|The Bane of Pyke|
|Summary:||Anais summons Kevan to ask him about the events leading to the death of Svarta Pyke, and makes the hedge knight an offer.|
|Related Logs:||Greyjoy duel logs|
|Terrick's Roost - Rockcliff Inn|
|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.|
|Wed Aug 3, 288|
It's a fine and sunny day at Terrick's Roost, with a pleasant breeze off the shore. The fine weather belies all that lies beneath the surface, of course. The hidden currents of intrigue and politics may as well be far out to sea. In the common room of the inn, there are yet a few visitors stopping through after the tournament, taking care of other appointments and errands before turning for home.
Among those in the tavern is a small knot in the black and grey of the Banefort, their fiery badges the only hint of color in their uniforms. Three men at arms and one young woman - a bright spot among them in pale blue - have claimed a table in one corner. While the men seem to be at dice, Anais is reading over a few papers, though she holds them at an awkward distance from herself, arm extended as far as it will go.
Though he's doing his best to appear unremarkable, there just isn't enough of a crowd for the Rockcliff's latest arrival to enter unnoticed. And that's if such a thing would have been possible to begin with — he's a tall man, and not the easiest to miss. Clad in a dark cloak, heavy boots, and wearing a hooded expression on his face, Kevan hadn't expected to see himself back in Terrick's Roost any time soon, given the events of last week in Stonebridge, but then he hadn't expected to recieve a summons, either — with the same image on the seal of the anonymous letter as what he now sees on the livery of the three men at arms in the corner. He must be in the right place then, he realizes, as he pulls down the hood of his cloak and slowly crosses the room towards the seated noblewoman and her sworn.
"I hate reading," Anais informs one of her guards, setting the paper down to rub a hand at her eyes. "It always gives me such a headache. Bruce, what time did you-" But before she can finish the question, the man to which she's speaking gives her a gentle nudge, and she looks up to the door. "Ah. Excellent," she murmurs, flipping the papers over and passing them to another guard.
"Excuse me, Ser?" she calls over as she stands, offering a friendly sort of smile. "You wouldn't happen to be Ser Kevan, would you?"
Kevan stops as he nears the table, looking down at the lady in blue with a nod. "Aye, m'lady, that's me," he replies, offering the tiniest of bows. His gravelly voice imparts a certain understated curiousity to his words as he speaks to the woman. "Ser Kevan Tierney, at your service." He reaches — slowly, as to not alarm her sworn — under his cloak, pulling out a slightly rumpled letter with a broken seal, the dried wax still clinging stubbornly to the edge of the parchment. "May I assume you're the one who sent this, then?" It is, of course, the letter that led him here to begin with.
Anais grins as he produces the letter, and though there's something sheepish about it, there are also dimples in the expression. "Nonsense. That letter came from Bruce," she answers the knight, setting a hand to the shoulder of the man next to her. "Please, join us," she invites, moving to sit down once more. "I'm Lady Anais Banefort. I heard rumors about what happened with the Ironmen at the tournament, but it seems no one has the /entire/ story. I thought that since you were at the center of it, though, you might."
"It may have been in his hand, but I doubt the thought that spawned it started with the good captain.” Kevan retorts with a slight smile and, a beat later, a nod to Bruce. Wouldn't do to have the man think he was being insulted, after all, when it's not meant as such. Kevan's had himself enough trouble lately that came out of insulting people. Wordlessly, he sets himself down in the proffered chair and removes the heavy cloak from his shoulders to reveal an outfit of dark leathers underneath. "An honor, m'lady," Kevan replies softly, inclining his head once more as she introduces herself. As she speaks further, Kevan lets out a little laugh. "Aye, I'd expect I just might know the story, at that," he answers with a grin. Instead of continuing immediately, he suddenly turns in his seat and looks around. "Lyla! An ale over here, if you would," he calls out, his eyes settling on a familiar barmaid.
"Nonsense," Anais laughs softly. "Bruce knows a good man when he hears about one." She reaches for a pitcher of water herself, topping off her own glass as the barmaid works on getting Kevan's. "I had heard," she begins slowly, "That you stood up for the young woman who came in second at the competition of song in a confrontation against some Greyjoys. Who really are just prone to confrontation in general, aren't they?" She doesn't really wait for an answer, though she pauses long enough to take a sip of water. "I also heard there were accusations of theft from the Greyjoys. Which is an irony of its own. And /then/ I heard that you bested a Pyke in the resulting duel to the death." She arches a brow then, smile quirking. "Do I have it mostly right?"
