|Raven's Gift and Madness|
|Summary:||Ser Symeon arrives at Four Eagles Tower and presents Ser Justin with a gift of severed heads with a message. Lady Rebecca attacks the Frey with her bare hands, clawing his face. Were her claws poison tipped?|
|Courtyard, Four Eagles Tower|
|The Courtyard of Four Eagles Tower is floored with a fine grey stone that match the color and tone of the interior structure of the castle's yard. Plants have been potted and placed around the entrances to add some color, the greenery accompanied by several trellises of flowers that climb the support columns. The most prominent structure in the area is the set of large slab steps that lead up to the great oak doors of the Great Hall. Several hallways and accesses lead off into different sections of Four Eagles which makes this the hub of noble activity when court is not being held.|
|September 27th, 289|
Today was the day the Terricks were supposed to ride out very early before dawn to go out to the eastern border to meet the Nayland wagons. However, a raven arrived in the night to inform them of at least a one day delay. Therefor, Justin suddenly found himself with a day free for he had arranged for others to cover his duties in the town - unless something came up that required the Sheriff's attention.
So he's spent the day off roaming with his long bow to shoot a few game birds if he could find any. Now returned with early evening descending, he has changed out of his leathers. Wearing a deep purple leather doublet with muted brass interlocking eagle talon clasps, he works with a waster to do a bit of sparring against a Man-at-Arms of the tower. Justin's dark hair is sweaty, tossled this way and that as he dodges a blow aimed for the left side of his neck, bringing up his own long hardwood practice blade to see if he can fiet for the face and drop the tip at the last for the other man's hips!
The sounds of the practice blades clatter wood against wood to echo through the courtyard. Gulls wheel over head lazily and the sea murmurs around almost three sides of the keep, well below the high cliffs.
<FS3> Justin rolls Blades: Success.
"Thus the blade of the righteous ever must fall upon the scalp of the unworthy," a dreamy, rather deep, but feminine voice floats over the courtyard's faintly sweat-tanged air.
The newcomer is not unsuited to the onset of twilight, especially in a dark blue, undersized gown lent to her by her temporary bedmate, Ilaria Haigh, out of pity for her usual green drapery, ruined by hard riding. The darker garment lends to her light red hair a starry sheen, like some martial planet's harsh light. But for all that, and her solemn words, Lady Rebecca Nayland's demeanour is vague, aerial. She appears to be alone.
Though not for long - her stricken groom, Lovel, having managed to keep himself just on the polite side of Terrick iron bars, hurries some paces behind her, dragging with him her bewildered looking, dotard Septa, for narrow upkeep of propriety. No one greets the Sheriff of the Roost by name, or indicates their own, quite yet.
A reedy thin rider tears across the narrow bit of green along the cliff leading to the portcullis of Three Eagles Tower. His white courser is lathered at the mouth. The rider's sole companion is a boy on a smaller Garon bearing the two towers of House Frey. When, at last, the rider shoots through the Portcullis he draws up short directly before the knight Ser Justin Terrick. The beast beneath the rider's mailed legs tears at the sky with its own muscled white legs and chops at the bit between its teeth.
When the rider finally takes his rearing horse in hand and pulls at his reins until the beast's legs touch the stone cobbled courtyard-those looking on would see a thin and spare man arrayed in pale blue mail with a well used longsword at his hip. In his left hand, the rider holds a pouch bearing the crest of house Frey.
"Ser Justin, I came upon a raven, supping upon the bowels of one knave and the eyes of another-he bid me deliver this message-it's ill luck to quarrel with a raven, Ser, and this one cast a shadow broader than any foul I have yet seen." As the rider's gaze locks upon Justine, he would see-the man's eyes are icey blue, his hair blond, nearly white and close cropped against his skull. "House Frey sends its compliments, Ser." Contained in the bag, a brief missive-revealing the bandits to be former mercenaries and few in number-bled by the fighting.
It is hot. It's summer, after all and the day's heat has baked the courtyard though now it's cooling. Both men work in doublets, forgoing heavy leather jerkins, gambesons, or padded jacks with live steel due to the warmth. It also means that if either man scores a good solid hit even with the wooden waster it may leave a bruise. Judging by the edge of Justin's brow where he got clipped earlier, a small gash with a trickle of blood.
There could be a brief flicker of steely grey eyes in the lady Rebecca's attention, overhearing her voice. Justin's a bit busy however to let his attention stray for the older veteran is laying into him pretty hard, "Come on, ye young welp - begg'n ye pardon, m'lord. Ye got tae be bolder! Go for me eyes, if ye can!" The Terrick Sheriff lets out a half laugh, "Viner, you old dog, it'll be hard for me to learn from you if I put your eyes out!" And just because he was told to go for the other man's head, he trurns under Viner's blow blocking it, and slides his own up suddenly beneath it to jab the man under the arm! "Oof!" The older man exclaims, stumbling back a few steps.
