|Pressing for Commitments|
|Summary:||Ser Harold asks to speak with Ser Justin. They meet at the Sept garden to discuss politics and hunting.|
|Related Logs:||Charltons Have Arrived|
|Sept Garden, Terrick's Roost|
|Behind the Sept is a small garden that runs nearly to the edge of the cliffs that fall right down into the forthing sea more than two hundred feet below. The ground has been tilled and turned to help the soil produce a small amount of vegetables as well as fruit-producing shrubberies. Flowers have been encouraged to grow up trellises along the back and side walls of the Sept.|
|July 25th, 289|
Ser Harold had the look of a man who had been in the saddle all day, and not quite yet found the time to remove the dust of the road from him. He was standing there right at the edge of the cliffs, staring down the steep drop with a thoughtful look on his face. There was a small smile, too, perhaps for the shere spectacular beauty of the sight. There was an apple in his hand, which he was slowly slicing into with his trusty knife, pealing off juicy bits that he then plopped into his mouth for considerate chews.
Justin arrives, curious as to why the Charlton lord might desire to speak with himself. News is already going around the Roost that the hoped for hunt up into former Camden lands for much needed meat has been canceled upon the news from Riverrun concerning Highfield's claim. Likely dealing with that much of today, Justin looks a little haggard and tired. He stops at the doorway from the Sept that lets into the garden and smacks some of the dust from his own clothes with his riding gloves, his dark hair damp with sweat. Setting his grey eyes upon Harold's back, Justin draws a slow breath and lingers there in the doorway a few more heartbeats before he walks out to greet the other man, "Good afternoon, Ser Harold. I trust you enjoy the view as much as we do ourselves." There is an unconscious glance to the apple, then Justin looks elsewhere. The view will do.
"Ah, Ser Justin," Harold said as he turned towards the Terrick knight, a somewhat gruff if undeniably honest looking smile there within his iron sprinkled beard. He dipped his head in welcome, too, a bit lower than the etiquette technically required. It didn't cost anything to offer small courtesies to decent men. His sharp and attentive eyes swept over Justin's haggard look, thoughtful. "Would you like an apple? It's not much, mind. Poor fare to offer a man come on ivitation, but we must all make due, eh?" Settling the first one into the same hand as his knife, he fished in a pocket for second one and offered it to the knight. "I was going to give it to my horse, but then I remembered just what a mean bastard he is, and thought the better of it." He chuckled somewhat at that. "Don't g et me wrong, his temper's fine when there's bandits about, but it doesn't quite feel right to reward him for trying to kick the stableboy to death, eh?"
The humor is, well, appreciated. Justin's grim wariness might ease somewhat, returning the other man's respect with a partial bow of his own. He twists his mouth wryly, "It is I and mine that are poor hosts, Ser, to not have already invited you and your wife up to the Tower to take supper with us. I had hoped Jacsen would, but as none of them have I will invite you myself. Our fare may be meager, but we yet have it in stores." Justin makes a polite refusal of the apple, "I have already supped at your table at the Rockcliff, thank you. I get my daily ration like everyone else." Even if it's half rations. Justin hooks his thumbs into his sword belt loosely, "You had something upon your mind you wished to speak with me about, Ser?"
The Charlton knight gave a slight shrug, then made the apple vanish again. "My Squire's like to have a treat, then. Young boys, always eating and always growing. I swear he'd make a beggar of me if I let him, chewing and chewing." He barked a quick laugh, while his gangly squire who was hovering in the background after having fetched Justin, just winced and pretened that he wasn't feeling embarassed. "And don't think of it. I'm sure they're well busy, which any man aught to well understand. Though I'll take you up on the supper." He inclined his head in gratitude for the invitation, then swept his eyes out over the view once more.
"One thing I'll give you Terricks, Ser Justin, and that's that you have one of the most beautiful views of any House I've seen."
But business followed. "Ah. Indeed I did. A word had come to my nephew, Lord Aleister, that the Terricks were planning a hunt towards the former Camden lands, his Highfield lands now. He asked that I speak to the Terricks on his behalf, and since I've found that I rather enjoy the Roost, and your kin that I've met so far, I was happy to oblige him." He scratched at his cheek. "I was planning on presenting myself directly to the Four Eagles, but then I remembered at his mention that you'd spoken of such a hunt, and of being somewhat in charge of the endevor, and thought I'd speak to you first."
A glance to said squire, Justin having none of his own yet, keeps that hint of humor in the line of his own mouth. He then nods, looking back to the view and then the older man, "Thank you. But you should try the water, Ser Harold. To swim and to dive from the cliffs - it is better even than the view. Though I always hear how lovely the Groves land is, I have never seen it. I've spent most of my years at Riverrun, aside from here."
A polite pause follows to hear the rest. Justin watches the Charlton, possibly wary though he gives a slow nod, "Indeed, it was lady Anais's and my project to try and bring back badly needed meat. However, as Lord Tully's judgement came back more quicky than expected … well, we've canceled the hunt, Ser. Pending any permissions we might aquire from Lord Ser Aleister himself." Justin pauses there, leaving the question unasked but watching the older Charlton.
"Neither me nor Lord Aleister expected anything else, Ser Justin," the older man was quick to point out. "The Terricks are known for their honor and reliability, and it'd be beneath us to think that you'd try to act like thieves in another's lands. No, I'm not here to warn you off." He gave a little shake of his head. "But rather to inform you that Highfield is willing to extend you the right of hunt, as long as Highfield is compensated for it. The settlement is still new, and with how through the Reavers were, it'd be impossible to offer it up for nothing." Harold had gone back to pealing at his apple, the juices sprinkling in a fine shower around that ripe reddish sphere, catching the light and glimmering like a halo. It filled the air with its fruity scent, too, as he chewed, then swallowed.
