|The Eagle's Boys|
|Summary:||Jarod meets Justin over ale to discuss his post-jousting ransom, but talk turns to less happy matters of the Roost.|
|Related Logs:||Jousting at Seagard|
|Some Tavern — Seagard|
|Mid-priced beer. Mmmm.|
|Sun Jun 17, 289|
Rather than discuss the ransoming of armor and horse back at the tournament camp, Ser Jarod has told his half-brother that he'll settle those matters at a tavern not far from the castle. It's on the waterfront, somewhere inbetween the high-class wine bars and low-class dives farther down the docks, and is called the 'Western Tide.' Jarod's early, and has staked out a table near the hearth where he's having a starter ale and humming along with a minstrel performing old sea songs in the center of the room.
Once he's gotten word of when and where to meet, it doesn't take Justin terribly long to arrive after Jarod. He's wearing either the same clothes or very simular clothes to what he wore at the joust, the same black surcoat or one like it. But without the partial maile that is now in Jarod's posession along with his horse. If Justin is moving a bit stiffly, he tries to ignore it as he comes up to where his half sibling is seated, "Good evening, Jarod. Is the drink here any good?" Seagard after all hs been in pretty rough shape and rebuilding as well, though perhaps not so bad off as the Roost. A chair is drawn out, Justin taking a seatto join his brother.
Jarod is dressed back down in green tunic and dark trousers - and spur-less boots - for his part. He still wears his longsword, but that seems to go with him most everywhere. "Evening." The greeting's still half-unsure, though friendly enough. As for the quality of drink, he nods. "It's decent, and cheaper than many of the taverns. Used to come here when I was a squire with the Mallister forces. Wanted to see if it was still standing." He drinks, cracking a slight grin. "Guess so. You break anything in the tilts?" There's no note of apology in the question, and only slight concern. Jousting's a full metal sport, after all.
Justin was definately not full metal kitted for it. His smile is a little tight, "Aye, Mistress Dania says my shoulder and ribs need time to mend. Still, if the lists are open and not limited tomorrow, I will try to ride again. If not, I might try the melee." That smile turns a little wry. Justin lifts his good right arm to get a server's attention so he can order something to drink as well, "Bring us another pitcher of ale and another glass, please." Drawing a careful breath, he looks back to Jarod. "I bet you feel pretty good right now. And, you earned it. Nice as it would have been if I could have won, I still did far better than I had hoped. No shame that you unhorsed me."
"I figure I can scrape together enough to buy a steed of my own, at least, once I've collected all I'm owed," Jarod says. He does look rather proud of himself, but he keeps himself from saying too much on it. "Didn't fall, at least, which cuts down on the bruises." He drinks of his ale, then gets down to it. "All right. I think…a silver piece for the armor. A copper for the horse. And you can cover my drinks while we're here. That should square us." He just keeps drinking, like he wasn't asking for a ridiculously minimal ransom.
Jarod's brother nods as he listens, the ale he ordered coming a moment later. Justin pays the girl and reaches to pour himself a tankard, "You name your ransom I owe you, and when I'm paid by the others, I can pay you. Whatever's left … goes to the Roost. Better armour and horse will have to wait for me." He takes a sip of his drink and manages not to choke on it when Jarod names his sums to be paid. Justin blinks and lowers his mug, "No, you can't be serious. You need the money - to buy a good horse. You just said so."
"I've named it. If you've not got enough in your coinpurse to cover it, I'll just take what you brought." Jarod waves off the last. "That Arrow Knight or whatever the fuck had decent gear. Lordling who didn't want to show his face, perhaps. I can take the full of that. And there'll be Ser Blayne's as well, though I'll try and bargain as generous as I'm able." Still, Hardwicke likely won't be getting off with a copper penny. "Your winning's are going straight to the Roost, I'll not cut into them."
"Well," Justin eyes his half brother and idly fingers his ale mug, "I have enough on me to cover that, assuming you don't drink like 12 sailers on portcall. Or, I can pay you fair ransom and anything you don't use once you have bought your steed, you can give to the Roost yourself, Jarod." He shrugs but winces at the movement, "I'll have three ransoms of my own coming, so up to you." Justin's mouth twists into a wry smile, "If I can ride even half that well consistantly, I can eventually get myself better armour and horse once the Roost is in better shape."
"Just give me the silver and the copper," Jarod says. "Doubt father'd take my money even if I had it to give. Wish I'd been riding for the Roost in that tilt but…guess not." The whole matter plainly still stings. More ale is gulped. Gulp, gulp. "Partial maile's all right for peace time work, just not fancy. I got some with a guard's kit when I swore to Stonebridge, though I'd like to pay Lord Riordan back the cost of it out of my winnings. I don't want to owe those people anything."