Which is just as well for the horses gallop in. At once, Justin drops the waster and lays hand to his real blade, backing off from the horse and about to draw it at the sudden entrance up too close. The older veteran backs off as well until the horse drops and the Frey speaks his odd message. Justin glances to the Terrick Man-At-Arms, then studies Symeon whom he's never seen before, but seems to know who he is himself, by name and by sight. "So a couple of bandits dared you upon the road? Very good … Ser, I presume? What name have you, and what business brings you to Four Eagles Tower?"
Meanwhile, the Lady Rebecca is busying herself in placating that irritatingly restive retinue. It is, however, quite easy; she swerves fluently about, pads shyly up to the young groom Lovel, rustles his dark hair and lays a very chaste kiss upon his downy cheek. He is thus completely immobilised, and with him is perforce arrested the doddery Septa Bridwayne. At her own eccentric devices once more, Rebecca drifts nearer to the perspirant combatants.
"Crows come in murders," she observes neutrally to Sheriff, guard, and the knight of Frey, alike, "but ravens in conspiracies." Whatever the state of her mind, it seems her ears are sharp.
Lothar comes walking out of the tower dressed for war… Or well travel in the bandit filled lands of the Terricks. He's currently dressed in leathers with a quiver slung over one shoulder, his hunting bow unstrung in a 'pack' of sorts slung over the shoulder as well and a sword sheathed at his hip as he makes his way towards the stables but pauses long enough to glance over at the family and not so family gathering in the courtyard and changes course towards Justin and folks around him.
Hot on Lothar's heels, although merely by coincidence, Ilaria is just escaping through the still-open doors of the tower before they are closed. Behind her trots the blonde-haired Heolla carrying a cloak over her arm. Despite the heat of the day, the young Haigh has seen to the necessary precautions. With disregard for her new slippers, she hustles down the stairs and skirts along the path toward the obvious group. In a sea of muted tones, the vivid flame of Lady Rebecca's hair draws Ilaria like a beacon, and she arrives at the woman's side in time to hear her last sentence. Dark brows arch upward silently.
"Ser Symeon of Sevenstreams." Taught as Lord Lothar's bowstring, the young sworn sword turns to assess the Lord, then tips his head in a bow. "My Lord." Clearly, Symeon know the man by description, although the Knight of Sevenstreams can do naught but stare at Lady Rebecca, a hard stare, but no hint of recognition. "My Lord, My Lady, Ser. I have the pleasure to serve Lord Walder Frey, I bear a missive from… as I said, a Raven who is a Conspiracy unto himself."
The knight half leaps-half slides from his saddle, all smooth grace. His frame is spare, perhaps even a bit cadaverous. A glance to the boy bearing the banner, then an upward glance to Lady Rebecca, and Ser Justin, before the knights eyes settle on Lord Lothar. "My Lord, our horses are like to fall down would you avail us of water and fodder?"
Carrying a whickerbasket a young woman arrives at the courtyyard, skimming the place shortly. Her attire marks her out as a commoner, for the soft maroon fabric is rather plain and the seems stiffened and grey from seafoam. Apparently she is a bit careful laying her weight on her right foot, as she walks with slow, but firm steps closer to the gathering a people at the yard. Flaxen hair clings to her salty forehead in the warm summer air, she removes them, as well as the glistening veil of sweat with one of her sleeves.
Eyes of a languid greenish-grey, the colour of the sea just before a furious storm is about to invigorates the forces of the waves, skim the company, before Samphire clears her voice, but decides to remain silent for a bit, as she seems to witness a conversation with an unusual amount of conspiracies, her common ears aren't quite used to, yet. A bit amused, one of her eyebrows jumps in the height of her forehead as she listens. But then, she steps a pace aside, startled by one of the tired horses, trying to lick the remaining rest of sweat from her cheek.
More than a few armed men around the tower have shown up to see what the ruckus was about, knights sworn to serve the Terricks, Men-at-Arms as well as some house staff. A few look out the narrow windows from floors above, the clatter of two galloping horses into the courtyard soundingly loudly with steel shod shoes against stone. If the men had intended some hostility, they would have quickly found men rallying to meet them and someone to close the porticullis. The tower as all know, is highly defensible as the Ironborn themselves learned.
There's another sharp, if brief look to the lady Rebecca, though Justin doesn't know for certain that's who it is, yet. A likely guess, however. Most of his attention is for the newly arrived Frey. "Very well. Come down from your horse, Ser, and deliver it." Justin has removed his hand from his real blade and stepping over, picks up the wooden waster he had dropped to free his hands. An arm is lifted to wipe the trickle of blood from his face - it is already half dried. As he's occupied, there's no nod or greeting for any of the others, as yet. Business first. "Aye, we'll see your horses stabled and well treated." The older Man-At-Arms the lord Sheriff had been sparring with likewise relaxes but continues to be watchful.
