|Ships Passing in a Seagard Tavern|
|Summary:||A Groves and a sorta Terrick pass drinks and words at a pub in Seagard.|
|Related Logs:||Street to Street and the other Siege of Seagard logs|
|Random Pub — Seagard|
|Beer and such.|
|February 1st 289 A.L.|
While portions of the city of Seagard lie in shambles, other spots were left (relatively) unscathed by the Ironborn occupation. Particularly if there wasn't much to destroy to begin with, as is the case with many parts of the Low District. As the soldiers have trickled out to camps, or out of the city entirely, residents and business owners have moved back in. One of the first sports to reopen was a dockside tavern called The Low Tide. It's pretty thriving at the moment, what with the many military men still left in the city wanting both cheap drink and cheap women. Ser Jarod Rivers is seated at the bar, nursing a cup of bottomshelf wine, as evening sets in, alone by all appearances. A minstrel girl with a decent, smokey alto is singing a bawdy sailor's song in one corner, though it barely registers above the din of drunken laughter, arguing, and a thousand conversations that rank somewhere inbetween.
The noise of the place may be the reason Kit Groves is lingering near the wall instead of at a table, nursing the contents of his tankard as listens to the minstrel singer. He's not so much lurking in a creepy, ogling way, just leaning one shoulder and the side of his head against a smoke-darkened beam, watching the room with only the vaugest of interest.
Jarod is watching the room as well, with a wistful sort of interest. Though his eyes do linger on the sultry singer. He's not properly ogling either, though, because they do roam the other faces in the place. And land on Kit. He does a double-take when he recognizes the man, seemingly considering leaving him to his lurking. He ultimately can't resist raising a hand to offer a wave, thhough. "Oi! Good eve. Ser…the Groves man, aye?"
Kittridge doesn't spot Jarod's wave right away, his gaze focused off into the middle distance as much as not. Eventually he blinks, refocuses, and notices the man, though the words help. "Aye," he replies, pushing off the wall with a lazy sort of grace and heading over to offer his hand to shake, "Kit Groves. You're the Terrick Rivers, right?"
Jarod cracks a grin at being recognized so, reaching out to take Kittridge's hand and clasp it firm. "I am a Half-Eagle, it's true. Ser Jarod Rivers I'm called, proper." He leans his elbow on the bar after the hand shake is done. "You need another drink? You rather look as if you could use one more. Or several."
"Pleased to meet you, Jarod," Kittridge replies. He tips his mug and peers in, shrugging and nodding, "I could use another. Or several." He smiles, and drains the dregs, setting the heavy vessel on the bar to be refilled. "Not headed back to the Roost just yet?" he asks.
"Going to head back on the morrow, in the morning," Jarod replies, motioning over the barkeep and ordering Kittridge another beer. He still has wine left, and is content not to top it off just yet. "We were offered a bit of liberty before…whatever's to come down from Lord Tully, so I figure I'd best take it while I can. Wanted to spend a little time down here before I went, though." His grin takes on a wistful crook. "I squired in Seagard as a lad, spent far too many hours in pubs like this. I was trying to remember if I'd ever drank in this one before just now. I don't think so. Don't recall the name, and it's hard to tell one bottom-shelf drinking hole from another. It'll do, though."
Kittridge nods his thanks for the drink, and some more as Jarod goes on. "We'll probably be heading back ourselves for a few days, I expect. Or I will, anyway. Best check in on my sister, she'll get vexed if I stay too long, and keep her governess away, as well." His beer gets refilled and he takes a long drink, saying afterwards, "Reminds me a bit of Gulltown, where I squired. Docks are much the same in any city, even if the rest doesn't bear much resemblence."
