Page 297: Riding Out
Riding Out
Summary: Lord Justin prepares to ride out to hunt when others join him in the Four Eagles courtyard.
Date: 12/May/2012
Related Logs: A Nameday Celebration, Guests in the Garden
Justin Jarod Hardwicke Muirenn Riordan Anais Tiaryn 
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.
May 12, 289

Jarod arrived with Lord Riordan's party from Stonebridge - along with his lovely wife - though neither of them have spent much time about the castle thus far. He's returned to it after spending the day in town, however. He's dressed in a leather jerkin and carries a shield in addition to his sword. The arms are of the same sort that the Nayland guards wear, though his are plain, unadorned with the crane-and-harpy.

Justin is standing in the courtyard with his grey horse tied outside of the stables. He's speaking with one of the grooms about one thing or another and once the groom turns to go in to do whatever Justin bid him do, the young Terrick lord strokes his gelding's shoulder before bending over to run his hands over the grey's right foreleg. Justin takes his time about it, not picking up the horse's foot but feeling of the tendons. The grey shifts his weight and sidesteps away, turning his head around to wuffle softly at the man who's messing with his legs.

Hardwicke is making his way through the courtyard from — one place to another. In the manner of a Captain of the Guard. He is doing things, you know. He notes Jarod — and his shield, unadorned or not — with a jaw-tightening grimness. It does not lend itself to greeting, apparently, as he offers the Half-Eagle none. Justin, however, gets a brisk, "My lord," as the knight passes by.

"That your mount?" Jarod asks Justin, by way of a greeting as he approaches his half-brother outside the stables. He is perhaps not entirely at easy at Four Eagles, despite how much of his life he's spent here. Hardwicke is noted, and he half-raises an arm to wave to the Captain of the Guard, but the tight-jawed grimness makes him lower it again. And scratch at the back of his neck to try and play off the aborted waving.

Justin isn't dressed lordly, he's changed out of his nice black surcoat edged with indigo and gold embroidary for his hunting leathers with green jerkin. Hardwicke's voice brings Justin's head up to look and see who it belongs to. He straightens and gives the older man a curt nod, "Ser Hardwicke. I trust all is well with our guests?" His pale grey eyes follow the Knight's passage and then notices Jarod, watching to see how the two are going to interact. Jarod's question gains a glance back to the pale dappled grey gelding, then back to his half-brother, "Yes. He's a good horse, quiet. But no war mount." Justin raises a hand to push the soft grey nose away from his arm.

The grey's white ears swival around to prick towards the men he doesn't know well. The gelding looks to have a quiet temperment, darker grey points at mane, tail and legs, and faint stormy dappling over his nearly white coat. Good substance in the legs, square proportions and good breeding but not a stallion. The somewhat aged fellow blows softly and swishes his tail, one back leg bending to cock in a relaxed pose.

Upon being addressed with a direct question, Hardwicke does come to a halt near Justin. "They are safe and whole, my lord," he replies, which is — kind of an answer.

Jarod gives the gelding a look-over. "Handsome fellow nonetheless. Just takes training to make a war horse is all. Do you think our lord father's all right with my staying here? He's not objected, but I've not seen him personally yet." He probably hasn't exactly rushed to do so." He shifts a look to Hardwicke, like he's considering trying to make conversation. He sort of does, but he directs it at Justin. "I heard Ser Kell had finally sworn himself to the Roost. Good man, that one."

Well, he did ask, didn't he? Justin looks rather drolly at Ser Hardwicke, "Let's try to keep them that way, at least until they've spoken with my lord father." He gives Jarod a look and then bends over again to run his hands over that leg, seeking to feel if there is any undue warmth in the tissues after the return trip. With a nudge of his shoulder against the grey to press the gelding's weight over more onto the other leg, Justin picks up the foot to have a look at the hoof. He then feels of it for heat as well. "Maybe … but a war horse /stallion/ comes at him at another rider's urging and a gelding's not going to have the serious heart to fight it out. Hurt him and he's liable to turn tail and run when I need him to force himself against the other horse." Justin gently drops the hoof and straightens back up to look at Jarod, "I can't speak for what father'll think of your being here." He glances aside to Hardwicke, then nods to Jarod, "Yes, I was here when Ser Kell swore himself. Jerold said he'd saved Lord Patrek Mallister's life."

Riordan arrives from the Entrance Hall.
Riordan has arrived.

"That /is/ my job, my lord," Hardwicke replies a bit blandly to Justin before turning a darker look upon Jarod. "I don't know what you're doing under his roof."

