Page 419: The Foreigner
The Foreigner
Summary: Damien Ashdown arrives at the Roost and Penelope has a labor pain.
Date: 13/Sep/289
Related Logs: No logs related, but this is what I managed to log from a scene that was already underway. Players involved are welcome to add their bits.
Ashdown Nathaniel Penelope 
Town Square
The town square of Terrick's Roost was once considered well-kept. The stone streets run right up to the building fronts around the edge and the locals have kept the spaces between free of grass and weeds that might otherwise sprung up between them, although dark streaks of stubborn soot have crawled in between the stones. There are several homes and shops located here which show the scars and cinders of the sacking of the town at Ironborn hands. The ruin of the town's Sept can also be seen from here with its ornate stone front rising above the surrounding structures just down the cobblestone road.
Thu Sep 13, 289

During mid-day, the square is buzzing with activity of all kinds. Travelers are stopping at the inn to refresh themselves. Tradesmen are hawking their wares from stalls around the square. Carts rattle along the street on their way westward to deliver various supplies to the tower beyond the outskirts of town. Some of the villagers have gathered at the inn to read a large placard, a copy of the one at Stonebridge provided for the benefit of those people who have come to The Roost seeking refuge. Near the placard stands Nathaniel, speaking to some of the citizens. "Yes, I was there," he confirms. "They intend to turn back anyone trying to return until this situation has settled."

The leather worker's establishment and home is not far from the market. Driven by a restlessness that she cannot name, Penelope slowly exits the place that, for now, she calls home. Looking over her shoulder she flashes a radiant smile to someone in the shop, "I shall see if I can find ribbons girls, we will make up something nice and pretty for you both." One hand holds fast to two-year old Quintan's wrist, the other continuously massages the giant swell of her belly. Sometimes on the side, sometimes on top…the movement is almost absently performed, a soothing motion either for herself or perhaps for the baby. Waddling awkwardly towards the market she hums softly to herself, letting Quintan look around curiously.

Nathaniel grins when he sees Quintan barreling toward him, and crouches to catch the toddler in his arms. "Good day, young master!" He greets the boy and picks him up in one arm before striding further toward Penny. "The sept is a long way, mistress," he notes. "I'll carry him to make our way quicker," he explains. "And if you please to take my arm, we will walk there together. I would be happy for your company. I was wondering how things were with you."

Someone else asks about what will happen if someone tries to break through that blockade, and Nathaniel shakes his head. "I don't know," he answers. "But you're safe here. The Roost is rebuilding, but Lady Anais and Ser Justin have said more than once that you are welcome to stay here as long as you need, and even settle here if that is your wish." Over their heads, he spots Penelope, who is hard to miss due to her awkward gait and the paradox of that eager, curious little boy at her side. "If you will excuse me," he says to the people still gathered around the placard. Without waiting for their answer, he strides across the square toward the woman. "Mistress, shouldn't you be resting?" he asks, clearly concerned. Then he offers, "If you must walk, would you at least take my arm for balance?" He invites.

Walking is indeed a slow, and difficult process but one that Penelope feels compelled to do. Turning her head as she is hailed, the teenager's expression brightens, "Master Nathaniel!" Stopping, she releases her son's hand to let him go run headlong towards the courier, "Nafaniel! Nafaniel!" is the toddler's cry as the seamstress gives a laugh. One arm craddles her abundance as she watches her friend, and giggles "A steady arm would be welcome, for the Seven know that I am not all that balanced these days…or at least another hand for Quintan to hold." There is a pause, "I thought to go to the Sept to pray for a time. Would you care to join us?"

Nathaniel grins when he sees Quintan barreling toward him, and crouches to catch the toddler in his arms. "Good day, young master!" He greets the boy and picks him up in one arm before striding further toward Penny. "The sept is a long way, mistress," he notes. "I'll carry him to make our way quicker," he explains. "And if you please to take my arm, we will walk there together. I would be happy for your company. I was wondering how things were with you."

