|Small Talk With Lady Seagull|
|Summary:||Briallyn Haigh, visiting the Roost, meets Mortimer Trevelyan and Ser Martyn Mallister.|
|The town square of Terrick's Roost was once considered well-kept. The stone streets run right up to the building fronts around the edge and the locals have kept the spaces between free of grass and weeds that might otherwise sprung up between them, although dark streaks of stubborn soot have crawled in between the stones. There are several homes and shops located here which show the scars and cinders of the sacking of the town at Ironborn hands. The ruin of the town's Sept can also be seen from here with its ornate stone front rising above the surrounding structures just down the cobblestone road.|
|26th April, 289 A.L.|
"You know, I've never seen anything quite like this," the young Lady Haigh remarks to her handmaiden, a timid looking woman who trails shortly behind her Lady whilst wringing her hands. Briallyn scans the street thoroughly, dark green eyes raking in the details about her with unconcealed curiosity. One leather gloved hand rests firmly on her hip, the other swinging unencumbered at her side. The only addition to her person is the light leather satchel hanging casually from one shoulder against the forest green and bronze silk of her dress. "A proper Lady is demure, and does not remark on the misfortune of others," the dour, rounded woman plodding alongside her handmaiden remarks acidly.
"Oh? Do we pretend, instead, that nothing at all happened? Yes, that shall fix things, certainly," the Lady Briallyn quips in return, pausing to study a swath of acrid soot coating the stones in her path. "Septa Darna, you are to guard my virtue, not my tongue." The aged woman, scratching firmly at a hairy mole growing above her lips, peers narrow-eyed at the youth. "Little enough of that, it seems," the Septa grumps before falling into smoldering silence.
Mortimer has spent most of his day assisting the town's remaining masons, a fact that is well attested to by the dust that's accumulated on his hands, face, clothes and any ther exposed surface. His wife would tell him that the added grey in his hair makes him look more distingushed, but he himself is keeping an eyes out for any water buckets or butts that can be employed to remove it. Worse case he figures, he'll sort if when he eventually gets home, but since he's bound up towards teh castle, he'd rather at least make an effort. Maybe a call in at the inn? He's still considering his options as the unfamiliar noble, and her companions, hove into view. A quick look to confirm that she's definately not a local and his professional curiosity kicks in. It's not a major course change to intercept, but it is certainly a noticable one and as he draws closer he takes a moment to clasp his hands safely behind his back. A Polite bow and then, "My Lady. Mortimer Trevellyan, I work for the Sheriff," who is inconveniently missing, "do you require any assistance here?"
The halt is abrupt, as if momentarily surprised, before Briallyn's eyes find the man. One delicately arched brow lifts, and she tilts her head just so. Rather than downcast eyes peering up through the long line of lashes that frame them, the young Lady studies the man much more directly, and for longer than might be encouraged. A brief curtsy is afforded, graceful, but quick, before she's smoothing her skirts with restless hands. "A pleasure. I am the Lady Briallyn Haigh. Assistance, you say?" A pause as she addresses Mortimer directly, and Briallyn casts a single glance over her shoulder towards the mousy maid and the disapproving stare of her Septa.
In the moment, the Septa appears to be sizing up the strange male, rather than the Lady herself. Clearing her throat, the young woman leans forward ever so slightly, and lowers her husky voice to a near conspiratorial whisper. "Why, Master Mortimer, are you any good at disposing of meddlesome old women?" Those moss green eyes, filled with mirth and no small hint of annoyance, flick upward towards his face expectantly to gauge his reaction to the polite inquiry.
"The pleasure is all the Roost's m'Lady I am sure," Mortimer answers formulaicly as he follows her glance back towards the Septa. Spotting the older woman's scrutiny he offers her a silent nod, not as deep as the bow to Briallyn, but still respectful. Unders such scrutiny he's fully aware that he can hardly jus whisper back a humourus answer so instead he replies as boldly as his initial greeting. "The Sheriff, and those of us who assist him, are here to do all that we can to keep the peace in the town and ensure that both locals and guests alike are unbothered when going about their business." Partyline right there, but then he adds, quieter, and almost as if an after thought, "unfortunately though, we have to report to the Terricks, fear Lord Jerold wouldn't take kindly." A faint smile is offered before it's covered once more by the mask of a dutiful expression. "I trust you've had no problems so far?"
She nods along mechanically with the usual assertion; her arrival in Terrick's Roost was of little interest to a people still recovering from war. "Of course, of course," Briallyn murmurs in reply, shoulders slumping in dramatic fashion as if to demonstrate her devastating disappointment. She lets the sullen facade settle before it is replaced with a more relaxed, casual posture, but she still stands upright. "I've experienced little trouble, and seen even less. It would appear that you and yours keep good order, for which you are to be commended. These are trying times for the Roost, and things are more dire than I initially expected."
