Page 154: Skimming Stones
Skimming Stones
Summary: Time is passed down by the shore.
Date: 17/12/2011
Related Logs: None
Tiaryn Kell Nares 
Coastline, Terrick's Roost
The Cape of Eagles looms out over Ironman's Bay, a vast, blue ocean inlet, that spreads its watery depths out beyond the horizon. The path that leads down to this coast winds down behind the towers for several hundred meters before arriving at the rocky water's edge. Rather than sand, the coast is covered with innumerable smooth and rounded stones about palm-sized. They stretch up and down the coast in all directions with the battered remnants of driftwood scattered about. Above the beach, one every mile or two, are towers with a large bell and mallet atop them which are to be beaten to warn of an incoming invasion. A small dock is being constructed of thick northern timbers, with mooring space for two large ships, or perhaps a half dozen smaller craft.
Sat Dec 17, 288

It is afternoon on a clear day and Kell seems to have explored his way to the Coastline. Water is not exactly a terrain he is familiar with but the place seems quiet and peaceful enough, also it looks like this place isn't too frequented by people so the location is noted in his mind for future use. For now though, the Hedge Knight is seated on the bed of smooth rocks, looking out to the open waters.

Tiaryn this time hasn't managed to lose her guard or her maid. Not that she would object to it, but some days she's just not quite as mischievous as others. So, while she is somewhat ahead of the two, it's not so far as to be called improper. She is heading down to the coast again, wanting to see more of it, since she got side tracked by her brothers the other day when she was here. As she heads along the winding path, around a curve and the shore comes into sight, she spies someone else already there, and her head tilts a bit. Given the place and the times, she cautiously heads to the water a little bit away from whoever is seated on the rock.

Kell is apparently deep in thought as he doesn't hear the Lady Tiaryn walking down the winding path nor see her arrive at the shoreline farther down from where he is seated. Not very knightly of him apparently but it is what it is, his gaze continuing to stare out to the calm waters while his eyes aren't exactly focused on anything in particular. He is usually not a philosophical type but recent events has him needing to go over some of his thoughts.

Tia is ignoring the maid and the guard, but the two are doing their job of keeping her safe and proper and that's what counts. The maid seems to have a tough time keeping up with Tia and the guard just makes sure that both are safe. Tia stops just shy of the water, and then picks up a small stone, tossing it in so that it lands with a kerplunk. Definitely not skipping stones at all. She then laughs aloud, amusement at herself leading to the musical sound, before she picks up another stone and then glances back at her maid and the guard. "Gavin, do you know how to make the rock skip?" she asks. Course she ought to know how at her age, and maybe she does, but she's not above a little fun teasing.

The padooop of rock breaking the water surface and then sinking pulls Kell out of his thinking and his gaze turns to the source of the sound. Light footsteps and quiet whispers may have not been noticed by the knight but something louder like the rock tossing and laugh certainly does. The presence of a maiden and a guard with Tiaryn is easily interpreted by Kell that this lady is indeed a Lady, most likely nobility. So he rises to his feet though not in a rushed manner to alarm the guard and approaches Tiaryn, waiting for any sort of brief conversation to end before inclining his head respectfully, "Afternoon M'Lady, pardons for not noting your arrival and greeting you sooner."

The so called Gavin comes forward at Tia's question, picking up a rock and sending it skimming across the water with ease. He however then moves alertly to a more prominently guard position, as the stranger approaches. Tia grins happily at the properly skimmed rock, but turns to incline her head politely to the fellow she inadvertently interrupted. "Oh, my pardon. I was trying not to interrupt you, as you looked to be busy with your thoughts." There's a twinkle in her blue eyes and a friendly smile on her face. "I am Tiaryn Flint, and this is Gavin and Marie." At least she's introducing them, though she did not identify herself as a Lady. "I'm here visiting with my brothers, Sarojyn and Dafydd Camden." That might well firm up the nobility thing, since Saro is the Lord Tall Oaks. "And you are?"

"You didn't interrupt, M'Lady, not at all." Kell says quickly, not wanting for Tiaryn to feel like she is disturbing him or having done anything wrong. "I hold no claims to this piece of land so it is free for you or anyone else welcomed by House Terrick to visit." He then grows quiet again as the Lady begins introductions, inclining his head respectfully again to Tiaryn first, then Gavin and Marie. The Hedge Knight takes his turn at introductions, "I am Kell Drakmoor, Hedge Knight. So you are sister to Lord Sarojyn and Lord Dafydd, honored to make your acquaintance, M'Lady. They are good men and I have had the honor to meet them as well."