All of that gets a slow nod as he likewise drinks a bit, though far more reserved with his drinking than Jarod. Justin puts his tankard down and reaches into his surcoat to pull out his rather thin belt purse. There's a handful of silver stags in there though and some coppers, one of each he selects and passes over the table, "I'd say you must be drunk, but more likely you are crazy. Still, you certainly have my thanks." The rest is put away before Justin takes back up his drink. "I wish you'd been riding for us as well. Time will tell." Which then makes Jarod's brother frown for some reason.
Jarod looks down at his ale mug with a grin. It's not even half-empty yet. "Not near drunk. Time'll tell on that. I'm not sure how much difference it'll make on the rest of it, but we'll see how it plays. Like most anything else." He pockets the two coins, extending a hand for Justin to shake once that's done. "I'll have your things delivered back to the Terricks in the morn. Or tonight, if I'm in any condition to see to it."
Justin accepts the hand readily enough, as his right arm isn't all bruised up like his left. "Tomorrow morn is soon enough. I'd rather drink a bit too much tonight myself. Thanks. As for Ser Hardwicke, he did earn himself a goodly pile at the last tournament." He takes another drink himself. "If they do not limit the field to those who have not yet ridden, will you ride again tomorrow?"
"Certain I will," Jarod says, pumping Justin's hand before letting it go. "I've enough to cover my own losses now, and I wouldn't mind walking away with a bit more in my pocket. Besides, I rather enjoy the joust. It's silly in many ways. Nothing like it on a battlefield. But it's good fun, and if you're decent at it you can make better money than you can in the melee. Even though that's closer to proper combat. You ever fought in a tournament before?"
"No, I this is my first tournament. However… I have used lance and horse against the Ironborn ere we fought with blades up close. I've also used spear with horse and killed a huge bear that had already killed another man and tore up master hunter Kain. A line of knights armed with lances can overrun a shield wall of armed men. So I wouldn't discount the sport so lightly. It's still good practice learning to control your horse and use any weapon at the same time, lances or otherwise." Justin gives a faint shake of his head, "Melee's all right but that's what we have common soldiers for. Knight's work is better done horsed and gives the advantage over footmen alone."
"I didn't…" Jarod seems to be winding up for an explanation of what he meant, which he seems to feel has been missed. But he ends up just shrugging to himself and leaving it. "Aye. Fair enough." He drinks deeper of his ale, though he doesn't go for a refill just yet. "Wasn't demeaning anything you'd done with a lance, my lord half-brother. My apologies if you took it as such, and thank you for the lesson."
Justin shakes his head, "I didn't take it that way, no need to apologise. You just aren't the first to … discount the joust as honest practice. I seem to hear it a lot but I don't understand where that notion comes from." So he makes an open palmed gesture, "If I misconstrued, tell me how I misunderstood. It's something to do while we drink, isn't it?" He grins, pouring himself a refill and offering to top up Jarod's as well.
Jarod shakes his head at the offer of a top-off. He has a little left, which he nurses, eyeing the pitcher, but not taking anymore just yet. "It's not worth picking at. Sure as seven hells wasn't trying to start on argument over the merit of swords over lances." And he seems to want to get into such a debate even less now. "So…" He fishes around for another topic of conversation, but it takes him a minute. For someone generally so glib, it seems hard for him just now.
His grin was short lived, trying maybe a little too hard to relax around Jarod. He just doesn't know his half brother too well anymore. Justin sighs faintly and takes another drink instead. There's a pause before he says very low, "Father … isn't doing very well. He's ill. Jacsen's … doing better, maybe. Things at home are not comfortable." Justin shifts stiffly in his chair and tries to ease his left arm and side, "I thought we used to get along pretty well. Now I wonder if we ever will."
Jarod doesn't know Justin very well, either, and wasn't particularly at ease when his half-brother came in. For all that he'd chosen a more casual setting, with alcohol. He finally does quaff the rest of his ale and pour himself another, perhaps to help it along. Though he doesn't drink too deep, stopping short at the next Justin says. "Father's ill?" If he's spoken little of his father, and much of it's been laced with stubborn, wounded pride, there's only concern now.
Justin watches Jarod over his drink, "I only mention it at all, because I think you'll keep it to yourself, Jarod. Don't be mentioning around even your wife, but aye, he's not well." Frowning, he keeps is baritone quite low, "I've only been home a little over a month and he's aged before even my eyes. I am worried for him, Jarod."