"Gulltown. In the Vale." That catches Jarod's interest. "I went a bit afield from the Roost, but not the Riverlands. Never been out of them, truth be told, save the occasional hunting ride or errand for Lord Terrick that took me up Flint's Finger way. And one jaunt to Lannisport." The memory of which makes him grin. "What is the Land of Stones like? And who'd you squire under? I did here for one of Lord Jason Mallister's men, for my part. Ser Vernon Mullard. Common sworn."
"That's the one," Kit confirms with a nod. "My mother's a Grafton. I squired with her brother, Ser Oliver, there. I liked it," he says, "Bigger than Seagard or even Riverrun, if not so big as Lannisport. Right on the water like this, though. Huge docklands, masts like a dead forest. Lots of stone, that's about all it's got in common with the rest of the Vale, I'd say. Lots of stone just the same, but not so high and isolated as the rest."
"I'd like to see the stones of the Vale one of these days. And the summer snows of the North, for that matter, never did spend enough time up that way to do it proper." Jarod takes a quick drink from his winecup. "No time soon, though, from the look of things. I'm surprised we haven't met better before, now that I think on it. I've not spent much time down in Groves land, neighbors though we are."
"Never really spent any time in the north myself," Kit says with a shake of his head, "Nor much of the Vale, really. Can't get to half of it without more effort than I any had any need to spend. Gulltown I'd recommend, though. Enjoyed my time there." He drinks, and drinks again, and then nods, "Yeah, it is a bit strange we haven't. I've been to the Roost. Met your brother Jaremy a time or two." He shrugs, "Must've just been ships passing in the night or something."
"Ships passing, aye. What'd you think of Ser Jaremy?" Jarod asks, though he asks it with a grin, so he must think more-or-less fondly on the former Terrick himself. "He's in the North himself now. Sworn to the Night's Watch. I should write him properly, come to think of it. Easier to say what I wanted to say to him now and on better terms, that there's some distance." He takes another gulp of his wine. "Perhaps relations've been less close because of the matter of the Rebellion." And them being on opposite sides of it. "Though perhaps that'll change now. The Roost'll need much aid from its neighbors as we rebuild, if we're to survive, and I hope it'll be a chance to forge some new bonds. Or strengthen old ones."
"I only met him a few times," Kittridge shrugs, "He seemed a very…chivalrous sort of fellow," he says, "To be honest," he says after another quick gulp of ale and a pause in which he tries not to smile too much, "I spent most of the time wanting to ask what in the hells he'd done to his hair to make it so…limp. Nice doublets, though. I've never been good at paying attention at those sorts of events." He shrugs, not-so-apologetically, and drinks some more before scratching his jaw, and drinking again, listening to Jarod, expression sobering, if he's doing his best to see the rest of him goes the other direction. "Perhaps so," he says, "You seem like a good sort, so I'll assume you didn't mean that to sound quite so much like you only want to be friends now that you might need something from us."
"I intended no insult," Jarod says, and he does sound somewhat abashed. Though not really offended by the latter part of that. "Just got my mind on…practical things, I suppose. Might as well be upfront about it. Such things'll undoubtedly be talked on in the coming weeks, though like as not by you and me. I'm just here to drink tonight." Another quick swallow of wine. The bit about Jaremy gets a snorted laugh. "I think he used those oils the ladies buy at the market on his hair. On his goatee, too, when it was long enough. Anyhow. He's far from all this now, lucky non-bastard that he is."
"Nah, I didn't think you did," Kit says, waving off Jarod's abashed face. "Just saying. I've got no objection to being upfront. Might as well be honest about the situation, it's not as though we don't all know how things lie." He shrugs and drinks and then snorts about Jaremy, shaking his head. "I'm not going to lie, I went through a phase, as a squire…," he laughs, "I might've done something similar. But I grew out of that. Guess he probably will too on the wall, doubt they've got much in the way of hair oils up there."
