Page 573: The Commoners Start to Gather
The Commoners Start to Gather
Summary: The Common House sees a little pre-ball entertainment
Date: 16/Feb/2013
Related Logs: None
Hoekenn Yakim Merrick Kaelea 
East Walk, Stonebridge
This crossroads at the edge of town is where the docks intersect with the road heading towards Hag's Mire in one direction and a few blocks to the town square in the other. The activity in the area is usually cart traffic with moving goods from port to retail and most of it passes by the Common House. This one story structure on the corner is known as the town's nicer inn as well as a brothel for the lonely visitor.
Sat Feb 16, 290

The day having gone on quite nicely and having found a moment of rest earlier Hoekenn is now returning from the nearby woods. Hand at his side, and on his knife, as usual. Wandering along and seemingly deep in his own thoughts. The afternoon starting to head for it's end as supper time is closing in. People are starting to gather towards the common house.

Having spent some time getting to know Stonebridge a bit better, Yakim is now making his way in the general direction of the common house, steps rather slow for the moment, as he looks around. Gaze stopping on Hoekenn for a few moments, he studies the other young man rather carefully for now, but doesn't say anything yet.

Hoekenn doesn't seem to notice Yakim as he just continues to move. Almost walking right into him. Though able to shift. Although there might me a slight bump to the shoulder. As for which he blinks and will offer a nod and apologize, "Apologies." Before he will smile and try and continue. His steps are quite slow though.

Yakim blinks a bit as Hoekenn almost walks right into him, eyes narrowing a bit, and although there's only that slight bump to the shoulder, his temper still flares a bit. "Watch where you're going, you idiot!" he calls out, a bit angrily, stepping forward in an attempt to stop the other.

Hoekenn blinks and turns At the sound. Seeing the step of Yakim and he only grips tightly on his knife. Not sure what to do. "Sorry." He offers and takes a step back. Mostly not wanting to need to fight. Which is perhaps a common thing he has seen following such a tone.

Gaze going to the knife, Yakim shakes his head, "Grabbing a knife just because people are talking harshly to you?" he comments, before he lets out a bit of a sigh. "You'd better be sorry."

Hoekenn blinks and realizes the knife thing. "No. Just holding it." He explains himself. As if that would make it all understandable. Slowly letting go of it and then smiling brightly. "Ken." He offers, perhaps not often that he meets someone his age.

"Ah," Yakim replies, shaking his head a little. "You should be careful about that. People could find it quite threatening, you know." Seems his anger is gone, just as fast as it came. Studying Hoekenn carefully as he hears the name, he shrugs a little. "Yakim," he offers in return now.

Hoekenn smiles and nods, "Happens." He says and seems to not mind too much. People usually stay away from him perhaps slightly because of that. Also that he is odd. "Nice meeting you, Yakim." He offers and smiles still. Standing still for a moment. "Staying here in Stonebridge or passing through?" He asks a bit curiously.

Merrick has spent most of the day doing precisely sod all, although at least part of the afternoon was spent at the bar lifting pints. That's not to say he's wankered mind, more just warming up for the night ahead, although he's taking a brief break from the Common House to try and track down the slack bastard he calls a squire. Sticking his head out the door he scans the area for a moment before spotting his target and calling, "Oi! You seen to them horses yet?"

Yakim nods a little bit as he hears Hoekenn's words, shrugging a little bit. "Mostly just passing thro…" Trailing off as he hears Merrick's words. "Just got it done, Ser," he calls back, offering a bit of a smile, before he looks back to Hoekenn now. "Sorry about that," he offers after a few moments of pause now, a bit quietly.

Hoekenn blinks at the call from Merrick and looks between them both. "You also a squire?" He asks, seeing as he himself is one. Not seeming to mind any of it. "It is fine." Shifting his stance a bit and studying Merrick briefly. Not sure what else he has to offer to them right now.

