|Tales and other talk|
|Summary:||A meeting at the Rockcliff Inn brings up tales of Imps and pain|
|Date:||15 Dec 289|
|The Rockcliff Inn is one of the better inns within the town and it shows with the well-lit interior and the relative cleanliness to the other locations in Terrick's Roost. The tables are polished with oils and the floor regularly swept. A set of booths towards a darker rear of the Inn's bottom floor, just beneath the staircase, are where whores generally socialize and eye prospects from when not waiting tables. Signs over the undersized bar area advertise prices for ales and wines as well as several different choices of food to be served at the small eating area by the bar or in the main open area in its comfortable seating. A door behind the bar leads to the kitchen and cellar while another near the staircase leads to a private room that would appear to be off-limits to the 'wait staff' except for food and drink service.|
So it's evening at the end of another long working day for the common folk. And another day of searching for Freya. Though the last search was hampered by rain - thinking ahead the young retainer had bought herself a large bit of as close to waterproof as possible material. So rather less than worse for wear she hovers over a rough map in a quiet corner scratching objectives in it. Rumours abound and periodically Freya has to endure a set of questions from on or another curious lad as to the progress of the search and whether the forest really is haunted. Freya begins to miss when the lads would just hit no her - at least then she knew how to diplomatically say no. As an ale arrives Freya gives an appreciative nod. Fear is all around her - but her face remains a mask of concentration.
A warm evening and the Inn is up to business as usual, commoners and nobility alike have gathered for a meal or an ale to cool off. One of the noblewomen there is Aemy Erenford and she is sitting at a table accompanied by her handmaid Kyra, her two guards Symon and Redmond and two Terrick guards who seem to her to be rather formidable. During her stay at the Inn, she rarely leaves it, not being allowed contact with her recently betrothed until an investigation is complete. A pot of tea on the table before her and her maids, the guards are nursing ales, probably rather impatient with the lady who seems to be lingering long past the end of her meal.
With a mood nearly matching that of the weather, Perrin enters the common room of the Inn. Dressed as he has been for way to many days, mail that falls almost to his knees, mail coif pushed off his head, gauntlets under an arm and a finely crafted brigandine as well as a sword at his left side. He pauses momentarily at the entrance as he looks about the room. After a deep breath he catches one of the serving girls and orders an ale before making his way on in the room proper.
Freya stands upon Perrin's entry and manages something in between a bow and a curtsey. "My Lord," she says - under the circumstances avoiding too many pleasantries - the mood being grim and all. She finally notices Aemy - remembering her from the other day and nods to her, "My Lady," though she does not know whether she is exactly within earshot. Freya has made an office out of the table that she sits at nursing her Ale like Aemy's minders. Her expression says it all - could things get any worse?
Noticing both of them at their interactions together, Aemy offers Perrin a warm smile and a greeting first. "My Lord Haigh, it is a pleasure seeing you again. It has been.." Since the Highfield wedding to be precise. "Quite awhile.." The guards are around her but there is no threat, or no Daryl, so their demeanor is relaxed, comfortable. "Would you care to join me? I will order you an ale, or if you prefer tea or wine." Not wanting to be too assuming, but sitting here in the Inn was just so.. boring.
As Freya greets her, her blue eyes transfer to the pretty house retainer, and another smile is given. "It looks as if you are very busy mistress."
Only two female voices could shake the mood that Perrin has found him self in. He takes a deep breath and puts on a pleasant smile. He bows his head as he greets "Lady Aemy. It is very good to see you once again." As he looks up he smiles "Far to long, indeed. I would be honored to join you but I have already ordered an ale for myself." He turns to Freya "Mistress Caul. I see you are hard at work, still. Take a break, it will do us all good to do so I believe." He makes a motion to the maps "Put them away, the secrets are not to be found there this evening." Already he has begin to move to the table where Aemy sits, a polite nod to her retinue as he does so.
Stepping in from the outside, Martyn looks around a bit quietly as he takes a few steps over to the side now, so he wouldn't be blocking the door for anyone now. Looking around the room for a few moments, shrugging a little bit to himself as one hand moves to wipe at his eyes for a few moments.