"Even if they do, no girls to oil up for," Jarod says with a laugh, as to the Wall. "Though maybe they've got some whores in one of the nearby towns. Can't imagine a man trapped up there all his life with no companionship to speak of, whatever vows they take. Anyhow. My hair was never long enough for it, thank the Seven." More wine is sipped. He's getting near the bottom of his cup, though he eyes it rather than ordering another. "You had a chance to meet with the new Lord Mallister? Poor boy. To have seen his father downed like that."
Kittridge laughs, and nods, "True enough. Though I'd bet there are some, too. Vows are all fine and good, but I can't imagine those particular ones being kept too much. Seems cruel, really. As if having to stand around on a wall made of ice for the rest of your days wasn't bad enough." He drinks, and glances at Jarod's hair and replies on that score: "Good choice." Another drink, and then he shakes his head, "No, can't say I have, just yet. In passing, sure, you know, offered our condolences and the like with everyone else, but that's all.
"Only thing they vow, really, is to take no inheritance and leave no heir," Jarod says. "Plenty of room to get creative about what you're not quite promising." Another sip, his mood sobering as he speaks further on Lord Patrek. "I knew the boy, a little, squired to my lord father as he was. Seemed so…young when he was at the Roost. Just running and playing at the new forms of knighthood, like any boy. Can't even imagine losing so much so quick, and at his age. You know Lord Mallister well?" For his own part he answers, "I didn't particularly, personally, though my half-brother squired for him. He always seemed…larger than life. Like one of the greatest knights in Westeros. Must admit, didn't quite believe it was real, to see him fall on the field to the Greyjoy."
"I suppose that's true," Kit nods, "I guess I've heard it usually as celibacy being part of the vow, but that's just how people think of it. Bit embarrassed I can't remember the wording myself." He makes a face and then shrugs it off and drinks, nodding, "It'll be a hard road for him, I'm sure, young as he is. He seems to be handling well as anybody could expect. As for Lord Ser Jason, no, can't say I do. Did. We haven't exactly been the most welcome guests at Seagard since I've been old enough to remember and not in the Vale."
"Don't know it perfectly myself. But the life of the Black never appealed to me," Jarod says. As for the Groves not being particularly welcome at Seagard, Jarod shrugs and doesn't comment upon it. Asking instead, "I've been wondering if he'll lead the Mallister men - and us, I suppose, as we're his vassals - to battle when it comes time to push into the Iron Islands. My lord father doesn't think so, ultimately, though likely he'll want to. He's not completed his knightly training, and has no heir besides."
"Me neither," Kit replies. He pushes his tankard back across the bar and gestures to the server for another refill, frowning a bit at Jarod's thought. "I'd hope he doesn't," he says, "No heir, almost no experience, lots of anger and wanting revenge and to live up to being his father's son and all that?" He shakes his head, "I can't think of many I'd want less for a commander than a grieving teenager. He seems like a steady enough lad so far, I'm sure he'll do the wise thing and let the honor pass to someone else."
"Lord Jerold'd dissuade him from it, if nothing else, I think," Jarod says. "Lord Patrek seems to rely heavy on my lord father, and he'll listen to him." The Terrick bastard sounds like he takes some comfort in that, though there's concern in his tone as well. "Nah. I'd rather keep riding under the Freys than a boy of fourteen, good lad though he is. And I like little being commanded by Freys. Though Lord Rickart Nayland seems a competent commanders in the field." The compliment is given grudgingly, and with some surprise to hear himself give it.
Kittridge answers that with a wordless noise and a nod, and collects his ale and drinks. "I haven't had much dealing with the Naylands or Freys," he says, "And I can't find much fault with their leadership in this business so far. Better than Piper, sitting out there with that whole big army, doing nothing." He shrugs, and then asks curiously, "What is the business between your father and Lord Ser Rickart, anyway? I've heard things weren't so ugly between your houses in my grandfather's day."