"Good," Merrick calls back, "now get your fat arse back in here. Barman says he's out of change so that means you're up." He eyes Hoekenn for a moment or two then nods towards him, "bring your new friend if you want." Seemingly satisfied to leave it at that he turns and heads back into the Common House.

"Stupid old drunkard…" It's not said loud enough for his knight to hear, as Yakim shakes his head a little bit. Turning to offer Hoekenn a bit of a grin. "Does that answer the question?" he offers after a few moments of pause. "Want to join us then?" he offers, before he starts moving for that door briefly. "Yes, Ser…" he replies to Merrick after a few moments.

Hoekenn just blinks at the odd relationship between the knight and squire. Not that his could be described as better. Barely seen with his knight after all, other than briefly once in awhile. "Sure." He offers with a smile to Yakim before following.

Common House, Stonebridge
The Common House, located at the intersection of the docks and the town proper, provides a roof and more for travelers that arrive via land or water. The warm interior is kept so by a large hearth at one end of the room, the subtle hint of peat at the edges of the smells within. The main room is large and provides for long tables and benches over the planked wooden floor. Clay pitchers stand ready to serve the customers with multiple kinds of refreshment. A few whores work as waitresses for the visitors, providing companionship at the rear of the building where the more well-off visitors stay. Those of the lower classes are welcome to sleep on the benches or on the floor near the hearth.
Sat Feb 16, 290

Merrick hadn't bothered to wait and see if Yakim, or indeed Hoekenn had followed him, but has instead made his way back to the bar and is in the middle of ordering the round when the younger pair arrive. With half an eye on the door he whistles over to them and sticks his hand in the air to wave them over to the spot he's saved. Seems like the place is busy, probably merchants and visitors for the ball or some such.

"So, do you live in Stonebridge, or something?" Yakim offers to Hoekenn, as he starts moving over in the direction of where Merrick is, for now. "It looks like an interesting town."

Hoekenn smiles and nods to the question, "Squire to ser Eamon of the Nayland's guards." He explains and heads towards Merrick as well. "It's nice here." Comes his agreeing and confirming words. Moving swiftly enough towards the older knight.

"So you're a squire too eh?" Merrick asks, catching the end of Hoekenn's words as they draw near, "you've got to know the places to go for a good time around here then. What to hit, what not to if you catch my drift lad." He smirks a little at that, eyeing a few of the serving staff as he does so. "What do you reckon, we stand you a drink and you fill us in?"

Yakim smiles a little, nodding for now as he takes a seat. "Ser, this is Ken. Ken, this is Ser Merrick." There, introductions done for now.

Hoekenn smiles and nods, "I am. I used to be ser Bruce Longbough's squire." He explains and shrugs about a good time. Not really sure what he means. Blinking a bit. He is quite the innocent youth after all. "Pleasure, ser." Smiling and nodding to the old man's last words though. "Sounds good."

Merrick accepts his beer from the barman and lets the lads take their own, leaving Yakim to fork over whatever cash is required. "Never heard of him," he replies with a shrug as Ser Bruce is named then takes a swig of his beer. "So come on then, where do you go for a good time?" Glancing back to his own squire he adds, "and where's likely to have someone that'll take 'im and all?"

Paying the cash he needs to pay, Yakim takes his own beer, taking a sip from it now. Pausing a little bit as he listens to the conversation for now.

"I go to the woods." Hoekenn explains. Clearly not following the man's real question. "Or a swim in the shallows." He adds. Paying up as well and taking his before shifting a bit and drinking as well. "I suppose it depends on what you want."

Merrick eyes Hoekenn a moment then turns to look at Yakim and shakes his head slightly, "You do know how to find 'em lad, I'll grant you that." Turning back to the local he reaches out to put an arm round his shoulder in a companionable sort of manner and leans in a little to explain, "I mean whores lad. Women of negotiable affection. Ladies of the night. Spend long enough on the road with a fat merchant and his goods and you need something to look forward to at the end. She where's the places to go around here?"

