Page 143: Tea on the Banks
Tea on the Banks
Summary: A muddy Danae meets the dainty Elinor and a well bruised Ser Jarod on banks. Accidental tea parties ensue.
Date: December 5, 2011
Related Logs: See Two of a Kind for the source of the bruising
Danae Elinor Jarod 
Upstream Landing — Stonebridge
The waters here are more adequately described as a stream or tributary and thus the boats moored here are of the smaller variety. Two or three dozen of them with sails and even small dinghies and rowboats are tied up along the wooden docks. Sailing farther downstream takes one to Seagard while upstream to the north leads to the Green Fork and The Twins.
December 5, 288

Activity keeps the waters moving from either the fishermen setting to dock or new wares arriving on merchant ships. The flow of traffic is ever going, to and fro, entering and leaving Stonebridge. Seated quite some distance from the docks was Elinor and her maiden lydia, occupying the shade beneath a large tree as figures passed back and forth before them. The two were quietly talking with one another, Elinor having a book with pages open upon her lap and the maiden some cloth, thread and needle. Too warm to remain in doors so the two set out to enjoy what little breeze came from the south.

It is not by way of the path, but along the twisting edges of the tributary that Danae wanders, bare arms exposed and hands ruddy with dirt. Ribbons bind her sleeves back, keeping the expensive pink fabric clean from the grit that clings to her nails and muddy boots. The air and the walk has brought a flush to her cheeks, blond hair twisting down her spine having escaped from the lose knot at the back of her neck. In the arms of her guard is a large, flat basket. He waits patiently as she bends to collect something from the silty soil of the bank, gesturing at him articulately with the leafy frond.

A finger slipped in between the wide spread pages of her book's belly, a mark to bare against the short breeze as she used a fallen leaf nearby to slip between the pages. Her maiden, kneeling upon the ground, murmurs quietly to Elinor whom's gaze passes over a multitude of unfamiliar faces. One figure does hold her interest, too lavish of gowns yet muddied by the earth. A small gesture and hushed words are directed to the maiden who then, almost instantly, nods a head before folding her needlework into place.

Steps shuffled over grass, then earth and lastly near the stream's bank where Danae and the guard accompanying her stood. "My pardons m'lady." The auburn haired maiden spoke, her frame dips mutely. The mark of her heraldry captures the eye, "My Lady Banefort wishes to extend a curtsey to you, as the warm season calls for the sharing of tea. Will you accept m'lady?"

The guard bears a simple liverly with the house stripes of white and pale gold, the small cresent of a shell is embroided to his breast. He does carry a sword, despite the basket of ferns, fennel and other greener in his arms; he shifts his position slightly at the approach of the maid.

Danae pauses at the interruption and indeed, at the invitation. The weed she has just pulled from the soil is placed gently into the basket as her gaze turns towards the tree where Elinor rests. "You may inform your Lady Banefort, that I would be most pleased to accept her very kind invitation," she replies smoothly. They follow the maid back away from the bank, to where the tree beneath which Lady Banefort rests lies, a bit of cloth pulled from her basket to brush the dirt from her fingers.

Perhaps it was a bit informal, a large blanket that could easily accommodate for three or a few more bodies. It permitted the garments to remain untarnished by the grass and dried soil beneath them. A basket nearby contained a few cups and a clay jar filled with tea should she feel thirsty. Also included were biscuits wrapped in cloth in preventing a swift hardening. Her maiden was returning with the noblewoman and her guard in tow, this prompted Elinor's rise from the blanket after carefully setting the book aside for now.

At their arrival the Banefort woman was positively shining, "I feared I would have no other to enjoy this day with. Well met my lady, it is Westerling house is it not?" So noted by the colors of the guardsmen and finalized by the charm adorning Danae's neck. "I am Elinor of Banefort, come come." Enthusiastic hands wave to the blanket she stands upon.