"I thought perhaps you might know my brothers," Tia says with a nod of her head. She does give a grin and her eyes gleam with a touch of mischief. "A pleasure to meet you, Ser Drakmoor. I am indeed their youngest sister, and have been away from Tall Oaks until fairly recently. Now that I am back in the area, I am also venturing out to meet many folks I haven't had the opportunity to get to know in the past." She shrugs a bit and then adds, "Somewhat to my brothers' chagrin, I fear. What brings you to the Roost and this area? Are you sworn to house Terrick?"

"I was escorting Lady Banefort and her retinue from Stonebridge back to the Roost. Even though the roads are safe this way, one can't too safe." Kell says in answer to her first question. As for the second, the Hedge Knight shakes his head, "No M'Lady, just a simple Hedge Knight without any colors. I have just arrived here at the Riverland a couple of weeks back, so I am still exploring and meeting people." Also learning the politics since it seems like there is quite a bit going on.

Politics. Well. Tiaryn leaves that up to her brothers, mostly. At least that's her story and she's sticking to it. "I see. Welcome to the Riverlands then. How are you finding the area?" she is at least graceful enough to keep the conversation going, in theory. She pauses for a moment, as even though she's here, she's so far met very few folks. "Lady Banefort?" she asks. Let's see - met Lady Terrick. And Lady Mallister. But no - not yet any Lady Banefort. "I do not believe I've had the pleasure of meeting Lady Banefort as yet. Though I am certain I shall, in time." A pause. "And do you know how to skim rocks across the water, Ser?"

"Thank you, M'Lady. Stonebridge was a nice town with decent people." Kell starts at first, though he has found out that it seems to be the centre of contention between House Nayland and House Terrick, with people being caught up in the middle. "And I am still taking a look around the Roost, the coastline here seems very inviting, quiet and peaceful at the same time." As for Lady Banefort, Kell nods again to explain, "Lady Elinor Banefort, she had business in Stonebridge for a few days so she has just recently returned to the Roost." As for the final question, the Hedge Knight looks out to the water sheepishly, "Only a little, M'Lady. I spent more of my youth in the woods than by the water."

That gets a peal of laughter from Tiaryn. "Me too!" she says with merry amusement. The two are standing by the water, Tiaryn with a small rock in hand. Not too far off, there's Gavin and Marie, her guardsman and maid. See, she didn't lose them this time. "Tall Oaks is by far more trees than anything else, and while the sea air may be good for a sabbatical, I find my heart still belongs to the woods at home." There's a hint of dramatic flair as she speaks, but not anything over the top. "Lady Elinor - I shall remember. I think it may have been her sister that I met, now that I think on it."

"As I have been told by your brothers, M'Lady. I have been extended invitation to visit the Tall Oaks and I believe I will when I get the chance. I do a little bit o hunting but Tall Oaks must be full of Master Huntsmen." Kell says with a smile, the laughter surprising him though it doesn't show much. "Yes, her sister I believe is married to Lord Jacsen Terrick."

Nares is a man on a mission. His mail, which he is still not wearing, is slung over his right shoulder, but it is not being supported by his right hand as one might expect, he's just relying on taking it steady down to the beach combined with years of experience. What is his right hand doing at this point? you might well ask. Well, it's holding the lip of a small wooden barrel, a firkin, to those that know about such things and From the ease with which he's carrying it it's almost certainly empty. Or maybe filled with something really light, like maybe air or somesuch. As he descends the path he spots the party by the water's edge. He doesn't slow his progress, after all, it's fairly slow and careful already, but his eyes do flick between them and the path a few times before he manages to identify them.

Tiaryn is not aware of the incoming Nares at the moment, her attention on Ser Kell. Her guard however is somewhat more alert, which is all to the good. Said guard watches Nares, identifies him, and then relaxes somewhat. Tia nods to Kell, then she takes her rock and actually sends it at the water, managing to get it to skip twice before it kerplunks into the water, disappearing beneath the waves. "That would be who I met then, I think. Lady Anais." A pause, and then, "Tis not only the men who enjoy the woods at Tall Oaks."