Other people arrive for supper or an evening of socializing with their neighbors. Nathaniel arrives on his usual mission. He heads to the bar and waits until he has the attention of the current person behind the counter to ask whether any messages have arrived for the tower. He orders a cup of tea. He turns to glance around the room while he waits for the order and for the barkeep to answer his query about the paperwork. He bows his head deeply to the lady at her table. He inclines his head in another deep nod to the noble Ser Perrin who is arriving at the bar. "GOod day to you, ser," he offers. Finally, he offers a nod and smile to Freya, who seems to have converted her table to a temporary office space. When his tea arrives, he lifts it in a sign of toast to her before taking a sip from it.
Freya smiles at the ground and picks up her maps at Perrin's direction. "Aye no rest for the wicked my Lady," is her reply to Aemy. "Or for the mildly tarnished," a more accurate description. "You don't mind if I join you and my Lord for that Ale?" As for the maps and taking a break, "I was actually about to my Lord - but I had a few ideas that i was gonig to run past you - and I am anxious to hear if you have stumbled across anything yourself? We haven't spoken very often since we arrived here." Freya nods a greeting in the direction of Ser Martyn, "Ser," she says. "Seems everyone is gathering at the Inn tonight."
Once he is seated at the table, Aemy looks over, seeing the maps and immediately knows what brings Perrin Haigh to the Roost. "How is the search going?" Directing the question first to Perrin then looking at Freya to include her in it, should there be more information. As another enters the inn, her gaze settles on Martyn Mallister and she offers a friendly smile along with a wave, having not seen him since Heronhurst, but when Nathaniel quickly enters behind him, she includes the courier into the greeting. "Master Corbitt.." Glancing back to Freya now, she laughs softly, "Wicked? Somehow using your time to seek lost people does not seem so wicked to me, Mistress. Please, do join, I would like that."
As Perrin sits at the table both Martyn and Nathaniel are noticed. Eyeing the table where Aemy sits then tilts his head to one side "Lady Aemy, I hope that I am not being to forward, but perhaps we could find a larger table and invite the other's to join as well?" He will of course wait to see her response but has already found a rather large table that has no one sitting at it. "Like perhaps that one?"
Both Nathaniel and Martyn next get his attention, after he hears Aemy's response that is, to each he gives a nod of his head Ser Martyn, please join us, won't you? And Master Nathaniel, please you as well."
He waits a moment to catch their response as well before he nods to Freya "No, we haven't. What with the business that has brought us here, but let us save that for a more private time. I do have much to tell you."
"The search continues but I now believe we are nearing the end. I am now more positive that at least two of the children are alive," Perrin tells Aemy "and I am suspecting that with in a few days they will be safe where they belong once again."
"Ser Perrin. Of course I will join you if you don't mind it." Martyn replies after a few moments, stepping forward. Glancing back towards the door for a few moments, before he offers a bit of a nod and a smile to Aemy. "Lady Aemy. How are you today?" A brief pause, before he looks over to Freya and offering her a nod again now.
Nathaniel greets Martyn's arrival with another deep bow before he thanks the barkeep for that and the pile of messages that the tender dumped onto the counter. "I thank you for the kindness, ser," he answers Perrrin. "Whether I can accept it now will depend on these." He nods to the parchments. "I should see if any are marked as urgent. If they are, I fear that should take my leave. Duty precedes pleasure." He murmurs to a barmaid before she gathers carries the messages to a small table. She follows to set his tea in place before wandering off to serve other customers while he sorts through the paper chaos.
Simply smiling silently at Aemy's remarks Freya cants her head in the peculiar manner that she does when she is being querious at Lord Perrin's revelation about some confidential information that cannot be shared openly. "Always working Master Nathaniel?" she asks the aforementioned though she could relate to the experience now. "I did have some new search patterns to follow but that can wait until later. Good to know that you are confident my Lord." But since Freya did not know the basis for Perrin's confidence she could not remark further.
"Of course, please.." And Aemy's maid does rise and move to another table with a few of the other maids she knows who are with other noble ladies in the inn. There should be more than enough room to seat everyone now, since the guards are standing. As she listens to Perrin speaking about the search, she listens intently, nodding with relief at the final bit. "I do so hope they are. Lady Hafwen is my cousin as well and I wish her to be home with her family now. Along with all of the other children. Lady Nedra and I have been collecting blankets for the searchers to take along with them, in case the children are found. They will surely need at least that comfort. Honestly, I wish there was more I could do."