The gravid teenager and the courier are standing before the Inn talking. A sturdy two-year old is hugged in Nathaniel's arms. Around them villagers mill around with most of the talk being about the war coming up.

A hand moves to push a strand of gold away from her face as Penelope sighs, "The Sept is far. I…just…want to walk. I am sure that Quint wouldn't mind if you carried him." As if to emphasize his mother's point, the toddler flings his arms around Nathaniel's neck, "Nafaniel! WOOK!" His chubby arm points towards the leather worker's shop and adjacent living quarters, "Home..howse." Struggling to get his point across, he continues to babble blithely.

There is a stranger coming from the main road, at least he is someone that has never been seen at the Roost. It is easy to spot the man, he is after all, rather tall and carries a muscular build. He carries a makeshift backpack and there are a few things hanging from it. It pretty much looks like as if this guy is on a camping trip, because he has everything he needs to stop at any point of the road and get some good sleep. There's a bit more than a shadow beard covering his face, and the way he looks at things? Yeah, this says it's the first time he sets foot on this place. Damien finally reaches the Market Square and looks around with a curious expression, pressing his lips together and, from time to time, exchanging looks with the ones looking at him. Still, he takes a few more steps towards the crowds as he idly looks at the different stores.

Nathaniel looks up to the boy and queries, "Oh? So you're living there for now? They're good people. I bring Molly's tack to them whenever I need repairs." he explains, shifting the boy a little so that he's in a better position to carry. "I'll be glad to walk with you to the Sept or wherever you want. I understand that you might feel a need to stretch your legs." He offers his arm to her.

"Yes, they are very good people. That is the family that Mistress Dania set me up with. Apparently the mother…perhaps the girls…were hard used during the siege. They are fearful." Full lips quirk a smile and the girl gives another giggle, "Though not with me. In this condition I clearly amuse more than I frighten." The tiny seamstress rests a hand gratefully upon the courier's arm and begins to waddle slowly towards the Sept. Her movements cannot help but be awkward and ungainly and it is clear that the young mother is near to term. Penelope's azure eyes are distracted as she stops, as if suddenly remembering something "Ribbons! I cannot forget the ribbons! I promised the girls ribbons! I can't go to the Sept yet, I must go to the market…see what sort of place Terrick's Roost is." Unwieldy, the petite woman turns her bulk an anxiously tries to move quickly towards the call of the vendor's hawking their wears…perhaps afraid she will have yet another attack of forgetfulness that is all to common these last few weeks.

Damien is pretty much stopping at every store, not only looking at what they have, but also interacting with the different merchants. Trying his luck with them, Damian uses Bastard Valyrian at first but with most answers being of a negative nature, he just uses common tongue. His accent is charged with something that screams 'foreign', and not a very recognizable accent either, it would seem it's the product of speaking different dialects and trying to adjust to the natural sounds they bring. At this point? He is basically asking for directions, and for information on the town itself. Some of the shop keepers that talk to him are pointing to the Inn, and this will find Damien looking over his shoulder to see that particular location. A nod is offered to the Merchants, sometimes a firm shake of hand as well…but one thing is true, the tall man keeps moving.

Nathaniel listens attentively when Penny talks about the girls, and smiles when she mentions their amusement with her condition. When she frets about ribbons, he grins, and urges, "Then we should go and see about some bright, colorful ribbons for the girls. I've seen them before. They laughed at me, too, because I was Mistress Dania's medicines to take to the tower to help someone in need." He nods. "We should find them the prettiest ribbons that we can." He guides her slowly along the way toward the market.

Breaking away from Nathaniel's arm, Penelope leaves her son in his safe keeping and waddles poignantly over towards a vendor. A delicate arm points to a grouping of rainbow colored ribbons, "I have not the patience, nor the inclination to bargain. I will offer you…" dipping her hand into the small pouch that dangles from her wrist she sets what she knows is a reasonable number of coppers on the stall's counter. "I also will sell you a much higher quality product for a more reasonable rate once I start my…" she sighs, "my sewing and dying again."

