Page 564: Rumours of War
Rumours of War
Summary: Questions and rumours abound at the Roost with regards to Lord Tully's summons.
Date: 07/February/2013
Related Logs: Nothing specific
Nathaniel Saffron Mortimer 
Marketplace, Terrick's Roost
Residents of the town and surrounding area bring their wares to sell here among small tables built upon the slate grey stone flooring of the outdoor expanse. The area is surrounded by thatched roof buildings and shops on all sides with roads and paths winding their way in and out of this thriving part of town. Most of the commercial capacity of Terrick's Roost can be found here with the storefronts attracting the attention of those among all classes.
Thu Feb 07, 290

When the heir to the Terrick throne left for Riverrun, he might have taken many of the nobles with him, but he did not take all life from the town. Commoners continue to conduct their business, although some might gossip more than usual about the keep and its residents. Nathaniel has tried to avoid such nosiness while he shops, but someone recognized him as a retainer for the house, and now several citizens are pressing him for answers. "I honestly don't know!" he tells one shrew. "For all that I know, Lord Tully might have invited him for tea and pastries or a boar hunt. There has been no death or you would see everyone in the keep in mourning clothes. There is no imminent wedding, or most of you likely would have heard about jobs that the nobles need you to do to prepare. All that I can say is that we'll know when they tell us." He looks from face to face, and urges, "Now, might I be alone to buy a few things?" He huffs in exasperation and shakes his head as some of group reluctantly step back.

Though Saffron Mallister continues to be an expansive wonder, the Maester has not yet secluded her to a bed and commanded her to stay off her feet. Her guards are wary though every time she announces she will be heading into town, both trying desperately not to outright suggest that they could take her there in the cart. Certainly there are pillows and blankets, and it does not look like a cart — but gods be damned, it's a cart. She waddles her way into the marketplace, perhaps as a show that not all the nobles have left. Though tiredness is easily seen on her face, she warms with a smile to those she recognizes.

Mortimer is working, mouse-catching as they refer to it, but so far the marketplace seems to be quiet and so he's had plenty of time so far today to simply converse with a few of the out of town merchants. They seem to be a little scarce on the ground at the moment, with those present reporting that it's profitable at the moment to concentrate on supplying Stonebridge for the upcoming ball. He's had the same questions as Nathaniel, why is Lord Bolland off so soon after arriving? What are Lord Ozric's plans while his father is away? Does this mean Lord Jerold is coming back? He's had the same lack of information to offer though and since he's been around for a few hours now people have stopped asking him. Keeping an eye on the crowd round Nathaniel he notes them starting to disperse and nods silently to himself, no need to intervene there. Well, no need to intervene, but a chance for a conversation that doesn't revolve around Nayland plans. As such he makes his way over through the crowds, although this does mean he misses Saffron's arrival entirely due to having his back to her.

Nathaniel sighs when the busybodies begin to retreat. He steps p to the stand where a merchant is selling fresh produce, and picks up a few pieces of fresh fruit, judging them for ripeness. He also looks at some dried fruits that suitable for traveling. Like the deputy, his back is turned when Saffron arrives, but something about the voices of the people who do see her piques his interest. He turns to see what has their interest. "You have a fine stock, good man," he compliments to the merchant while he selects a variety of fruit and sets it on the counter. "Now, we can talk about prices." Before the merchant can speak, however, Nathaniel senses that someone is watching. He turns his head slightly to look toward Mortimer's direction. Then he turns his head further. Smiling, he lifts a hand in greeting to the deputy. "Master!" he calls. "I'm glad to see you here." He nods toward Saffron and her entourage. "Your timing might be better than you thought now that the lady is among us."

Mortimer raises a hand to return the greeting, as there's still a few people between him and the courier. The nod has him turning to see what is going on and as he spots the arrival of the Mallister he gives a silent 'ah' in understanding. So far though her own guards seem to be doing a fine job of keeping the inquiring crowds at bay. Coming to a halt besides Nathaniel he positions himself so he can keep an eye on her progress before nodding a greeting to both man and merchant. "Mistress Valen all right?" he asks, "it looked like the ride took a lot out of her."

Saffron continues her slow progress toward the Deputy and courier, and she does her best to smile full-force with the dimples activated as she nears. "Master Mortimer, Master Nathaniel," she greets both as she rests her hand on her heavy belly. "The market seems to be a bit more active than I expected."