"She'll not tell the Naylands. She holds Lord Jerold very dear," Jarod says. "But, if you don't want me to say anything on it, I won't." He looks too worried to concern himself with that promise, anyhow. "What's wrong with him? I mean…he's been run down for ages, but that's…I figured it was just strain. From the siege of the Roost and Lady Evangeline's death - Seven keep her - and…" He winces. "…everything."
There's a faint thinning of his lips followed by another slow drink. "I don't know. Cough, fever maybe. I'm not privy but seemed more than simply 'run down' or mourning the loss of our Lady mother when I saw him last. Not that having Anais and Lucienne going at it makes it any easier on him." Justin raises a hand to rub at his own brow, just thinking about it. "That's all I know. He doesn't talk to me either, unless it's for hearing reports or giving orders. Whole family's like strangers to me, Jarod. Whispers of memories to play tricks on me, make me think I know them." He shakes his head and takes another sip, "Very difficult to get anything done."
"Aye.." Jarod just sort of nods dumbly and slouches down in his chair. News of Lord Jerold's ill health has plainly unsettled him deeply, though he tries to steel himself some. After another drink. "I would…I'll keep this to myself but I'd appreciate you sending word if he grows worse. I'd…we didn't leave things well between us, and I'd rather not…" Drink. "Aye. Imagine so. Been meaning to say, I'm sorry I snapped at your at the tourney of the Twins. It just seemed like, I don't know. I could barely get you to talk with me before, and then you were acting like nothing had happened. And I guess…I wonder if things would've been different for me when it all came down at the Roost if Luci had been home, and Jacsen hadn't been so ill. And I…" He shrugs. "I had no right to expect you to speak up for me to our lord father, though. You're right. We're not much more than strangers, even for the blood we share. Sorry if I was…you must think I'm nothing but a fuck-up, so I've given you no reason to feel any different."
My goodness, that wasn't what he was expecting. Justin almost says something, then keeps his mouth shut to hear Jarod out. He nurses his ale along all through it, drawing a careful breath after that strains his bound ribs, "Father … may pick back up, if we can just solve the food problem. A marriage into the house might do him well. Or if Anais settles down and conceives." Or it may be too late for any of that to help. Justin faintly shakes his head, "I don't know, Jarod. After what happened with Jaremy, and his casting you out, I've been biding my time until I screw up and get tossed out on my ass myself. As if I were holding my breath. I think I'm past worrying about that now." Justin knocks back the last of his drink and sets his tankard down, "You aren't a fuckup, Jarod. Still don't like what you did, though I guess I understand why you did it. You are a good man. Everybody screws up sooner or later but you don't have to let it ruin you. Just keep going as best we can."
"Hope so," Jarod says. He sounds like he means it, though it's unclear which part. The food, a grandchild. Perhaps all of it. The rest meets with a flicker of surprise, but no the unpleasant sort. He nods. "Guess I can understand you feeling like that. Jaremy…I'll not excuse what he did, but he's trying to earn some honor back for himself on the Wall. I hope he finds a path for himself there he can be happy in. It's not as if he chose to go, it was the Black or execution for him. It cut Lord Jerold deep to disown him, and I think he'd still have taken Jaremy back if he'd…" But he can't even come up with what might've fixed it. "…he's a very fair man. He's just…aye. We'll all keep going as best we can. I'd not worry he'll turn you out if you fuck up once."
Justin fingers his empty ale and doesn't refill it, "At this point, I'm not sure I would care if he did. Our House is a mess, Jarod. Lot of things I'd rather do than have to deal with it, but I also can't stand by and do nothing." Justin tries to smile thinly, then moves to get up, "Drink the ale, listen to the music, find you two or three pretty girls to sit on your lap. I'm going to get some rest."
"I should be getting back to my wife, actually," Jarod says, smiling slight at that thought, at least. "Though I will finish the ale. Justin…" There's a good deal he'd like to say, but what he lands on is, "Thanks for the drink. Maybe we can get another sometime, aye?" The request is still somewhat hesitant. Like he's afraid the answer will be 'no.'
He smiles a little, "I'd like that, Jarod. But you have to promise me, if we do, let's … talk about good things. Maybe tell me some of those damn stories you're infamous for." Justin twists his mouth wryly, "Or got hunting. We used to like to do that." He raises a hand to give a faint, half sort of salute and turns to go. Mistress Dania will have some of that willowbark tea for him.