|Swimming and Sand|
|Summary:||Colin, Justin, Muirenn, and Veris run into one another down at the rocky cove.|
|Related Logs:||Followed by What Squires Are For.|
|Rocky Cove - Terrick's Roost|
|To the west of the path leading down, the beach extends below a cliff face and takes a turn inland where the terrain above has collapsed down to be claimed by the pounding waters below. It has formed a small, almost private cove with jagged rocks in the water at the cliffs while the ocean has relaimed most of those from the beach. Due to the elevation of the cliffs, the top of the tower to the north is just barely visible despite the relatively short distance.|
|Mon May 28, 289|
<FS3> Justin rolls Swimming: Success.
It is late morning and though the sky is somewhat cloudy and may threaten rain later in the day, it is quite pleasant with a strong breeze coming in from the ocean. Gulls wheel overhead lazily, the surf up a bit with large, lazy rolling waves to crash and spill in lapping against the cobbled beach. The finger edges of the cove, especially on one side, have larger rocks reaching out into the water.
Close in, laying on the pebbled beach, are someone's clothes, boots, and sword piled neatly and with a few stones set on top to keep the his black doublet from being blown into the surf or across the beach. Further out, but still in the shallows, Justin is in the water. A big wave rolls in and over him but he ducks beneath it and pops back up on the other side. Though the water's a bit rough for it, he has a flattish stone he's gathered from the bottom with he now flings to skip over the swell of the rolling wave, skipping it over the water's surface several times.
<FS3> Muirenn rolls Singing: Success.
Over the sound of the waves is the cheerful sound of a dulcet voice singing, joined at the chorus by another wavery voice that isn't quite so strong but is just as cheery. Picking their way across the rocks, Muirenn makes her way into the cove. Sparkling and filmy, utterly unpractical for the beach though quite lovely, she holds her skirts up to her calves so that her hem is not stained with salt water.
Following behind is her handmaiden, Septa, and one of her normal guards. Though the guard and the Septa remain shod, the maid and Lady are barefoot and giggle as the water rushes across their toes. "My Lady!" The Septa with arms full of blankets spots the pile of clothing…male clothing…and her eyes narrow. "We must leave the cove, someone is already here."
The guard too notes the presence of another and straightens, beginning to crowd the girl back up the path despite her protest, "Surely…but…I…"
There is not a man's trousers among the things left, so whoever left them isn't stark naked but partly clothed. Only the doublet, under tunic, boots and swordbelt. But, with a young lady presant that may be enough! The sound of the waves rolling in drowns out most but not all of the sound of voices. Justin had stood up to throw the stones but now settles back down into the water up to his shoulders to watch and see who it might be. He thinks about it a moment and when he observes them hesitating and starting to usher Lady Muirenn to turn back, he frowns and moves to come out of the water himself to fetch his things.
It takes a couple of minutes to reach the beach. Justin is wet, dressed from the hips down in dark grey trousers now quite soaked, his feet bare. "It's only me and I do not bite. You need not go." He picks up his tunic to wipe his face with it before Justin pulls it on over his head reguardless of him not being dry. There is briefly a vivid reddish scar that cuts along his lower left side ribs before he's tugging his tunic back into place. It matches the smaller scar that runs over the outside of his left forearm. His dark hair is dripping, tossled about by the sea.
It is not the first bare chested man she has ever seen and Muirenn is not phased, though a bit curious because well…it is Justin and he is always so grim. Curiously the tall girl uses her height to advantage and peers over the shoulders of those who would hustle her away. Finally she holds her palm up and orders, "Halt!" Though rarely does she use this tone, it is haughty and coldly firm. Shocked, the Septa and guard do as the girl says if only startled at its unexpectedness. As Septa Waldsteina's eyes narrow and the elderly lady begins to launch into a tirade, the noblewoman orders her guard "Ensure that his lordship is dressed, then you will escort me *back* down to where I wished to sit." Drily she continues, "I will await your assurance that my virtue will remain intact"
Turning her back towards the cove, she does as she says and waits for the guard to move down the path, shoot Justin an embarrassed look and then call "My lady, if it please you, there is a lovely spot for you here in the cove." Ignoring the sputters of the Septa and her handmaiden's attempts at covering a grin, Muirenn picks her way back down the path and flashes a cheerful smile to Justin, "Good morn Justin." A finger points and Miniella takes the quilt from the Septa and spreads it on the ground for the girl to sit upon.