A slight smile curls full lips, and Briallyn lifts a hand to tap lightly at her chin. "I'm here to hammer out the details of a trade agreement, I hope. And perhaps fill empty bellies. I think I am more likely to be robbed of food than coin, at this point. But, you do rather remind me of someone." Pause. "I think it's the expression."
Mortimer listens, silently to the Lady's account. Trade agreements are certainly above him in the grand scale of things, but he is at least glad to hear she's had no bother. "I would hope m'Lady, that while you're here with us then you'll not have to worry about being robbed of anything," he answers, perhaps just a touch of prefessional pride seeping though. The roads may be suffering from a minor infestation of banits, but so far, the town seems to be hanging in there well enough, without having to resort to general lowlessness. "I wish you the best in your negotiations," he offers genuinely enough, the more friends the Roost has the better after all, until her final comment draws him up slightly. It's certainly not soemthing he'd been expecting her to say and his eyebrows furrow in thought for a brief moment before he shrugs it off. "I pleasant remembrance I hope."
"I should bloody hope so," she laughs quietly, almost a chuckle, with a rueful shake of her head. "A certain knight, Ser Garett Westerling. I'll tell you what I tell him, of course. Well, some, anyway. Smiling doesn't harm while doing one's duty, no matter what they say." The Lady Briallyn makes a small and flippant gesture in conjunction with her words, still grinning pleasantly in spite of the almost chiding inflection of her voice. "And do not fear over much. The only thing I'm likely to be robbed of is my dignity," she drawls softly, and with no small touch of resignation. The Septa, seeming to hear /that/ one, nearly bores a hole between the young woman's shoulders with that level, withering stare.
Clearing her throat and pretending not to notice the discomfort the veritable tension creates, Briallyn nods absently. "Of course, if there is anything I could do as well, Master Mortimer, I would not mind. It would give me something to do besides sew. I imagine there isn't much for a Lady to do besides wait for everyone else to return things to their proper order, however." She doesn't sound bitter, but rather cavalier in assessment of her caste. "A Lady has other duties," the Septa intones gruffly.
If he'd thought talk of trade agreements above him, Mortimer would have to admit that even they paled in comparison to how noble ladies should spend their time. A moment to think though and he imparts the most useful answer he can summon up. "You'd be wanting to discuss things like that with the Lady Anais," he notions faintly with his chin back up towards the tower, "she'd know of any such need and be able to direct you further." And from what he's sen of Lord Jascen's bride, she'd probably be most thankful for it too. At this point, he's doing his best to tactfully ignore the looks from the Septa, there are somethings that it's his place to police, and some that it is definately not. The name of the Westerling knight means nothing to him, but he accepts the answer with a faint smile. It's not that he can't smile more, he's just saving it all up for when he gets to go home to his family at the end of the day.
"Aye, I've met with the Lady Anais, but she is a busy woman. She seems amenable to my terms, but we will have to discuss them at length, I imagine. I do not like the idea of brokering trade while watching people go hungry." Briallyn gently chews her lower lip, glancing away from the man's slightly smiling countenance to make note of a few more minor tragedies. The Ironborn were not kind to the Roost. "If it were up to me, I'd just hand it over free. Such is not the way of things. But, I cannot think that sort of thing would interest you," the Lady Haigh remarks with a ghost of that old grin that seems so at ease on her young face. "But, your people have survived very well. I must admit, my family is of Broadmoor, and we never see this so far inland."
"Can't claim to have been further inland than Stonebridge," Mortimer confesses with a faint shrug, followed almost immediately by a clarification, "well, apart from the war, but that was mostly just marching through rather than visiting as such. Still, it's as lucky that you haven't seen it m'Lady, both for you and for us. After all, if they;d got as for as you then we might still be trying to push them back into the water." That's a happy thought now isn't it. He tries, and fails to think of another Lady that might be ammenable to working out how the Lady Haigh might be of assistance, so he moves the conversation along instead. "Have you had a chance to visit the Sept yet? It was one of the first buildings destroyed but there seems to be a real effort going into restoring it. I think the whole community would like something abck they can call their own. It's quite remarkable really."
