Page 184: Service, Hedge Knights and Ale
Service, Hedge Knights and Ale
Summary: Kell is interrupted by Jarod in the cellar. They raid a Terrick ale barrel, discuss the pros and cons of a career in hedge knight-ery, and other aspects of service.
Date: 17/01/2012
Related Logs: Ironborn attack/siege logs in general, nothing specific
Jarod Kell 
Cellar — Four Eagles Tower
The Cellar's stairs drop down from beside the kitchen entrance and drift below ground as a shallow angle. The dirt floor in the basement provides just enough dampness in the air, mixed with the cooler temperatures, to help keep the goods stored down here somewhat fresh. The foods are kept to one side and down a set of halls while the casks of wine and mead are kept closer to the stairs.
Tue Jan 17, 289

The cellar is one of the quieter places that Kell has found during his stay at the Roost, atleast during the waking hours of the day before people goes off to bed. From time to time, someone, usually a servant, would drop by to pick up some stores or something for the kitchen and they usually would not see the Hedge Knight that seems to be seated in a dark corner, back leaning against the cool walls. Those that do see him would recognize the man who was here during the siege, one of the knights defending the Keep.

Opposed to what some may expect, Kell is not drunk with the ale in the cellar, in fact the man is quite sober though his mood doesn't exactly make pleasant company. In his hand is a parchment that has been folded into thirds and from time to time the Hedge Knight would open it up and read the words written once more.

The quiet is interrupted by the sound of someone tromping down the stairs. Heavy footfalls give plenty of warning to the intruder. As does…the singing. "The Dornishman's wife was as fair as the sun, and her kisses were warmer than spring…" It's not particularly loud, a sort of under-breath cadence to tromp by. The intruder's baritone isn't bad, though he'd never win a place in a mummer's troupe. Perhaps ale is what Jarod's looking for, since he goes back to where the barrels are kept. Kell isn't immediately noticed.

Deep and lost in his own thoughts, it takes some time before Kell's thoughts are able to be pulled back to the present as the sound of boots and singing is loud enough to be heard easily, atleast in the quiet atmosphere of the cellar. So by the time the Hedge Knight reacts to the new arrival, Jarod would have moved near to where the knight is hiding, by the barrels of ale though in the shadows. There is the sound of paper being folded and if the Roost's bastard peeks quick enough, he will be able to catch Kell tucking the letter into his tunic.

"But the Dornishman's blade was made of black steel, and its kiss a terrible thing…" Jarod adds some 'acting' as he sings that line, kind of jumping toward the ale barrels and brandishing a tankard he's brought with him, as if facing said Dornishman. It's while he doing that that he spots Kell on his periphery. He pivots on his heel, so he's facing the hedge knight properly. Just in time to catch the disappearing letter. "Oh. Hullo. Didn't mean to intrude. Just…uhh…came down here to reflect." He reflects with tankards and songs about Dornish wives, apparently.

Slowly rising to his feet, Kell sees the brandished tankard and pushes what thoughts he was concerned with down inside him and manages a thin smile for Jarod while raising his hands as if surrendering, "I surrender to your tankard, Ser." Atleast he is able to speak in jest as he tries to shed the brooding manner he was just in, "And there is no intrusion, I was… about to leave the cellars. Was getting a little too cool for my tastes." He does eye the barrels of ale for a moment before turning his gaze back to Jarod, having not met the man before, "I should introduce myself, I am Ser Kell Draygo, Hedge Knight."

"I accept your yield, Ser, in good honor," Jarod says with a chuckle as he pours himself some from a barrel. "This here's won me many battles. More than my sword, probably, if I sat down and took the time to count. Stay to sample some Terrick ale, if you like. Barrel's already open, so it'll be a'wasting soon." At the introduction, he inclines his head respectfully to the other man. "I know your name, if not your face. It's said, though no sworn of this House, you fought beside its men and protected its people valiantly all the same. I'm Ser Jarod Rivers, for my part. Half-Eagle some call me." He crooks a grin as he adds that nick-name to his introduction.

Lucky for Kell he had brought a tankard of ale down to the cellar himself to sip at from upstairs as reading the letter with a dry throat wouldn't do. The tankard has been drained dry though for who knows how long so the Hedge Knight is more than willing to join Ser Rivers in partaking with the Terrikck ale, pouring himself some as well. As for the exchange of introductions, Kell manages another smile, "Likewise, Ser, the Half-Eagle is spoken of here at the Roost and I have heard of your name as well. And I did what I had to do, as part of my duty as a knight. Seems like fate had placed me here as I was escorting a merchant to the Roost, arriving the morning of the Ironborn attacked."