Justin was not looking very grim while he was out sporting in the water. He had looked like he was enjoying himself, stealing another brief moment between more serious duties that occupy his time here. He likewise picks up his doublet, a rather plain black one probably made precisely for his mourning which he shakes out and then draws on over his tunic. There, decently dressed if you don't pay attention to his bare feet, see? Just half wet like a sea rat. The rest of his things he leaves laying where they are as Justin starts to pick his way barefooted over the beach a few steps. He bends and picks up another flattish rock, then turns and throws it out over the water. It's too rough for skipping stones far or well but he manages a few.
Upon her return, Justin turns his head to look back to Muirenn and her escort, "I certainly do not mean to hog the cove. Have you come to picnic?"
"Not picnic, merely to enjoy the beauty of the sea." The auburn haired girl replies with a grin as she settles herself upon the quilt. Her own feet a bare, and she curls her toes into the sand and rocks. Muirenn smiles and adds, "Though I do like the idea of a picnic. I think I shall send invitations to all the family. We are here, there, and yon. It would be good for all of us to picnic and relax for a moment together. It is important to gather together for relaxation as it is for councils." Musing as her handmaiden and Septa seat themselves on the quilt, the teeanger flashes a sunshine smile and says "Sit and speak with me Justin, if you do not have other more important tasks to occupy you. I know you are very busy."
Justin closes his eyes for a breath where he stands, feeling the breeze coming in off of the sea against his face. Rather than pick up more stones, he nods and walks over to take a seat and join her at a companionable distance but not sitting on her quilt. His trousers are still quite wet and he doesn't seem to care, but isn't going to soil her things. "Busy … sometimes. But not as /productive/ as I'd like to be. Things … move so slowly, it is difficult to be patient, Lady Muirenn." He offers her handmaiden and Septa a faint smile for welcome. "I have requested audience to speak with my father to try and get a better sense of things. And yourself? Are you rested from your travels, Lady Muirenn?"
Colin has arrived.
"Indeed. It was a pleasant ride home from Stonebridge, and I was able to bathe and sleep in my own bed so I am doing much better." It seemed Muirenn was content as they journeyed from Stonebridge to Terrick's Roost for she spent much of the time riding and chatting easily with one of the Mallister knights, Ser Trystan Conners. As the girl sits upon the quilt, her handmaiden scoots over and begins to braid the noble's waist-long russet curls into a thick rope to keep it from tangling in the wind. There is a pause and she mmms, "I know what you mean about being productive. I wish so much to do something HELPFUL…but I know not what."
The dark haired Terrick lord gives a nod slowly after listening to Muirenn. Justin idly watches her handmaide braiding up her long, thick hair, which seems like a good idea out here where the wind will make a mess of it otherwise. He chews on a thumbnail briefly then replies, "You've been helpful. A picnic for morale isn't a bad idea. Not just for us though. Maybe we should invite all of the smallfolk for a day out at the beach on a rest day. We haven't much to eat but the reopening of the Sept should be something to be grateful for, yes? A mile marker of some progress." Justin lowers his hand and turns his damp head to look u the beach, "Once I've met with father, I intend to get back to dealing with this bandit business. I've put it off due to other things that came up, but we can't afford to let it go any longer."
A whinny is heard from above, and down the path skirts Colin Terrick. Holding on to the sides of the cliff, and smiling nervously, he nods. Careful foot after careful foot, he seems to be gaining more and more balance and by the time he is at the bottom, he is pacing like a pro. He stops and nods to the two folks discussing things, "Sorry to disturb you. I, uh. I was just wandering, checking out the damage and the distress." He holds out a hand to Justin, with a bit of a smile as if to protect him from the unknown. "I'm Colin Terrick." He sees Muirenn sitting on the quilt and recognizes her, although not having known her very well. "Hello there." A new smile, this time of recollection and comfort, appears. "I haven't seen you in a while…" he drifts off, hoping he hasn't made too much a fool of himself.
A wisp of dark red is tucked behind an ear as Muirenn replies with a wry smile to curve up the corners of her lips, "I haven't been very helpful, but thank you for humoring me nonetheless." Luxuriating in the calming sensation of her hair being braided, the teenager says "Yes, that is a good idea Justin..but I want one for just family too. Perhaps in the garden at the keep." Glancing up at the sound of a horse, she smiles and ahhhs "Tis one of your cousins I think…one Colin Terrick if I remember correctly. A squire at Seagard the last I saw him."