Riordan arrives from the keep, accompanied by a large guardsman bearing the colors and sigil of House Nayland of Stonebridge. Spotting a few friendly… or at least recognizable faces, this most unlikely of guests here at the Roost makes his way towards the group gathered around the grey gelding. Riordan spares an appraising glance for the horse, before turning a similiar look on the men surrounding it. "Lord Justin, Ser Goodbrother, greetings," he offers, his trademark warm and open grin on his face, before giving a smaller nod to the third man. "Ser."

"Aye, back during the siege of Four Eagles, as I heard it," Jarod replies to Justin, as to Kell. "During the business with the catapults. Fought with the Terricks well on the Iron Islands, too, though he wasn't oathed to our part of the armies at the time. Was glad to hear he'd finally done it." The dark look from Hardwicke makes his shoulders tense, though it hardly seems unexpected. "Thought I might be of some help in talks with the Naylands, Ser Blayne. I was likely mistaken. I do need to speak to Lord Jerold on a matter I wrote him upon, but if it becomes a distraction I can take a room in town." If he's about to add, more he forestalls it as Riordan approaches. Offering the Nayland knight an inclination of his head.

Dressed in browns and greens, Justin moves down the horse's side and close around the hindquarters to go and check the left foreleg. He bends to run his hands over that leg as well, inspecting hoof, frog, bars and shoe with a critical eye. Justin's long bow and quiver are set to lean against the stable wall where he left them. A groom comes out with the pad, saddle and bridle but sets them on the lower half door frame because Justin prefers to saddle his own mount himself.

That hoof is also set down. Justin stands and folds his arms to lean on the gelding's back and look at his half brother over it, "I see. I suppose I was still coming up from the south at about that time, then was laid up at Seagard until my wounds had healed enough to travel. By then it was over, here." Riordan's arrival and greeting draws his attention, "Lord Regent, I trust you are finding everything to your liking thus far?" Is that a trick question?

"Because your father has taken so well to your ingratiation with that family," Hardwicke says in a stark, cold voice to Jarod. SPEAK OF THE DEVIL. He jerks a stiff tip of his head to Riordan. "My lord."

Muirenn arrives from the Entrance Hall.
Muirenn has arrived.

"The Terrick's hospitality is unassailable, as I affirmed this morning, Lord Justin," Riordan replies easily to the Terrick lordling. His attention seems caught between Hardwicke and Jarod, though, and the tension therein. "Really, by the stranger's right testacle, can someone on this whole Seven-forsaking Cape forget this feud for five minutes and try to be friendly? I mean, we all just fought a war together, or can none of you remember past the lengths of the cocks you are measuring?" His comment doesnt necessarily seemed really aimed at Jarod… but given the way that most have likely been eyeballing the Naylands since they got here, it might not entirely be aimed at any of those present, either, strictly speaking. Whatever the cause, Riordan seems rather annoyed.

Anais has arrived.

Justin is standing leaning against his grey horse with his arms folded on the gelding's back as he looks over it at both Jarod who stands near, and Riordan who has just arrived. Ser Hardwicke stands a bit apart looking displeased with Jarod's presance. Justin is in his hunting leathers in shades of greens and browns with a leather jerkin while his long bow and quiver are propped against the stable wall. Saddle, pad and bridle have been set out. Justin moves around the gelding to pick up the pad and start saddling his pale grey gelding. (Scene for new folk)

"I don't think it's your family Ser Hardwicke is cross with, my lord," Jarod says wryly to Riordan. He might wince, just a touch, at Hardwicke's words. But he hardly seems surprised by the knight's manner. "I'll see for myself what my lord father has to say on the matter. Though I think I will venture back into town for the rest of day. I'd wanted to see how the work on the sept was coming along anyhow."

"No, my lord," Hardwicke says in growling agreement with Jarod, speaking to Riordan even if he doesn't take his eyes off the Half-Eagle. "It's not." He snorts at Jarod's plan and finally returns his gaze to the others. "My lords," he says briskly before turning to head inside.

Justin arches dark brows at Riordan, not having raised heated words or he thought said anything at all to rile up inter-family rivalry - or at least not in the Lord Regent's hearing. The pad he lays at the base of the gelding's neck over the dark grey mane, then slides it back into place before he picks up the saddle to place it. A groom sticks his face out to check to see if the young Terrick Lord (or anyone else) needs horses, or anything else brought out, but Justin ignores him and continues his own tacking up. Instead he says to Jarod, "Or you can come hunting with me. We could use more fresh meat, whether you are welcome at the Tower or not." Justin pauses to look at his half sibling, "You /can/ hunt, can't you?" The cinch is snugged into place while the gelding stands quietly.