As the rock goes skipping across the water, Kell chuckles at the results, "Well, M'Lady, it seems like your rock would've gone farther than mine." As for being told both men and women enjoying the woods, the Hedge Knight doesn't look surprised as he nods at her response, "Pardon, M'lady, I mean no slight." Any other words are held for now as Kell spots the approaching Ironborn, though he does not have that knowledge just yet, only knowing that Nares was a ship Captain. Instead of calling out to the man though, he waits to see if the Captain would join them or has his own business to attend to.

Nares does have his own business to attend to, but it's nothing that can't wait a few minutes to show tree huggers how to skim stones. Not that he has a competitive ego that's hurting right now you understand, it's simply educational. As he approaches the others he nods in greeting to any who might happen to be looking his way, then, leaning forwards, he sets the barrel down on a flatish chunk of rock and lets the armour slide off his shoulder into it. "Afternoon," he greets the small crowd in general as his eyes scan the pebbles at his feet. It takes him a moment, but he then kneels to scoop up three of the most promising, turning them over in his hand as he stands again. Looking now to Tiaryn he asks, "What's your record?"

Tiaryn sort of blinks at the man. "Captain Nares," she says with a brief inclination of her head. "How nice to see you again. I was wondering how the trip from your home to here is, should the weather be favourable? Is it long? What does one do aboard a ship for such a trip?" She stops there, though Nares might note that she's not forgotten their previous conversation at all. She looks at the rocks in his hands in some puzzlement and then she laughs softly. "My record? Ah, Captain, I've no such thing. I think perhaps I managed three skips once, but it was an accident." And no, she's not competitive for the most part. Okay, except in areas where she feels she excels. "And you, Ser Drakmoor? Have you a record?"

Kell watches as Nares makes a minor detour to join them, nodding respectfully to the man, "Afternoon Captain." Now, he watches with interest at the items that the other man was carrying before watching him gather the stones. None of Tiaryn's questions though would draw suspicion to Kell about Nares's native land and the question directed him is answered with a surprised look before smiling, "I have no record, M'Lady. Don't believe I've skipped enough stones to be able to have one."

"If the weather is favourable?" Nares repeats back as discards one of the pebbles by allowing it to fall between his fingers. "Favourable means wind, blowing in the direction you want to head. In those circumstances it's generally, as they say, plain sailing. It gets interesting in too much wind and deathly dull in no wind." Well, it's a fuller answer that last night, how much of a better one it is arguable thought. "Warm up," he states clearly, glancing between Kell and Tia to ensure they heard, before slipping the smoother of the two into his left hand. It's still not as smooth a move as normal, but it seems to be getting there. Slowly. That done he turns slightly so he's more side onto the water, holds the pebble between his thumb and forefinger and then flicks his arm out fast and sharp, sending the stone skimming out into the tide. It's not his greatest ever throw, but in part that may well be because he can't counterbalance with his left arm properly, but it still makes half a dozen or so bounces before disappearing under the foam. His expression is briefly pained before he turns to Kell, offering him the one pebble from his left hand. He says nothing though, just watches to see if the knight will accept the challenge.

Tia takes a step backwards, as Nares seems about to enter challenge mode. Men are strange, that's all there is to it. She moves to check the ground, looking for more rocks to throw, though not competitively. She does watch as Nares throws, clapping her hands once at the many skips it takes. "I see I have a lot to learn," she murmurs, before her gaze alights on what looks to her to be a promising skipper. She picks it up and then tries to mimic Nares' stance, holding the rock thoughtfully. Kell gets a nod for his answer, Tia approving it given it's truthful and not full of testosterone. Nares gets a long look and then she says, "I should imagine the deathly dull is to be avoided if possible, as are storms. But if it is relatively favourable, then how long is the trip at sea?" She continues to ask the questions, curious to see what the silly Ironborn will say next. "And can you teach that?"

Nares looks faintly in askance to Tia as she applauds his warm-up skim. If he had not seen her earlier attempt he might have suspected she was being sarcastic, but then she is from a land made almost entirely of tree. Once he's certain she isn't taking the piss he ponders the variables in her question for a moment before answering, "With a following wind, but allowing for lulls and currents round the Cape?" No, he's not going to specify which cape, there are several after all, "A couple of days give or take." That settled, he tosses the remaining pebble to Kell then kneels to scout for another.

Tia nods to Nares, as he at least answers the first question. She tries tossing the rock she's got in hand, and it just skips once before plopping into the water. Tia shakes her head. "This is a skill that definitely takes practice, rather like blades, I think." She moves to the rock that Kell was previously sitting on and takes her own seat, relaxing for a moment. She does sit rather demurely, and her maid comes over to sit as well, though Gavin stays standing and alert, taking his job seriously.