Unable to hold back a brief grin as he hears Hoekenn's answer, Yakim sips his own beer now, before he shrugs at Merrick's words. "Well, truth to be told, he ran into me," he offers.

Hoekenn blinks and looks around. "Here or the Crane I would think." He says. Perhaps knowing all too well, but that is what he has seen. Looking between them both. Scratching his head a bit. Looking over towards a couple of the women. Perhaps indicating for Merrick that he believes them to be wenches. Since he has seen them a lot around the men. "Apologies." He offers once more to Yakim's words.

"Teach you to watch where you're going then," Merrick replies to Yakim, it seems to be in good humour though, rather than a telling off. Turning back to Hoekenn he shakes his head slightly, grin spreading across his features. "Your knight not into teaching you the way of the world eh lad?" He follows his glance to the women and pats him on the shoulder in an encouraging way. "Like the look of 'em eh? Do for you?" Turning back to Yakim he reaches into a pouch and tosses a coin at the lad. "My treat. Take, Ken, here over to those two lovely lasses and ensure he has a good time. Day of Mischief might not be til tomorrow but I reckon he needs the practice beforehand."

Yakim waits until the right moment to snatch the coin away now, as he looks from Merrick and Hoekenn to the women, shrugging a little bit. "Yes, Ser…" he offers after a few moments of pause now.

Hoekenn blinks and shrugs, "He tries. But given up, I think." He chuckles a bit dryly at that. As for himself liking what he sees, he shakes his head. "It is fine, ser. I don't want to." Perhaps already having an obsession for his mind when it comes to that. Letting Yakim go ahead without him.

Merrick turns to raise an eyebrow at Hoekenn from where the three of them are stood by the bar. Some of his previous jovial nature is gone now and he straightens a little, setting his pint down as he does so. "Too good for an honest workin’ girl eh? Or is it just that my coin ain't good enough for you?"

It's probably unfortunate that Kaelea chooses that exact time to enter the common inn, but more than likely timing doesn't matter. She's never been here before and she's curious. In town because of the festivities the following day, the redhead makes her way to the bar area, not knowing a single person in the room, taking a seat on one of the stools, ordering an ale. If she overhears the others, she just glances over, green eyes raking curiously over the trio as she waits for her drink to be delivered.

Yakim pauses for a few moments as he hears Hoekenn's words, looking over at the other squire for a few moments. Then as he starts to look over towards the women mentioned before, he spots Kaelea as she enters, gaze following her rather carefully for the moment. A glance from her to the coin Merrick tossed to him, then back to Kaelea, offering her a bit of a smile and a nod. And then he takes a long sip of his beer, looking rather thoughtful for the moment, it would seem.

Hoekenn smiles but shakes his head to Merrick. "I Shouldn't, is all." And that seems to be all that he will be offering for now. Seemingly missing the talk or even the entering Kaelea.

Merrick does not immediately notice Kaelea's arrival as he's too busy just watching Hoekenn to see the lad's response. He flexes his shoulders, readying himself for if he needs to teach him a lesson about never being too prideful to accept charity. As the replies comes back though he frowns and leans in towards him again, "Shouldn't?" Lifting his right hand up to jab at Hoekenn's brestbone with his finger he repeats, "shouldn't? And why not? You ain't some religious tight arse who thinks a girl shouldn't be able to earn a few coin are you lad?"

Raised going to Inn's Kaelea can almost predict the way the scene is headed, but in no immediate danger herself, she continues watching the trio who have caught her attention so successfully. At the smile and nod from Yakim, the redhead returns it, though quickly looks back at the bar when her ale is delivered. Lifting her mug she tosses a coin on the scarred bar top to pay for it before taking a long drink of the froth topped liquid.

Yakim glances back to Merrick and Hoekenn for a few moments, studying them both for now. Looking a bit curious at the other squire's words, he sips his beer again, looking over to Kaelea once again, studying her a bit carefully now.