"The Sept? Why would I-" She sharply cuts her words off, clearing her throat to smother whatever might have come after that. "The Lady will visit it before we leave the Roost, of course," the aged Septa says rather smugly, folding her robust arms beneath a drooping, ample bosom. Briallyn's lips purse, and she lifts a hand to gently pinch the bridge of her nose even as her brow furrows. "That is so, yes. I've had my mind elsewhere these last two days. And to be honest, Master Mortimer, I dare say that if the reavers ever reached so deeply as Stonebridge, or even Broadmoor, we're likely to have lost the Riverlands entirely." There is nothing fearful in her voice, but rather pensive, humming quietly beneath her breath. "I /am/ thankful such is not the case, though I wish the cost were not so high."
Mortimer glances between the noble and her Septa for a moment, getting the distinct impression that he just accidentally touched a nerve. Briallyn is flashed an apologetic wince as he comes to the mental conclusion that she must prefer teh Old Gods, presumably while her family keep the new. Well, that's his working theory anyway, even if he can hardly satisfy his prefessional curiosity and ask if it is correct. "It may not seem it now, m'Lady," he offers instead, "but in many ways we were lucky the cost was not higher. A good proportion of the folk here got to either the castle or out to Stonebridge and beyond. I don't think there's anyone around who hasn't lost someone, but we could have ended up losing many more."
"I agree," the young woman intones more soberly, the grin waning to the bare minimum of a smile, the corners of her mouth only slightly quirked upward. "My brothers fought, all three, as did the knight I mentioned. No death, I am glad to say, but rather a few injuries. Better that than the alternative, though." Briallyn lets out a soft breath she didn't realize she had held, forcing the smile a little wider even if her shoulders remain tense beneath the snug fit of dark green silk. "It would seem I have been remarkably lucky on that count, for which I am grateful. Ever grateful. I suppose it might be too much to ask that peace remain permanent, but." Her lips purse, and she manages a terse, dry chuckle. "Such is never permanent, is it?"
"Aye m'Lady," is Mortimer's practiced reply, "I reckon that'd be too much to ask given the way of things. By the sounds of it though the bay itself should be quieter for a while yet, even if there's news of rumblings to the east." He's refering to the King's proclaimation with regards to Stonebridge and the news of the duel, but, not being at all sure where House Haigh stands, he'll make no comments towards or against either side. A closed mouth gathers no feet after all. "I'm glad though that your's came through unscathed," well, relatively, "and most greatful for their efforts."
"The trouble with men is that when they're done fighting one war, they have to find a new one," Briallyn chuckles wryly, one corner of her mouth quirked further upward in a near smirk. "Not that I judge the entire gender upon such things, but it does rather seem that as soon as the universal enemy is fled, they turn upon themselves." That alone might indicate to Mortimer precisely how Briallyn feels about the nonsense regarding Stonebridge, and she gives another small shrug of her shoulders. "Of course, I'm just a Lady, what could I possibly know about such things?" Even as she says that, her dark green eyes are glittering with mirth.
"And I'm just a common man, blessed with not having to concern himself with such matters," Mortimer replies, his tone being indicative enough with regards to all that. Maybe it was his years in the garrison, maybe it was the war five years ago, something though has jaded him to such events. "I hope m'Lay, that House Haigh can find its way clear of such occurances and the Broadmoor may continue to be spared from disruption and chaos."
Making his way over from the general direction of the Four Eagles Tower, while looking a bit lost in thought, Martyn glances around every now and then. Coming to a stop after a little while, he looks around a bit carefully, especially towards the road leading east.
"I don't know whether to be glad or disappointed that the gossip mongers of Stonebridge haven't invaded the Roost, as well." Her sultry voice is dry as a desert, and the young woman, in a near mimic of her dour Septa, folds bronze silk sheathed arms beneath her considerable bust. "War, or gossip. And you can't avoid both at once. I'm not certain which one is worse." Shaking her head, Briallyn tucks a few errant locks of dark mahogany hair behind an ear. "Maybe that's because I've only experienced the latter, rather than the former. I might be more inclined to go to war, however." The Septa makes an indignant sound in her throat, almost a growl. "My /Lady/," the aged woman rumbles, visibly disgruntled.
Mortimer's expression loses, for a moment, what amusement and light it had held. "I've seen war up close m'Lady, it's not like the songs. There is no glory to be won, just hard slog through mud and blood while trying to make sure that some other poor bastard can't stop you going home to your family, by making sure he can't go home to his." Solemn, is probably the best way to describe his manner for a moment, before he remembers himself and who he's talking to. "I'm sorry m'Lay," he mutters, mentally kicking himself, repeatedly, "I oughtn't to have said that."
Martyn makes his way a bit further, still looking rather lost in thought, frowning sa little to himself. His steps takes him not far from where Briallyn and Mortimer happen to be, without him really knowing at the moment.
