|Summary:||The Steward of Stonebridge asks Hareth to clear up some rumors concerning an incident at the Common House three days ago.|
|Related Logs:||The actual incident: Soups and Songs|
|Tordane Tower, Map Room|
|Room Description in the scene set|
|October 7th, 289|
With the Charlton and Haigh forces retreated from before Stonebridge, a sense of order begins to settle over the trading town. It is still populated solely by fighting men — and a very few Nayland noblewomen with their handmaidens — but much of the levies have been stood down from constant patrol. The levies, knights, and men-at-arms have had a chance to sleep, but by Ser Tyroan Nayland's slightly-bagged eyes, he hasn't had much sleep himself. The new Steward of Stonebridge leans against the high table he's placed in what used to be the smallest of Tordane Tower's guest rooms. He's sent his young squire to fetch Guardsman Hareth of the Mire, and while he waits, he nurses a tankard of bitter Mire beer, poking around at a ledger in a somewhat desultury fashion.
A cough can be heard, accompanied by heavy footsteps, announcing the guardsman's arrival long before he enters the room. Hareth of the Mire gives the Steward of Stonebridge a respectful greeting by tipping his helmet. "You wanted to see me, Ser." he remarks with determination in his voice - a determination to obey orders as swiftly as they are given. The expression on his face is almost devoid of any emotion, although there is a light flicker in his blue eyes, as his gaze shifts from the Steward to the tankard and then to the ledger on the table in a matter of mere seconds until it comes to rest upon a spot on the wall somewhere behind Tyroan as he awaits his reply.
Tyroan nods in response to the touch to the helmet, closing the ledger over a strip of leather and bracing his hands against the side of the table, "I heard something about some fucking disruption of this fragile fucking peace." The cursing doesn't appear to be of an angry nature, just unconscious interjections. "Some brawl outside a fucking beer-house. Tell me about it." And then he lifts up his tankard to his lips, draining off some more of his bitter brew.
Hareth's gaze shifts to the Steward, leaving that interesting spot on the wall be for a moment, as he hears the man's inquiry, his stance relaxing a bit as he realizes it is the brawl that Tyroan wants to discuss. Again there is a light flicker in his eyes, as he clears his throat - more bothered perhaps by the subject than by the cursing - which a guard should be used to anyway. "If you mean that incident three days ago at the Common House, Ser… It wasn't outside of it. More like inside, Ser. And it wasn't exactly a brawl, more like a brawl that was stopped before it could even begin, Ser." he offers with notably less determination in his voice.
Tyroan smirks dryly at the corrections, "Everything grows in the fucking telling. I ever tell you about the time I fucking kicked Ser Barristan the Bold's ass?" And he shakes his head, gesturing dismissively as if to suggest that this too is one of the things that has grown in the telling. He straightens up long enough to press his right fist into the palm of his left hand, popping his knuckles one at a time, "So tell me about this almost brawl that didn't fucking happen outside of, in, or around the Common House."
The guardsman nods to the Steward's remark, suppressing a smirk. A kind second request, uttered with a curse here and there, was perhaps what he needed to finally start his account of what indeed did happen on that fateful evening at the Common House. "Very well, Ser. There were many people there on that particular evening. Guards, knights, common folk… All were quite merry, some even drunk, as it happens, Ser. One strange fellow was singing a song, making fun of Charltons and even of Naylands, too. He wore a hooded cloak, the hood hiding most of his face, Ser. Then there was that other one - a hedge knight, with prissy blond locks. He had been deep in the cups, obviously. Now there are those who get nice and cuddly when they've had a drink too much, Ser. And then there are those that cause trouble. That goldylock there, he was of the latter sort. I could see it in his eyes."
Tyroan takes another drink of his beer, setting down the tankard and leaning foreward to lean his forearms against the edge of the table. He listens to the beginning of the account, his lips tightening at the mention of the singer making fun of the Naylands, but he doesn't interrupt until the guardsman pauses for a breath, "I've got half a fucking mind to ban hoods, at least fucking indoors." Shaking that thought off, he smirks again at the commentary on drunkards, "Plenty of us have been known to take a fucking swing at some asshole when we're in our cups."