The sound of whistling precedes Ser Jarod Rivers toward the landing. It's not really traveling music. He seems to be trying to approximate one of those dreary 'love's labor's lost' harp ballads in whistles, so it warbles all over the place as the natural inclination of whistling tries to make it jaunty. He's strolling, alone, hands laced behind his back, along the docks and eying the boats that've moored here. He looks like he's had an eventful morning. There's what looks like a fresh (still red and forming) bruise on his forehead, and the remnants of the bloody nose he's done his best to wash, if one is paying particularly close attention to him. He's not paying particularly close attention to the others near the landing, however, so the ladies are not yet noted.

"Well met, my Lady Banefort. Your offer is most gracious and fortuitous, company does enliven the beauty of a day such as this. Does it not?" Leavening her skirts in a graceful curtsey, Danae inclines her chin in a short nod towards the other woman in greeting. "Yes, it is. You have an excellent eye. I am Danae of Westerling." The length of the walk has given her an opportunity to wipe her hands clean, kerchief folded and settled aside. A smile curves her lips for the enthusiasm, "So I shall then." Taking care with her boots and the dirt on her dress, she unties her sleeves and lets them fall to the proper length before joining Elinor at her tea.

Unknown voices filled the background, shouts from the docks and waters along with a faint sound of whistling. "It is such a pleasure lady Danae." A brief scan nearby revealed nothing of import while her maidhand companion set forth to pluck two cups from the basket. "Lovely. At least here beneath the shade you may take some ease from the sun hmm?" It still lingered. Elinor was given to look about her once more and the source had been located. "How do you— pardon." Her voice would call out a few notches louder than usual when He was within range, "Ser Jarod?" Yes it had to be him and least of all expected here beyond the Roost.

Jarod's warbling whistling, and wandering, both stop abruptly. The sound of his name makes him turn his head. "Lady Elinor. And company." Plainly he wasn't expecting to meet anyone he knew here. Still, he pivots on his heel and strides toward them when he's acknowledged. Coming to a stop and flourishing a deep bow that makes the purple-and-gold sash tied at his swordbelt flair as he rises. "I wasn't aware you were still in Stonebridge, though well met all the same. And to your companion as well, though I must admit I cannot place the lady by sight. And I'm usually so good with faces. Shames me greatly." A quick grin comes to his face that doesn't look terribly ashamed, however. At least whatever bruising activity he was recently engaged in didn't harm his teeth.

Danae's own guard stands at attention near by, managing to look believably impressive despite the woven basket still in his grasp. "In truth, I do not mind the sun quiet so much and the land here is very fair," Danae begins, words trailing off as she follows Elinor's gaze to look about them. "I would believe, good Ser, that you are at a disadvantage having not laid sight on me before. Although I do not know that I myself would recognize you with such bruising if I had." Although she does not stand to curtsey, there is the appropriate incline of her shoudlers, to join her smile in greeting. "Does it ail you?"

Her acquaintance is offered a customary curtsey, "For only the next two days. I was here for the festival and intended to spend what short days after with the Lady Lucienne however for some reason she swiftly returned home." A faint token of concern is worn across her brow as Jarod's imperfections are practically staring right back at her. Apparently he is not so good with his own face, though no need to point out the obvious as Danae already had done so. Elinor softly exhales, tasked with introducing family by extension, a bruised face member, "Lady Danae Westerling, this here is Ser Jarod Rivers, brother to me by marriage." Jarod is given all too brief look two parts disappointed while other portion is of sympathy. "Am I to assume this occurred during the festival?"

"I am at a severe disadvantage in several ways, m'Lady," replies Jarod to Danae with an easy laugh. As for his bruises, he laughs harder. Though it's a rueful sound, aimed mostly at himself. "What, this? Barely feel it. You should see the other bloke. I won." A shrug. "The fight, at least." Upon reflection, he's not as happy about it as he at first seemed. The inclination he gives to Danae's guard is all of martial respect. If he's at all amused by the basket, he keeps it to himself well enough. Elinor's introduction gets a nod. "Aye, m'Lady. Half-brother to Young Lord Jacsen Terrick, and Captain of the Guard up at Four Eagles Tower to the west." The question about his injuries get a somewhat evasive shrug. "Just this morning, actually. Bit of personal nonsense. I've gotten it out of my system. Better man for it and all that. You say Lady Lucienne's gone back to the Roost already?" His attempt to change the subject at the end of that is not subtle.