Her piece said for the moment, and her faithful attendants neutralised, Lady Rebecca nonetheless appears to shrink back in discomfort, indeed, almost physical pain, a bare split-second after the barebones hedge-knight 'of Sevenstreams' has pronounced the name 'Walder Frey'. Turning with a visceral reflex to her newest and nearest defender, she tenses at the side of Ilaria, who though nearly three decades younger and half a foot shorter now seems to be her most formidable refuge, wrapping, besides, her large, fast-gripping, bone-white hand about the girl's tiny wrist.
The Knight of Sevenstreams tosses the reins of his sleak destrier to the boy bearing his liege's banner. A grating of steel rings, as he doffs his mail gloves, revealing a plain beaten steel signet. The bag he proffers to Ser Justin, tossing it overhand. A vaguelly cold, vaguelly bored look stamps the sworn swords glacial face—then he catches sight of the Lady withdrawing behind her defender. A slim, toothless smile creases the knight's lips. Symeon takes hold of the pommel of his sword and bows severely to the lady. "My Lady, mayhaps I have seen you, at The Twins?"
Symeon nods, then bows to Ilaria, then to Samphire, the latter honors seem more mechanical than the bow he proffered to Rebecca. "Ah, have you hidden away all the maids and matrons within Four Eagles, Ser?"
Faline toured the grounds just a day after her families arrival and felt inclined to have another, this time without a guide in order to gain more familiarity with their new home. Temporary perhaps. The pale female embarks into the courtyard where it appears many others have as well and upon each sweeps her hazel eyes over before leaning in to murmer lowly with Suriya.
Hoofbeats sound from the gates as the second son of Bolland Terrick traipses into the courtyard astride his lean brown courser. And it seems he has a prize! A boar of a sizable heft - at least to still be found at the limits of Terrick lands. A quiver and prized hunting bow are slung over Brogan's shoulder, the Terrick patting his horse on the side as he easily slips from the saddle. As he begins unlashing the boar from his horse, he peers over at the commotion going on in the courtyard as if he'd just noticed it. Then promptly resumes unloading that boar.
After pausing to speak with a new guard who does not recognize him on sight yet, Nathaniel strolls beneath the portcullis and into the courtyard. He pauses for a moment to scan the sea of faces, noting the familiar faces and briefly studying unfamiliar ones. He concludes that many, if not most, are nobles, and so he offers a profound bow before he steps further into the open space. In his work, noticing the exceptions is often more important than spotting the general trend, and when he spies Samphira, his eyebrows flicker for a moment. He smiles when the horse uses her for a salt lick. He drifts around the large gathering, edging slowly toward her. When he is finally close enough to speak without drawing unwanted attention from the lords and ladies, he questions, "How is your leg, mistress Undyl?"
Lothar steps up and glances over at the overly nervous Lady Rebecca and then steps between her and the sworn sword swine of the Twins… errr sworn sword of the Frey's. "Good day Lady Ilaria, Lady Rebecca, it's nice to see you up and about Lady Rebecca I hope you were able to rest enough to regain your strength?"
Symeon pages: Oh, yes two rotting heads! And the message. "There are roughly 12 bandits, or rather former mercenaries who have yet to dance with the stranger. Raven"
Still watching the Frey knight closely, listening, Justin catches the bumpy, moderately heavy sack. Whether he has any idea of what is in it or not, he simply unties it and squats down to dump it out onto the cobbles and see. Out roll the two severed heads of dead men. As well as a bloodied scrap of leather? The Terrick Sheriff himself is not the least bit alarmed by the grissly gifts. Justin picks up the bit of calfskin and unrolls it to read what little is written upon it. His mouth is thinned before he toes the heads to better see their faces, "Mercenary sell swords then. What I expected, Ser." And looking to Symeon, Justin's baritone asks, "How were they armed and armoured and did they have horses, bows?" The Terrick does not ask whom this 'Raven' might be.
Another man arrives, mounted and Justin glances to him with his boar. He lifts a dark brow yet he folds up the note and tucks it into his belt, "And you vouche for this 'Raven's report, Ser? Do you know any truth of it?" The heads seem to be a bit ripe and already started to rot. Justin eyes them and muses, "More than a couple of days old." As if he prefered fresh, new heads.
Ilaria's reaction at hearing the man is a messenger of the Freys is far less dramatic; indeed, her expression falls and she pinches her pale pink lips into a thin line of near-disappointment. Still, she offers Symeon as pretty a smile as she can, dipping into an elegant curtsey in response to his bow. For the moment she remains silent, glancing sideways to Rebecca, startled by the woman's grasp. Instinctively, she reaches over to cover the lady's slim hand with her own.
Just as she is turning her attention back to Justin and his guest, however, she is greeting by the lovely sight of heads - yes, actual heads - lolling about on the ground as inertia from the fall carries them. She recoils slowly, as if unable to quite comprehend the sight, before turning her head away and covering her mouth with her hand. Fainting? No; but the girl does look a bit green about the gills, and her shoulders begin to tremble with the effort to contain her breakfast.
