Page 465: Quiet Conversations
Quiet Conversations
Summary: It seems that the Rockcliff is the place for quiet conversations.
Date: Day/Month/Year
Related Logs: General happenings in the Roost
Justin Mortimer Jayana Alric 
Rockcliff Inn, Terrick's Roost
The Rockcliff Inn is one of the better inns within the town and it shows with the well-lit interior and the relative cleanliness to the other locations in Terrick's Roost. The tables are polished with oils and the floor regularly swept. A set of booths towards a darker rear of the Inn's bottom floor, just beneath the staircase, are where whores generally socialize and eye prospects from when not waiting tables. Signs over the undersized bar area advertise prices for ales and wines as well as several different choices of food to be served at the small eating area by the bar or in the main open area in its comfortable seating. A door behind the bar leads to the kitchen and cellar while another near the staircase leads to a private room that would appear to be off-limits to the 'wait staff' except for food and drink service.
Wed Oct 31, 289

The inn is moderately busy at this mid day time, patrons coming in to have lunch and catch up with friends briefly, though it's nothing like what it'll be in the evening. There are fewer people in town and staying in the inn however as they have drifted back to Stonebridge or elsewhere. Things here in the Roost are quieter than they have been in a very long while. Subdued in part by the Young Lord's murder.
Justin is in here, having arrived to have a short meal himself. The Sheriff hasn't had a lot of things to occupy his time anymore so he's been drifting back into overseeing reconstruction duties for lack of anything to do. He is seated alone at the moment, keeping to himself outside of his duties, aloof. A partly finished bowl of meat stew, bread and hard cheese occupied his attention with a single tankard of ale.
A few scraps of notes have been brought to the table for him but there aren't many messages for Justin these days.

Mortimer had been keeping an eye open for a quiet moment to have a word with his boss, and it seems that he's in luck. Ducking into the inn as he passes, more to catch up with things with the barman than anything else, he spots the you Terrick and heads over to join him instead. Pausing at the table he asks simply "Room for another?"

Justin glances up from his stew and drink, "Sure." He takes another bite of his meal and sips his ale to clear his mouth after it, studying Mortimer quietly. His own face has healed, leaving pink streaks down one cheek that will likely fade away to nothing with time. Or Justin could grow in more of a beard and nobody could tell anyway. "Any news to share? That Freya staying out of trouble so far?"

Mortimer takes a seat on the bench opposite to where Justin is sat and rests his forearms on the table. He shakes his head at the question, looking maybe a little weary, although if that's in general or just at the mention of Miss Caul is debateable. He's assuming that that's the Freya Justin is talking about anyway. "Haven’t heard a peep from her," he admits, "she was saying that she was going to up-sticks and go somewhere else, somewhere where she wasn't know, not sure if she has or not though." He'll look into it though, possibly grill Nathaniel on it when he gets back. "Yourself?"

Yes, that's right. Mortimer's wife's name is also Freya. Justin doesn't usually ask after Mortimer's wife and hardly knows the woman, though probably he should. Instead, he gives a nod to what is said, "Just as well if she does move on but she can stay if she causes no mischief. Others in the Cape will know her name now and keep an eye on her, if she gets into things. Not our concern if she does, elsewhere."
He takes another bite of his food and shrugs, chewing until his mouth is cleared. "I'm fine. Still digging into my brother's last days but not making much progress yet. Think I'll slip off and join one of the Highfield hunts or go have a look around Stonebridge. A few days of other scenery might be good but I have too much to wrap up here to go wandering around just yet."
And that funeral thing.
Justin has noticed Mortimer's tired look, "How about you? Family doing all right?"

"I told her much the same," Mortimer replies with a lazy shrug, "didn't seem to think she could ever be treated as any other might be though." He expression say sclearly enugh what he thinks of that before the mention of Jascen's death clouds things even more. A quick glance about is given then he leans a little closer and states, "On the matter of ya family m'Lord. There's been rumours and talk, as you'd expect, all sorts of stuff really and we've been paying no heed. One bit though just doesn't sit right." Another quick glance around is given before he finishes, "It's just the timing of it. Maybe this job has made me suspicious, but your Uncle returning and then ya Lord Father leaving so soon. Your Sister gone, your Brother dead. Forgive me for say it m'Lord but from an outside view it seems might coincidental." He carries on though, hoping to stop any potential interuptions. "Now I'm not saying co-incidences don't happen of course, I just don't geneally trust 'em too well. I served your Lord Father since before you wer born, you know that, so I was just wondering, what with the lack of announcements and so, is it.." he seems to struggle for the right words here, "I guess what I'm trying to ask is is this your Lord Father's actual and unforced will?"