Once Martyn joins them, she smiles in return. "I am doing fair, how are you, Ser Martyn? It is good to see you," studying him a moment before giving a nod of approval. "You are indeed looking well."
When Nathaniel does not immediately respond to her greeting, she realizes he is rather busy, so she returns her attention to Freya as she instead addresses the courier. "All are welcome to join.." she says softly, not wanting to interrupt the conversation.
A simple nod of his head is given to Nathaniel "I understand, Master Nathaniel. If there is anything that I could be of help you have but to ask," Perrin gives that half smile of his before turning. He chuckles and shakes his head slightly to Martyn "Ser, I shall never mind your company. As I have said, once this is over you shall be my honored guest at Broadmoor for as long as you see fit to stay."
But when hasn't Perrin been confident? He just smiles at Freya and gives a shrug "Not long, not now," but hasn't he been saying much the same since Hafwen was taken? But there is something in his voice, that carries an edge to it.
Perrin listens to Aemy, and bows his head "My thanks for that Lady Aemy. But I have one small correction to make, if I may?" That half smile is given to her before he continues on, not really giving her time to answer his question "It's not in case they will be found, it's just a matter of when," he says but hurries to continue on "Knowing that you are actually helping, with the blankets and what not, is a relief and they will be needed. I shall send my squire to collect them if you wouldn't mind."
A brief grin is offered to Aemy as Martyn takes his seat now. "I do? That sounds either like something not quite normal, or like your usual habit of being too kind, my lady," he offers with a warmer smile now, before he looks to Perrin again, offering the man a smile. "That does indeed sound like a good thing, Ser. I will be looking forward to it. The one brief time I have visited Broadmoor, it did indeed seem a very beautiful place." Looking around for a few moments again, pausing as he hears the something in the Haigh knight's voice. "Any news, then?" he asks, a bit quietly.
Freya smiles at Aemy when she speaks about the blanket drive. How many children had been taken anyway? She was hoping few enough that the drive would not be needed. "Generous of you my Lady." She looks uncomfortable at the moment - worse than when they stuffed her in the gowns and she dangled about like the girl of low birth that she was. "I must admit when I am not out there searching I feel pretty restless at the moment," she frowns at Lord Perrin and his confidence but again does not know all the facts so reserves judgement. To Martyn, "Broadmoor is huge - even I get lost," and she is a scout.
Nathaniel shakes his head at the messages but phases long enough to bow to the table to which Aemy has invited him. "Please forgive me, lady if I seem discourteous, or blame it on the urgency of a growing weight of matters that press upon the house that I serve." He bows his head to her, and then to Perrin and Martyn. "Such business as I have is rarely worth so much as to trouble our guests, but it deserves my foremost attention." Shifting his eyes momentarily to Freya, he adds, "I am not always working, mistress, but my time is less my own while the hunt continues. Like all others, I hope for it to reach a satisfactory conclusion soon." He picks up another scroll, studies the writing on its outside, and separates it from the others. The sorting continues, with occasional sips of tea.
Nathaniel has left.
"Yes, Ser Perrin, of course that is what I meant. They certainly will be found and with all of the people looking for them, how could they not? I simply meant on that particular outing. I would be out searching if I could, though I fear I would be more of a hindrance than a help. Please do, send the squire, they are currently stored up in my room. Though I could send Kyra to collect them now, if your squire is anywhere nearby, otherwise anytime will be fine. Unfortunately, I will be going nowhere anytime soon." At the words of Freya, she shakes her head, "It is the least I could do. I admire you, out there seeking them with the others. It takes a strong person to travel amidst the fear of the unknown. The rumors surrounding the missing children all vary, but they are nonetheless all frightening."
Once her attention is returned to Martyn, Aemy has to laugh at his teasing. "You truly look happy, Ser Martyn, and I think therein lies the difference. It is good to see you as such." Having seen and spoke deeply with him on such matters when he was perhaps at one of his lowest points. Quirking her lips into a smile, she looks between Perrin and Martyn. "Broadmoor? Ser Martyn, once there, could you relay a message for my cousin, Lady Katrin? Would you tell her I would like to take her offer of a visit soon, and if she could let me know when a good time would be?" Perhaps only giving him a public reason to speak with the lady.