With a quick movement of her hand, Samphire shoves away the curious mouth of the tired horse, stepping yet another step aside. As the knight bows to her as well as to the noble ladies around, she knits her brows, but drops a lazy smile as a respond.
Noticing someone nearing, she turns around, nodding as she recognizes the young, auburn haired man. "It hasn't fallen of yet.", she answers him with a dry smirk. Her eyes wander back to the gathering of nobles. "…And the Roost seems to be crowded with all that noble eagles today, talking about darker wings. I wouldn't have expected. The Seven help, I was told this is a rather peaceful place, this is what brought me here. But how are you doing, Master?", she asks as she absently observes the pale noblewomen.
The lordly squire's intervention is without doubt appreciated, but his kindness comes too late for the superfluous lady of Nayland to …quite… keep control of the emotions that first an unfortunate name, and then an unmannerly knight, has stirred up. Certainly, she flashes a bright green glance at her new champion, but though shining, it's rather distracted…and soon trained back on the Sevenstreams rider. To the festering heads, she is commendably indiffent. To Walder Frey and his ilk, well…
"No, …ser…," she almost growls in her rich, but now savage melody, evidently begrudging the sworn sword his title, "I have not entered the Twins since the like of you was spawned. "And if I am now neither matron, nor without mockery called maid, it is to your verminous master I owe it. We who are outside Mother and Maiden's aid call to the Crone…and the Crone…takes her vengeance!" And without further pause, she releases poor Ilaria and flies at the thin Frey-sworn knight, scratching for his face with both her enormous hands.
Nathaniel glances at the assemblage, and then nods to Samphire. "I am well, and glad to see you learning your way around these lands," he greets her cheerfully. Then he lowers his voice to add more discretely, "I would urge caution here. Some lords and ladies are more hospitable than others." He nods to the man who has just opened the bag. "That is Lord Ser Justin Terrick, our sheriff, among other things. But many of those are strangers to me. Some are from other houses."
"They are naught but offal, Ser. Send forth a half-score of able men-at-arms and you will have them hanging from a stout oak ere nightfall tomorrow. They have naught but leathers, a bit of scrounged mail, dirks, spears, mayhaps one in five have a blade of notched iron."
As Rebecca spits venom, Symeon spares the onetime Lady a harsh smirk - then, she's upon him, her right hand tears into his face, cutting four long furrows into his left cheek. "Maiden's tits, Strangers dead cock, get thee hence, whore!!!" The Knight manages to lift one hand in time to catch the cutting blow from Rebecca's left, the other side of his face is spared four more deep red furrows - and rather than scarring both sides of his aspect, one hand is cut with deep red furrows. At Length the dirk leaves his sheath as the knight attempts to point it at the woman, to drive her back.
<FS3> Symeon rolls Reflexes+blades: Good Success.
Faline hosts a small smirk on Suriya's returned whisper as the pair watched those surrounded. Not staring, of course, they played off their curiosities as casual glances and nothing more. At least until throughout the courtyard a collective response stilled the air when the severed heads landed to the ground. The amusement drained from the Terrick's features, all too quickly. "Are those… is that?" She asked her handmaid who instantly covered her mouth. Faline was wreching and followed suit and was forced to avert her gaze over the shoulder. Somewhere, elsewhere. Hopefully the smell wouldn't travel to her place of standing.
"Ah yes." Samphire comments dryly as one of the noblewomen jumps at one of the knights like a cat in the street at a growling dog. "So that's what happens when those nobles marry cousins and siblings. My old grandmother warned me about them. Surely, they seem to be… hospitable. No worries, master Nathaniel, I won't come near them." she mutters, shaking her head while indeed, stepping a few steps back. "Is that the usual way, they act when they meet?", she asks plainly, though certainly the hint of dismay sneaks into her eyes.
"Cousin," Brogan begins conversationally to Justin as he nears, boar slung over his shoulder. The smell of that boar may have gotten to him, however, as he just takes notice of the heads rolling along the floor. He looks surprised, though only dimly so, eyes flitting back to Justin. "A good haul, but I think mine might taste better," he speaks truthfully, before he watches Rebecca lunge at their visitor! He steps forward to do something - of course - but stops as he feels the weight of the boar. Perhaps he considers in that split moment to drop it and hold the woman back. The price deemed too great, Brogan decides to merely watch and glance over at Justin.
That is, until that dirk comes out. The boar thuds heavily to the ground as he reaches quickly for his bow, arrow drawn from the quiver to be nocked at the intruder. "PUT IT DOWN!" he yells, eyes narrowing as he glances quickly over to Lothar. "Little brother! Hold back the Lady!" he barks.
The note read and tucked into his belt, Justin squats back down to study the heads closer, despite their bad odor, then uses his boot toe to nudge one and then the other back into the sack. There's a glance to Brogan whom he hadn't met yet but he grimly smiles. The bag he picks up so not to offend anyone, only belatedly glancing around to notice there are a few women presant. Justin jerks his chin at the Man-At-Arms he had been sparring against earlier to hand the sack to him, "Hold those for me for the moment."