"Weren't they?" Jarod sounds half-surprised by that. "I grew up with bad feeling between Terrick and Nayland. It's always seemed like…just a thing that was. Though it's always seemed personal between Lord Jerold and the Nayland highlord." He adds, half-embarrassed to admit it, "I've never asked my lord father, to tell you the truth. Naylands were close to our enemies as Rivermen could have amongst each other. Up until awhile ago I figured it was as simple as that." He does not sound like he is of so simple a mind on the subject now.
"You don't know?" Kit's brows rise, "Huh. I always figured the families must know, at least, and it just hadn't gotten out, somehow." He shrugs, and gestures towards Jarod with his tankard, "Well, maybe you should ask. I know I'd like to know that sort of thing, myself. I've always been curious, but we'd just as soon not get involved in the business, so there's never been much reason to press for the answer."
"Perhaps I will," Jarod says. "When I was younger, there were many things I didn't ask of my lord father. Now, there are many things I'd like to know. For my part…I would like there to be less bad blood between Nayland and Terrick. I mean, some of them are assholes. You ever met Lord Ryker Nayland?" Pause. "Asshole." But he goes on. "Not all like that, though. Ser Rygar's an honorable man, if not a kind one. I rather like Lord Rickart's younger sons, Ser Riordan and Lord Rafferdy. Men I think I could fight beside, drink with. And his youngest boy, Rowan's, squired to me. We're…" Pause. "…best friends and boon companions and all that. They don't seem villains. Doesn't seem like it should be so far to mend fences with such folk." Though he pauses again. "With Stonebridge still contested, though, I get the feeling that's not likely to happen. Even with us on the same side now against the Ironborn."
"Would be nice, if people could, you know. Navigate the politics of the region, or whathaveyou, without always having to worry about balancing Terrick and Nayland and ducking around the daggers you're staring at each other," Kittridge remarks, "I think I may've met Lord Ryker once, in Riverrun?" he shrugs, "Didn't make an impression, I guess. I don't have much sense of the others. But no, they don't any of them seem like villains. Just lords trying to do the best they can, same as all the others. Just they do it a bit differently than you and yours." He shrugs, and drinks, and shrugs again, "Hopefully Stonebridge'll get settled, and soon, once this is done."
"Same as all the others, aye. Same as any of us," Jarod says. "Aye, it'll be settled soon. One way or another. It's in Good King Robert's hands nwo, I pray that'll be the end of it whatever he does." Not that he sounds optimistic it will. It's a subject that puts a damper on his mood, so he changes it abruptly. To something that puts a damper on his mood, but it's apparently the first thing that comes to mind. "What do you make of all this, Ser? The Ironborn, I mean. I've been wondering since it all began…why now? Why not last year, or a year from now? Can't pin it down in my head."
"I suppose we'll see," Kittridge replies, "I can't imagine the king will turn his mind that way until he's decided this is done with, which it doesn't sound like will be anytime soon." That makes him want to drink as well, and Jarod's 'change' of subject doesn't help. "Because everything's got to happen sometime?" he replies, "And this is when they were ready? I don't know. I figure they probably took the rebellion as an invitation, but it took them a while to get all the isles and houses on the same page enough to make it happen."
Jarod nods to that. "That's what Ser Rygar said when we were talking on the subject awhile ago. About the Rebellion, that is. Can't say I could disagree with him. I pray this'll be over soon. Though I doubt it'll be so quick as this was once we take the fight to them. It's one thing pushing an invader on territory you know. Seagard, and even the Four Eagles Tower if not the Roost itself, held to be sieged and resist them. We go there, we'll be the invaders, and they'll be the ones holding their own castles."
Kittridge answers that with a wordless noise and a nod, and leans over the bar to look for another refill, sighing. "Aye, it won't be anything like this. It'll be long and ugly and costly." He looks like he's about to go on, but stops himself, and just drinks instead, shaking his head.
"The Greyjoys cannot be allowed to hold the Iron Islands, Ser. Or they'll only do it again. And it'll yet again be the blood of the men of the coasts that pay for it most dear," Jarod says. "The squids respect not mercy or practicality. Only the iron price, whoever can pay it hardest."