As Colin makes his way down the beach and into the cove, the maiden inclines her head and beams "Well met lord Colin. It has indeed been a few months since last I saw you." she gestures, "This is Lord Justin Terrick, the Lord Jerold's third son, and this is Septa Waldstenia, Ser Copper my guard, and my handmaiden Mistress Miniella." As her retinue is introduced, the Septa and handmaiden both rise from their places on the quilt to give a slight dip of a knee before resuming their seats. The guard gives a slight bow.
Muirenn's escort are not the only ones to rise. Justin does so also, then bends to pick up his sword belt he had left laying on the beach when he'd been swimming before. His trousers are quite wet, his tossled dark hair also, but he now has a black tunic and plain black doublet loosely pulled on which are mostly dry. It would appear Justin is yet dressed in mourning. He accepts the other man's hand with a firm, brief grip and steady eye contact, "Cousin? I might remember your name. Let us indeed welcome you home. Have you been away to Seagard then?" Justin glances between the Lady Muirenn and this cousin of his since they appear to know one another.
Colin nods at Muirenn's recollection. "It is Ser Colin now, I am happy to say. I have been at Seagard 10 seasons past; done my page duty, my squire duty, and now I return home as Knight. I am…" he pauses, almost in pain, but there is no physical indication of such, "…I am dreadfully ashamed I was not here to defend my own home from the invasion. Seagard was in need of able body and with Gavan requiring my presence there, I could not get away." He looks down, not meeting eye contact. "The seven have made me pay for that in my heart, every day until now." He looks back up at Justin. "But I aim to fix that now that I am a man newly made. His chest puffs a bit, and he reaches down and back a bit to touch the bow — just a familiar tactile reassurance.
"Do not belittle doing your duty, cousin. To your knight whom you served as you should, but also to our leige lords. It is our purpose to be faithful and loyal to the Mallisters in their time of need, as they are in ours." Justin's gaze goes to Colin's bow, not exactly a knightly weapon, but he makes no comment upon it. His cousin will oft enough find him carrying a hunting bow and quiver himself, though not today. He sets his hands to buckling his swordbelt back on and then fastening the clasps of his black doublet to set his attire back to rights. His baritone adds low, "I was not here myself, during the siege. Ser Haffrey and I were ambushed by Ironborn and later, laid up in Seagard myself. Ser Haffrey died of his wounds a few days later."
"You have no cause for shame Ser Colin." Muirenn says quietly, "Had you arrived during the seige there was nothing you could have done save join the army. Seagard needed your sword arm greatly. You fought for your leige and did as your knight asked. The Son and the Father could not ask for a more honorable warrior." Smiling brightly she gestures and invites, "Please join us." As Miniella begins to once more finish braiding the rope of her mistress' hair, the girl gives a contented sigh.
"Ser Haffrey?" the young knight asks. "It seems too many have died already." He nods to Muirenn. "I know….I know. I just cannot help but feel some guilt. I'm sure I will get over it once I plant a sword in a few men from the islands." He turns to Justin and cocks his head slightly, "As I came down the hill I heard you talk of bandits. Are you in need of some help clearing out vermin? I would be honored to fight at your side in defense of our homelands."
The sky is somewhat overcast, but beggars can't be choosers when it comes to time off - not that Veris' time off is usually truly as such, more like 'time stolen'. The squire, lightly clad with a towel slung over his shoulder, runs down the path with a loud, "YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAH!", arms pumping - and stops abruptly when he sees people when he rounds the corner. And not just people, but People. There's a quick spark of recognition when his eyes pass over Justin. "Er - pardon, m'lady. M'lords," he says, coughing into his hand.
Justin gives a nod, "Aye, Ser Haffrey Tully of Lord Holister Tully's household in Riverrun. I was squired unto him when he fell." Which by way of saying, and with no spurs upon his own boots, that he might not have been knighted yet himself. Justin turns his head to say something then to the Lady Muirenn - however, whatever he might have had upon his mind is lost when Veris comes catawalling down the stony path and out onto the beach like a dragon with his tail on fire! Jerold's third trueborn son raises a dark brow at that squire and then simply points towards the water, "Go dunk yourself. But for the love of the Seven, do not remove your clothes to do so with a Lady presant." Cough, yes, he would never do such a thing himself! Nooo.
