attention, and he starts to approach the gathered group.
Justin is of course not his Uncle's keeper, nor anyone else's really. Though he tries to look out for the womenfolk of his House. Brotherly duty and all that. He drinks his ale and listens to the music Lady Tiaryn so kindly plays for them, his gaze idly following the movement of her fingers over the strings. It is an all too rare moment to relax and in the day's afternoon heat, he might even look a little drousy. Lady Muirenn's maid's precautions go unnoticed. It would seem that Lord Justin hasn't taken up such rituals and doesn't even travel with a guard, prefering to be alone when he goes out. They day will likely come sooner or later that such easy habits will have to be set aside, but not yet.
He smiles a little, finishing off his second tankard of drink, "I prefer a tent, or even the bare ground beneath a fragrant pine, or the wind in the tall grass of the bluffs overlooking the sea, to any room within walls. Lest the weather be foul."
Artur shrugs lightly, "Bandits don't scare me. They might scare Anna, but I can deal with them. I won't be travelling alone anyways. I'm bringing someone with me." Then a smile, "But thank you for the concern Lady Mallister. I trust that it would be better to travel with the rest of the terrick's."
The he laughs at his nephew, "Well, at least one of them prefers the outdoors. That's convenient."
"I will not lie. I love my growing things, I love the fields, the sea, the trees, the herbs, and the wildflowers but I appreciate my own bed within walls where there are creature comforts such as baths, hot tea, good wine, and shade from the sun." Another flutter of her fan is given and she smiles at Artur, "Please call me Lady Muirenn. We are family after a fashion." Sipping at the wine she mmms commenting, "I quite enjoyed my first tournament. It was all very exciting." Looking to Tiaryn she smiles, "Your playing is beautiful Tiaryn."
Tiaryn chuckles softly. "Oh, I love the outdoors, especially the woods, but I defy you fine gentlemen to grow your hair as long as most Ladies do, and then say you enjoy your tents as much as you currently do." She is obviously not really fussed about it though, merely pointing out there are a few minor details that the menfolk are just forgetting. "It was an exciting tournament, indeed. I enjoyed it quite a bit myself. Did you have a favourite part, Muirenn?" she asks her friend.
As he draws closer, Saethwyr's attention passes lightly over those who have gathered, merely to see who happens to be present. When his dark gaze finds Tiaryn, it seems to linger there for a moment or so before moving on. A step or a few more and he's reached the group, stopping at the fringe of it and offering a bow. "Good day, Lords and Ladies," he offers by way of greeting. Then he's quiet a moment, looking to the harp-playing Tiaryn. "Your playing is as lovely as ever, Lady Flint," he says sincerely, inclining his head to her.
Artur's comment brings a light huff of breath to Justin, who smiles, "Aye, Ser Haffrey was a man for woodlands and mountains when he could get them, and open places where we could feel and scent the wind upon us with views far. I suppose it rubbed off on me. I took to such a life like a shipfish to water. Not that either of us would eschew the pleasures of the hall from time to time, nor our duties."
There's a nod to Muirenn stating her preferences, "Most suitable to a lady of your breeding, and commendable." Justin pours himself a third tankard of ale and what will have to be his last if he's to keep his wits for riding. He leans over to pour the rest for Artur, that it not be wasted, "I would have liked very much to try myself in the joust." Perhaps next time. He almost laughs at Tiaryn's dare, his own hair occationally in his face in need of a trim, "No, thank you." Justin gives the man who approaches a nod, "Lord Saethwyr, welcome. And indeed, she plays most well."
Artur grins at Justin, "The joust? I'm glad I can't be in the joust. Only for knights or what have you, but not really anything to do with military, though I suppose at least they're good at throwing spears on horseback." Another laugh, "Regardless, Lady Muirenn then. Growing is something we all need now anyways."
"Well met Lord Saethwyr. Please be welcome and join us." Muirenn turns her head and regards Justin drily, leaning towards him and lifting her fan slightly to murmer quietly to him with an impish giggle, "most suitable and commendable? You sound like my Septa, Justin." Straightening she takes a sip of her watered wine and hmmms as she considers Tiaryn's question, "Well watching my brother and cousin's performance in the joust was not a favorite. However I am not sure that there was any one particular thing I enjoyed more than anything else. Perhaps the next tournament will afford me a chance to be more relaxed and to choose an event." Grey eyes glance towards Artur, "Did you get some ale my lord?"
Tia's cheeks go just a little bit pink as she is complimented so very many times. Surely that's the reason. "You are all too kind," she says with a soft laugh. As her first song comes to an end, she starts another, about the same tempo, but this one a thank you for music in general. "Lord Charlton, good day to you as well," she returns, after a moment. "Do come join us. Have you been to Stonebridge before?" And then a glance to Justin, as Tia's amusement at his outright refusal shows. "Perhaps we should keep our own hair much shorter?" she suggests, though she adds in a glance to Muirenn to see whether she will aid and abet, or turn away at that outrageous suggestion. She gives Artur a glance, considering his words. "I suppose that is true - I'd not thought about it so much prior to this tourney. But my Flink kinsmen did not participate in any of the events, interestingly." She chuckles at Muirenn's answer. "If I tell you that while the excitement of the joust and the melee were quite something, my favourite event was the dance, will you all have me beyond the pale, hopeless and silly?"
Oliva arrives from the East Walk.