Hoekenn blinks to Merrick but shakes his head. "I'm not interested." He explains and shrugs. Not wanting to go into more details than that. As usual his hand finds the knife to bring some comfort to himself. Drinking a bit still. Furrowing his brows though. Still not catching Kaelea it seems. He never has had good awareness to his surrounding. And with Merrick talking it doesn't make things easier. He will try to head towards the bar though.

With Hoekenn firmly in his sights, Merrick has all but forgotten about Yakim and still not noticed Kaelea. In fact, right now he's not really noticing anyone else in the inn. Spotting the hand going for the knife he drops one hand to his sword hilt and snatches the other one forward to try and grab hold of a fist full of the lad's shirt near his neck. "Don't even fucking think about it," he growls, "or I'll make you rue the day you were born."

Minding her own business, Kaelea keeps her drink in hand, alternating between lifting and lowering it to her lips, rather thirsty after the ride from Highfield. Once she finishes her first, she slides it a little further onto the bar, "Another please." Paying in advance for the second one. All the while she feels that studying gaze on her. After drinking several more swallows of her second one, she turns in her seat marginally so that she can keep an eye on them without seeming too obvious about it. Ah, the perils of traveling alone. You'd think she'd learn by now. When things begin to get serious, the redhead doesn't really get involved at this point. Still there's a chance to see a peaceful end to it all. Forgetting all about the man staring at her now her attention is on the two threatening blades.

Another few moments of studying Kaelea, Yakim notices the way she turns in her seat, but doesn't say anything about it. Frowning a bit as he looks between Merrick and Hoekenn, a bit carefully for now. Muttering something under his breath, he shakes his head. Glancing between those two as he drains his beer. Stepping back a little, he moves until he's next to where Kaelea is seated, looking to the person behind the bar as he orders himself something more to drink, a bit quietly now.

Hoekenn blinks and tries to push off from Merrick. Not letting go of the knife. Though he can't really pull it out. It is only a small knife and also he is holding onto the scabbard. "I won't." IS all he offers about the knife, perhaps realizing what was going on. Hoping that Merrick will stop before there is more issues. Fully focused on Merrick.

Merrick has no intention of letting Hoekenn push himself away and keeps a firm grip on his shirt, angling if anything, to pull him even closer until their foreheads are practically touching. "Hands away," he orders, almost barking out the command. Dropping back down to the growl he continues "Get your hand off that fucking knife and you get to walk out of here with all your bones and teeth intact. Do I make myself clear?"

When Yakim joins beside her at the bar, Kaelea offers a quick smile, but she doesn't linger overly long on the greeting, instead she shifts her gaze to the others, watching the younger one being grabbed by the older one. She keeps reminding herself it isn't her business and drinks more ale.

Hoekenn doesn't seem scared or even care more than being confused. "IT's my mom's." He explains and does look a bit sad about that. "Used to." He adds and is rubbing against it as if petting an animal. He will try to let go of it though. "Do you want to spar?" He asks with a smile. Perhaps not able to read the situation, or thinking that all is well now. "I like trying against other knights."

"Hello there," Yakim offers as he sees Kaelea's smile. Watching her for a few moments again. "Such a nice day, isn't it?" It's spoken a bit quietly, as he glances back to Hoekenn and Merrick now, shaking his head a little bit at the moment.

"Didn't say I wanted it off you lad," Merrick replies, continuing to growl. After all, if growling doesn't work, growl more right? "You just need to take your hand off it nice and slow so I know you ain't going to do something stupid like try and stick it between my ribs." As the knife is released though he lifts the hand from his sword hilt and pats teh squire on the shoulder a few times as he slowly releases the grip on his shirt. "Good lad. Well done. Now don't be so fucking stupid again alright? Cos I might not feel like giving a warning next time." Stepping back and turning towards his beer he then looks for Yakim, finding him talking to Kaelea. "Oi! Shit for brains. What in the Seven Hells do you think you're playing at? Some stupid fuck goes to pull a knife and all you can do is oggle some girl? Very least you should have been behind him with a knife incase he was stupid enough to have a go."