"If we go straight to Pyke to take Balon Greyjoy and his sons off to be executed for treason," Kittridge replies, "Then I can't argue so much with that. But what are the chances of that, you think? I think that won't be revenge enough to sate those giving the orders, and we'll find ourselves smashing our strength against the rocks of each of those isles when we should be using it to rebuild."
"Only heads I want are the Greyjoys," Jarod says. "And the Harlaws, for sending a spy into my father's house in the name of diplomacy. I doubt the reavers'd simply let us take 'King' Balon, though. If we can cut straight to the Pyke all well and good. His men will defend him, though. It shall not be as simple as either justice or bloody revenge, I'll wager." He looks to Kittridge. "Is that what you think it was about back on the Street of Ropemakers, Ser? Vengeance?"
"I can't see why we couldn't head straight to Pyke. We'll get as much trouble from their navy going there as anywhere, and it's practically the nearest point to land, at that." Kittridge shrugs, and drinks, "We'll see what happens. It will be long and ugly, is my prediction, and in some years time we'll be no better off for it." He lifts a brow at the question, and shrugs again. "Parts of it, aye, I do. Not all of it, and not for all involved. But some of it, sure."
"We'll know more when we've a better idea of the situation on the seas. Which Lord Stannis' victories in the south, and our freeing of the Westerlands, should give us room to gain," Jarod says. "Perhaps we shall be able to head straight at the Pyke. I would push for it myself with my lord father. Do the same with yours, and perhaps they shall push for it with the commanders of our armies. Whoever those end up being." He finishes his wine. Eyeing his cup as if considering ordering another. Though he ultimately doesn't. "Some of it, perhaps. Though there was no going back once Ser Bruce'd given the call to give no quarter. He said after it was done, with the fighting still house-to-house, we couldn't to take prisoners. Said he'd have done different in the open. I think, for his part, that's true." For his own part, he doesn't say, though he looks thoughtful on it.
"Yes, the naval situation comes first. Nothing much to be done before then." Kittridge scratches at his chin a bit and nods at Jarod's idea of lobbying their respective fathers, and then drinks deeply. "Once Ser Bruce attacked the fellow trying to surrender, no, there wasn't much going back then," he replies dryly, "But if we had time for a half-dead man to climb a house to plant a banner out of sheer pride, we had time to truss a few prisoners and get them sent back with the wounded. I don't know Ser Bruce," he appends, shrugging, "I'm sure he's a good bloke."
"I trusted his command," Jarod says simply. "More than I trusted Ironer honor. If that was wrong…well, that's on my conscience. I'll live with it. Don't claim I'm not still trying to figure out what the right or wrong of that was."
Kittridge just shrugs. "Ser Bruce has no authority over me or my people. I made my own choice, and if he went ahead and forced our hands, my conscience is clear as it's going to get. It's in the past now."
"Knight must follow his conscience, Ser," Jarod says simply. He leaves the matter of the Street of Ropermakers at that. "You going to want another drink? I should be going, but I don't mind covering another round. Been interesting conversation."
"Don't see what that's got to do with being a knight," Kittridge replies, "Everybody ought to follow their conscience. Unless they've got a stupid conscience, I suppose." He shrugs, and then shakes his head, "No, thank you. I should be going as well."
"Just the way Ser Rygar put it to me once," Jarod says, as to consciences. "Figure it applies just as well to those that aren't as are. I'll leave you to it. Got an early ride in the morning." His tab paid, he takes his leave of the pub.
"Ah," Kittridge replies to that explanation, nodding in understanding, and then nodding some more, "Yep. Safe journey, Ser Jarod. Say hello to my sister Rosanna for me, would you? I'll likely be back in a couple days myself." He tips a salute/wave hybrid in farewell before turning back to the bar.