|Shame and Honour|
|Summary:||Symeon leaves the Roost early in the morning, but late for an appointment at Highfield. Yet his erstwhile attacker, Rebecca, is curiously eager to detain him…|
|Related Logs:||The Stranger's Song|
|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.|
|27th October, 289|
While the knight's newfound squire sat a-saddle insouciant and bored, scratching at his jowls from atop a ragged stot - Ser Symeon of Sevenstreams as anything but unperturbed. Arrayed in the raiment of warrior-mail and half-helm, the knight of Sevenstreams, newly christened the knight of Sevenscratches sat atop his white courser - a cold gaze slashed the field beyond the castle's bailey. Anxious to be gone - mortified to be going, but then Symeon was naught but a sworn sword, a pawn, a man-at-arms with a modicum of rank. The knight of Sevenstreams pulled the scrap of parchment from out of his surcoat and unfolded it. Ser Rivers's own fist - a pointed, no, barbed demand. Lyanna and Maldred waited at Highfield-and their valet must needs attend them - a knight? No, Symeon was naught but a valet with a sword.
He wheeled the beast about and looked toward the tower - his face as expressive as a wax deathmask or the aspect of a half moldered cadaver. Perhaps his pallor would convey some measure of sentiment, but then when wasn't Symeon pallid?
"I saw a rider on a pale horse," some husky, dreaming quality of chord dissevers the chilly morning air and morning quiet, "and his name was…strange…Strange as was his path…"
The plodding rhythm of a Terrick pikeman is the instrument that accompanies this sing-song rumination, the latest suspicious and superstitious looking guard to herald the approach of Lady Rebecca Nayland.
It is hardly light, after all, which perhaps explains the lady's lack of any kindlier servitors in *some* measure, and the guard is likely rent up from his barracks pallet, further justifying his mood…but still, the lady's appearance is more eccentric than ever. She is not dressed to venture outside her charily granted quarters, wears no finery of verdant fabric…just a long, clingy night-gown, white except where it tails on the cobbles and is soiled.
In her hands she turns something over and over, a blooded rag…a token. "Whither now so fleet and so discreet…my champion…?"
The pikeman he spares only the briefest look of a contempt-a look that's become, very nearly, involuntary and reflexive when regarding his social inferiors. At sight of Rebecca, the rider pales to a shade that makes the flanks of his courser look ruddy by comparison. His mailed fists and reins fall to the neck of the great beast as Symeon stares down from the saddle at the onetime young Lady of Hag's Mire. His spurs need only brush the side of the beast's flanks and he moves forward in a canter halting only inches from the onetime young Lady of Hag's Mire. The sight of Lady Rebecca in such intimate attire does not engender a flush but, rather, a veiled stare.
Symeon says, "Do not think be unkind Lady-the champion who forsakes honor and oaths of fealty, is none." The bloody favor, Symeon favors with another chilly stare. "My affections would amount to naught. Ah, how would my dear cousin put it? "If I loved not honor, more.""
"Fealty!" The Lady is consistent enough in her indifference to the trammels of Terrick all about too, the little world of the Tower shaking itself awake, the armsman's scowl, and her scornful repetition of Ser Symeon's motive is high-hearted and full of lush mirth. "Fealty is a pox-ridden mistress, ser knight, in especial, when she panders to the broken-down old whoremonger who distrains *my* fief and foreswore *his* king." This is a fairly neutral description of Lord Frey, by the standards of Lady Rebecca when this fell mood is on her.
"Hound-like you ride, ser, as, serpentine, I have seen you worm ere now…but there is something," she goes on, almost thoughtfully, "that smacks of honour in you yet, all the same. You know, Symeon of Sevenstreams, that I have bound you mine with seven crimson cords…that where your so-called duty to the Freys is a vile wyrm that squats on hoarded gold, your…fealty…to me…is fresh and is fair." She has drawn closer and closer, is in a position almost to clutch at the hedge-knight's steed's reins…
Indeed, the world about them rouses itself from slumber - in some cases, rouses prematurely, at the behest of a wroth lady Rebecca Groves cum Nayland. A stirring in a bundle of straw and the face of a pimply kitchen boy regards knight, lady, and pikeman, curiously - the boy too lately stirred to be conscious of propriety and rank.