"It is my pleasure then, Ser Jarod." The smile that flickers across Danae's lips may be in part for keeping him at the disadvantage, if briefly. A short gesture to her guard places that basket in her hands, leaving the gentleman to return Ser Jarod's look of martial respect without the indignity of foliage and ribbon. "Of that, it must be certain. Never have I heard of a bout of fisticuffs that did not leave the men involved better for it. A learning experience, I believe my was elder's favored expression for it." While the pair of them converse, she dips into the greenery in her basket and carefully sorts through the herbs with deft fingers, still dusted with dirt.

"I dread to see how the /other/ man looks." Elinor relays, most certainly not wishing to see the 'loser's wounds. Though she would not pry into how this scuffle came about, she does motion for her maiden to prepare another cup of tea as hostess under the tree's shade. "I believe so Ser Jarod. I have inquired as to her whereabouts and she is no longer here." She returns to him after short glance to Danae fishing for something in that basket, "Do you care to join us? I can offer tea and a handkerchief for ahm…" She uses a finger tap at her nose, for not all of the blood had been cleansed from his face. However she does sink, after gathering her skirts, onto the large spread of a yellow and green blanket and tuck both feet beneath her. "I was just getting to know the Lady Danae here."
DUMP: Gedeon claims legitimacy over the database.

"Ah-hah." Jarod's chuckle is very rueful when Elinor indicates her nose. And by extension his. He half-raises a hand to wipe at it, before he remembers his manners and stops himself. "Thought I'd gotten that one. Err. I'd not dirty your fine kerchiefs on my account, Lady Elinor, but I probably could do to clean up a bit. If Luci's gone home…" He can't quite hide his concern. "…then I shouldn't be lingering in town long. Still. I've time for a cup of tea, as you're so kind to offer the invitation. Far better company than the others I've had in Stonebridge, so I may as well depart on a positive note." He lowers himself to sit, one leg extended, the other bent so his knee is raised in a way that he can rest his arms on. Danae's words earn another of those half-self-mocking chuckles. "If that's so, then I'm a learned man. A couple more brawls and I'll be ready for a maester's chain. Westerling, you said? Your family rules the Crag, if I don't mistake my lessons from the Westerlands."

"Indeed, were were. This afternoon seems quite the time to make new acquaintance. Please do join us." Elinor is favored with a warm smile, the younger woman looking up from her basket as she draws the attention. "You lessons have taught you correctly, good Ser. My cousin in fact, heads the Crag at present," Danae replies gently, her hands stilling in their sorting as she withdraws what she had been looking for. It is a long, fine frond. "While I cannot offer a…ah, clean handkerchief" she pauses, glancing towards her own rather dirty one, "These make a rather fine poultice and bring down the swelling, if you forgive the imposition."

Elinor's shoulders practically sank when he started to use his hand. Even after declining the offer of her handkerchief she moved to retrieve it, regardless, and hand it to him. "Do take it Ser Jarod." Her tone is suggestive yet sturdy at the same time. The auburn haired maiden begins to hand each of them a cup of warm tea, another cup of water to Jarod to dampen his handkerchief in. He was going to use the damn thing and make himself presentable, at least to new and impressionable faces. Elinor would have a softer composition when addressing Danae, "How generous of you Lady Danae." The noblewoman's smile is warm, "You would have a vast understanding of the various flora and fauna then? I can point out a few though my knowledge is extremely disappointing." Her eyes then sweep over to Jarod while still speaking to Danae, "Do you suppose it will stay like that? Ridged and such?" His nose of course.

"Is it really that bad?" Jarod asks wryly of Danae when she offers to make him a poultice." But, upon consideration, he has to figure it probably is. "If it's not too much trouble. That'd be very kind. I fear I have nothing to offer in return, save the questionable pleasure of my company this afternoon, though I shall remember that I owe you a knightly favor which you may call upon as you require it. And you as well, Lady Elinor. I thank you." He does take the handkerchief, dabbing it in the water and then dabbing it on said nose. "Oh, the break is old, m'Ladies," he says, as to Elinor's question about the ridges on his nose. "I've had it broken twice, actually, and the man I mussed with today was not quite good enough to give me a third. The knight I squired for in Seagard is the one who did it first and gave me the ridges, when I was fourteen. I've sort've grown into them."