"I am a man of a reputation, Ser, for better or worse," Jarod says wryly, as to people here speaking of him. "Lord Jerold's business had me down in Stonebridge when the Ironborn came. I grieve that I couldn't be here with my family during that awful time." He takes a gulp of his ale, adding, "I can leave you and your lady alone here, if you really are for want of privacy." He gestures back toward the pocket Kell tucked his letter into. Making some presumptions about its writer, apparently.

Kell can only nod about Jarod's self realization of his reputation though the explanation of why he as out of town has the Hedge Knight understandingly, "It was certainly not a pleasant time with the Ironborn outside the walls, but those who wore the Terrick colors fought hard and well to defend the walls." There is a pause before he looks down into his tankard of ale with a wince, "The hardest part though was the helplessness that was felt, unable to ride out to meet the squids head on to save the folk that were captured."

As for the comment about leaving him alone with his lady, Kell looks up and at first looked like he was to speak words of protest as if to deny it but he remains quiet before shaking his head, "I've dwelled on the letter long enough for today, Ser, it is best if I busy myself with something." And the something for now is drinking as he takes a long pull from the tankard, "The letter will be there tonight and tomorrow, and the fond memories of her will be with me forever. Thank you, though, Ser Rivers."

"I managed to find a place in the Frey army when it marched from Stonebridge, which made me feel somewhat less useless," Jarod says. "Still, I think I'd have preferred fighting beside my lord father's men, even caged within these walls though they were. Well. Perhaps I'll get the chance. Now that the Roost is freed, everyone seems to be asking when we'll move on Seagard, to break the squids there as well." He nods, as to the letter, and raises his tankard. "To fond memories. Women leave you with those, if nothing else, though I'm not sure if they give more comfort or torture to a man." Either way, he drinks.

Raising his own tankard to meet Jarod's, Kell repeats the toast that was proposed, "Aye, to fond memories." The Hedge Knight also drinks, giving himself a couple of swallows and letting the ale slowly warm his belly. "Sadly I was not able to spend enough time with this lady for her to torture me, if it would bring her back though, I would be willing to go through any amount of torture." He says with a brief sigh before deciding to speak of better and less gloomy things, like Battle of Alderbrook and the upcoming engagements at Seagard, "I hear the forces you rode with had a crushing victory at Alderbrook, scattering the Ironborn. I hope the same can be done down at Seagard."

"Any amount of torture?" Jarod has to chew on that a moment. Chewing by drinking, which he does in a few more gulps. He grunts in a way that might mean anything, keeping the conversation on more martial things. "I only wish the Freys had marched faster, that we might've crushed them sooner, given the Greyjoy less time to prepare his traps. Less time to ravage the Roost. But, he will pay. He will pay…" He repeats it like he's making a promise to himself. "Though Alderbrook itself was as well-led a battle as such things can be. The Ironborn couldn't break the press of the cavalry, or Stonebridge's well-heeled foot. I only mourn that we didn't leave more of them on the field, never to rise again."

Kell can only shrug his shoulders at the first question as that was the only way he could express how he feels about the lady in question. As for the subject of the Frey, the Hedge Knight doesn't seem to have much to add as he hasn't had too much interaction with that House, though it is one that is often spoken of, "Nobility will do as they wish, Ser Rivers, as it is within their power. Who knows what is on their minds, I am sure there are many who shared similar thoughts as yours during Robert's Rebellion as well. We can only make the best of it." As for how the Ironborn fared against mounted cavalry, Kell can only grin at that, "We rode them down here at the Roost as well, to destroy the catapalts they fielded. Their sentries that were on duty that night must've fouled their pants something fierce as we rode them down."

Jarod grins and laughs a grim laugh at that. "I heard you rode with Lord Jerold himself on that little adventure. Was good work done, by all accounts." Whatever thoughts he might have about ladies and torture are put aside while he nurses his ale and talks of war. "And what will you do now, that the siege is over? Will you remain at Four Eagles, do you think?"

"Was certainly an honor riding with your Lord Father, Ser Rivers. Much respect to the man, it takes a special quality of leadership to be able to ride out with the men into danger." Kell says with grin before lifting his own tankard to his lips for another drink, quenching his thirst that comes from sharing in the conversation. "I am not exactly sure… haven't had the chance to put much thought into it. It seems like those at Seagard will need every blade that can muster to help them so I may ride south with the army, then afterwards… I might ride back north, to the Tall Oaks. I hear there are still Ironborn there as well and I would be more than willing to join those who will root them out."