A slender hand covers her mouth to stifle the giggle at the retainer's headlong tilt towards the cove. She manages to contain herself enough to graciously incline her head to the servant, though her greenish grey eyes sparkle mischeviously. Ducking her head she motions for her handmaiden to finish as she comments, "This cove is for all to enjoy, please enjoy a swim." Though it goes without saying that under the prim glare of the Septa and the glare of the maiden's guard that the swimmer will be well dressed. Subtly, the maiden smooths her skirts downwards to cover her bared feet to the sight of those who are essentially strangers.
Colin reaches up to gently push some rogueish hair that has been popping over his shoulder back to behind his head. He watches the spectacle unfold as the squire runs and….frollicks? He has not known time for frollicking. He turns to Muirenn and speaks quietly, bowing his head slightly, "My lady I cannot stay for long but I hope some time we can catch up on Seagard and how the rest of your family is faring, I am quite fond of all of them." His eyes next lock with Justins. A bit louder now he speaks, "And you cousin. If you need help with some sort of bandit trouble, you just let me know. I'll be here at your back to help." He smiles at everyone, and leaps towards the cliff, jumping up a foot or so to the first foothold on the cliff path. Waving behind, he shouts, "I must be getting back, I will see you all again soon, I hope."
"Aye m'lord, no, m'lord," Veris automatically replies to Justin, with that flat, monotone intonation of yeah-yeah-yeah. There's a lot of important people telling him to do (or, more often, not do) a lot of things all the time, he can't be expected to sound interested to every single one! Though interested would be a mild way of putting his expression when he looks up at Muirenn at her gracious words; his eyes linger too long for propriety before he blinks and frees his eyes, watching Colin's exit instead. "Thank you, m'lady," he responds, and it's not until he registers the Septa's glare that he reached up to start taking off his shirt. "Wait, you mean - " he glances back at Justin, " - to swim in my trousers, m'lord?" But that sounds dangerously close to being uppity, so he immediately follows up with, "Right, swim in me trousers. That's - I'll do that." From the sounds of it, he's never done that before. Unsure of what the etiquette is here, he sloooooowly reaches down to start undoing his boots, glancing nervously between all present - especially that Septa - to see if any of them rebuke him.
With a nod to Colin, the girl smiles "Fare well Ser Colin. I look forward to speaking with you again." The retainer is not exactly dismissed but politely ignored so that perhaps he will feel more at ease. Muirenn says softly to Justin, "As I was saying, perhaps something for family in the garden. I think I shall send invitations out to everyone. It would be good as more of your cousins are coming to lend aid that everyone is able to get to know each other again."
Justin is distracted by Veris as he drawls, "Aye, with your trousers /and/ your shirt on. Else go far down the beach and out of the cove until such time as lady Muirenn and her escort have departed." And having seen how Veris responded to Ser Hardwicke's rebukes before, the young Terrick lord gives Veris a look that suggests he'll beat him with his scabbarded sword if the squire doesn't mind him in this matter. No matter which knight Veris belongs to.
He then gives Colin a nod, "Aye, if you are fair with a blade, we might have you along. You can have Ser Hardwicke try you and if he passes you as sound enough, I have no objection though we can't take too many on this particular venture." Justin doesn't explain that for now but lets his cousin depart. To Lady Muirenn herself, he smiles a little, "All right. Perhaps even my father will attend, and my brother Jascen. Do them both some good, I think." With that, he picks up his own boots and adds, "If you will excuse me, I should be getting back, changed, and return to my own duties."
The threat of violence doesn't seem to dampen Veris any, though he does toss out another, "Yes, m'lord," for good measure as he unlaces his boots, and tromps on down to the water. Can't back out now having made such a dynamic entrance. He glances back over his shoulder before running in, getting all his clothes completely soaked and splashing around for good measure before coming back out looking like he had about as much fun as a drowning cat. And just to add insult to injury, he drops his towel mid-drying, getting it nicely crusted with sand all over. "Enjoying your day, m'lady?" he asks Muirenn politely.