"I would suppose that would depend if you would prefer it to look like the egg of a chicken on the morrow or prefer a little paste now to ease the bruising," Danae responds, brushing the frond across her jaw. It is certainly colourful. Any amusement she may find at the Lady Elinor's badgering of the knight is hidden by the demure drop of her jaw, both for the compliment and the agreement alike. "It shall be held as such, should we," she says of the favor. A small mortar and pestle are withdrawn from her basket, just big enough to make a small and immediate mixture, the colour of buttercream. "A professional hobbyist one might say, Lady Elinor. I am afraid that my grasp of surgery is not such to make any recommendations on such an injury. It does seem as if you have grown into them well, Ser." The compliment is genuine and distracted, hands busy as she makes the poultice.

Visibly he improved with resulted in a pair of upturned corners of Elinor's mouth. "It is quite obvious you've been in a scrape or two. I had never really stared at your face this long before to notice Ser Jarod." She cannot help but raise a hand, covering the light titter of giggling, "Forgive me, I mean not to jest at your dismay." The bone was set and unless broken again that pair of ridges will ever remain. "A favor to call upon? I shall keep that in mind." Once more she partially turns to Danae who speaks, a broader smile, "Is that for his nose?" She asks.

Jarod laughs at the jest, shaking his head. "No worries, Lady Elinor, this is the least of my dismays, and one I know how to deal with, at least. I'll have this kerchief washed before I return it to you. And, aye. Any favor you wish, bid it of me when you will and I shall do it if it's within my power." He seems to mean it. Having cleaned the lingering bits of dried blood off his nose, he tries some of his tea. Eyeing the paste as Danae mixes it. "I've enough egg on my face normally not to wish more upon myself. Aye. I'd be most obliged. And hobbyist or no, it's a most useful skill, and one I'm quite grateful for at this moment. What's in that…stuff anyhow?" He gestures to the buttercream-colored 'stuff.' The bit about having grown into his broken nose well makes his smile crook, though he still chuckles again. "Ser Vernon - my knightly teacher and the one who broke it best - said scars just mean a man's got a few good stories. Or has learned a few lessons, as you put it before."

"Ah yes, the nose and the —" Trailing off, Danae brushes her fingers across her own face as to not point directly at the bruising on Ser Jarod's own. Laughing softly, she taps the pestle to the edge of the mortar and names the varied herbs within without a flinch. "Nothing complicated, I am afraid. However, it will do well enough as an aid until your body can heal naturally. You can just dib your fingers in and dab it to the areas," she explains, offering the mortar cup to Jarod with a half smile. "Though you may have to disappoint your Ser Vernon, it will not help you /keep/ the scars."

Elinor's lips press against the edge of her cup as the pair converse. Sipping quietly and savoring the flavor of a warm drink unfortunately on a warm day. "A shame for that, they accent his features with a certain… crudeness." She sums up after a sidelong study of Jarod's face. And in a correcting moment she turned to Danae, "Lady Westerling, I assume you reside here in Stonebridge?"

"Ser Vernon used to tell me I'd have far fewer problems if I let him mess up my face a little more," Jarod replies to Elinor with a boyish grin. "Looking back, he might've been correct. He only got as far as the nose, though. The rest I rather like keeping un-storied for awhile longer, if you think you can manage to repair me, Lady Danae." He idly brushes Elinor's loaned hanky against his bruised forehead. He looks like he rammed his head directly into…something fairly solid. This, at least, drew no blood, though it is turning from red to purple rapidly.

Once the mortar is passed offed to Jarod, Danae retrieves her own tea for a delicate sip which leads her to incline her chin towards Elinor in an approving nod. Excellent tea. "I cannot guarantee anything yet unseen, Ser Rivers, but it will do wonders for those that presentally mar you features," Danae promises solemnly. Then she turns her attention back to Elinor, a fair brow arched in faint interest. "Indeed, Lady Banefort, I am. The country and people have proved themselves pleasant so far, if very different from my home. And yourself, I might presume that you visited for the week's ends festivities that just passed?"