Nares selects a couple more of the smoothest pebbles then stands up again, still a little stiffly all told. In response to this new question he replies simply, "Yes," not even turning to look at Tia as he does so. He concentrates for a moment, making sure his stance, the breeze and the sea surface are all correct, but he lets loose the first of this second batch. Ten? Maybe twelve? It's so hard to say when it gets near the end.

Tia watches the rock skip with interest, since she's not actually seen anyone do that before. "Very nice," she says with a nod. Though really, one might think that Nares has too much time on his hands, to get that good at skipping rocks. She even claps her hands a couple times, though she is quite serious about it. "I am by far not up to that challenge today, Captain. Though if I might ask, what is your record at this?" She kicks her feet lightly, since where she's sitting they don't actually reach the ground, and smiles sunnily at Nares.

Catching the pebbles, Kell looks at them in his hands as he runs his thumb over the smooth surfacing, noticing the difference between these and other rocks that would be found farther inland. Instead of just throwing, the Hedge Knight takes the time to watch Nares in motion and then looks out to the water. He throws! And it kerplunks straight into the water. "Er… I don't think that was suppose to happen." He attempts again, this time lowering the height of the launch point and launching a second rock.

Too much time? Remember that comment about what it's like when there's no wind… "A little over double that," the Ironborn replies as Kell prepares to throw. He doesn't know exactly, due to those aforementioned counting issues. He watches Kell's attempt but says nothing, just raising an eyebrow slightly. How does a boy grow to a man without being able to do this? He just doesn't understand. Still it looks like he's won this, tiny, tiny victory and his ego is restored just that little bit more. Content that his new position is unassailable he launches his last stone into the waves, ending up just short of double figures. He's not on form, but it doesn't seem like he needs to be for now. "Excuse me," he then states as she carefully, bends to haul the chain out of the barrel so he can rest it on his shoulder again.

"No… it is not. Rocks are not meant to stay above the water once it hits it." Kell says with a slight frown as the second rock he throws, with larger force, actually his the water and skips once, then twice before kerplunking into the water. "A /lot/ of practice." He then looks over to Nares who seems to be gathering his stuff, getting reading to leave, "Till next time, Captain."

With his armour safely over his good shoulder, Nares takes up the firkin again and starts to turn down the coast in the direction of a small patch of sand he'd found a few days before. He notes how Tia's expression changes and allows his ego just the smallest moment to bask before he agrees with Kell's assessment of the level of practice needed, "Years Ser." Then, to everyone assembled, "until next time."

Tiaryn watches Nares head out, before she says, "I don't know if he should be carrying all that. It kind of looks like he's injured himself somehow maybe." She just sounds a little perplexed about it all. "I suppose that only means he's not so different from anyone else, even if he is Ironborn." It doesn't occur to her that someone else might not know where Nares is from, since it's fairly well known around and about.

"He's tough and proud, I get the feeling that if we offered, he would've turned it down, M'Lady." Kell says as he watches as Nares departs and the other man would've turned it down impolitely most likely. "He was sparring with Lady Harlaw and was on the receiving end of that." He then grows quiet when Tiaryn announces that the Captain is actually Ironborn and the Hedge Knight's eyes go wide before he groans, "Now it makes sense… how the Captain and Lady Harlaw knows each other." He also knows that Elinor won't be pleased to hear that.

Tia blinks, and one hand covers her mouth briefly. "You did not know? Oh, I hope it wasn't supposed to be a secret, though he did not seem to make it one, when I saw him last." She shrugs a bit, making a note to let Sarojyn know, just in case. "He came here with a message for her, from home, I believe." She knows that too, of all things. Though she does get to her feet, measuring the location of the sun. "But if I am nt mistaken, I should head back to the inn to get changed for dinner. Are you heading back into town or staying here to watch the waves for a time?"

Shaking his head, Kell sighs, "I don't think it was meant to be but he probably found it amusing to string Lady Banefort and I along." It certainly makes sense to the Hedge Knight since the Baneforts and the Ironmen were more or less mortal enemies, even if the raidings have stopped for some reason. As for why he is here, Kell nods slightly, intrigued by the man's mission. As the lady announces her departure, he dips his head respectfully, "Please do not let me keep you here then, M'Lady. I will stay a while longer, finish my thoughts and then head back to town. It was nice meeting you, Lady Flint."