The young woman balks at the man's words, eyes widening for a scant few moments as some of the color pales from her healthy complexion. Briallyn seems off-balanced, gaze dropping to the cobble with a somewhat embarrassed expression. "Ah, Master Mortimer, that is /not/ what I meant," she murmurs, clasping her hands together for the sake of giving them something to do. "I do not glorify war." There is no smile, then, as she intertwines her fingers upon her hip, and she doesn't look up from the street.
"I lost one of my elder brothers in Robert's Rebellion," Briallyn says, a touch stiffly as she draws a deep, steadying breath, and there's no small hint of pain in her voice despite the breadth of time that has passed since the end of that particular war. "My betrothed shares much the same view of war as you. And thus, if I offended, please, I meant no slight. Only that.. war is, at least, action. There is something to be done. There is little defense against rumor mongering."
Mortimer does not immediately spot Martyn's approach, although when he does it's almost like a blessing in disguise. "No need to apologise m'Lady," he answers, perfectly prepared to shoulder all the blame himself for the conversational mishap, "I spoke out of turn and it won't happen again." He leave it there, to settle into a faintly uncomfortable silence before he turns initially to head off and allow the trio to be on their way. THat however, is when the knight is spotted. Drawing himself up again he offers the man a hasty nod and a buisness-like greeting, "Ser Mallister."
Martyn pauses for a few moments as he hears Mortimer's greeting, and looks up for a few moments. "Master…" he offers in greeting to Mortimer, realizing he's not sure about the man's name. He also looks over to the lady present, offering her a polite nod. "Forgive my intrusion, My Lady. But war is just as much sitting around, really. At least this last bit of war was. Enough to make a man go crazy in the end."
"Don't worry over it, Master Mortimer. I misspoke, and implied that war was anything other than what it is…" Her voice trails off at the realization that another man has arrived, and his presence is given the same disapproving study from the young woman's forbidding Septa, but the assumption that he is a knight smooths away some of her sharp edges. But, not enough. Briallyn ignores the disagreeable woman entirely, dark green eyes shifting from Mortimer's visage to Martyn's curiously and without a hint of shyness as her gaze rakes over him inquisitively. "I'm sorry to hear that there was time to think between battles," she says lightly, but teasingly. The Septa clears her throat, Briallyn utters a sigh, and she manages a graceful, but speedy curtsy for the stranger. "Yes, yes, Septa." It's not /quite/ a hiss. "Lady Briallyn Haigh, Ser.. Mallister, is it?"
Mortimer wouldn't know about the war just gone, he'd managed as far as Alderbrook, and only then so as to get back to his family who were at the Roost when the attack struck. As such, he'll defer to Martyn's words, which actually he'd probably have done anyway, what with that whole Lord thing. "As you say m'Lord," he replies with another, slower, nod before furnishing him with the introduction, "Trevelyan Ser, Mortimer Trevelyan, I work for the Sheriff." As teh nobles seem to have introducing themselves to each other in hand he leaves them to it, there's probably some secret to doing it right after all, and he doesn't want to mess that us as well.
"Ah, so you're the Master Trevelyan that my cousin spoke of," Martyn offers to Mortimer, studying the man for a few moments, before his gaze turns to Briallyn, and he offers her a bit of a smile and a bow. "A pleasure to meet you, Lady Briallyn. I'm Ser Martyn Mallister." A brief pause, and a half-smile. "And yes, there was much time to think between the battles. Too mcuh really."
"Perhaps that is why you were so successful," Briallyn suggests with a polite chuckle, though there is a hint of further mirth in her eyes. Even so, her face remains a calm facade despite the small smile lingering on her lips. "Well met, Ser Martyn. Master Trevelyan is a dutiful man. To be commended, I'm sure, especially since he seems to shoulder the responsibility of keeping my company without complaint rather than fulfilling what I can only presume to be vastly more pressing matters than my whims." The smile struggles to become a grin, but is promptly smothered down in some semblance of maintaining a shred of dignity.
"I would assume so m'Lord," Mortimer replies to Martyn, "as I'm not aware of there being two of me and I'm sure I'd have heard about it from my wife if that were the case." It's not goin to rank highly on the 'attempt at humour scale' but it's better than getting bogged down in blood and death. "That would be Ser Kamron?" he checks, fairly certain he hasn't been talking to any other Mallisters, but still, best to be sure. "The Lady is too kind," he then adds, still to Martyn, although obviously in responce to Briallyn, "I am simply between other tasks at the moment and seeing to it that Lord Jerold's honoured guests are well received here in town." And putting his foot in it, but thats past now. He hopes.