When Nathaniel takes his leave, she offers him a warm smile accompanied by a nod, "Hopefully we can catch up another time then, Master Corbitt."
Perrin chuckles at both Martyn and Freya. After all he has known no other place than Broadmoor all his life. "It's home, so perhaps I see it as such. But I love it all the same. As for being so big," he grins at Freya "It used to seem like the largest place anywhere. But in time it's ways become known and it's not so large, I think."
He pauses long enough to listen to Nathanel and nods in appreciation at the man's devotion to duty. But the offer of help was made so there is little more for him to say."
With a bow of his head to the words spoken by Aemy he looks up and smiles "I fear that Kylin is looking after my horse at the moment, or should be." He chuckles knowing his squire is actually doing as he is told. His brow arches up as he hears of Katrin's invitation to visit Broadmoor "Perhaps, when we get Hafwen back home it would be time for a celebration," of course it is. "I shall see that such is made and then you are most certainly invited, Lady Aemy. Actually you may come as you see fit if that is your wish."
After a deep breath, Perrin can't keep it in. He looks to each in turn "I and," his eyes go to Aemy. Of course he has known about the betrothal and the news of the supposed attack. He stutters a bit over his words "another thought to check out another part of the woods that hadn't been searched. There we came upon a, a," his lips screw up and his brows furrow "The truth is I don't know what it was. But it was no man that is for sure. We were told about a water cave. That is where the children are being held. Now I do not know if this cave is in the water or there is water in the cave, but I tend to find an answer to that riddle. The, the thing told us that at least two, one being Halfwen, are still alive. I do not know if there are more but two we know of at any rate." Though calm those that have spent any time with Perrin would see the inner turmoil that fights beneath his calm demeanor. "We shall find them and I shall kill that which is responsible for all this misery and fearfulness." The last is not said boastfully, just matter of factually.
A brief pause as Martyn offers another bit of a smile to Aemy. "Thank you," he offers a bit quietly, before he looks over to Perrin again, then back to Aemy. "If you still want me to bring the message to your cousin, I will be honored to do so, Lady Aemy." There's a brief smile to Freya as well, at the part about getting lost. "It seemed like that when I was visiting, yes." He then nods to Perrin's words now. "We shall find them, and remove them from our misery, my friend," he offers, before he nods a little bit at what's being said. "Water cave… Interesting." Looking a bit thoughtful now.
Freya's ears prick up at the mention of a solid lead and also of a 'thing'. For the moment her attention is drawn away from the extraneous conversation and towards the issue at hand. "The 'thing'? Then it's creatures not bandits? Are you sure we are not the victims of some form of mummery my Lord?" Freya asks - being a mummer herself she was trained to produce 'magic' amongst other things. "I guess it doesn't matter really so long as we have a lead…"
"Broadmoor is indeed a lovely place, the home of my mother, Lady Isla Haigh. I visited there often as a child, though in the later years," As seventeen is ancient right? "I fear I have not had the opportunity to visit. Perhaps due to the rivalry between our houses. I have promised my cousin to leave my Erenfordness at home when I come and just to bring my Haigh half." Laughter dances in her eyes in remembrance of the conversation. "I am sure it has changed since the last time I was there. Perhaps my cousin could give me a tour.." A conspiratorial glance given to Martyn. A firm believer in love and happily ever after, despite her own circumstances to the contrary, the Erenford would like to see both her cousin and the Mallister happy.
"Thank you for the invitation, Ser Perrin, please do let me know when it would be fine for me to visit, I look forward to it." Though as he goes on, Aemy had heard a lot of the story from Daryl and that Perrin had heard about the recent unpleasantness is quite a blow. As he stutters around the words, she ducks her head, suddenly filled with uncertainty again. What different truths were people hearing? Instead of focusing on her own dismay, she listens about the thing that they had found. "You will find her, I am quite certain."
Seeing Freya getting into the speaking about the thing Daryl and Perrin had discovered, the Erenford does rise finally. "Please, if you would all excuse me, there is a correspondence I must write. It was so lovely seeing you all." Her face is a bit red, either from embarrassment or shame, it is not clear. "I bid you all have a beautiful day."