Symeon stares down from the seat of his courser, as Rebecca speaks and spits venom like the harpy of her father's house - the sworn swords jaw tightens - and but for the pitch of her voice and the sound of the boy shifting in straw - lady and footman might hear the sound of his teeth grinding into bone meal. The hedge knight come sworn sword is silent although there is a flash of naked rage, quickly cowed, when Rebecca makes mention of Walder Frey's betrayal of King Aerys. When she reaches for the reins of his courser, Symeon, pulls back and the horse withdraws one stride.
"Be still, shrew! I plighted troth to Lord Whent - and served him well on the Trident! I conveyed three of the Usurper's knights to the halls of the Stranger that morn! I would have conveyed half-a-score had I not taken a wound from Lord Tully's bowmen." The hedge knight draws in a breath of air and exhales. "The Dragon is dead. The blood of his host has long since washed away with the rubies from off the Prince's cuirass. Lord Whent discharged me after Pyke. I serve the Lord of the Twins. Coward, traitor, whoremonger… I have sworn fealty to him." Yet when the last word leaves the knights mouth there is a tautness to his jaw and an unwholesome color to his habitually pale features-it looks as though the scratches on his face might swell and divide.
"Aye," Lady Rebecca breathes back, "there is your honour, ser, …and it is your shame, too…for it lies all in your past. When quite some other knight rode 'neath the banner of the Bat, and did not merely brandish a Harrenhal blade in vain…" At some point it's clear Rebecca has made herself rather familiar with Symeon's birth and rearing; maybe they've had more conversation than anyone else is generally aware…or maybe it's all out of the grimoires of lineages and volumes of chivalry Rebecca has long since conned my heart.
She extends her long arm and thick, grasping hand now, …those nails are still long, still sharp…they do not flail and strike; nor do her powerful fingers seize upon the bridle. No; she simply runs her hand through the silvery mane of the warhorse.
"What lies in your future, Ser Symeon…? Many may guess. I will not stop at guessing…"
And then, with sublime indifference to her guard's "Hoy!" and to the knight's likely shock…she does now seize the cord to the stallion's bit, and endeavours to swing up, all half-clad in her shift as she is, to mount behind the Frey sworn sword…
<FS3> Rebecca rolls Animal Handling: Good Success.
Here, rage and irritation abate - the knight of Sevens lowers one gloved hand to the brand hanging from his hip and brushes the bat forge mark. Such a plain thing this blade - and yet a thing of great value to one such as he - his strength, livelihood, and his talisman against harm. When Rebecca Nayland takes the bit of his beast and lifts herself into the saddle, with ease of a Dothraki horse maiden - there are gaping stares and shouts from the pikeman, the kitchen boy - and from the kitchen proper where a cook's assistant drops a pan of turnips. Symeon's horse wickers and the knight turns to stare at Rebecca as the woman's soft figure presses against the mail and leather enwrapping his knotty back.
"I need only ride out from the gate and you will never be accepted into polite society, Lady Rebecca." The knight of Sevens turns his neck, craning toward the erstwhile Young Lady of Hag's Mire -then his head whips around and he rides toward the gate. There are of course shouts and screams. The pikeman moves to bar his path, and the knight's spurs bite the flanks of his horse and the beast cuts hard to the west of the angry little peasant.
Only after they are some fifty-paces from the gate does the knight halt. "Of course, the Freys will be just as wroth as your benefactors" Strangely, the idea of wroth Freys does not perturb Ser Symeon. Dutiful, yes? But a sycophant? Certainly not. Or mayhaps it is that wartime fatalism reasserting itself.
"I must leave you here, Rebecca-but I will return after I have discharged my duties to Ser Rivers and Lady Lyanna. Try not to claw anyone's eyes out while I am at Highfield - or at least refrain from maiming anyone important."
"Such as I am," she gasps now at his very ear, "reck as little of …what were your words? …polite society, as it recks of me. What is it, but a hencoop kept busy with the strutting of false cocks?"
The Lady Rebecca Nayland is a notorious virgin, of course…of course…any implications could not for a moment have been intended…then…what in the hells are those hands of hers, harsh once, now doing with such…delicacy…a wrist's breadth from the crup of this over-loaded saddle, and less than that from Ser Symeon's…purse…
"From my champion I claim but a farewell, then," she…finishes, her long neck craned beside his…a lady never initiates a kiss, of course. It is surely that dastardly hedge-knight's doing that one begins. Though it doesn't quite look like that…
All on a sudden, Rebecca now sidles back upon the courtyard's ground with precise scorn. "Begone then, and ill chance to your keepers!" But not, one might notice, to him himself.