It is just as well that Muirenn is stepping out of the keep and did not hear Riordan, and it is downright merciful that the Septa who follows the maiden did not hear (though that woman has ears like an eagle). "Perhaps I was more bold in my speech, but I wanted to *know* what sort of person he was. Now please for the Maiden's sake leave off the lectures, I beg you Septa." Muirenn gives a lengthy and put upon sigh as she skips lightly down the steps. Brushing her hair back from her face she mms and murmers to her handmaid who also accompanies the elderly lady in tending to and watching over the Mallister girl, "I should probably see about taking Pryderi out and riding him to the Sept to warm him up if his lordship was honest and not merely humoring me." Adjusting the set of her cloak she strides forward towards the stables, her face brightening as Hardwick moves to pass her on his way into the house, "Oh Captain Blayne! It is a delight to see you today. How is your lovely wife? I have not seen much of her since my return. Please give her my regards?"

And into the courtyard of rage and doom walks Anais, pulling on her riding gloves to go with the sturdy riding gown she's changed into, trailed by a guard. "Jarod," she smiles swiftly when she sees the knight, raising a hand to hail him. "Now there's a pleasant surprise."

"Lord Jerold said there'd always be a place for me and my household here," Jarod replies. "So I'll remain until he tells me otherwise. There are matters he and I need to speak on before I return to Stonebridge anyhow." As for hunting. "Of course I can. Spent years hunting up near the North Fork with Jaremy. And Jacsen, when his legs were still good. Would like to go while I'm here. Though perhaps I'd best settle a few things before I'm off." He raises a hand to wave to Anais, but he jogs off back toward the castle. And Hardwicke. "Ser Blayne. May we speak privately for a moment?"

"You are family now, Ser Jarod, or did you forget the fact that you married my sister? Whatever the way of it, you are my Goodbrother, and I am rather protective of my family. If the black eye I gave you isn't proof enough, I don't know what is." Regardless, however, Riordan seems somewhat mollified, especially as Hardwicke moves to retreats. Riordan stares after the man, before commenting to Jarod, "I guess I should not be surprised that this holding has one too. Though, and I may not be impartial here, but I rather think that we have a better disapprover in our Ser Rygar." So there. Glancing to Justin, not at all bothering to apologize for his outburst, he says, "I would offer to join, but Lady Anais has promised me a tour." Hence his riding clothes.

Hardwicke does not look altogether pleased to be hailed by Muirenn, but given his attitude in trying to exit, it's unlikely it's personal. "She is well, my lady. I will pass on your regards." The politeness is undercut by a certain briskness, but it's better than nothing? He shoots a glare towards Jarod and snaps, "If you've such a place here, I can't stop you from speaking where I can hear." And he keeps moving. It's — not a no?

Jerold's third legitimate son asks no apology of Riordan either. Justin goes on about his business saddling his horse, now bridling the grey. He leaves a tying rope so the horse isn't secured by the reins until he's ready to go. Justin half turns, one hand idly resting on his saddle as he watches the others gathering. Or departing, as the case may be. "All right. Hold you to it later then, Jarod." That hunting bit. He says nothing else for the moment.

Familiar with Mr. Grumpypants Hardwicke Blayne…and his eternal unhappiness with Jarod, Muirenn does not take it personally especially as she sees the object of the Captain's ire move past her as well. "Good afternoon Lady Anais. I hope you enjoy the ride." She calls as Anais too comes out and proceeds into the direction of the stables. As soon as the tall redhead sees Justin's grey, she moves directly to the horse, much to her Septa's resigned horror and handmaidens amusement. With a giggling croon she strokes its velvet soft muzzle before lifting her eyes to beam at the others as if they were perhaps an afterthought, "Lord Justin, Lord Nayland." Her lips curve upwards as she murmers confidentially to the horse, though loud enough to perhaps tease its owner, "I am afraid I have no sweets for you right now…perhaps later when you have returned and are being brushed down."

Jarod square his shoulders. Like he's bracing himself. He mutters, "All right…" But he does follow Hardwicke. Somewhere. He'll probably return from it. Probably.

The pale dappled grey pricks his ears up and turns his head to greet Muirenn fondly, sniffing her for signs of sweets. Justin watches her, one side of his mouth curling into a half smile before he says low, "He's not a pet, Lady Muirenn, he's my /horse/. Don't you undermine my training and turn him into a slobbering treat seeking monster." If she were his sister and not a Lady Ward of his father's, he would probably pinch Muirenn. Justin looks like the thought crosses his mind but instead, he ducks his head beneath the rope and steps over to pick up his bow and quiver.

Hardwicke has left.

