|Pass Time At The Green|
|Summary:||Time is passed, the company may or may not be good, depending on your perspective.|
|The Green, Terrick's Roost|
|The Green is a large field of deep green grass, nearly flat, that runs along the base of the towers. The road into town runs along the far edge, hemming it in neatly to a confined area where beyond a line of trees serves as a subtle windbreak. This area is most often used for drilling or practice for the guards but also serves as home for festivals, tournements, and another other gathering that might require the space for a large number of the local residents. A well-trodden path winds around the side of the wall and moves towards the coastline.|
|Mon Dec 26, 288|
It's still early enough in the day that some of the men-at-arms of Four Eagles Tower, albeit fewer of them than in the truly early hours. Most like to get such things out of the way before the summer heat really gets in. Ser Jarod Rivers is one of those still out, currently mounted on a sturdy brown charger and taking a joust-like run at a target dummy set up with a shield. He hits it but, as it's not moving, his 'victory' may not be particularly impressive.
Nares had a late night in the Inn and as such, is only just returning from his morning stroll down to the seashore. His mail is gleaming, his sword hangs comfortably at his waist and all in all it seems like it's going to be a reasonable day. Spotting the men still drilling he slows his pace a little to watch, casting an experienced eye over their manoeuvres.
Thudding hooves beat a steady tempo from the direction of the keep. A tall, palomino gelding canters into view. Perched easily upon her saddle is the Lady Muirenn. The morning sunshine turns the horse and woman into mirage of glittering gold and copper until they close in upon the training ground. The sight of the men at arms, some of her own included, drilling upon The Green has her reining in, until her steed crabsteps and slows to a restless halt. Appreciatively, her steely eyes survey the scene before she glances down at Nares and smiles, "Good Morn Master Nares."
It's a mixed sort of drilling, as the more regimented part of arms practice has probably ended for the day, pairs of men practicing with blades while others, like Ser Rivers, engage in cavalry manoeuvres. A few even take shots at archery targets, though at present the focus seems swords or lances for most. As he brings his horse around for another pass, he spots the new arrivals to the field. Lady and Ironman. He dismounts, leading his horse toward the pair of them. Muirenn receives a flourishing bow. Nares a polite, if somewhat appraising, nod. "M'Lady Muirenn. Captain Nares. A good day upon you."
Nares had not failed to hear the approach of the horse, but he doesn't actually turn to look until he's address. "Lady Mallister," he offers with a slight nod to Murienn before turning to Jarod as he approaches, "Ser." He then notions with a faint nod towards the archery targets, "I heard the Camdens were the experts in that," he states conversationally, "but your lads don't seem to be too bad at it."
Much to the disapproval of the Septa who sits atop a gentle, grey mare nearby, Muirenn slides off her tall gelding in a swish and rustle of skirts. "The Terricks and other vassals of the Mallister House believe in being well prepared in a variety of fighting techniques I am told Master Nares." Not quite deigning to squabble, the noblewoman does make her thoughts clear though as she flashes a warm smile at Jarod, "Ser Jarod, what a pleasure." Retaining a firm hand upon her palomino's reins, her other gloved hand slides across his neck in a calming gesture as the horse begins to sidestep uneasily.
"I'll not claim we could better the tree-dwelling rangers - though I'd give a bit of sport against them a try - but we try and keep our basic skills up," Jarod replies to Nares. "Generally I just shoot when I hunt, but I like to think I'm not a bad hand with a bow." He cracks a grin at Muirenn. "As the lady says. Pleasure's all mine, again. What brings you out today?"
Nares seems faintly amused by Muirenn's reply, he'd been meaning it as a compliment but well, if she's going to get in a huff.. In his politest possible tone he replies with a smile, "A sensible plan of action I'm sure." He'll leave it for that for now as he's mostly trying to get a hold on how she'll respond to conversation. To Jarod he nods in understanding and shrugs slightly, "Can't say hunting's my thing, but I know one end of a quarrel from another."
