|Questions and Clarifications|
|Summary:||Bruce fails to get any peace|
|Related Logs:||Immediately before Rise Ser|
|Stonebridge, Town and Crossing Inn|
|While Crane's Crossing is technically an Inn, it caters to the traveling nobility almost exclusively. The floors around the hearth are finely crafted stonework, as are the slate blocks that the firepit is constructed of. The rest of the floor is done in stained oak that matches the few long tables and the chairs. The rest of the main room is furnished with plush couches and seating to entice visitors to delay their leave. A full service kitchen provides food of all kinds as well as high quality ales and wines. Also available are several women to provide hospitality to the lonely or those in need, the quality of them to be beaten by but a few in the Riverlands. A hallway near the kitchen leads off to the rear of the building and several up-scale rooms.|
|24 April, 289|
Bruce's long footsteps are taking him away from the four men at the western end of Stonebridge's stone bridge. For once in the last two days, he doesn't carry a spear over his shoulder, yet he is armed and armoured still and looks to be rather on edge.
Rafferdy is riding slowly on his horse. He's come from across the bridge, heading back into town, and is dressed in his noble clothing. He looks rather unhappy, and rides slowly through town, doing his best to just avoid eye contact with people.
Einar has been up at the Tower, checking in on the Lady Cordelya and making sure she doesn't need any more herbs and such from the market. Seems like for now though, she's well stocked and he has a brief period of time to go about his own business. Crossing the square he notes the rather unmistakable figure of Brue and alters course to intercept. The tenseness in the knight is noted though, so he opens with a polite, "Ser Longbough," to judge how amenable the man might be to conversation.
The tension in the town is palpable, and it's given Sterling something between a tiny smirk and a wary look, the two somehow combining and settling over his raw-boned features. Despite the tension — or perhaps because of it — he wears a heavy leather jack studded with steel, and his sword at his right side. He stops a few paces away from the south end of the bridge, simply studying the four men on guard, the man walking away from them, and the pavilions on the other side of the bridge.
"Lord Rafferdy." Bruce says upon catching sight of the mounted nobleman, dipping his head and slowing his pace considerably. Einar, too, gets a dip of the head. "Lord Einar. Good day to both of you." Now that he's spotted the two of them, he comes to a full stop. His hands loop through his thick belt and he waits, expectantly.
Rafferdy sighs when he's addressed, and he slows his horse, "Ser Bruce." He purses his lips, and looks around, before returning his gaze to the knight. "I'm just passing through. Heading to the Roost."
Einar hadn't actually spotted Rafferdy, well, he'd spotted a man on a horse, but not managed to get as far as identifying him. Nor in fact, does he now spot Sterling. Bruce had been one of the people on his mental list to, if not actively seek out, then at least keep an eye out for, and here the man is. "Good day Ser," he replies, ensuring that he keeps out of the way of Rafferdy's horse, "and you Lord Rafferdy, I hope you manage to avoid the bandits we've been hearing so much about." It's to the guard captain that he then turns though, "Ser, I appreciate that you must be a very busy man at the moment, but I was wondering if you might be able to spare just a moment of your time?" The young Flint it seems, has a question. Lucky Bruce.
Sterling continues meandering alongside the river, slowly approaching the bridge. He nods idly to the men addressing one another at the west end of it, drifting to a stop right at the base of it, well within earshot of the ongoing conversation. His eyes shift away from them, studying the guard and the tents beyond with apparent curiosity.
Bruce's eyebrows raise when Rafferdy tells him his destination. "The Roost, eh? I see, m'lord. Well, sounds diplomatic and important so I won't keep you. Good day, Gods keep you." With a second dip of his head, he turns to fully face Einar now. Sleepy blue eyes regard the Flint squire carefully. "I was just going to take some bread and ale. If you wanted to join me, m'lord?" Contrary to the way he was speaking to the Westerling squire yesterday, Einar Flint is treated with the utmost respect deserving of his station as a noble. He takes no notice of Sterling.
Rafferdy nods at Bruce, and then smirks, "Yeah," as if it maybe isn't. He hefts the reigns, and his horse trots along once more.
Sterling looks up at Rafferdy for a moment as he trots off, then looks back to the guards and tents, the fingers of his right hand idly picking at the nails of his left. He's not really trying to hide the fact that he's in earshot. Nope, that would be spying. He's just listening.