Taken aback by the sudden appearance of the expectant mother and her blatant statement it takes the merchant a bit of time to recover his suave spiel, but recover it he does as he lifts up a group of gold ribbons, "Oh, those ribbons really are not something a mistress of your quality would care for. How about these?" he quotes a price that is higher than what Penelope offers. The tiny seamstress' blue eyes narrow in irritation as she smacks her hand down on the counter and sweeps her coins away and into her bag, "I told you that I do not wish to haggle. If you cannot give me what I want then I shall go elsewhere!" Upset, the teenager just turns and attempts to stalk away with as much dignity as she can muster in spite of…or because of…her pregnant girth.

Justin arrives, walking down the street and carrying a leather folio tucked beneath one arm. He glances over the square and seems intent to head for the inn when his gaze catches on one familiar person, that being Nathaniel. Who, for some reason, seems to be standing with a boy child next to him. The lord Sheriff steps up onto the porch of the inn, his boots and spurs dusty from his work, and he pauses a moment to watch. He wasn't aware that Nathaniel might have kin living here.

Damien is not far away from where Penny is right now, so he does hear the exchange of words with the other merchant. This of course, makes the man turn his head to see what's going on, and for a moment, he remains looking at them both. When Penny starts to turn away, Damien follows her with his gaze and after a moment, he looks back at the Merchant, just shaking his head a little bit. Before this event, he was discussing something with the shop keeper of the stall he is standing in front of, and soon enough, his attention returns to the man. A couple words are exchanged in Bastard Valyrian and Damien chuckles when the other man tries to pronounce the words correctly but doesn't quite manage to do so. Still, it was a good attempt and a few extra words in the foreign language are exchanged. And this merchant does the same thing, he points at the Inn and Damien looks over his shoulder one more time, clearly knowing by now where he should head at some point.

"Absolute…and utter nonsense! I can make better quality metallic for a third of what he wanted!" Muttering agitatedly beneath her breath Penelope argues to herself and absently plows forward towards where she thought she had seen another clothier. Distracted and focused on the pursuit of the ribbons, the scatterbrained pregnant woman seems unaware that she is on a collision course with a giant until she nearly plows into Damien pulled up short by a shout from someone in the street. With a sharp cry, Penny stops short and wraps her arms around her belly. "Oh Seven!" is her soft gasp, "I am so sorry, I clearly have lost not only most of my balance but my mind as well. Please forgive me master." Closing her eyes for a moment, it seems she briefly begins to consider the reasonableness of actually attempting the market in her condition.

The toddler in Nathaniel's arms gives a squeal of laughter and announces, "Momma funny is she Nafaniel." An arm is slung familiarly around the courier's neck and he gazes curiously at Justin…the clinking spurs fascinating him before his attention is drawn back to his mother.

Watching this scene, the Sheriff starts to frown, "Merchants belong in the market, not cluttering up the street." Justin opens his folio to look and see if he'd already marked down about checking these people for their permits, as they are likely refugees from Stonebridge. Not pleased, he turns and walks into the inn to check for his messages.

Nathaniel grins up at the toddler in his arms and chuckles, "Your mother is also caring, Quintan," he tells the boy. Then he sees her almost collide with Damian, and he frowns. "And liable to be hurt at this rate," he adds. He walks swiftly, with the boy bouncing against his chest and shoulders, toward Penny. When he is close enough to her, he dispenses with formality, and gently scolds, "If you had walked with me, you might be safer, Penelope." He glances to the merchant and then suggests, "I think that tree is one in the actual market who would give you a better price. He's a friend."