Martyn offers a bit of a smile when he hears Briallyn's words, and raises an eyebrow a bit lightly. "Ah, does that mean that people are supposed to complain about keeping your company then, Lady Briallyn?" he offers, with a bit of a smile. Mortimer's words make him nod a bit, "That's the one, yes."
"I should hope not, but I'm sure there isn't much to speak with Ladies about beyond their embroidery and their gossiping." The young woman cannot conceal the grin further, and it blossoms across her face, her natural expression if the ease with which it occurs is any indicator. "The young Lady does not know when to keep propriety," the Septa nearly growls, almost jostling Briallyn out of the way to step around her to better face the pair of men, and it isn't the pair who is met with her disapproval. "Ser Kamron?" Briallyn inquires, trying to forestall any further words from the unattractive and squat worthy woman. "Oh, yes, I do recall him. A very stylish knight, to be sure." She bites her lip, hard, likely to keep from laughing.
Mortimer figures that now, given the circumstances, might not be the worst time ever to take his leave. He's not particularly equiped for causal conversation with nobles and he's sure enough that the Haigh party are free from any of the kind of issues that might require his professional assistance. Especially with the Mallister's arrival. "If you'll excuse me m'Lord, m'Lady," he says, offering each in turn a polite bow, and then a silent one to both the Septa and maid, "I have pther business I should be attending to. If it please you." It's a stock answer, but mostly because it's generic enough to be tru most of the time. "Good day to you both."
Martyn nods a little bit, offering a bit of a nod and a smile to the Septa. "I'm sure that Lady Briallyn is not the first, nor the last young lady with that particular problem," he offers, before he adds, "It's good that she's got you to remind her every now and then." At that description of Kamron, he nods a bit, "He tries his best, My Lady," he replies, before he adds, "Sometimes it might be a bit more than what he should, of course, but that's how it is." A brief pause, and a question. "Are you recent arrivals here? I'm sure I would have remembered if we'd met before." Mortimer is offered a nod and a smile, "Of course, Master Trevelyan. It was a pleasure to meet you."
"Thank you, Master Trevelyan. You've made a dreary day somewhat brighter for your company," the youth offers with a vulpine smile that is, ultimately, rather harmless. Inclining her head towards the man so eager to excuse himself, Briallyn turns to Martyn with an upraised brow. "Is he, now?" Her voice is… dry. There is clearly some joke here that comes to mind, but the young woman gives a small, helpless shrug instead. "I'll have to keep that in mind should I see him, again. But, yes, I arrived yesterday." The Septa appears mollified by the knight's words, but Briallyn seems nonplussed even as she wets her lips. "It was my intent to return to Stonebridge yesterday, but the Lady Anais is a busy woman and we could not reach any conclusions on trade."
Martyn nods a little bit as he hears that. "She truly have many things to deal with," he offers to the part about the Lady Anais. There's another brief smile, and he asks, "How are things in Stonebridge? I will probably be heading there on one of these days. There's a few matters I need to attend to there."
"Stonebridge is a pit of rumor, intrigue, and shallow scheming over power. Or so I imagine. I am not involved more than I am forced, but I hear enough rumors, unfortunately. The Terricks and Naylands contend over ownership of the town, don't they?" Septa Darna begins to grumble beneath her breath, no doubt remarking on the young woman's incessant need to unladylike subjects. "Do you intend to be there to witness the duel, then?" The young Lady Briallyn sounds neither uninterested, nor excited at the prospect..
"It is not my main priority over there, but I will make sure to be there for it, yes," Martyn replies, before he nods a bit, "The town seems to be fairly important to those two houses, that's true." A brief pause, and he sighs a bit, "I will have to get going now. Need to deal with a few things before I'm getting ready for the ride over to Stonebridge. I hope you can forgive me, and that your trade dealings go well, Lady Briallyn."
"Has anyone /not/ forgiven you for needing to be elsewhere?" That sense of humor slips out before it can be stifled, as does the very wry, playful tone that accompanies it. "It is more than time enough for my Lady to return to the Inn," the Septa announces most dutifully, and helpfully, even though Briallyn is quickly narrowing her eyes at the woman in a manner that is unkind. "I'm sure the trade agreement will be made. Though, as to whether or not I shall end with what I set out to gain remains to be seen," Briallyn says archly, even as the Septa is snagging her elbow with rounded fingers. "It was a pleasure, Ser Martyn, however brief."
Martyn smiles at that question about needing to be elsewhere. "There was someone once, but that is a story for another time," he offers a bit lightly, before he smiles, "It was a pleasure to meet you too, Lady Briallyn. Take care," he offers, with a nod both to her and the Septa, before making his way onwards, towards wherever it was he was going earlier.