"Pryderi needs his exercise and I wished to not entrust it to a groom. It is too fine a morning to remain indoors. We thought to ride along the coast, perhaps after your exercise you would care to join us?" Muirenn's smile focuses upon Jarod before she glances over at Nares and gives an approving nod. "I prefer hawking for hunting, though I had to leave my peregrine back at Seagard." Her brow furrows slightly at this, adding only "I miss him." Her head turns as she regards Jarod quietly before asking, "When do you depart Ser Rivers?"
"We've birds for hawking at the Roost if you wish one for sport, m'lady, even if it'll not be your own," Jarod replies to Muirenn. "As for me…tomorrow, I figure, barring any further arrangements Lady Lucienne needs to make. Can't delay much more than that. At present I'll admit I'm just killing some hours as preparations are made for us to be off. Though I figure I've time for a ride." To Nares, he grins. "I don't imagine there's much game on the Iron Islands. Though I'll confess I know little of them."
Nares shakes his head to Jarod and supposition, "Not really no, where you use the land to provide, we use the sea." Not so much use for hawks or bows really. "Departing for Stonebridge?" he asks, remembering the conversation from a few days earlier, "I take it Ser Hardwicke accepted his new position?" To Muirenn he offers, "the tide is fairly low at the moment, there should be plenty of space on the rocks to ride, and those furtherest up are almost dry by now."
"Oh that would be lovely, I shall visit the mews following the ride." There is an incline of her head as Jarod indicates his departure date, "I wish you the best on your journey. I imagine you would appreciate a ride along the coast." Glancing over at Nares, she smiles "Aye, I had hoped it would be so. I asked the Maester for a tide table when I first arrived at the Roost. I could not imagine not being allowed to walk the coast line." she confesses.
"Perhaps, when you go, you can ask if the Lady Anais can accompany you," Jarod suggests of Muirenn. "She's used to company who enjoy a bit more sport than the ladies who attend Lady Evangeline and Lady Lucienne. She likes to hunt herself, and would be glad of a woman to do it with, I think." To Nares, he nods. "Aye, Ser Hardwicke did at that. He's been with the house for many years now, he knows how things're done, so I don't figure the adjustment'll take too long."
Nares attempts to pay attention to all the talk, but the discussion of which Lady likes what is not really scintillating for him and his attention starts to drift back towards those men still drilling on the grass. Still there are some things of interest and as Jarod answer him he turns back to the Ser and nods. He'll keep his own opinion of the new Guard Captain to himself for now, so instead he simply states, "I hope nothing will befall to test him before he is fully used to his new position."
With a soft laugh, Muirenn inclines her head "Indeed, I will allow Lady Anais to accompany me hawking if she joins me as I work on my tapestry later. I told her that I would give her some instruction on weaving." As the gelding whickers nervously and begins to shift from foot to foot, the noblewoman pats the golden horse's neck and runs a calming hand across his cream mane, "Shhh Pryderi.." she murmurs with a faintly bashful smile to the two men before inquiring, "So, when do you drill Master Nares?"
Jarod squints some at Nares' wish. "We all hope the peace is kept, Captain Nares. I know of no man who thinks it'd be best to break it." He's curious how the man'll answer Muirenn's question, so he listens for that. "The Lady Harlaw seemed to fear that if she relaxed herself here, she would be done harm when she returns to the Iron Islands. Do your people war with each other so much that's a great concern for nobility? A lady in particular."
Nares answers Muirenn first, it's a simpler answer after all, "When ever the opportunity presents itself, although that hasn't been that often since I've arrived here." Maybe it's something to do with only working with live blades, or maybe it's something else. Jarod's question takes a moment longer before he works out the best way to explain things. "If someone sensed weakness they might try and take advantage. Her relation to The Lord Harlaw is somewhat of a protect, but should say one of her borthers or cousins decide to make moves it could be problematic. She certainly would struggle to keep her authority if she let her swordarm grow slack." Okay, it's not a great answer, but hopefully it'll do.