"She's a stubborn one," Nathaniel advises with a smile of amusement playing over his face. "She wants to be sure that she can ride after the fall. I don't blame her for that. I'd worry about the same for either of us." He steps forward. He picks up several apples in succession, returning each to the bin until he has found four that suit him. He places them on the counter with a bag of raisins, another of dates, and a third of dried orange wedges. Then he adds, "It's an odd thing about Master Fullbringer. I didn't know that he was an herbalist. I thought that he was a blacksmith." Then he lowers his voice to add, "A bit of a swaggerer, too, if you ask me."

Mortimer simply nods to the comments about Kalira, it all makes sense after all, then shrugs a little at the mention of Cairan. "An apprentice blacksmith, he was working under Mistress Black although then he mentioned he was going to ask Lady Anais for a shot at running the Rockcliff with his wife, a scribe from the keep I believe." Or he thinks they're married anyway. "Perhaps he's struggling to find his place?" It certainly seems that the lad is trying ot as many options as he can. As Saffron gets closer though he offers a respectful bow in greeting and his usual "m'Lady," before he glances briefly round the market. "Merchant wise we're actually a little light on numbers but the news of summons from Riverrun has people out and about asking questions."

Saffron relaxes into her widening stance, hand rubbing at her belly comfortingly. She frowns a bit at Mortimer's words, a bit of a worried line hinting at her brow. "I had heard of such. Even Lord Mallister was called. It is… unusual… to hear of such a change. In fact, I believe the last Tully called to all his Banners was during the war." That causes a bit of concern to continue to work through her features. After all, she is married to wartime Knight.

Nathaniel turns and bows to Saffron when she approaches. "Lady," he greets warmly. "I'm sure that some maester might worry, but we are glad to see you here. It speaks of your strength and determination." When she mentions the last great summoning of heads, he, too, frowns. "I do hope that this is not war. We have seen enough of /that/. Perhaps the Lord Paramount is planing some grand venture that requires counsel with his vassals." He looks at Mortimer, and suggests, "A light crowd is better than a press of people on such an occasion as this." Then he glances to Saffron again, and offers, "If you wish to examine the produce, lady …" He steps aside so that she can see the contents of the stall, including his selections, if she wishes.

"Unusual aye m'Lady," Mortimer admits with a faint frown before he then shakes his head slightly. "I've heard no rumours of trouble brewing though, not on that scale. Far be it from me to assume to know what runs through the minds of great Lords but it may be to announce a betrothal, or some form of celebration on the anniversary of driving the Ironborn from our shores." Yes, he's guessing there, but he can do little else at this stage except take comfort in the fact that if it is war then there's a chance he won't be called to march this time. He nods at Nathaniel's mention of counsel then gives Saffron's guards a brief nod in greeting as well. "I suspect we'll all find out soon enough," he states, "it's hard to keep something on this scale a secret for long. Word'll slip somewhere, even if it's not supposed to."

The Mallister lady smiles toward Nathaniel. "I keep telling them that women have been having babies and waddling all over the Seven Kingdoms long before I have, and that they would be good to stop being so worried." She then shrugs her shoulders a bit, puffing out her cheeks. "I would rather find out sooner than later, Master Mortimer. I'm not the best at patience. If I'm to prepare for my husband to be summoned away and birth a pair of twins, I'd rather know now than later."

"Twins, lady?" Nathaniel questions, tilting his head slightly in curiosity. "I'm sure that the masters worry due to your status and to their reputation if you should find trouble while under their care. Still, as you say, women of all classes have borne your burden. Those in lower classes endure the months without maester, and in many cases without midwife, yet they bring sons and daughters to thrive in the world." Then he looks to Mortimer and comments, "I could be wrong, but I think that if this was a call to war, the Lord would call some knights to lend the wisdom that experience has brought." He returns his attention to Saffron, and questions, "How long will you be with us, lady? Do you plan for the Roost to be your children's first sight of the world?"

