Page 151: The Curious Habits of Barbarians
The Curious Habits of Barbarians
Summary: Conversations and theories regarding why Ironborn women use swords.
Date: 13/12/2011
Related Logs: None
Elinor Nares Kell 
Smities, Terrick's Roost
Through the stone archway is a small, dimly lit blacksmith's shop that appears to have two main proprietors; one who deals in dinner wares (whitesmith) and the other in smaller iron items like fasteners, hinges, tools, and nails (blacksmith). The area is not what many would considered clean and the dirt floor is devoid of anything flammable. Each side has a heavily contructed heating element and a large, raised anvil nearby for the final forging. Tools are hung upon the walls in very specific places while the finished products are kept on a set of shelves at the end of the shop past the work area.
Tue Dec 13, 288

Within the shop, the Lady Elinor stands beside her handmaidens and a guard wearing the colours of Banefort. In his hands he holds a large wooden lockbox that happens to have no lock attached to it for that is in Elinor's hands. In quiet they await for the blacksmith to finish with another client relaying their requirements for a new broadsword.

Entering through the stone archway, Nares glances around briefly to take in his surroundings. He's still new enough to the town for this to have been his first visit but given as it looks like he might actually have to stick around it's certainly worth looking around for a replacement for the knife he lost recently. Spotting the blacksmith first he takes a few paces in that direction, then the Banefort colours invade his awareness. Pausing for a moment he smiles a little, remembering fond times past, then continues on to join the newly forming queue. He doesn't announce himself though, as he wants to see how much attention the guard is paying.

The Banefort guard in leathers glances over the shoulder to the new entry, the only one to have the duty of surveying one's surroundings. The maidens and Elinor however remain oblivious as one of females shares lowly, "You were right to be absent so my lady, as it seems the lady, if she can be called such, Harlaw has caused quite a bit of discourse here in the Roost." Elinor, with her eyes forward inclines her head partially towards the speaking maidservant, "How so?" She asks, still waiting for the blacksmith to call upon the next customer. "They say she has taken favour with the younger Camden, Lord Dayfdd. And just some days before our arrival she was rendered unconscious by Ser Aeric Mallister." The spread of gossip seemed to catch the noblewoman's attention for her eyes snapped to her maidservant with disbelief. "You jest." The maidservant then shakes her head, "It is all the talk of the town my lady."

Nares spots the guard's glance and flashes the man a smile. It's not quite the smile of a predator, he's too amused at having randomly bumped into actual Baneforts, but it heads in that direction. Given it looks like there may be a wait to converse with the smith, he finds a spot where he can lean against a wall and not be in the way, folds his arms across his chest and listens. He starts to open his mouth to say something when the news of the spar between Kate and the Mallister is brought up, but for now he'll just listen. It's rude to interrupt a Lady's conversation.. or something like that.

The guardsmen says nothing for he has no reason to just yet, though the females continue their little chatter while waiting. "Common folk revel in the plight of their betters." Elinor relays without remorse. "Even so, what was the cause for this? Do you know? Even one of her, origins, do not deserve to be engaged in a bout with a man, especially one so seased as Ser Mallister." After a second moment the noblewoman adds, "Not that I defend her kind." The maiden nods a little, "They say she commonly spars with the men of the tower. That it is something her people do with the men." Elinor quickly snips, "She is not amongst her people now is she?" No, the maidens shake their head. Renewed in her pride, Elinor's shoulders rollback and her posture stiffens. "I was told she had a purpose here."

"I heard their women spar with men so that they might fend off any unsuitable male suitors," Nares shares conspiratorially from where he's leaning against one of the smithy walls. "Something about not wanting to appear soft, as they perceive Riverland's women to be." His words sound like he's trying to add helpful information to the conversation, but he makes no attempt to disguise he's distinctive Islander accent. "If they can not defend themselves from the menfolk, who knows what they might be subjected to Lady Banefort." Since he isn't actually aiming for a fight, he doesn't add, 'and maybe if you trained your women with swords we wouldn't raid you so often as you'd have a stronger defence'. No point in giving them ideas after all.

Nares' intrusion into the conversation had gained more than a pair of eyes upon him for all of the Banefort's party had cast their attention on him. Elinor wouldn't be able to place his accent but the familiarity of it causes some suspicion. "Are they not under the protection of their guardsmen? A woman is ill equipped physically to match a man's strength. They're too bold to believe otherwise." She returns to Nares while her maidservants say nothing however they hold an interest to the man's words.

After safely escorting Lady Elinor and her carriage to the Roost safely, Kell parted ways with her since she had more noblelady-like things to tend to and he had to take care of his own stuff as well. Being a Hedge Knight with no squire, it is a bit of work though it is one he is use to after travelling so much since he was knighted after the Battle of Trident. After stabling his Horse and finding a local inn to stay inn, Kell was able to get his own kit in order before heading to the Smithy in town. Stepping through the stone archway, the Hedge Knight feels the familiar heat and the familiar smell of a Smithy though his eyes widen slightly seeing Elinor and her retinue here who is apparently speaking with someone else, sensing the potential tension in the air. His first act would just be to do a one-eighty and walk out while whistling innocently, but that would be unknightly of him. Very tempting though.