"Knowing you might be short in coin, alternative methods of compensation are perfectly acceptable."
Hopefully Justin's stomach won't noticably growl on cue. Damn his stomach if it should do so. No, he's not watching the other man's hands or the apple, though he's aware of it. How could he not be? The salt air helps, fresh and incoming on the breeze that whips up over the cliffs playfully. "Naturally," his baritone manages smoothly. The Terrick's dark hair is tossled by the fingers of that unseen wind, now dried of it's former dampness from sweat. "Would he perhaps care for a share of the meat, or does your Lord cousin have something else in mind that he might have suggested unto you, Ser Harold?" If his brother knew he was standing here talking to the Charlton, Jacsen would probably have a seisure. Hah!
Ser Harold took his time finishing the apple, cutting at it until there was just the core left. Wiping his knife clean, and sheathing it away, he gave the remnants of the fruit a lingering look, before it was oh so casually tossed right off the cliffs. The sound he made in the back of his throat suggested it'd been a really good little meal, too. "A share in the meat, the full compliment of furs taken from the animals as well, with any damage to said furs to be compensated in full value." He paused, then added. "To start. And no, merely that appropriate value be offered in return."
The squire's stomach -did- rumble, causing Harold to sent the boy a scathing look of disapproval, though he softened the blow almost immediately afterwards by plucking up the apple Justin had refused, and tossing it to the boy. Who went at it with not nearly any of Harold's measured approach.
"Mostly I think what Highfield needs besides coin.. is people. Skilled workers to help expand the holding. Carpenters, stoneworkers, craftsmen in general. You having too many mouths to feed, Highfield not nearly as many as it would like."
The core is idly watched as it falls. Anyone here would have eaten it as well, rather than waste it. Save perhaps the seeds, to plant them. "How much of a share of the meat?" Justin asks calmly, unruffled. "As to the value of hides, untanned, they aren't worth much. We'd hardly be hunting good fur bearing animals when it's meat we want, Ser Harold." Justin turns his head to look to the older man, "People to spare, we don't have, as I have mentioned before. Every able bodied man is put to work with the rebuilding and skilled labour of the very kind you desire, we have a shortage of ourselves. The Ironborn were more apt to kill men than women or children." The Sheriff of Terrick's Roost shrugs, "Once our loans come through we'll have food enough for all our people and they are not likely to wish to leave their newly rebuilt homes to go into what is essentually wilderness. Nor do I think my Lord father would agree to it. However, if there were to be some spin put upon the request where by we might get a loan at a much reduced rate in exchange of temporary labour, or even allowing some families to relocate, it is possible you could bend my father's ear, Ser."
Justin adds low, "And then of course, it wouldn't hurt if we were on good neighborly terms, if things blow up over the claim to Stonebridge. You know we have no love of the Naylands, Ser."
"A thing to consider, only," Ser Harold said with a dismissive way of his hand at Justin's remarks on needing his people, indicating it had been a possibility and not something set in stone. "And women with appropriate skills wouldn't be dismissed, either. Lots of men going ot be settling in Highfield these days, and a man is happier when he has the chance to snare himself a wife." He smiled a little wryly when he said it. "Though he should be careful what he's really asking for." A wink at the end of that.
"If you have in mind some other way of compensation for it, then I'm sure I'll be willing to entertain it. Otherwise.. coin. Materials? Truly, I understand you'd all rather bend your will towards rebuilding, but sometimes hard choices have to be made. I can't say I envy you them." He shrugged a touch. "As for loans, they're a different matter entierly. But if the request were to come from someone with a power to make decisions, I'm not unwilling to bring such a possibility along. Perhaps with a good word." As for the comment of the Naylands, he just smiled. "Well. Perhaps I'll give you some time to think on it, and talk to your kin."
"Talk to my kin I will surely do, Ser Harold. Our needs are both simple, and short term. Yours are going to be rather more lasting concerns." Justin smiles pleasantly, "It is certainly possible that we can come to a neighborly agreement that benefits us mutually. I will inform my brother to expect you and your wife for dinner that we might receive you properly. If nothing else, supper conversation should not be boring."
Ser Harold let out a good natured chuckle, his eyes flashing with wry amusement at Justin's comment on the nature of their respective troubles. "Ah, younger men's problems. The lands I keep for my Lord Brother are far away from any kind of troubles, under the shadow of Hollyholt." And not of Highfield. "I'm but being a friendly voice on behalf of your neighbor, for kinship's sake. Still, you make a point." He ran his fingers through his dust sprinkled hair, and nodded. "Aye, then. I'll look forward to it, Ser justin. Don't let me keep you any further. And good to talk to you, too." His eyes swept towards the view. "No wonder my wife thinks so highly of you, to take her to a spot like this. Lovely, very lovely. Good day, Ser Justin."
"But of course, and I look forward to meeting Lord Aleister, for the sake of neighborly relations. A pleasure to speak with you, Ser Harold. Enjoy the evening as it's oft the best part of the day here to watch the sun set over the water." Yes, it is. Justin remains pleasant, giving the older man a respectful half bow for their parting. Then he turns to go back to his own business ere the sun dips low and the day's building must come to an end.