Nodding to Tyroan's remark about banning hoods indoors, Hareth continues. "Indeed you should, Ser. And that goldylock there he started complainin' about the hooded singer's making fun of Stonebridge's losses and he started threatening the man, so I put my hand on his shoulder and told him to calm down. Which he did. It was after the hooded had finished and went to join some craftswoman from the Mire I know from sight. Another minstrel had entered the place, he chose a song not quite as controversial. He was almost attacked by Goldylock as well, and I made sure I was close enough to interfere should that one lose his mind. Goldylock was drunk and he shouted something about having lost his family as well, in the skirmishes around Stonebridge. So grief and booze do not make a good mixture, if you ask me. And there it was, Ser. The hooded one said something, I tried to interfere, warning the man - and Goldylock got up and pushed me back with his hand, taunting me…" Hareth makes a meaningful pause. "The milk was about to spill, Ser. I had to stop that man."
Tyroan nods his head along with the story, grunting softly as things spark up again after they had calmed down, "So what I want to know is why that drunken fucking hedge knight didn't sleep the night off in our cells, Guardsman. The fucking Charltons aren't likely to come back, but there's no godsdamned guarantee that they won't. I won't stand for brawls in common damned rooms. Not now."
While he seems quite skilled in the other areas that define a good guardsman, Hareth certainly still has to learn one or two things about giving intelligible reports. Some facts are missing, as he probably did not want to emburden the Steward with every little detail of the incident - although details might matter in some cases such as this one. There still are some important facts left that need to be said though, so the guard is baffled for a moment by Tyroan's gruff question that indicates that he assumes the report is already finished, when indeed it is not. Not yet.
"Forgive me, Ser, but it was /not/ a brawl. Not really." the Nayland guard insists. "The hooded one - he lurched at the hedge knight from behind, pinioned his arms. And I admit I seized the opportunity. I punched him. To knock him unconscious or at least bring him back to his senses. Which I did, eventually. Goldylock didn't get the chance to cause trouble. No damage was done. Apart from some broken bowls, which I can pay for, of course."
Tyroan shakes his head, grunting softly, "A man of the Guard hauling someone off to the cells isn't a fucking brawl." That much seems like agreement, at least, "Sounds like you did fine, Guardsman." He shifts his shoulders, grunting again, "Do you know if he got the fuck out of town? If he's that much of a hot-head, I don't want him around while we're clearing things up." He frowns, "The singer either." Pushing back off the table, he straightens up, collecting his tankard and cradling it in both hands, "If they haven't left town yet, I want to talk to them both. If they have, describe them for the Guard, so I know if they come back into town. No point in riding them out of town on a fucking post, but no point in having no fucking clue if they show up again."
Hareth lets out his breath as he hears Tyroan's reply - and even some acknowledgement of his handling of the situation - the tension he had felt for the duration of his report leaving him momentarily. Much more at ease now he replies: "I haven't been much around town these last days, Ser. Doing duty here at the Tower. Although I am sure that hedgeknight will be easy to find, if he's still around. I haven't seen a knight with that long curly blond hair before. And if he's still in town… He might have another drink too much, Ser. If I catch him again, I swear by the Seven, I'll throw him into a cell, Ser!" There is even a smile now on the guardsman's face, although it quickly fades as he continues: "As for that other man - the hooded one - he's a fella of middling height with blond hair, looks a bit thin. That hood fell down while he pushed past that hedge knight, Ser. I am sure I'll recognize him if I should see him."
Tyroan nods his head, although he holds up one hand to forestall such immediate heroics, "If you see them in town again, come get the Captain of the Guard," at the moment, that would be Ser Bruce Longbough, "you'll take them in with help from other Guards and the Sheriff." He smirks tightly, "Five men dragging stubborn fuck off to the cells is going to cause a damned sight less damage than one man trying to do it." There's a bit of a pause, then he relents a little, "In fact, just ask them to come to the Tower with you. Then I can see what the fuck they're up to, and if they make trouble, there'll be more than five of us putting them down."
Hareth can't help but smirk as well at Tyroan's more reasonable order - even more as he imagines those five guardsmen dragging that hedge knight or even the hooded one through town. "You are right, Ser. I'll do as you say. Although I would have to leave the Tower to find them. I'll switch patrols with some of the others." Another short pause follows before the guard continues with a final question: "Will that be all, Ser?"
Tyroan shakes his head, "Don't worry about seeking them the fuck out. Just if you spot them around town." He thinks for a moment, then adds, "And give their descriptions to the Sheriff. His deputies are likely to be out a bit fucking more than you are." Draining off the last of his beer, he gives a half salute with the empty tankard, "Get on back to your duties."
Hareth inclines his head and tips his helmet in a gesture of respect to the Steward as a confident smile starts to spread over his face. "Ser." And with that word he turns and leaves the small guest room, the echoes of his heavy footsteps resounding through the hallways of Tordane Tower for a little while until they decrease to an ever vigilant whisper.