"Guardsmen?" Nares replies, feigning thought, "Would they truly have the man power to have a guard guarding every woman in their lands? And who's to say the guards themselves would not decide to forsake this sacred trust." He shakes his head slightly, "No, guards may work for their noble ladies but not the common folk I fear." He remains where he leans but turns his head slightly as the knight arrives, giving him a quick inspecting glance before turning back to the Baneforts. "I've seen a few women fight in my time I must admit, and given proper training, they really shouldn't be discounted so quickly as an opponent. Some of them have scared the shit out of me I can tell you." He smiles at that, the amusement reaching his eyes.

Kell's steps slow to a stop as hears the words of both Elinor and Nares, a brow arching slightly at the chosen subject, one he didn't expect the Lady to be partaking in. Then again, it could just be one that she had chosen to respond to in passing but the knight's attention is now focused on Nares and his words. "Because guards are men of honour, or they would not be guards for long." Yes, those are rather naive words but it seems to be the concept that Kell is focused on as he continues, "Men of honour would come to a lady's aid in time of need, noble or common, Ser." He addresses the man as his eyes does see the blade sheathed at Nares's hip.

As Kell speaks, Nares turns his attention back to him. "Men of honour? Can you be sure and say that of the Ironborn? I had heard they were barbarians. Is that not so?" His arms are still folded across his chest as e takes the briefest moment to check the progress of the blacksmith. Still nothing.

As the Ironborn are mentioned, Kell narrows his eyes slightly though he doesn't answer immediately, perhaps wary it may be a trick question. "That is what most people see them as and it may be true. Their actions in the past have certainly shown them to be less than honourable men." Raiding coastal towns and the seas, kidnapping men and women in the past. "But I have not yet met one to see just how honourable they are so I am in no position to judge."

Nares nods as it appears the penny drops with Kell. "It is the Ironborn that the Lady and her retinue were commenting on," he offers, by way of catching the other man up with the part of the conversation he'd missed. "If you're newly arrived then you may not be aware that there are two of them present, the Lady Harlaw who seems to insist upon sparing with knights, and a man whom I believe I heard referred to as her sword."

With the news of Ironborn being here at the Roost, Kell is certainly surprised though he does shoot Elinor a glance before looking back to Nares, "I have indeed just arrived so this news is new to me." He doesn't exactly say that the Lady Harlaw is an odd duck and doesn't dismiss the thought of a woman sparring with knights, choosing his words carefully, "She must be quite skilled if she is able to spar with knights, the men more so if he is her sword."

Nares nods slowly as Kell comments on Lady Kathryna. "That my friend, is where this conversation started. With the apparent custom of the Ironborn women to use swords and speculation as to why that might be." He glances to the queue again and seeing that it still hasn't moved he stands up straight again. "If you'll excuse me though, I feel it may be prudent to return when this place is less busy. I have other tasks I should see to today and this one can wait the most." As he reaches the archway he turns though, it's as if something has just clicked in his mind. Turning to Kell again he adds, brow furrowed as in thought, "You may be right there, although all the talk of the town seems to be about the Lady. Maybe he's trying to pass more unnoticed?" He pauses for a moment then dismisses the idea, "I'm sure Ser Jarod and his boys have everything well in hand." That said, he turns again to leave.

Kell does incline his head to Nares and adds a "Ser," to address the man, using the proper title due to the sword at the hip. As for the words in second though, the Hedge Knight answers in turn, "That is very possible, the low key and quiet ones are usually the most dangerous. Some knights who are very skilled choose not to brag about how good they are."

Elinor turned her gaze over the shoulder after this odd one had left, all too knowledgable about the Ironborn. She was quiet up until now, chosing not to engage the subject any further and finally the blacksmith was finished with his customer to address the lady. One of her maidens took the forefront, mentioning how the lock was damaged on the lockbox and like a child sulking in her corner, Elinor folded both arms across the chest. Very unlady like. "Ser Drakmoor." She acknowledges at last, perhaps not trusting her own tongue right now.

With Elinor's maidens taken up the blacksmith's attention, Kell will have to wait his turn, either to ask the blacksmith to fix a horseshoe for him or to ask the smith permission to use the smithy to fix it himself. Plus it seems like the Lady could use someone to vent on and having been her escort for the past few days, the Hedge Knight appears to be understanding and sympathetic, with the news of Ironborn being here and all. "Lady Banefort." He answers in turn, unsure of what words to use right now as he is no wordsmith, "Certain unexpected news, M'Lady."

The Banefort guard had set the lockbox upon a table for the blacksmith's inspection. Elinor would appear to be settling her quickly rising anger. "Most certainly unexpected." She agrees, tightly jawed and desperately trying to maintain her composure. Arms unwraveled, she allowed them to gather at her sides and then latch into one another against the abdomen. Her gaze then darts to Kell, "Perhaps I should have stayed a day or two longer."

Nodding, Kell knows that the Baneforts have no love for the Ironmen, with their land so close to the Iron Islands so they would have had to defend themselves quite often. As for her words, he shakes his head at her, "A day or two would not have made a difference, M'Lady, if they are here with Lord Terrick's permission." Now the knight is trying to see what else he could say to try to sooth the Lady's mood as he glances towards the smith and her retinue, "Perhaps a brief walk for some fresh air would help?"

The maidens saw to the arrangement that he lock needed to be replaced and a note of promise was then made. When Elinor spoke again she did so on a strained tongue, "Yes." She agreed and took the first steps to leave the blacksmith's, her guard and maidens quickly step in to follow her leave.