Jerold Terrick's youngest son looks back to Symeon, "Thank you, Ser. Though whomever ambushed and slew the Young Lord Marvish Erenford were not likely rabble. Had he word of those nearer the roads to Heronhurst, east of the river?"
Justin's words go unanswered as they are all startled by the lady Rebecca's action. Justin's baritone at once bellows, "ENOUGH! GUARDS!" His orders would have thundered in the courtyard if it weren't for the cacophony of noise already echoing within the walls of stone, horses shying, men shouting. Whether anyone hears him or not, the various knights and Men-at-arms who were drawn out by the noise before start to come out of the tower to break up the attack. The veteren who had been sparring with Justin earlier grabs for Rebecca herself, "M'Lady, stop!" If he can get a hold on her he would pull her back from the now bared steel. The sack of heads? Of course the older man dropped them and not tied well, it falls open with one of the heads rolling back out. Yum.
Lady Rebecca is already in full retreat, but though, in physical terms, this can hardly be due to anything BUT the knight's alarming resort to a small blade, she contrives to look utterly above it as she sways back towards the sturdy squire she has marked out for so much favour hitherto; as if she is withdrawing from a dull conversation, not naked steel. To Lothar and his elder brother she turns with insouciance, rendering old Viner's assistance, too, fairly redundant.
"My fair lords of Terrick, have you heard the songs they sing beside Sevenstreams?" she half-lilts herself towards the pair. "…Of brave cavaliers who knife weakly women…?"
Nathaniel shrugs but grins at Samphire's wry wit. "Nobles usually are more civil than this," he murmurs to her in answer. "But those are new. In truth, I'm blot sure what happened or why. And what you heard about these parts is correct … usually. Something uncommon spurred this outburst."
As one of the heads hits the ground with a muffled, moist noise and leaves a not minder moist trail on the grey stones of the courtyard, Samphires plain expression finally drops. "Seven…", she mutters weakly with one of her hand covering her mouth. Her eyes don't leave the head as she takes a few deep breaths, a pale green crawling up her cheeks. Slowly, she turns around. "My uh… ", but before she can end the sentence, she hurries to get away, her quick steps now visibly crooked by the rush.
Soon she finds herself leaning against a wall, her head bowed down. And soon after, yet another moist sound joins the lively choir of curious sounds in the yard, as her last meal faces daylight again.
Blood runs down the sworn sword's face, from four long weeping scars on his left cheek - more of it, a bright crimson rolls down the knight's right hand. His left hand holds tightly to the dirk, so tight that his fingers are a pale, corpe white - The dirk's blade pointed at the shrew, Lady Rebecca - as though it were a talisman, some means of warding off one of the Stranger's wives. "… Would that I had not accepted water and fodder, I would give your comely white throat a crimson smile." Symeon's wounds weep, he stares at the onetime lady with hateful, cold, blue eyes - then turns to Ser Justin. "Bring me a Maester, or Lord Walder will come down upon this place with fire and steel."
Still trying to stop her gag reflex from sending her breakfast onto the ground, Ilaria is startled into sudden stillness as Rebecca releases her grip and dives away from her—toward the visiting nobleman. It all seems to much, and she lets out a shrill, girlish scream (cue Wilhelm scream!) and claps her hands over her mouth to stifle the sound. Her already pale face can only be describe as wan now, and her features are screwed up into a mask of disgust and horror. The appearance of a blade, small though it may be, only serves to send her closer to hysterics.
But, of course, the cherry on the cake is served in the form of those gruesome severed heads as they once again roll merrily out of their prison. The meaty thud causes Ilaria's stomach to heave, and one of them - matted, bloody locks and wide-open eyes and all, stops on its way right in front of her feet. She whimpers, watching it wide-eyed, until the nose just barely brushes her slipper. A shudder wracks her body, and if it weren't for the fact that nobody is nearby to catch her, it's quite possible the young girl would be more than willing to faint. As it is, she sways alarmingly, wide hazel eyes transfixed upon her polite but deceased caller.
Well now Justin's not the only one with blood on his face, though his is only a small gash at the outter edge of his brow where the waster clipped him in practice. His grey eyes look from one to the other, the dropped heads forgotten. The Terrick lord Sheriff's gaze narrows upon Symeon at the harsh words. Justin's own words are cool and steely in reply, "You have my apology for this attack, Ser. However, we have no Maester here. He was recently sent back for ill practices. Mistress Dania or some other healer in the town will be sent for. You may come inside and take wine." Turning his head back to look at Rebecca, Justin snaps his fingers and points out several of the guards, "/Escort/ the /lady/ Rebecca back to her guest suite. Confine her to chambers until I have time to deal with her." And shifting his gaze back to her, Justin Terrick adds, "Unless she desires to depart the tower entirely, in which case she's free to go at once."