Einar has in fact, already eaten, but he accepts the invitation anyway, "thank you Ser, I could do with a drink as it happens." All being well though, he won't keep the older man from his peace for long. Turning to head in Bruce's original direction the lad explains, "I was wondering Ser, if you could clarify something for me quickly to do with the camp over .. there." He almost points as well, but then part of his brain points out to the rest of it that Bruce is likely to know only too well which camp is being referred to without the aid of such rudimentary measures. "Rumour has it that Ser Gedeon," title and first name only, playing it safe and neutral, "is not permitted within the town but what of his companions?" Possibly he should pause at this point to allow an answer, but given the circumstances he wants to be as clear as he can. "It's just I was hoping to have words with the Septon who accompanied us to the Iron Isles, and I heard he is now in service to the aforementioned Ser Gedeon. As such I figured I should check on the exact situation so as not to.. complicate matters."
Bruce leads the squire inside, flipping his index finger up as if to say, 'One moment.' and entering Crane's Crossing. His helmet is pulled off as he steps through the threshold.
Bruce quickly grabs a table by the hearth, pulling his shield by the guige strap off of his body and then leaning it against the stone walls of the firepit. His helmet is placed in his lap, and off comes gloves as well. Once he's seated and has ordered a pitcher of ale with bread, he turns his sleepy eyes to Einar. "Aye, he is allowed. But he doesn't want to. He's going to be staying out there, he told me. It's his choice. The only person not allowed into town is Ser Gedeon."
Einar sits himself down across from Bruce and gives the man time enough to de-kit and settle himself. Waiting patiently he takes a glance around the inn before turning back once Bruce replies. Nodding his understanding he thinks it through for a moment, making sure he has it straight in his head. "Thank you," he then replies, before checking, "so there'll be no issue if I speak with him, either in town or over the bridge." Or even on the bridge, should some happy mid-ground be required.
Bruce doesn't bother to stifle the chuckle and smile that comes at Einar's question. He shakes his head. "No, m'lord, not an issue. I suspect you do what you want, and them too, as long as Ser Gedeon isn't in Stonebridge it's no problem." As the ale comes, he pours Einar a cup first, then himself.
Sterling comes meandering into the inn's common room, looking a bit out of place in his simple studded jack and travel-worn boots, but apparently he's recognized, but not exactly a top-flight customer, because although several of the 'staff' look at him with recognition, no one comes to greet him. His grey-green eyes swoop slowly over those gathered in the common room, and he drifts over toward the hearth, studying the stonework of the slate surrounding it for a moment, then looks over to Bruce and Einar, a smile surfacing on his face, "Excuse the interruption, sers," his voice is rough, gravelly, but his tone polite, "I couldn't help but overhear the name of Ser Gedeon. There are so many rumors flowing about, I was hoping that one of you might be able to smooth them out for me." The smile fades away completely, and he adds, "I'm Ser Sterling Sharpe, in service to The Banefort."
Einar infers from that chuckle that possibly his last question, was redundant, but still, if you can't ask dumb questions when you're a squire then when can you? He nods his thanks to Bruce, both for giving his time and the ale then turns towards Sterling as the knight approaches. "Ser Sharpe," he replies with a polite nod then introduces himself, "Einar Flint, squire to the Young Lord Anders." Bruce he'll let introduce himself, incase the man doesn't want to admit to probably being exactly the man Sterling wants to talk to.
Bruce rises from his seat, as he's been taught. It's probably a reflex from before he was knighted; even a Serjeant at Arms for House Blackwood needed to rise for the knights. He continues it on to the day when faced with others of equal or better status to him. "Ser Sterling, well met. I'm Ser Bruce Longbough, Stonebridge's Captain of the Guard."
Both Bruce and Einar are at a table near the hearth in Crane's Crossing, while Sterling has just approached.
Sterling hesitates a bare moment at Einar's introduction, then bows his head slightly, "Lord Einar." Bruce's rise to his feet causes a moment's quirk of one corner of his lips, but he shakes his head, "Ser Bruce. It sounds like you're just the person I need to speak with." One hand gestures out in the direction of the bridge and what lies beyond, "Like I said, a whole lot of rumors. Challenges, lies, threats, letters from the King." His eyebrows rise slightly and he shrugs, "If you don't want to talk about it, I understand."