"Now I know that you were serious about your own horse becoming fat, Lady Muirenn," Riordan tells her by way of greeting, before he turns towards Anais. "Lady Anais, there you are. Ready for our ride?" he inquires with a warm smile for the Lady of the Roost. Even now, his guard is speaking to a stablehand, inquiring about their horses.

"We're going to go to the beach, so it would be hard to ruin it," Anais smiles swiftly to Muirenn, just as a stableboy brings out her own horse, a showy, slender chestnut with flashy socks. "Quite ready, thank you," she nods to Riordan. "We should have lovely weather for it, as well. The breeze from the water is starting to shift."

"He is your horse and he serves you well…he does everything you ask of him and more. I can say without a doubt that he will not be a slobbering treat seeking strong horse around you. Around me however, I do not mind." Her palm is nibbled and nuzzled by the soft, rubbery lips of the horse and the girl seems unphased as she calls to one of the grooms, "Please have Pryderi and the other horses saddled up once everyone else is taken care of. We will be riding to the Sept." As she speaks fingers lightly scratch beneath the grey's chin. Her laughter is light and long as she regards Riordan, "Indeed. I believe that gestures of affection are not only acceptable but a necessary part of life…that goes for my beasts of burden as well as people." She gives a sweetly innocent smile to Justin, the dimples coming out.

Justin secures his long bow at an angle and his quiver over his back, but obviously it's too long a bow for him to use it from horseback easily, so presumably he would ride out, tie up and go on foot for the actual hunting. Yet he lingers to observe the others before his attention slips back to Lady Muirenn. He huffs a breath softly, "He likes scratching, or rubbing inside of his ears." Hmmm… one is riding out to the Sept, two are riding for the shore. And he was going to go hunting. Justin presses his mouth into a thinner line then nods to Anais, "Goodsister… do you need speak with the Lord Regent privately, or care for company?"

As the grooms start bringing out horses to saddle them, Justin unties his gelding and leads the grey aside from the stable entrance and into the courtyard to make room for them.

Tia makes her way slowly into the courtyard, intending to check on Gethin. Since that little horse, wide as he is, is not always so kind to folks he doesn't know, she usually does make a stop to check. And would have been hear earlier, except well, she's slow. Limp. Limp. At least it's not any worse than previously, that's one good thing. She pauses as she sees all the people, her eyes widening a bit. "Oh, excuse me. There hasn't been any trouble in the stables has there?"

Rather then one of his lighter, pleasure riding horses that Riordan rides around Stonebridge, the horse that the groom leads out for Riordan is a black gelding, slim yet strong, the lean muscles and firm build making him the perfect animal for travel - which would be why he is here in the first place. "A good trait to have, with most aspects of life," Riordan returns to Muirenn with a grin, before taking the reins of his horse and looking to Anais. "Indeed. I was inspecting the countryside from the rooftop earlier, and I certainly think this ride will be pleasant." At Justin's question, he glances from him to Anais, then back. "What of your hunt, Lord Justin?" he asks, an eyebrow cocked curiously. "Or do you not trust me with your Goodsister's safety? Or the other way around perhaps? I'm sure her guardsman will protect her from me, and mine will protect me from her." His lips quirk in a small, friendly smile, taking any sting from his words and just leaving a lighthearted joke.

"I wouldn't mind," Anais assures Justin with an easy smile, taking her mount from the stableboy and brushing a hand to his cheek. "I don't believe there's anything I need to speak with Lord Riordan about in private. Unless you were planning to bring up a surprise name day celebration for Lord Justin?" she arches a brow at Riordan, absently checking her bridle and saddle to make certain everything is as it should be.

"No trouble lady Tiaryn. Merely people going various places is all." Delightedly Muirenn runs forward as a leggy, sturdy palomino is brought out. Running her hand down his golden neck she takes the lead from the groom, though lets them saddle him up. "And *heres* my brave steed! And how have you been treating the grooms today? No one trampled on I trust?" her words are for the gelding who wickers a reply and nudges her with his muzzle. Far from being fat, he is well muscled and in peak condition. The contrast between the almost metallic gleam of his coat to the creamy silky strands of his pale mane are very attractive. Interestingly, despite her own beloved affection for anything that sparkles or is flowered, ruffled, or embroidered her tack is quite subdued…almost martial in nature. "How is your knee? You should *not* be walking around at all my lady. A sprain is a bad thing."