Oliva has arrived.
Saethwyr raises an eyebrow slightly as he listens to Justin's words, curiosity coming to reflect within his dark eyes. "I thought of trying the joust myself, but opted instead just to enter into the melee," he comments, a thoughtful cast to his words. "Thank you," he says, in response to the welcome offered, a smile coming to his features. He inclines his head to Muirenn at her welcome then as well, in unspoken thanks of it being offered. Then his dark gaze turns to Tiaryn, and he chuckles softly. "Ah, but I thought that ladies had maids to brush their hair for them and twine it into many elegant ways?" he suggests, his eyes reflecting a sparkle of amusement to them. "This is my first time to Stonebridge, my Lady," he replies, giving a nod to her. He's quite a moment, considering the question last posed by her, and then he tilts his head faintly to one side. "I would not say it to be a hopeless or silly thing," he replies, a smile touching at the corners of his lips. It's the afternoon, and a group of folk have gathered, and Tiaryn is playing her harp in quite the lovely manner — which is to say, she's playing it as she usually does.
Justin turns his head to Artur, "The joust has to do with actual military, Great Uncle." He looks rather surprised to hear Artur claim such a ridiculous statement. "Do not besmirch and undervalue the use of heavy calvery with lance. Break a shield wall like nothing else so that the rest of you can even get in with your blades." He sits up more, not yet touching his refilled ale, "I felled a bear with a spear from horseback when it charged me - a huge bear, though already wounded. I do not think I could have stopped it's momentum with a sword." Artur sure has roused Justin from his drousiness, "Once the lance or spear is used, then a man on horseback still has some advantage with blade or axe over men afoot."
What did Lady Muirenn say? Justin blinks at her, having become absorbed in a far more intersting topic to himself. He looks back to Artur, "That's the whole point of the joust, as a training exercise long before it became 'sport'. Infact, a good charge by lance can break the morale of a unmounted fighting line and make them flee before ever blades are drawn." It's surely rare, but has happened. (as has certainly happened in RL history)
Lady Tiaryn's playful banter about womenfolk shortening their hair makes Justin dip his fingers into his ale and flick them at her like a bratty brother. "Do not, I beg you. The world would weep." And so would every man who adores a woman's long hair.
Oliva Snow has been distracted by something as of late — in fact, since the end of the festival at the Twins. It has caused her to be a touch slower with her normal duties, and she has only just finished ensuring that the Terrick and Mallister horses are settled. Her favored stablehand Wort, who has proven to be not as nearly as bad as Oliva makes him out to be with his mistress distracted, is leading off the moon-eyed rounsey that Oliva calls her own to help him with the supply list he's been given. This allows the Mistress of Horses to finally turn herself back to the inn. She is brushing straw and dust from her skirts, and dragging her feet just a bit in order to scrape off the soles of her boots.
Rolling her eyes slightly, Muirenn gives Justin up as a lost cause and glances towards the others, "The dance was indeed lovely, but I stayed mostly on the outskirts watching this time." Brightening, she smiles to Oliva as she approches the porch and she flutters her fan in a wave, "Mistress Oliva! How fare you? Would you care for some watered wine or perhaps some tea?" The Mallister maiden apparently has a fondness for the Mistress of the Horse as she extends the invitation to the Terrick's retainer.
That flick of ale at her has Tia laugh outright, a musical amusement that perhaps lightens the air as much as her music does. She gives him a sidelong look, but leaves that, opting only to say to Saethwyr, "So they do, and it's still not so much fun within a tent. Though I admit the Charlton pavillion might well be an exception. So perhaps it depends upon how fancy a pavilion you are speaking of." Her head raises to look over at Oliva with a nod of her head. Tia's fingers continue to play, the music light, airy and a gentle accompaniment to the conversation. She then grins at Muirenn. "I can say that for once I did not play musician, nor did I play wallflower. I even danced with Lord Martyn," she tells Muirenn. "I was somewhat surprised, as I'd not expected him to be on the dance floor." Her gaze strays back to Saethwyr for a moment, before she ducks her head to concentrate for a moment on the music.
Saethwyr brings his attention to Justin as the man speaks further about the value of mounted horsemen. Though perhaps wisely, he chooses not to enter into the discussion on the topic. His dark gaze shifts to Tiaryn, and he tilts his head faintly to one side. "Well, perhaps so, my Lady. I cannot say I have much in the way of experience with long hair or having it pinned up whilst inside a tent," he comments, deferring to her wisdom in the matter, a smile coming to the corners of his lips. His gaze lingers on her as she continues to play, and he stays quiet for the time being. And distracted thus by Tiaryn, he doesn't notice right away the page who has come in search of him. Though the lad earns his attention at a tug on Saethwyr's sleeve. So the Charlton Knight bows to the assembled group, "Excuse me, Lords and Ladies," he says softly. Then he steps aside to a respectable distance in order to speak with the lad.
Well, whether or not his Great Uncle has reply and comeback to his defense of mounted calvery, Justin's own mind has already drifted to other concerns. Such as the meeting he intends soon with his father, a meeting that will likely find them bumping heads. Perhaps hard. The though it has him frowning and rather than finish his ale, he simply stands and starts to walk off the porch without saying a word to any of them. He stops in the middle of the street, turns back and sighs, "Forgive me. I should see the horses are made ready to continue." Justin turns to head into the stables.