Justin Terrick doesn't look too worried about Symeon's threats. A guest of his House attacking someone who has brought important messages however, has taken his ire.
Faline depended upon her handmaiden to relay when such greusome sights had passed. The clashes, the screams, the bellowed commands caused her shoulders to cringe. It was not over, well finally as the visitor issued his threat. The woman returned wary attention upon the commotion in the courtyard, believing all had passed. With a hand seeking Suriya's for comfort, and gripping tight, she stole some moments into comfort in seeing both her male siblings were unharmed. Throw in a cousin as well.
Ignoring the hedge-knight's highly-coloured lapses of taste, Lady Rebecca stands tall and dignified, even in the tight little drape of a blue dress that may represent all she has left of her latest feminine friendship. Nevertheless, she beams about her with the pride and orderliness of a queenly personage, curtseying from her advantage of height to the queasy looking Haigh maiden, smiling with entirely suitable hesitation the embarrassed sons of Bolland Terrick, and finally gasping with delight in the direction of Ser Justin and his hvigilant eavies.
"But my lord! We meet properly at last! I had been hoping to find you all this time! I shall certainly not depart your lord father's house until we have had a little sweet, and private discourse. Good night, gentles. Septa, come," she adds simply, "and do give Lovel a little slap to stop him maundering foolishly like that."
Gathering her miscellaneous attendants behind her like ducklings live and displayed for market, she waits to be shown the right way to her apartments, only pausing to add momentarily over her shoulder, "My lady Ilaria, I shall *so* look forward to your coming to sleep, we shall have a dear, proper, talk," before she whisks off. That's what it looks like, anyway, though everyone present knows she is in fact being whisked.
Nathaniel glances at Samphire when she covers her mouth, staggers toward the wall, and retches. He turns to offer his support to her by urging, "Let's go. You need fresh air. Come with me." He offers his arm to her, and misses the scuffle between Rebecca and Symeon.
Brogan seems satisfied with Justin's response, lowering his bow and slipping the arrow back in his quiver as things finally settle down. He makes only the smallest of smiles at Symeon's threat but says absolutely nothing to the man. The boar is hefted back up to be slung over his shoulder by the rope he's tied it up with and, with all the Ladies agahst at a few disembodied heads, he slips on a pair of gloves tucked into his belt and begins to collect the heads. He'll then look at Justin expectantly to hold open the sack for him - you know how tricky putting things into empty sacks are, they fold in on themselves and end up tumbling out, it's very annoying - to which he'll then pops them back in.
"Anyone want to help me gut this? It's ham!" he asks, so very sure that with gather volunteers.
The Sworn Sword lowers his dirk, only after Ser Justine offers the assistance of Mistress Dania - and wine. "Wine will do more than any such barber may hope to do, Ser. Wine…" It is only after some five steps toward the knight that the palor of Ser Symeon's face becomes apparent, then gradually, as he steps from the shadows hanging at courtyard's edge and into the courtyard propper - any within proximity of him would see that his face is covered, almost entirely in blood. Blood spilling, as if from small fountains. HIs right hand and side, too, are soaked in blood. The knight takes five more steps, teeters on his feet, then collapses. The knight is, quite plainly oblivious to the words of knight and lady as more blood pools out onto the stone beneath his head and hand.
Lothar steps up next to his brother, "Brother, looks like the guards have handled the lady." He glances at the ham and mmmms to himself before he looks over at the fainting knight, "I guess somebody should send for Mistress Dania soon…"
Still a bit weakly, Samphire uses her busy sleeve to wipe her mouth as good as possible and frowns as she realizes the magnitude of it's business. Folding it up to her elbow, she closes her eyes for a glipse. "My deepest apologies." she murmurs, dropping her gaze and pressing her lips together. "My deepest apologies.", she repeats, quite miserably meeting Nathaniels eyes, before she rushes to get back her basket, which waits abandoned a few steps aside. Then, although an arm is offered with all warmth one could wish for, she hurries off without turning around again.
Faline and Suriya glanced at one another as the mad woman was carted off, the severed heads returning to the ground for display and now the fainted messenger. Never dull in the Roost, she had heard. To keep herself from inhaling the scene of both dead and rotting flesh she pinches a hand over her nose. Approaching her brother, not the one proud of his meaty catch but their younger, Lothar and nasally suggests, "He should be brought inside no? Lift him Lothar." They can't leave the man bleeding on the courtyard ground. And like a chiding parent she nudges her chin in Brogan's direction, "Help him." She's despirately trying to avoid meeting the dead head's eyes.
Justin gives a curt nod to Brogan, whom by his attire must be another of his cousins that have popped up bloody everywhere lately. "Thanks." The Sheriff steps over and drawing on his own riding gloves, smoothly enough picks up the heads to put them into the sack Brogan holds - easy as you please, though maybe his nose wrinkles at the stench. "Let's give them over the Warden Jailer. The rats will clean them up and make nice additions for his decor." This Terrick has more of a sense of humor than his father does.