Einar glances between the two knights for a moment and realises it's another of those slightly awkward moments where he's both the highest and yet lowest ranking person present. The issue is quickly resolved though as he lets the Banefort man asks his questions of the Nayland one. It's what he'd just done after all. Ale is sipped and answers are listened for.
"I'll say what I'm permitted to say. And what I'm wise to say. That is that Ser Gedeon Rivers is not allowed in the town of Stonebridge at this time. A letter was received, and he stands to inherit Stonebridge by proclamation of the King making him a member of his father's house, the Tordanes. That is, he stands to inherit it when Lord Hoster's representative comes to take fealty from him. Until then, Stonebridge is under the care of its current lords." Ser Bruce pauses, frown creasing his lips downward. "Ser Rygar challenged him to a knightly duel. It will take place this Sunday."
Sterling smirks again at Bruce's first words, nodding his understanding. He glances to Einar a moment, his eyes apparently trying to weigh the squire-lord. Whatever he sees there, he turns back to Bruce, "So Ser Rygar is trying to kill him before he can take his claim. And Ser Gedeon is fucking stupid." The words are quiet, but decisive. "Thank you, Ser Bruce. Sorry for interrupting, Lord Einar."
The door swings open the afternoon light coming in for a moment as the man outside steps through. He knocks his boots for a moment at the door, the spurs on them jangling some, before he steps in - knocking off some of the dirt that had clung to the bottom of them. He makes his way toward the group at the table near the hearth, even steps carrying him that way. As he gets closer, the bows his head in recognition of the other two, a respect they have earned, and then dips his head once more toward Bruce. Daerd paused there, waiting for an acknowledgement from his superior before he would spit out his report of the day. No need to step on anyone's toes after all.
Einar had heard most of Bruce's answer in amongst the many other variations of the story that are circulating in town. Still, it's good to know the official line as well. As for Sterling's interpretation? Well, he just takes another drink of the ale, it wasn't addressed to him after all. "A good day to you Ser Sterling," he answers though, as it seems the knight may take his leave. That thought then reminds him that he should probably be out and about as well, having already taken up for too much of Bruce's time as it is. Draining the last of the ale, and rooting in his coin purse for the change to cover a reasonable share of the cost he draws himself up and onto his feet again. "Thank you once again for your assistance Ser Longbough," he offers with a nod to Bruce. Turning then to leave he notices the new arrival and gives the man a similar parting nod.
Bruce snorts, his frown curving the other way into a smirk. "Maybe from our perspectives, Ser Sterling. We don't plan on ruling anybody. But Ser Rygar called him out as an honourless traitor and to fight as a knight. From Ser Gedeon's view, to decline would have confirmed Ser Rygar's claims. Personally? I don't put stock in duels. I think they're a fucking waste of time. But Ser Gedeon is trying to claim his Lordship here, and he has to present a certain figure." Daerd's entrance doesn't go unnoticed. His Captain shoots the same wry smirk towards him, eyebrow arching. "Serjeant Blackarrow. You look like you've got something important for me. If it can't wait until Lord Einar and I are done… unless we are done, well, then report." He nods at Einar. "Gods keep, Lord Einar."
Sterling nods to Einar, close to a bow, looking over at the Serjeant who approaches. Bruce's response to his words draw a shrug, "All he had to say was that they weren't true, and the King had ruled they weren't true, from what I heard. Now the only way he takes his seat is by killing the Sheriff, and things seem pretty settled in Stonebridge. Usually the sign of a good Sheriff." He nods at the idea of duels being fools exercises (even if it's not said in so many words), but falls silent as the Serjeant is asked for a report.
He's careful to move out of the way as Lord Einar starts to move, more so as he caught the lord-part mentioned. "Of course it could wait, Ser Bruce." Daerd responds adding, "But I'd rather report and be done with day." Leaving off the part where he would probably mention that he isn't in the mood to wait for politics. His thumbs hook into the front of the belt near where the ring is that works as a stop for the leather that composed it. His mouth pulls into a bit of a mostly mirthful smile, and he waits to make sure that his Captain is indeed free.