To Martyn Perrin simply nods "We shall, my friend, we shall do just that. We shall put an end to this once and for all." There is strong conviction in his voice. Clearly he can not envision any other outcome. Turning to Freya he shakes his head "I am very certain that it was no mummery. I saw the, the thing as clearly as I see you now before me. I tried to taunt it as," again he flashes a look to Aemy before continuing on "the other climbed the tree it was in to scent mark it. Oh," he says looking to each at the table in turn "that does remind me, keep an eye out in the trees. It seems that they can travel as easy in the branches as we do on the ground."
"That's right, My Lady. I had nearly forgotten that your mother is a Haigh as well. He can only chuckle at her mention of leaving her Erenfordness at home "No matter what half you bring, My Lady, Broadmoor shall be all the better with your presence there."
He doesn't miss the down cast she does when he mentions the other. And to her he smiles. He says nothing of the matter but tries with his expression to convey that he meant no harm. "Funny, how there are always two sides to every story and till both sides are heard one can never fully get to the truth. That's why I pay little stock into rumors." This is not said to Aemy directly but to the table in general. As if he were just making a statement off the cuff. But when she stands to leave Perrin also rises and goes to get her chair out of her way. "My Lady, the invitation to visit your home is always there. For how can one deny Broadmoor to any that are also a Haigh?"
Martyn nods a little as he listens, although he pauses for a few moments as he sees Aemy start to disappear. Lowering his voice a bit for the lady's ears only now, he offers something, along with a quiet smile. "Take care, Lady Aemy." Looking back to Perrin again, he offers him a bit of a smile now. "In the trees. Interesting. But as long as they can get cut by steel, they can get killed by men." Spoken a bit grimly now.
Freya shakes her head at how they move, "They scent trees like animals and move around up there. That would explain the impotence of my tracking. Look's like I have some climbing to do then. Laying a few snares as well in the trees - that will be a task. I'm more curious than wary about these things. I wonder what one would be worth alive?" More of a rhetorical question. "I've heard of and seen snares people use for birds - I wonder wherther one of those would suffice?"
"Sometimes the truth is not all that desirable either, Ser Perrin." For what had truly happened there? How does one choose to condemn a faithful guard for doing his duty in guarding her or to condemn the man who is soon to be her husband, her Lord, the one she would serve for the remainder of her life? Unfortunately, that was the pressure she was under, but she refused to fall prey to self pity. Especially when there were children out there alone, scared, probably hungry, possibly hurt.. or worse. "It is all about perspective, I suppose. Thank you for the generous offer of the visit to Broadmoor and I am certain I will try and visit there very soon."
Pausing a moment at the words of Martyn, Aemy offers another smile, this one perhaps just a little less radiant. "I shall do that, Ser Martyn, perhaps when you have the time. I honestly look forward to speaking with you. Take care as well, Ser Martyn, Ser Perrin, Mistress Caul." Taking her leave now.
A deep breath as Aemy departs, Perrin pauses a moment before moving back to his own chair and ale. He switches easily and contemplates her words and perhaps the hidden meaning behind them. At last he shakes it off and goes back to his other two table mates. "Mistress Caul, I shall not see one of them alive after this. They all will be dead once Hafwen is safely back." Again the words are said a fact, not speculation. He takes up his ale and drinks from it, finishing it off. The mug is put down and he thinks a moment "I shall be up before dawn, I intend to not be shackled once more to our chaperones. If you two care to join me then I suggest an early night as well. But you can see fit as you wish." And with that Perrin stands to leave himself. But he doesn't have far to go having decided to stay in the Inn rather than the Keep.
Martyn nods a bit as he hears Perrin's words. "I will see you before dawn," he offers to the man, with a bit of a smile. "The day to put and end to all of this will come," he offers, with a bit of a smile. Looking a bit thoughtful for the moment now.
Freya nods grimly at Ser Perrin's assertion, "As you would have it then my Lord," thinking that they might have to burn down the forest to conclusively exterminate all of the tree dwellers. Still they were off the edge of the map. Haunted forests, tree dwelling nonhuman imps. She finishes her drink, "Lets bring about an end to this…" she seconds Martyn and follows her liege Lord.