The guards seeing the lady removed and cloistered in her guest chambers under watch, Justin sees the Frey stumble and fall to the ground, "Nathaniel! Fetch Mistress Dania! Or any other healer you can find, if yo can't find her!" To Symeon he goes, motioning for another man to help him, perhaps Lothar. Justin bends to get one of the Frey's arms and heave it up over his own shoulder, "Help me get him inside. Seven knows we haven't a room to spare for him so let's take him to the kitchen to wash his face with heated wine and do what we can to bandage it until she arrives." Come on then, let's get it done.
Head. Blood. Head. Blood. He—oh good, they're gone. The moment Brogan stoops to collect the grisly trophies, Ilaria dances away on her tiptoes, emitting a series of high-pitched, breathless shrieks as she draws closer to Justin. Her once-pale face is now red-cheeked with fury, and her little hands ball up into quite unintimidating fists as she nears the Terrick. Surely she will not take a page out of Rebecca's book and violently strike the man? But no, instead she finds her steps faltering as Symeon crumples to the ground. For a moment she seems ready to leap forward and assist, but as others jump into action, the Haigh instead melts into the background to observe silently.
Nathaniel turns when Justin calls his name, already tuning into the sheriff's familiar voice. He gives a sharp nod, and without the usual ceremony of bow or farewell, he bolts for the portcullis. "Aye, ser!" he calls in a voice that is loud enough to echo in the courtyard.
Retired, to be sure, by a heady admixture of force and will, the displaced heir to the Mire yet watches on; and from an arched window-ledge looking into the courtyard, she watches the knight who had been fool enough to scoff at her. In that moment, Lady Rebecca Nayland shudders, from crimson crown to the chill white feet that have now shed their sandals amid the rushes below the ledge; she is conscious of her power, for the first time, fully, and appalled by it, in her heart of hearts. She invoked the Crone, but she fears - she knows - it was she alone who slew, all unthinking, her persecutor, with a bare touch.
"The gift of vengeance is a precious and a painful thing," she murmurs to one of the aghast Terrick guards, before, with a lachrymose smile, she looks her last on the chaotic scene and consents to be led away.
"Sorry, little sister. Hands are full," Brogan sweetly dismisses Faline - and it's not as if he's lying, he's got a sack of heads over his shoulder and a boar over the other. Besides, Lothar's doing a great job. He instead notes Justin's unfamiliarity with him, the older Terrick smiling very faintly. "A little too young to remember me, I guess. Ser Brogan, second son of my father, Lord Ser Bolland," Brogan explains, though he rolls his eyes a bit as he recites his father's titles. "I guess you were in the middle of something?"
Lothar looks at his traveling kit and blinks, "But sister… Surely you don't want me to taint my clothes with blood before we go ride to the border to greet the Naylands with food?" He grins as he heads over towards the fainting knight, "Ser…" He pokes the knight slightly, "Ser you seem to have fainted because there's no way a frail lady could have struck such a mortal blow on you." He doesn't really wait for a response as he moves to lift the man and then shakes his head, "Sister I'm strong but I'm not war horse strong we'll either need to get him out of his armor for me to carry him by myself or I'll have to drag him inside." He lifts him up to drag him, "Inside the tower or into the stable?"
Brogan gains a laugh from Justin, hauling Ser Symeon's prone body up with Lothar's help, "Aye, Welcome to Four Eagles Tower, cousin! Do come in and bring your boar! The kitchen will gladly recieve it and butcher it up right fine, and the hounds they will love you for the scraps!" Not that the hounds are permitted to roam into the kitchen as they like, there not being enough room underfoot for them.
What the hell?! Justin's attention is arrested by Ilaria's cries, her shrieks and fists as if she was about to run up and beat them against his chest in some fury. He motions another man to come take Symeon off of his own shoulder and help Lothar with Syemon, "Take the Frey knight in - see he's tended to until the healer can arrive. Heat wine, find bandages to staunch the blood. Be quick!" For he has something else that needs tending while another can take his place. Perhaps the lady Rebecca's claws are poison tipped.
Turning, Jerold's son goes to seek Ilaria before she might withdraw utterly. He glances to Faline, not knowing her either but offers her an incline of his head politely. His smelly gloves are stripped off and tucked into his belt beside the scrap of note that was in with the heads, "Lady Ilaria?"
Disguested Faline's eyes flutter to a close, the nose pinched ever tighter to ward away the rotten waft attached to her elder sibling. "How… fortunate for you Brogan." She nasally returned and naturally increased her distance from his headless and bagged collection. The Sheriff of the Roost is given a small gesture of acknowledgement, fearing she may fall into sickness if her mouth parts any wider. Another time. Introductions shall be made. Faline falls in step with Lothar, not to offer a hand but to use concern for a wounded man as a means to ditch the savage scenery.