"I can only imagine why Ser Jarod he would say such a thing." Elinor presses her lips tighter in an effort to prevent outward laughing. Instead she focuses her sights upon Danae, "Yes.." A stalwart reply, "I do reside at the Roost, along with Ser Jarod here, as a guest of House Terrick. Since the union of our two families by my sister." She can't help but primp and pull at her skirts, something in the arrangement displeased her. "I have chosen to stay just a few days longer. There are fabrics here by vendors I have not seen before and wish to explore all the shops before my parting. Perhaps I may even take in the country side. It is quite lovely here."

Jarod takes the mortar and gets to dabbing himself. He makes something of a mess of it, right caking the stuff on his nose and getting a good bit of the part to be smeared on his forehead in his hair. It covers his bruises, at least. And then some. "That enough?" he asks, of Danae's professional opinion. There is a very large glop of it that's made a small mountain on the tip of his nose. The 'more must make stuff heal faster' philosophy has been applied to this venture.

A stalwart reply indeed. Danae's gaze flickers from the Lady to the knight briefly, watching as she resettles her skirts to perfection. "I do see. Perhaps I might join you for some of that exploration, as you mentioned that you had lost or original companion? I have met few enough companions here and I am afraid that Ser Smythe only has passable taste in ribbon," she suggests, casting an amused look towards her guardian. He bares it with grace, considering the indignities of the day. Baskets. "Although, if I may be bold and you search for trickets. You might find interest in some of the jewellery which my retinue has brought from the West, some of it is quite lovely craftwork." Her fingers trail down the equisite work that hangs around her own throat, over carefully crafted shells. At Jarod's question she glances up at him, startled into a note of laughter. "Indeed, Ser! Although you may want to gently work it in a touch more." In demonstation, the places a fingertip to the end of her one nose and paints a small circle.

It was sad indeed how much Jarod's features had changed. Elinor was desperately trying not to laugh outright for the occasional coughing into one's hand and clearing her throat 'tricks' were not helping. "Oh dear.. here Ser Jarod." While she may not have the skills of creating these mixtures, she can at least spread paste upon the face. The noblewoman shifts onto her knees and offers to correct the mess he's made with a gentle touch by a finger or two. She would ensure the paste had made it into the depths of his scars, a thin layer coaxing over the bruises. All the while, she continues to speak with Danae, "I would love to Lady Danae." Elinor returns, "That necklace you wear is one of them? Oh I would certainly appreciate the opportunity to view the wares. I may find something of interest for ah my sister, or brothers. I have been in search of a new neck piece." The Lady Banefort takes an keen eye to when searching for more imperfections to plaster with this paste. Seeing none, she'll settle back onto her haunches and wait for a delivery of cloth from the maiden to clean her hands. "Much better Ser Jarod. Do try not to muss up my efforts."

Jarod does not seem to mind the chuckles, though he's puzzled by them. He cannot see what a mess he's made of himself, after all. "Oh…" He might be a bit surprised when Elinor takes over doing the job for him, but it's for the best. For his face, at least. He holds still while she works. He's been beaten up enough times to learn how to be a good patient to those who end up tending him. "That's very kind, m'Lady. Just for you, I will not damage myself in any further fashion. For today, at least. Can't make any promises on what the morrow will hold."

"That it is," Danae replies warmly, fingers brushing its length once more. "It was my nameday git when I came of age. He is a master at his craft. I am certain that some of his wares might intrigue you, they are of a particular excellence." Sipping her tea, she watches as Elinor familiarly coats Ser Jarods face with the cream, filling the marks and crevices to the best of her ability. The coating is thorough. Ahem. Danae's smile hold a polite frame as she nods her approval. Nice work.