"I think we all would m'Lady," Mortmer answers with a nod of agreement, "we've had enough upheaval over the past few months that everyone is a little anxious over this." Himself included in truth, just as it looked like things had been starting to settle with the new line and such this happens. No he doesn't like it. As she mentions preparing for war and childbirth though a thought hits him and he starts, "if it comes to it m'Lady, my wife, she gave birth while I was away. Twins as well. I'm sure she'd be happy to pass on anything that might be of use." He doesn;t offer any ideas about what such things might be though, as when he tries to think of any he's stuck by how absurd the idea of there being anything that one of the army of maids and other attendants hasn't already got covered. There's a faintly awkward pause as he seeks a new topic before inspiration strikes and he shifts to "before I forget m'Lady I just wanted to say thank you for the book. He's insisted on reading it enough that I doubt he needs to anymore." Nathaniel is then offered a brief nod, "let us hope so." What he doesn't add though is that a fair number of the summoned Lords are knights, best not to dwell on that really.

The more rotund of her guards appears to be quite observant, as his Lady starts to sway a bit in her stance, he quickly pulls a folded stool from off his back and quickly sets it up. Saffron breathes out a sigh as she lowers back onto it's clapboard surface, adjusting herself a bit. Then she rests her hands together on the upper curve of her belly and listens to the pair thoughtfully. It is only after Mortimer has his words does she shake her head a bit. "If war is upon us, or a possibility, Lord Tully may wish to talk to the heads of houses to find their status before anything is determined. After the events between Highfield, Broadmoor, Heronhurst and Stonebridge… much of the Cape have lost portions of their coffers." Then she smiles toward Nathaniel. "I would have them see Talon Point if I had my way, but alas… Lord Mallister requires us here, so here we will be. My sons will know the Roost before they know where their father was born and raised." Then she brightens even more — full dimples in fact — to Mortimer. "I would love to bend your wife's ear for advice. How is your son, by the way? Learning his letters alright?"

Nathaniel inclines head and shoulders to Saffron when she favors him with her momentary attention. While the guard prepares the stool, he glances around them, eyeing the shops thoughtfully. "If you need a cool drink, lady, I can find something suitable, some juice that will refresh you and give you strength. I know a seller not far from here." Then ne nods to Mortimer, and agrees, "Handmaids, septas, and servants might offer some advice, but the best to advise a new mother is one like your wife, who has done well on that road already."

Mortimer takes half a pace backwards to ensure that Saffron and her guard have enough space to erect the stool and get settled. He nods in silent agreement to her comments about the coffers and such, it is a logical step although not he's still hoping it's something else, something far more peaceful in nature. At the question about his son though he glances briefly to Nathaniel then back to Saffron, "well m'Lady, from what I can tell. I'm sure Master Corbitt here could give you a fuller report. He'd far rather be out flying the kite Lady Nedra gave him though." Odd that, study, or kite flying? Study or kite flying? Not the most difficult of choices for a six year old with energy to burn. Then as for his wife, he simply eyes the courier a moment as he chips in his thoughts then nods to the lady, "I'll be sure to tell her such m'Lady, give her a chance to think about it and such." He knows that she knows where he lives though and so is perfectly capable of getting in touch with his wife as and when she might need.

"You know, Master Nathaniel, something cool would be nice. Feels as though this Summer is always blazing," Saffron asks politely of the young courier before she nods her head in agreement with his other words. "I will take any advice I can. I want these last couple months to be… good ones." She looks down at her belly, smoothing her hands across it's curvature. She smiles about the bit about the kite, and she laughs. "I know I would pick the kite every time." She offers a nod and a smile to Mortimer now. "The Roost must soon be finished with rebuilding?"

Nathaniel smiles when Mortimer looks briefly in his direction. "The boy does very well, lady," he confirms to Saffron. "I use the kite or some other amusement as his prize. He is learning his numbers as well." When she has settled and accepts his offer, the courier bows deeply. "I will return in a moment," he assures. He steps away from lady and deputy, and trots down a side street, where he is gone for a few minutes. He returns again at a trot, carrying a long-necked clay jug with a belly as big as a man's head. He delivers it to the captain of Saffron's guard, and then resumes his place near Mortimer.

"I'll let her know," Mortimer reiterates with a faint nod, "'m sure she'll be happy to pass on what she can." Or at least, he can't think of any reason why she wouldn't, but then that is very much a women's thing and he's faintly wary of making assumptions. Offering Nathaniel a brief nod as the other man leaves he then turns back to Saffron to answer her query, "Aye m'Lady. The town at least. Some outlying homesteads will likely be left though, until there's people enough again, or those craftsmen on loan to Highfield return to boost our workforce once more." Having nodded at Nathaniel's departure he does so again upon his return before adding to the group in general, rather than anyone in particular, "it's odd to think it's a year now."