Kevan purses his lips, his fingers drumming lightly against the table as Anais relates the tale secondhand. When she finishes, he snorts. "Aye, I'd say that's the most of it," he replies as his drink arrives, set down in front of him with a flourish by the lovely Lyla. "Here you are, sweetling." Kevan pays for his drink and then turns back to Anais. "Of course, you did leave out a mention of the truly scathing insults that finally persuaded my lord Greyjoy to remove himself from his fat arse and actually accept the offer of said duel." He smirks, a twinkle in his eye as he takes a long pull from his cup. "But… yes, that is about how it went." He shrugs. "Does this trouble you?"
"Nobody tells gentle young ladies about those," Anais laughs at Kevan's addition to the tale, smile flashing. "Lest we faint dead away. Though I'm sure they were impressive." The smile lingers at his latter question, wry. "No," she shakes her head. "What troubles me is that young Lord Jaremy felt compelled to dismiss you from Terrick service as a result. Of course I understand why," she adds quickly. "He had to protect the rest of his people from Greyjoy reprisals. But it seems a waste to me. Obviously you're a good knight, if you could best the Pyke."
Kevan rears his head back, and he laughs wickedly at her response. "Naturally, m'lady, naturally." His mien sobers, however, as conversation turns to the Terricks. "I also understood the young lord's decision, and I told him so at the time. Of course… I said nothing about liking it or agreeing with it." Another shrug, and another drink. "But what is, is." He straightens, and a speculative look comes over his face as she continues. "I certainly can't disagree with any of that, m'lady," he responds slowly. "'Good' is in the eye of the beholder, but… I've always held my own."
"Well. It seems…inefficient to have such a good knight rattling around, unattached to any house," Anais observes, taking another drink of water before carefully setting her glass aside. "So I thought I might extend an offer to you." Looking up to the knight with a faint smile, she opens her hands as if in offering. "The Baneforts have nothing to fear as far as reprisal from the Greyjoys go. We're well-armored against them, and not on good enough terms with them to worry about losing anything. And I find myself here without the comfort of someone who knows the area and the people. My own men are strong and capable, of course. But there's no compensating for knowing the area."
Kevan's not hurting for money, of course. Unhorsing Ser Harras Harlaw at the joust had not only been satisfying, but it had been lucrative as well. Even so, it's clear that Anais has Kevan's complete attention when she starts talking about offers and employment. "I'm afraid my own knowledge is a little out of date, m'lady," he replies with a wry smile. "I do hail from the area, but I've been everywhere but here since the rebellion, nearabouts." He shakes his head. "But then, the map doesn't change much in five years. I'm sure I could be of some small service to you, m'lady, and if you'd have me in your service, I'd be glad to place my knowledge at your disposal."
"I could use a guide," Anais replies simply, smile growing at his response. "And I think it would be foolish to let such a skilled knight go. So if you're willing, I would be pleased to take you as one of our knights. Bruce?"
The man at her right produces a Banefort badge, passing it across the table with a welcoming smile and a firm nod of his own. "Wouldn't expect to be leaving the area any time soon," he notes, leaning back in his chair with a significant look toward Anais. "But I think that'll do for now."
"My thanks, ser." Kevan reaches out, accepting the badge readily with an incline of the head. "Then I shall remain in the Roost until my Lady bids otherwise," he responds with a smile of his own. He leans back in his chair, draining the last of his mug in a single gulp. "If you'll excuse me, I find myself weary from the day's travels. I'd like nothing more than a warm meal and a bed that isn't some sort of shrubbery." He stands. "I'll rejoin your company on the morrow, then, if it please m'lady."
"Perfectly," Anais replies, nodding once and standing as the knight does. "I'll look forward to seeing you on the morrow. And thank you, Ser Kevan. I hope that you'll make our house proud."
"As do I, m'lady." With a final nod to his newest liege lord(or lady in this case), Kevan turns on his heel, his cloak whipping behind him as he strides towards the exit of the common area, heading for one of the private rooms as he flicks the appropriate payment to the innkeeper.