"I would appreciate it." Spoken to Jarod in a charmed tone, a smile under the silent praise from the one well practiced in this task. Fingers cleansed and seat reclaimed Elinor does reach for her cup to embrace by both hands, "I do admit my excitement to see his craftsmanship, by the sample before me it appears exquisite." Her eyes are simply admiring the necklace decorating Danae's neck. "What are some of the other concoctions you are able to create with your herbs?"

"Small repayment for your kindness, m'Lady Elinor," Jarod says with a smile for her, carefully not poking at his face again now, lest he mess up the job. "Both of yours. I much appreciate the company. It's by far the best I've spent in…awhile." Head tilting back to Danae he says, "If you're in the area long, you should come and visit the Roost. I'm sure Lady Anais - the Lady Elinor's sister - would enjoy receiving another Westerwoman. And Lord Jacsen's always eager to meet nobles from outside the region. We're in the process of building a dock that'll allow for more trade in those parts, and if the Crag is interested in business ventures in the Riverlands I suspect my young lord brother would want to discuss them."

Clearing her throat softly, Danae sets down her cup of tea before answering and tucks a lock of blonde hair back behind her ear. "I would hope that it shall not disappoint then, favored as I am of my landsmen, I do admit a bias to their work," she acknowledges with satisfaction. The multi-hued shells gleam in the pleasant light of day, long chain nearly creeping into the folds of dress. "It is my intent for my stay to be extended. That is a delightful proposition, should it not be an imposition, I should much like discuss the opportunity for mutual ventures. Although, I shall not bore you with them and spoil this lovely tea." A sweeping gesture of her fingers accompanies their company's inclusion in the description of that 'tea', blue eyes keen as they look from Elinor to Jarod. "My concoctions are liable to bore you, Lady Banefort. Teas, tinctures, poultices…I look forward to catalog some of this region that I am not as yet too familiar with."

Elinor smiles brightly then to Danae, "Oh I would love for you to meet my sister, Anais. I have another sister residing at the roost, her name is Gywn though I have not the slightest idea of what she's been up to lately though I am certain she would also love to meet you as well." With her cup drained she declined an offer of more, seemingly content with the measure that had dampened her pallet. Though she turns to Jarod, "Thank you Ser Jarod it was by happenstance really."

"You're keeping me passable-looking, m'lady," Jarod says, turning that boyish grin to Danae. It's possibly more charming when he's less bruised and not covered in buttercream-ish paste. "I owe you a good word to my lord father and brother for hospitality, at least. Besides, I think they'd consider it an honor rather than an invitation. If the Lady Westerling graced the Riverlands without paying a call on the Lord of the Roost, we'd all of us be crushed to our very hearts and insulted beyond measure! So. Plainly you must, as it's convenient for you." He winks. His own tea is finished in a less-than-delicate gulp. "And I thank again the pair of you. I should be getting on the road, though. I'd not be too far behind Luci. And I'll admit I'm eager to be home. Have you escorts for the ride back, Lady Elinor?"

It is charming enough to cause her to smile in return, if partially in humor for the buttercream pallor of his skin, a shade of delight transfers to the one she gives Elinor. "Well, it would be my honor to grace the halls of the Roost. I could never bare to callously crush nor insult such a fine family, particularly by dire lacking of manners." The horrors. "I shall write a letter expressing my desire to call or you might send me a bird in offer," Danae decides warmly, slowly rising to her feet once her own tea is finished. "I am at the Crane's Crossing and shall remain, should you care to take a tour of Stonebridge with me, Lady Banefort. However, I as well should take leave of your company and take these out of the sun." Her rise is marked with a low curtsey with all the offered courtesies to the pair of them.

Elinor is the last to leave the comforts of the blanket as the shade had shifted lengthwise to the west. She nods to Jarod, "Yes. Ser Kell Drakmoor will provide me an escort to the roost in two days." At least her safe return home was secured. The young maiden does gather the discarded cups and return them into the basket. "If you would, kindly inform my sister I will be leaving Stonebridge in two days? So she is not to worry." Elinor's frame does dip to the pair of them, "I too am at the Crane's Crossing, we shall most certainly meet on the morrow? I will leave a message with the Inkeeper, however I do thank you for your company Lady Westerling. And you as well Ser Jarod."