Ilaria's attention is fixed upon the still bleeding man, even as he is hefted up like so much meat to be carted to the butcher. The unfeelingness of man causes the girl to wince and look away for a moment, gathering her bearings and attempting to still her thumping heart. She reaches up with a shaking hand to touch her throat while catching her breath, and looks back in time to see Justin approaching. Her eyes narrow again at the Terrick, but she waits for him to draw within appropiate, quiet speaking distance. If she were less of a lady, she'd likely punch his arm. "Whose quarters shall I move my things into, my lord? I imagine I shan't be sharing with Lady Rebecca now." Well there, that was pleasant enough.
Lothar helps whomever gets tasked to assist him move the knight into the kitchen, pointing at one of cooks, "Heat wine, and gather bandages." He looks down at the knight and hmmms, "You know there shouldn't be so much blood it was a small woman's fingernails not a sword…"
"I believe I shall, Cousin. Just need to make sure I don't mix them up. I'll be back shortly," Brogan announces to the small crowd carrying the Frey along. He departs into the halls of the keep to deposit that boar of his along with Justin's present.
Nathaniel rushes back into the courtyard and calls, again without regard for protocol due to the situation, "The healer is on his way, ser!" He's not far behind me." The courier glances back toward the portcullis, and soon a tottering old man follows, leaning on a long staff and hobbling slowly. Long, limp gray hair frames his face, but his emerald green eyes are still bright with signs of alertness.
"Where is the patient?" The old man questions, in a much weaker voice than that of the courier.
Nathaniel looks at the pool of blood, and then the men hauling the body toward the entrance hall, and points the way. "Follow them, Master, Artemus." The relic of a healer totters after the men carrying the still bleeding victim.
It has been a rather crazy hour. Justin has long since forgotten the dribble of smeared blood on his own face by his right temple at the edge of his brow. "I will have the house staff move your things, lady Ilaria. The Lady Anais will find you a room with perhaps my lady cousins, or you can stay at the inn until things quiet. The lady Rebecca surely won't be staying but we do have Nayland guests arriving tomorrow. They won't be staying long either." And gods willing, Lucienne will go back to Middleton until they figure out what to do with her again. Justin doesn't add that part aloud.
With a hand to try and steady her with a light touch to the elbow, the Terrick Sheriff keeps his voice low while he speaks with the young Haigh lady. "I hope you'll forgive us the … unexpected violence and the grissly message. It was all rather unexpected."
Ilaria listens to Justin quietly, and bit by bit her expression softens. She exhales a sigh from between pursed lips before offering the Terrick a rueful smile. Only now does she focus fully on his face once the waves of nausea mingled with fury have receded. "I will go to the inn, my lord. I shan't become burdensome for Lady Anais when she has more important guests to attend to. Oh, look, you are bleeding to. What happened there?" With the flick of a wrist, she pulls a small handkerchief from her pocket and reaches up to press it to the now drying wound; at the last moment, though, she remembers herself and instead offers the square of fabric to Justin instead, blushing. "Here, keep it. As for the, ah, message—you cannot control everything, I suppose. I apologize for screaming."
Justin accepts the handkerchief from Ilaria, "Eh, it's nothing. I was sparring and was nicked by a waster. often pick up a few bruises and scrapes doing that." He tries to dab at it a bit himself but it needs wetting. And Justin can't see it anyway. But he smiles, "Thank you, lady Ilaria. No need to apologize unto me for reacting to strange events. The inn may be best for a few days and then we should have more space here."
Everything looks to be under control here now, finally. The Terrick Sheriff looks around the courtyard seeing a groom has helped to gather Ser Symeon's horse to see it is well tended, and his flag bearer offered hospitality, though they have no rooms to spare and the inn will have to bed him for the night, lest he wishes to stand vigil upon his knight's care with no more than a pallet upon the floor for comfort. Justin looks back to Ilaria, "I must take my leave. We have to ride early and I have yet things to prepare, since we were delayed this morning." With a half bow to Ilaria, the Terrick takes his leave.
After depositing his charges with the guard and butcher respectively, Brogan returns to the group of nobles as he gently tugs the gloves off of his hands finger-by-finger. "This being my home once more, I guess I should be curious exactly what this message was?" he brings up, giving a little wave to Justin as he departs and looks between Ilaria and Lothar. He shrugs after that, unclasping his cloak and removing it to hang over his shoulder. "Find out sooner than later, I guess. If you need me, little brother, I'll be carving up that boar." And so off he heads to the kitchens.
Just about now Ilaria has somewhere around five hundred questions for Justin, but she merely stares at him wide-eyed as he takes his leave. Stunned state notwithstanding, she dips a polite curtsey as etiquette kicks in and just before he turns to leave. Standing alone once more, the girl only now realizes she has lost her handmaiden in the fray, but 'lo the blonde girl appears beside her, shaken but no worse for the wear. "And you say we don't have enough adventures, Heolla," Ilaria mutters to the woman, snaking out a hand to clasp with her handmaiden's; the women lean against each other both for comfort and combined strength to start a slow walk back up to the tower.