Mortimer isn't interrupted. Jerold Terrick's remaining son doesn't say a word. He finishes his meal, glancing to his deputy's face now and then. A scrap of bread sops up the last of his stew, chased by the last hunk of the cheese. Justin pushes his bowl and plate aside and picks up his ale to nurse it along slowly as he listens. There is an absence of any answer.
A slow roam of his grey eyes over the pub before they eventually come back to Mortimer. Justin keeps his baritone very low, "I do not believe in coincidences, my friend. However, there is thus far no evidence to suggest anything is linked. My father clearly is no longer of stable mind and that much at least is true - he has abdicated of his own free will, as far as I can tell. Whatever was said between the two of them was done behind a closed door with no witnesses."
The Sheriff leaves it to lay there. This is no place to speculate.

Jayana slips into the inn as quietly and unobtrusively as ever. Seeing both arms of the local law at a table, she nods a greeting into their direction if they take notice of her, then goes to sit in a lonesome corner to eat a frugal meal by the fire.

Mortimer looks less than happy at the suggestion that Lord Jerold may have been, or indeed still be, unstable. He looks even less happy though at the mention of closed doors and no witnesses. Clearly this is not the reassuring conversation he had been hoping for. He just nods though, once Justin has finished recognising that this is no longer a conversation to be having here. Leaning back once more he catches sight of Jayana by the fire and gives her a brief nod before answering Justin's previous question. "They're doing well enough. Master Nathaniel has agreed to help teach the boy his letters. Should keep him occupied and out from under his mother's feet for a while."

The look is shared. Justin adds low, "My father is old and tired, Mort. At the very least he had enough sense left to see the Roost needed a firm hand to guide it. For the sake of our people, his own hand wasn't what it needed to be anymore." While his tone suggests Justin is bitter about the details of Jerold's choice, the choice to step aside one way or another was best for Jerold. The Sheriff tastes his ale and leaves that topic to lay where it will, for now.
His own gaze slips to study Jayana and he gives her a nod for greeting, not really knowing her. His attention returns to his Deputy, "How old is your boy now?" For no particular reason, Justin's glance goes back to idly watching Jayana.

Jayana is doing nothing spectacularly exciting. She waits until she's brought a wooden bowl filled with cheap potato stew and a sheaf of bread and tucks into both, eating slowly to make it last. If she is listening in on the conversation it doesn't show at all.

Mortimer is old and tired too, or at least he's feeling it at the moment. Noting his own failing in providing himself with a drink he figures the tone in Justin's voice probably means he isn't going to be adverse to another either and so he beckons to the barman to bring two more ales over. Attention back on Justin he answers more easily, "six now m'Lord and I swear he's grown another inch every time I look at him."

Mortimer's reply and actions cause Justin to smile a little, if faintly. "A good age to enjoy, or so I'm told. I envy you having a family to love and look out for. You enjoy him, Mortimer, all you can. Teach him what he needs to know to be a good man." Not that Justin's lack of years compared to the elder man's has much by way of wisdom to share. He accepts the refill of his ale with quiet thanks. "Been thinking about looking for a likely lad myself to take on. A page, more than a squire. I have no money to outfit a squire but given a few years and maybe some tournament luck, I could in time."
There's an indication of his chin for Jayana over there, "You know her? I've seen her around a few times but can't put a name to her."

Jayana frowns slightly, apparently her hearing is good enough to catch the muted tones, but she remains focused on her food without even looking up towards them.

"They keep me sane," Mortimer admits with a slight smile, "even if sometimes I do have to keep reminding myself of that. We do though, and I will, especially.. well, what with his sister and all." He pauses to take a drink there, leaving that line of conversation where it rests for now. "I reckon if you let that known you'd probably have just about every boy in town trying to beat down your door. For some reason the allure of such things is still as strong as ever." As for Jayana though, he doesn't turn, guessing well enough who Justin is referring to. "Not by name I'm afraid, but aye, a bit."

There's a faint shake of his head, "Not just any boy. Think I'll keep an eye out for a hard working, earnest lad who's got no family, or little enough that can't afford to feed him but that also won't be hurting for lack of him." Which probably means not a noble child, like Justin's supposed to take on. Maybe he just doesn't give a shyte about sticking to social rules right now.
The Sheriff gives a slow nod, "I expected you to adopt a girl child, actually. Lot'm without folk after the Ironborn reaved us. Kind of in hope that someone somewhere was looking out for your girl."
Justin looks over to Jayana and shrugs. He takes another sip of his ale, not having fallen into a bottle with anger and bitterness. Maybe he's got more sense than to give into that temptation.