Saffron frowns a bit. "Do you know when we should be getting those loaned craftsmen back?" She glances between both men as she remains neatly poised on the stool. When Nathaniel returns with the clay jug, she brightens with another dimpling smile. "Thank you, Master Nathaniel." She takes a sip, letting it cool her as she releases a deep sigh. She then nods her head with the pair. "Seems as though it was just yesterday I was riding up to stay with Lady Anais. Leaving my home behind." She pauses with a touch of a frown. "I haven't seen it since."

"A year, aye, but keen eyes still see the scars on the land and in hearts," Nathaniel notes while Saffron accepts the simple gift. "The town has benefitted from several good hunts, and the Erenfords donated fine livestock. Still, in the woods, I find stray arrows and other remnants of war. The greatest treasure here is the resolve of the people to stay and rebuild." He nods to Mortimer. "The master here is a testament to that. He fought, and now, he fights to rebuild."

Mortimer shakes his head "I'm sorry m'Lady, I have no idea." Last he heard it was Anais who had sorted the deal and ensured it remained in place after the change in line, but he remembers what happened last time something being referred to Anais came up in conversation and decides not to risk a repeat. "One of my brothers is there though, so I can find out if they have any inclination if you'd like?" Then onto the more somber topic and he states "Yesterday, and a lifetime ago." It's not something he particularly wants to dwell on though, not with the talk before having touched on his twins. He takes Nathaniel's words as a chance to move the conversation a little and offers the man a faint smile, "aye, but only so far as Alderbrook, the rest I left to Ser Jarod. I reckon he managed all right though."

There is a moment of quiet from the young Mallister before she releases a soft sigh. "So much to talk about…" And then she shakes her head a bit as she starts to slowly pull herself up to her feet. "I'm sorry, Masters, but I meant to just enjoy a bit of fresh air before I see in on my husband." She offers the pair a gentle smile as she takes another drink from the jug, letting the coolness sooth her a bit more.

Nathaniel waits until Saffron has stood. Then, seeing the silent signal that she intends to leave, he bows to her. "Even a small rest is better than none at all, lady," he comments with a smile. "May your day be pleasant," he concludes. Then he turns to Mortimer and assures the man, "Be proud of your son. He shows promise in many things beside playing in mud. His curiosity knows no bounds. I'd be tempted to take him to Stonebridge to meet the maester there, and ply the great man with questions." THen he chuckles. "I think that Mistress Dorsey would pay handsomely to see that." He looks back to the stand where the merchant has reserved his selection of fruit. "I should barter for my fruit before dark finds me still absent from Kalira."

"Of course m'Lady," Mortimer answers to Saffron, offering her guards a brief nod in departure before bowing for the Lady herself, "I hope the afternoon finds him well." He raises a faint eyebrow at Nathaniel's comment, wondering for a moment if he's given the man cause to think he isn't proud of the lad before he just shrugs off the thought and replies, "I am everyday Master Corbitt. Everyday." The comment about Stonebridge has him thinking though and eventually he offers, "if you think it'd be off use to him," then adds with a grin, "just check with his mother first. I'm not catching hell for that one if she decides it's too risky." As the man also indicates a desire to leave he gives a simple nod, "don't let me keep you then, and give her my best would you. I hope her head clears soon."

"Thank you, Masters… please… enjoy the day without too much worrying." It is then that Saffron is escorted back up to the Tower so she can rest her swollen feet.

Nathaniel smiles at that quizzical look from Mortimer. "You are, master. I know. Still, I want you to have more reason to be proud. Last night, you mentioned the scribe, Mistress Maison. If he studies well, and desires such a thing, his writing could take him far. He could become a scribe, steward of a house, or even a septon once his heart finds its target."

"That was the point of ensuring he learnt his letters," Mortimer answer with a smile, "give him as many options as possible." Keep him away from soldiering. Glancing around the market once more he then turns to Nathaniel and states, "I should probably get back to doing my own work though, those pickpockets aren't just going to start arresting themselves. Do stop round if you've the time though, and Mistress Valen, I'm sure he'd be delighted to see you again."