"I cannot imagine living that way." Muirenn says forthrightly, "It must be a horrible way to live, not being able to trust the men around you so that you felt you had to be able to wield weapons in order to protect yourself from those you should trust." She gives a shake of her head that sends her wildfire curls tumbling about her shoulders. "I feel blessed by the Seven that I was born here." A smile teases the corners of her mouth, "I know not what I would do if I didn't feel I could trust those men sworn to protect my honour." She glances between the two and then asks, "Why haven't you been able to exercise your skills Master Nares? I would think you would be out here often working your skill, is it not something that grows soft with lack of use?"
"One of her brothers or cousins?" This reply both seems to disturb and puzzle Jarod. "What sort of moves would they try to make? In these lands, at least, your family is your protection. My brother Young Lord Jacsen is not a fighting man himself, but I shall act at his swordarm if he's troubled, so it's one and the same as if he was." To Muirenn, he inclines his head. "It is a way of life you shall never have to concern yourself with so long as the men of Mallister and Terrick bear swords. My word upon it, and the rest of the men on this field as well I figure."
"It is a harsh world we live in Lady Mallister," Nares replies, a wry grin spreading over his features, "we survive it by being strong. Beisdes, knowing there's always someone looking to take your place keeps you on your toes, ensures you don't grow old, fat and useless. It also means that a Captain or other such has got where they are by dint of hard work and proving themselves above others. We value ourselves on what we can achieve, rather than what a distance ancestor achieved hundred of years ago." He keeps his tone neutral, as one does when imparting information. He doesn't want to sound insulting after all, even if there is a vague voice in the back of his head telling him that this must be what it's like talking to children. "You may thank your Gods, but I will thank mine for allowing me to show my strength and be rewarded for it in due course." To Jarod he initially just nods, but then realises that the initial question had actually been serious. "Yes, her brothers and cousins. They jostle for the favour of her Uncle. They move to prove themselves stronger and more capable than their siblings." Surely that’s just obvious?
"My Uncle is not old, fat, and useless and we all work hard but yet we do not have to live that way. It seems…" She shakes her head and sighs, "Thank you Ser, I have the utmost confidence in the Mallister and Terrick men at arms to protect us all should the need arise, the Seven forbid..and I know that Lord Jacsen appreciates his swordarm, Ser." Smiling, she absently tugs a cockleburr from Pryderi's mane as she listens to the men's conversation.
Jarod makes a "Huh" sound at that. "The Iron Islands have lords and ladies just as our Riverlands do, Captain. Men at arms train and fight for their titles, but we are still but 'Sers.' And 'Captains.' Is not the Lady Harlaw Lady Harlaw because her father is…Lord Harlaw." That's a lot of Harlaws. He shrugs. "I only say. If you had more merit than the present Lord of her lands, would they grant you a title?"
"Never having met the man, I couldn't say," Nares replies to Muirenn, flashing her a quick smile as he does so. "No, Lady Harlaw is not Lady Harlaw because her father is The Lord Harlaw. She is The Lord Harlaw's niece. Her positions however, both now and previous, she has earnt by proving she was strong enough to take them." That brings a more genuine smile to his features as he remembers a particualr incident from the past. "Make no mistake Ser, she is not here, simply becuase of her birth, she is here and doing this job because she has proved herself strong and able for it. He ignores the last question though, the particular phrasing used by the Riverman makes it a complex answer and to be frank, he doesn't want to have to explain it.
"What job is it that she is here to do?" Muirenn asks quietly as she continues to groom her horse's mane. "One would think an ambassador would have a better grasp upon the behaviours and etiquette of the country they were going to work with." She glances over at Nares and flashes a smile, "I know not of these things of course, I just imagined that an ambassador would need be more prepared." Her attention turns towards Jarod, "Please do not let me forget Ser. I have something for you, a small token of appreciation for your assistance in ordering my cousin's dagger."