"Greetings." Kaelea returns, though the smile falters a little. "Actually, it is a nice day." Another hesitation before she glances over at the two, seeming to find the situation hasn't escalated further. "In town for the masquerade?" Not really asking if they lived there already, she was kind of out of her element at the moment. Hearing the older one talk again, she looks over. "Some girl.." repeating the words of the knight, if she wasn't mistaken about that. A common born one in the very common inn? She rolls her eyes, "Two against one isn't any fun."

Hoekenn smiles and nods to Merrick and then will move to the bar with his drink and continue to drink and look between them all. Smiling and nodding to Kaelea as well now. "Hi." His smile as sweet as usual. Looking over to Yakim as well. Then to Merrick with a stupid grin. "He likes me too much to do so." At least having learned some about jesting it seems.

"Ah, I knew you had it well in hand, Ser," Yakim offers with a bit of a smile. "I knew from our brief meeting outside that he wasn't going to be much of a threat." A brief pause, before he looks over to Kaelea, offering her a bit of a grin. "I think he meant to say 'some pretty girl'," he remarks, a bit lightly now. "And yes, we're in town for that as well, I suppose. Ser here's trying to find work for us onwards as well." A brief pause, before he adds, "I'm Yakim."

"Aye luv, cos watching the back of the man who ensures you don't starve or have to go begging in the streets is supposed to be a matter of fun and games," Merrick replies sharply to Kaelea, still venting it seems. "He's supposed to be learning to be a knight but he ain't going to last five minutes if he doesn't learn to back up those he fights alongside." Hoekenn's grin doesn't seem to help matters either, "shut it you, or did you not get the idea before?" Beer in one hand he snakes the other out to clip Yakim's ear "and don't you add getting cocky to the list. One day you'll underestimate someone end you'll end up dead."

"Growly bear," Kaelea says off-handedly to the overly grumpy knight. "Rawr." Looking back at Yakim, she grins. "Looks like it'll be hard to find work in a place with such poor people. Maybe you should try the Mallisters, I hear they have extra. Or the Haighs."

Hoekenn nods to Merrick and turns towards Kaelea and Yakim again. Raising a brow. "This place is good enough." He tells them before shrugging. Himself having enjoyed it here. "Ken." He offers to the redhead. Straight forward as usual.

"But there's probably always merchants going somewhere, needing people to help them stay safe," Yakim remarks, before he looks over at Merrick, then back at Kaelea. "Don't worry about him, he tends to be a bit grouchy." Muttering a little as his ear is clipped, shaking his head a bit for a few moments. "I'll keep that in mind, Ser," he offers, a bit lightly.

Merrick eyes Kaelea a moment as she starts to speak, pausing a moment he debates something in silence for a moment but then breaks out into a roar of laughter. "You," he says, pointing towards the lass with the finger he so recently poked into Hoekenn's ribcage, "you I like." Grinning broadly he goes on to explain "merchants came for this event, merchants will be leaving. That and there's word of bandits about these lands too. There's always work if you know where to look." Hoekenn is entirely ignored and he then turns to his own squire, "get this lass a drink, and me one an' all. I know you have the coin for it."

"Hi, Ken, I'm Kaelea." The redhead prefers straight forward, liking to know exactly where she stands. Now that the issue seems to be settled, she manages to finish her second ale. But who's counting? As Yakim goes on to explain more, she laughs. "Hey everyone is grouchy sometimes. Some more than others." Feeling the knight's eyes on her, she looks back over with an almost challenging expression. That is until he laughs. It brings a quick twitch to her lips and she shakes her head. "You buy one, I'll buy the next."

Hoekenn smiles to them all, but soon enough rises to his feet. Draining his beer. "Apologies, I should be going. I have some training left." He offers and bows to them all before he will start to slip off.