Well, Veris doesn't give him any lip about it nor outright defy him so that's good enough for now. Justin inclines his head to Lady Muirenn in a not quite bow, "Enjoy your afternoon, almost-goodsister." He gives also a polite nod and parting remarks unto Lady Muirenn's handmaiden and Septa, though Justin only nods to the guard in passing as he starts to make his way up the slope. He'll pause to put his boots on when he's reached the stony path, giving one last look back to make certain Veris is behaving himself. And then he departs.
Glancing up from her book, Muirenn smiles at Veris and nods "Yes, actually. It is good to be by the sea again, I missed it. I trust you are enjoying your day?"
"Well, it's a, a good, uh… day," Veris answers - a lot of effort for a simple sentence that doesn't mean much of anything. "M'lady," he adds after a beat, clearly not knowing what to follow up with. Then he realizes that he's been drying his left knee for a good half minute and switches to the other one. His face hides not a shred of the fact that he's trying very hard to think of what to say next. "Oh, manners, um - my name is Veris Kallan, squire to Ser Hardwicke."
With a faint smile, Muirenn inclines her head "Very good. Ser Hardwicke is a very apt knight. You are well met Squire Kallan. I am Lady Muirenn Mallister." She takes a sip from her goblet and sets her book aside, "Do you read Squire?"
"Mallister…" Veris echoes, eyes widening slightly. He knows that Terrick is an Important Name, and that Terricks consider Mallister an Important Name, which means as far as he's concerned that he should be down in the dirt right now or something. "I apologize, m'lady," he says, clearing his throat, trying to find words that won't make him sound like a complete idiot even with his commoner's lilt, "for my un…seem…ingly display of…" Nope, it's not coming. "Loud," he finishes with a wince. Unseemingly display of loud. "I do read," he announces quickly and loudly to try to cover up his last inane statement. "That is, I can read, m'lady. My father was an assistant to the Maester and he taught me some of the ciphers and letters."
Politely the maiden's grin is kept to something more seemly, a genteely polite smile. The Septa merely regards the young man in some amazement as he stumbles over his words and seems to have a surfeit of awkwardness. For her part Muirenn merely nods, "No apologies, it is good to hear joyous exhuberence. So many tears have been shed, it makes me happy to hear laughter and excitement." With a nod as she listens to the information given, the teenager replies "Oh that is good. If ever you wish to further your education, let me know. I will work to ensure you are provided with what books are available."
The Septa might be surprised just how awkward and inept Veris can be - this is him dead sober, after all. "It has been tough times, m'lady," he agrees, "but what with the fighting done and Ser Hardwicke having done so well at the tournament, I s'pose I found myself overflowin' with good feelings, is all." That's a coherent enough sentence right there. "And I would most…ly great appreciate that, m'lady, thank you for your grace…ful offer." Maybe those books might help him get his words sorted out. Dried off as he's going to get but still dripping, he flips the towel over his shoulder - sending the previously-crusted sand spraying everywhere. "Oh - oh, no, I didn't - m'lady, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to - "
About to reply to elaborate on her offer, grey eyes alight Muirenn is suddenly spattered by sand and sputters as she tries to brush off the spray. Giggling, it does not seem she is all that upset though it seems the Septa is about to launch into a tirade at the ineptitude of the squire. Stilling her chaperone's outburst with a, "Septa, please find me my hankerchief, and Minnie once you are dusted off why not pack up and we shall head back up. I imagine I should make an appearance now that it so close to noon."
Veris is all but digging himself in the sand, though he does look like he's about to bolt and swim to a deserted island for shame. "So sorry, so sorry, m'lady, and…" he gestures vaguely to the Septa and Minnie. "I'll, um, can I do anything to… carry something up for you, or…?"
With a shake of her head, Muirenn smiles as she rises. Reaching down, the girl picks up one of the many smooth pebbles on this rocky shore and laughs "No Squire. Enjoy your afternoon. Do come find me though and I will see about getting you some books to read." Shaking her skirts, she shoos her retinue forward on the path as she starts upward. "Fare well this afternoon Squire!" is called cheerfully back as the group is about halfway up the path.
Veris looks ashamed, nervous, and fidgety as he watches Muirenn and her company leave, feeling pretty much completely useless. No, worse than useless. "And a fare well to you, m'lady," he calls back. Pause. "And I'm sorry!" Kicking at the sand until they're completely gone, he angrily strips off his shirt and trousers and jumps back in to the water to swim away the embarrassment.