Jarod shrugs when his latter question goes unanswered. "I suspect, Captain, that a baseborn man or woman in the Iron Islands, much like in these lands, finds the taking not so simple as all that. Still, I shall trust what you say about the lady, though I'm unsure what diplomatic errands she's been involved with in the past. She's commented she knows little of diplomacy, in point of fact. But, we all serve as we're called, I suppose."
Jarod brows do arch at Muirenn, at that last. "A token, m'lady?" The bastard knight is intrigued. "Not necessary. I hope it wasn't too much trouble."
"She is here to act in the place of the Lord Paramount himself," Nares stats, to the pair of them really, "she is his eyes, his ears and his voice. If she appears weak, he appears weak. She has shown before that she has the required strength." See, entirely qualified in all the important areas. "Suspect what you will Ser," he then says specifically to Jarod, "but there are many within my Lord's service who have come from the origins that you describe and who have accounted well enough for themselves in the takings. More so than your Hedgeknights."
"Indeed, but you were also called and feel unprepared. Perhaps it is the same for the Lady Harlaw." It is difficult, but see even a Mallister and entertain the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the Ironborn in the cause of politeness. Her smile widens and her cheeks flush as Muirenn shakes her head, replying softly "It was no trouble at all Ser Rivers, it is nothing really…merely a trifle. I will ensure that you receive the package before you leave." Turning to Nares, she adds curiously "Are other skills not valued? Art, music, literature, healing, and the like?"
"There are many in Lord Jerold's service and prosper by it who're commonborn, Captain, I did not imply otherwise," Jarod says. "Still they - like me, baseborn as I am, - shall never be Lord of the Roost. I simply doubt things are as different in your Iron Islands as you might like to think. Still, I know little of your lands, as you know little of mine." He idly pats the neck of his horse. He asks no more of the Lady Harlaw, though he does make another of those curious "Huh" sounds. And turns his attention back to Muirenn. He's curious about that as well, if in a more pleasant way. "We won't be off until late tomorrow, I don't think. I'll await it most eagerly. Whatever it might be."
Nares is at first faintly confused as to where he might have given the Mallister the impression that he was unprepared, but then it clicks that she's talking to Jarod so he lets it pass without comment. "Healing is much respected," oddly enough, "although one with such skills would generally have a patron, particularly if they possess any level of skill. The rest," he shrugs slightly, "a Lord might have specialists in those fields but it'd be unusual elsewhere. One of my lads for instance, can string a tune together on anything you put in his hands, but he's crew first, skald second. He fights just like the rest."
"I see." Muirenn replies to Nares, "It is good that there are some who encourage other skills other than warfare in your culture." Jarod receives a shake of her head and another bashful flush but she gives a low laugh, "Ser Rivers, please…you will be disappointed I am sure. Upon my honour it is a trifle." Smoothing a gloved hand across her horse's neck she glances over at her retainers waiting patiently upon their steeds. "I do not wish for Pryderi to cool down too much before I take him back to the stable, I should finish the ride soon." Looking around she spots a thick stump that would serve as an adequate mounting block. The tall young woman leads her gelding in that direction, beckoning for one of her retainers to assist.
"And I should get my Symeon…" Jarod pats his brown courser's neck again. "…rubbed down after the morning work-out before he's put to any other labour for the day. I shall see you back at the tower, M'Lady Muirenn, and hopefully we can ride out to the shore before I'm gone from the Roost." To Nares, he inclines his head. "Seven send there'll be little fighting of the real sort for your men or ours today. I take my leave of you now, Captain. Interesting chat, as ever."
Nares watches silently as Muirenn moves off towards the stump and then turns back to Jarod, rolling his shoulders a little to resettle his mail. He gives the man a brief nod in acknowledgment, before glancing to the remaining men again. "Lets us all hope for the peace to continue today," he echoes, "whichever Gods may be listening."