Yakim offers a bit of a grin at Merrick, "You know, old man, I was already planning on buying her one," he comments, rather lightly, before he hurries to move out of the knight's reach, before he grins at Kaelea. "An ale, then?" he asks, before he adds, "And it's a pleasure to meet you." Offering a momentary grin to Hoekenn as well. "Nice to meet you, Ken."

Merrick watches Hoekenn until he's out the door then turns back to Yakim and Kaelea as if the other man had never been there. As Kaelea offers the next round he shakes his head once, "Yak here is buying, he's got coin he no longer has a use for." He does reach to clip the lad's ear again, but doesn't seem overly bothered that he's ducked out of reach pre-emptively.

Hearing the man was already planning on buying her one, Kaelea grins. "An ale. It's a pleasure meeting you too." Though she looks back now at the knight. "How was it he came to have a coin he was no longer in need of?" Of course she had heard some of the conversation, but the knight didn't know, he never saw her enter until later.

Yakim smiles a little now, ordering the drinks as he drains his last ale, listening to what's being said for the moment. "Let's just stay with the facts, that I have some coin?" he offers, a bit lightly.

Merrick looks as though he might have been about to explain the origin of Yakim's coin as the lad comes in with his own reply. Grinning slightly he reaches for his tankard and drains the remains before swopping it for a fresh one on the bar. Instead he simply states, "enjoy it while you can luv. Getting booze out of him is usually like trying to get blood from a stone."

It's not really something Kaelea cares to discuss so much, so when Yakim mentions staying with him having the coin, she nods. "And that's good enough for me, a free drink is a free drink." Once the ale has arrived, she lifts it in a toast. "Here's to coins and drinks and fightless nights."

"To coins and drinks and fightless nights," Yakim echoes, before he adds, "And pretty women, wouldn't you agree, Ser?" A grin offered to Merrick again, before he grins, "Well, that may be true, Ser. If you add that your way of getting blood from a stone is pounding at it with your fist…"

"To pretty women," Merrick replies as he raises his tankard, the rest he can give or take, well, maybe the coins and the fightless nights anyway. Glencing his fist and holding it up he smiles to Yakim then shurgs, "Works doesn't it?"

When he echoes, Kaelea lifts the mug to her lips, ready to down a long swallow. A brow arches at the pretty women part and she winks playfully. "Thanks." The word is muttered against the lip of the cup before she drinks deep of the ale.

"You're welcome," Yakim offers to Kaelea, with a bit of a grin now. A brief pause, before he looks over at Merrick, just offering a wide grin for now. And drinking some more of his ale.

Merrick is about half way down his new beer when one of the two women from before catches his eye from across the bar. With Yakim seemingly attempting to get friendly with Kaelea he figures he's free to go have some fun of his own and so slips away from the pair to go have a few 'words' with this serving lass.

Not one to leave a free drink, Kaelea decides to stay around until the mug is empty. When the knight slips away, she offers him a grin. "Nice meeting you, ser." Though after a moment, she looks back at the squire. "So, I hope you guys find work and all. I'm only in town for the event."

Yakim just nods a bit as he sees Merrick slip off, offering the man a bit of a nod and a smile. He then turns to nod a bit at Kaelea. "Where do you stay the rest of the time, then?" A brief pause, before he adds, "And thank you. I hope so as well."

"Haighfi.." There's a chuckle from the redhead before she corrects herself, she'd been saying it too much lately. "Highfield is where I call home most of the time. Nice place. Do you both just drift around looking for the next coin?" Kaelea continues nursing her third ale, glancing over towards the knight briefly then back to Yakim.

"Something like that, yes. At least for now." A brief pause as Yakim takes another long sip from his ale. "I mean, not much home left anymore." A brief grimace, before he adds, "Highfield… If we ever get there, I'll make sure to stop by and say hello." It's offered with a bit of a grin now.

"Maybe I'll see you there then. Have a good night and good luck with your searching." Kaelea finishes off her ale and heads for the room she rented for the night.