"He is a worthy man," Jarod says simply, as to Lord Jerold. "Well, as I suspect my father, or half-brother, or goodsister Lady Anais, have already told you I'm sure, we'd be proud to have you ride with the Terrick swords to Seagard. Beyond that…aye, seems it'll take some time to clear the Ironborn off the coasts. I wonder myself if we might be called to the Westerlands next, given the alliance we formed with the Baneforts recently. Have you been a hedge knight long, Ser?"

Kell has been offered to stay with the Terricks at the Roost, which he had politely declined for the time being until he is able to sort out his own personal issues. But to ride with their swords down to Seagard seems to be something the Hedge Knight may be able to commit to, "I think I would like that, I would be honored to fight with the same men that I have fought side by side with for the past few weeks." As for the question about how long he has been a knight of the hedges, Kell does answer, "I was knighted after Robert's Rebellion ended, so from that day on. It has been a long but interesting journey, one with many learning experiences."

"I was knighted after the Rebellion as well, just following the Trident," Jarod says to Kell. "I had squired under a sworn sword in the Mallister forces - the Terrick's liege. I returned home right after and became a sworn for my lord father. It is a good life, as such lives go. Though I do find myself wondering more and more these days, what it'd be like to be a bit less…comfortable. I wonder if my own path might be taking me in such a direction."

Kell can certainly contribute to a life that is a bit less comfortable though he does so after taking another sip of the ale, "Life as a Hedge Knight is certainly harder, as sometimes you do not know where or what your next meal may be. But I think being a commonborn before being knighted helped me prepare for that sort of life, not one of luxury but still, I am a knight. I have a stronger and clearer purpose in my life because of that."

"I am baseborn, as the world reckons such things, as but a bastard son," Jarod says. "Still, I was raised in the tower here. My mother died in childbed and my father took me in to raise with his trueborn children. I've always felt the cause of the Terricks a good one to serve. Still, I am presently involved in some some…projects…" He drinks. "…which may make it difficult for my lord father to keep me as he's done. What sort of work do you find for yourself, as a hedge knight, with no lord but the road to serve?"

Tapping the lip of his tankard with his free hand, Kell seems to be considering the thoughts of being bastard born instead of just born to two common parents. "Your Lord Father is an honorable man, to acknowledge you and help raise you." As for the projects that has been assigned to Jarod, the Hedge Knight doesn't inquire or poke, leaving it alone since it is not his business. "I try to keep to what we sworn to when we are knighted, so I find myself escorting merchants that feel the need for protection of themselves and their goods. Or if there is a call to help route some bandits and other evils, I would do what I can to help. Certainly doesn't lead to glory and riches, Ser Rivers, but in a way… it is fulfilling. Though now with war at our doorsteps, everything changes."

"It is knightly work in its own way, and better work than being sworn to lords who are not honorable men. And there are too many of those in this world, though Lord Jerold is not among them. I have never been ill-used in this house." Jarod nods some, letting Kell's account of being a hedge knight roll around in his brain as he sips on his ale. "But. Aye. The need to fight the Ironborn puts any other cause on hold. I would remove as many of them as I am able from the coast of the Riverlands by my own swordpoint. And I would make them pay for what they've done to the Roost."

Jarod pretty much spells out why Kell hasn't sworn himself to a House in all these years, "Indeed, Ser Rivers, you understand the darker realities of our world. Not everything is as glorious and heroic as written in stories told to us when we were kids. There may be a day that comes where I find a House that is honorable, a good Hous, one I would be willing to swear to. Perhaps it may be House Terrick, I do not know yet. But when I give my word, it is no light thing." Sharing a bit of his own thoughts, how he views Westeros through his own eyes. As for the Ironborn, Kell can only nod again, "Aye, we will make them bleed and die, we will make them pay a hundred-fold for what they have done to the Roost and to the Tall Oaks. They will pay."

Jarod chuckles to that, a dry sound. "World's both larger and easier to manage, you think, when you're a boy of thirteen. I've found myself thinking on that a lot of late." He drinks deep of his ale, finishing off what little is left in the tankard. He doesn't pour himself another. "The Roost. Tall Oaks. Seagard. The Westerlands. Whatever else they've burned. A hundredfold, Ser Kell. Aye to that. I should leave you now, but thanks for the drink. Hope I wasn't too poor company."

"Your company has been most enjoyable, Ser Rivers, I am glad to have finally made your acquaintance." Kell says with a smile as he raises his own tankard once more to the man as if to salute him. "I look forward to fighting at your side when we march down to Seagard, Ser."

"Looking forward to fighting with you as well," Jarod says. He departs the cellar on that note, whistling 'The Dornishman's Wife' as he goes.