"Name's Jayana.", she can't resist remarking from her corner of the room. "And I ain't up for adoption."

Coming along from the square is Alric along with his sister. The door being held by Talbot who let the both of them go inside as well as Arabella's handmaid. The four of them moving inside and Alric takes the time to look around a bit before leading them to a table.

Mortimer nods to Justin's description of the sort of kid he'd be looking for then shrugs at the suggestion of adoption. "We.. talked about it, I'll admit, but," he pauses again, struggling for the right words, "it was too soon. Decided to get ourselves sorted if that makes sense. Sounds heartless I know, but I don't think we could have." As for his own daughter he just shakes his head, "she's gone m'Lord. No point thinking anything else."

There's nothing to say to that. Justin drinks a bit more of his second ale but doesn't finish it. He moves to stand, "Thanks for the drink. You let me know if you need or want anything from me that I can do for you, Mortimer. You are a good man. Don't like to see you run down."
The new arrivals gain Justin's attention long enough to look them over and offer them a nod before he's looking to the other woman, "Jayana, thank you. Could not remember your name. Pleased to meet you again. Forgive me, all of you, but I should get back to my work." Such as it is. So, Justin fishes out a few coppers to pay for his meal and his and Mortimer's drinks too, then heads on out.

Jayana smiles faintly as Justin passes her by, but before she can think of a proper response, the man has already departed. Instead there are newcomers to look at. It gives her something to do while she sits alone in her corner, eating potato stew.

Alric offers a nod to Justin as they pass each other. Continuing on to a table near the corner. Seeing Jayana looking their way. Offering a smile and a nod to her before looking around again. Seeing the deputy, who also earns himself a nod. Along with a wave to allow him to join.

If Alric had taken Justin's place, then maybe Mortimer might have struck up a conversation with him, but it seems that whatever the two men of the law were discussing has left the deputy with no pressing need for conversation with others. The young noble gets a brief nod, but then it's back to his ale and mulling over what has been said.

…and so silence descends over the inn. The young commoner girl who is reaching the end of her meal, no matter how much she tried to stretch it out, is definitely not imposing on either of the men.

Alric glances to his sister. Who seem to be keeping silent this day. Seeing that the deputy seems to be in low spirits for conversation. Getting some to drink for himself and his company. Another glance to the girl as well. "All well, I hope." Perhaps trying to flee from some conversation he had with his sister earlier. Or perhaps just feeling bored, who knows.

Finishing his ale, Mortimer, glances to Justin's half finished drink then shakes his head once. Pushing himself to his feet he picks up the two tankards and heads for the bar to drop them off. "Afternoon," he offers with a nod to Jayana, then a "m'Lord," to Alric before he's heading for the door and back to work.

As Mortimer makes his departure as well, Jayana nods a goodbye to him, then her eyes follow the young nobleman who had given her a look earlier. "Yes, thank you, Mylord.", she says quietly.

Alric nods to the deputy once more as he leaves. Then to the company of quiet talking. Instead he moves over to the girl. Along with his ale. "Alric Fenster." He offers his introduction, along with inclining his head, before sitting down. Waiting for an introduction from her.

"I saw you around, Mylord.", Jayana replies, looking a bit nervous at the noble company she suddenly has, "I'm… Jayana. Jayana Felton. I'm from Stonebridge.", she introduces herself and seems glad to finish the last spoonful of stew, mopping up the last bits with the last morsel of bread.

Alric ahs and nods, "I remember now. Nice to meet you again, miss Jayana." Not mentioning their last meeting since she left seeming a bit flustered and in a hurry. Smiling and sipping from his cup. "I hope your friend was well, as well."

"He seems to have departed.", Jayana replies with a soft sigh, "It vexes me for I owe him and I do not wish to be in anyone's debt. But I suppose there's nothing I can do, right?" Her accent seems to waver between a rather formal speech and the plain commoner tongue of the area.

Alric nods a bit slowly to her words, "I understand. I do hope that you will meet him again soon." He offers and drains the rest of his ale. "Do try to stay safe until you can repay him then." He offers a bit lightly. Not sure what else to say. "So all you can do is that, stay safe." He clarifies.

Jayana smiles faintly. "Trying my best, Mylord.", she assures him and as he seems to be at the end of his drink as well, she gets to her feet. "I don't wanna be rude, Mylord, but I have to go back to work…"

Alric smiles and nods, rising to his feet as well. "Of course. Do take care of yourself. Hopefully I will see you again. And it is no worries. I should go back to my sister anyhow." He says and bow his head.

"Alright. Goodbye, Mylord." Jayana gets to her feet, drops him a hasty curtsey and hurries out.