Justin stops with his grey and turns to look back to the others. He smiles a little at Riordan, "I had been going to hunt because I didn't think the rest of you were going to ride for the shore until sunset. I originally proposed riding along the coast this morning, if you recall." As the other horses are being lead out, Justin steps up easily into the saddle and settles himself. The grey lifts his head and takes a step or two in anticipation, then stops to wait when no cue is given to move forward. Jerold's son merely looks at Riordan without readable expression as to matters of trust, protection and so forth, making no comment upon it whatsoever.

Wait, what did Anais just say? Justin looks at her a little sharply at mention of his birthdate coming up, "He, and /you/ better not. It's fine for the pleasure of young ladies but I'd rather avoid such fuss on my own behalf." He eyes his Goodsister and then turns the gelding with subtle preasure from his legs, one foot dropping back and the other pressing near the shoulder rather than using the reins. Afterall, in a fight his hands would be holding other things. Justin gives a polite nod to Lady Tiaryn, glances to Muirenn and faintly frowns, saying nothing further as yet.

Tia makes a face at Muirenn. "I can't be carried everywhere, and I have to get places," she says, a little defensively. Though she then smiles. "Beautiful horses, all of you. Absolutely lovely." She is not walking at the moment, just standing, with her maid and guard not too far away. "And I had to check on Gethin - he's been known to eat stable boys, you know."

"Well, I would, but mine own nameday is coming soon enough, and I would fear the revenge that Lord Justin would plot," Riordan returns to Anais, with a light grin, before he turns the same smile to Justin and inclines his head. "Very well then, Lord Justin. I of course am your guest, so would not dare object. Indeed, I would actually relish the chance to get to know you better." The words, while genuine and warm as all else, might seem to have a deeper meaning for those who are aware of Riordan's possible plans for his sister and Justin. "I would like to see if we have more in common then just our places in our respective family trees, or our love of horses," he goes on to say. He then falls silent to await the Lordlings decision, and meanwhile, once his horse is saddled and ready, Riordan expertly mounts his steed in a single, graceful, and fluid motion.

Another long suffering sigh, and while there are many things on the tip of Muirenn's tongue she bites them back and only inquires mildly, "What concerns you lord Justin? Your brow furrows most disconcertingly this afternoon, rather like one of those exotic creatures I saw from the Summer Isles at a Seagard Merchant's shop." She glances over at the groom and helps nudge the bridle bit into place and smoothes the straps against the gelding's cheeks.

"Ah, you as well?" Anais just dimples at Justin's threat, giving him her best innocent little sister face. And with four older siblings, she's had plenty of practice. "What about a welcome home party?" she teases the Terrick just a little more. "There should be ribbons, don't you think?" Mounting up is sufficient excuse to hide her features, and almost muffles her laughter.

(OOC Note: The following just /had/ to be left in this log!)
From afar (to Justin and Anais), Riordan flexes his butt just for you! ;)
Riordan pages Justin and Anais: …OMG MAV
From afar (to Justin and Anais), Riordan laughs and dies.

Well, it is true that the skin between his dark brows often furrows faintly, but then again it's a physical trait he shares with his late uncle Revyn. It doesn't necessarily mean he's grumpy or angry, he could simply be thinking. Justin nonetheless turns his horse a bit more to look back to Muirenn, a smile starting to twist his mouth, "What concerns me is foolishness of name day celebrations for myself, Lady Muirenn. And don't you start. Lucienne will be bad enough when she's returned." Yes, he remebers his sister's antics and it lightens any seriousness of his former mood. All he needs is all those womenfolk plotting against him! And there goes Anais chiming in on cue!

Justin's pale eyes narrow and instead of dignifying his Goodsister's comments, he answers Riordan, "Frankly, I have similar interest myself, for I know you not at all, Ser." Nor Roslyn for that matter though he dosen't say it out loud. Justin looks out the portcullis and let's out a slow breath, something else that nags upon his mind. It makes him frown before he comes to his decision, "I … there's a man I should find." Looking back to the others he nods to them, "Perhaps I will ride with you another time. Go and enjoy yourselves, Lord Riordan, Lady Anais." There's a brief glance back for Muirenn busy seeing to her own horse before Justin turns his attention upon the way out and starts his horse into a trot. Justin has suddenly been reminded that he has not seen huntsman Kain.

You paged Riordan and Anais with 'Now I'm totally NOT editting that out of my log. ;}'
From afar, Riordan snickers!
From afar, Muirenn about falls out of bed laughing as Rior tells her he mav'd his page to her to you and Annie

With all the folks getting themselves ready to go out, Tia takes her chance to sneak on over to the stables and inside, passing them all by. She does pause to flash a grin as she hears Justin's talk about name days, and then she's inside, and the stable boy muttering about demon horse surely is mistaken. Gethin is a lady's horse, right? So he can't possibly be that bad.