The shouting does call for Damien's attention as well and he turns to see the pregnant lady on collision course. He takes a step back before he stops just to make sure that she doesn't hurt herself and then offers "Ma'am, are you alright?" Yes, he does notice the fact that she is very, very pregnant and given that he did listen a little of what was going on, he adds "You need not to upset yourself, specially in your condition." Now, the towering man takes a step closer to her and nods his head "I am sure you will find what you seek, but I beg you to not harm yourself in the process" A polite smile is offered to her and then he looks around for a moment "There…I believe there is a stall there that offers what you look for?" Pays of to be tall, you have an advantage. Then again, when the other man approaches, he just offers a nod and then looks back at Penelope "Have a good day, ma'am" and turns around now, knowing that she is well taken care of, in theory.

"Oh, I am fine…truly." Penelope flashes a faint smile, "I do not look it of that I am well aware, but I am well enough all things considering and I did promise the girls to get them some ribbons." Craning her neck in the direction he points to, the diminutive woman blinks "Perhaps? I truly am a bit lost. I have only been here a day or so." Nathaniel's approach and scolding causes a grin to bloom, "I am an adult. If not in years than in life experience. I merely am…more absent minded than normal is all Nathaniel." As Damien begins to walk off, she reaches out to try to snag his sleeve "Where did you say that stall was again master?" There is a pause as she offers, "I am Mistress Penelope Copperfells, this is my son Quintain, and our friend Master Nathaniel Corbitt."

Nathaniel smiles and inclines his upper body in a partial bow to the man. "Welcome to Terrick's Roost, master," he greets. He glances to Penelope, and ncos. "I know. Please forgive the outburst. I don't want you to be hurt. That's all." He glances up to Quintan, and adds, "I don't think that Quintan would like that much, either."

Damien stops when he feels that someone has taken a hold of his sleeve. He turns again and looks down at the young lady "Mistress Copperfells, well met." he nods his head, showing a very faint smile. "Master Quintain…" is said to the small boy and perhaps, Damien doesn't have the same skill that Nathaniel has when dealing with Children, so…nothing else is offered to the boy. Now, he looks at Nathaniel and nods his head "Master Corbitt" Now, he takes a deep breath and says "Damien Ashdown, no…titles needed" He clears his throat now and looks up, finding that spot again "Over there" says Damien, later adding "I just got here, I just spotted it"

"Master Ashdown, it is a pleasure." Penelope smiles, looking far up at Damien. She adds, "I would curtsy but I fear that such is past me for a couple weeks. Are you a resident here at Terrick's Roost? I just arriv…." her words are cut off by a pained gasps. Her hands begin to press against her belly, massaging along the sides. "I…oh…need…sit down please."

Nathaniel starts to lower Quintan, and instructs the boy, "Quintan, stay close to me. I need both hands." He sets the boy on the ground and then reaches to Penelope. "Hold onto me, Penelope," he urges. "I'll take you to a place. Just hold onto me."

Damien shows a polite but very faint smile, and offers a nod to the woman "I just arrived…" But then, a show of concern appears on his features when she seems to be in pain. He extends one hand as if trying to help her but then again, Nathaniel already jumps to the rescue. He takes that hand back but does say "Are you sure you want to move her now? She should sit down and wait for that sharp pain to pass…and…if it doesn't pass, she should be carried, she can't walk like that" Which, is true, really. Still, after saying that, he takes a step back and lets them do whatever they want.

Quintan kicks his legs until Nathaniel sets him on the ground and runs to his mother. Gripping her skirts he says, "Momma..Momma! Alright? Momma's hurt?" The two-year old looks up at his mother, his blue eyes filled with concern.

Trying to reassure her son, Penelope breathlessly gasps as she recovers from the swiftness of the contraction and rests a hand on his head. "I am fine darling. Really. I…just…think the baby is telling me he is eager to meet you." Glancing between the two men she says softly, "Please…I will be fine, I just need to sit for a moment before going on." A tiny hand is placed on Nathaniel's arm, another hand pressed to what of Damien's arm she can easily reach for balance, "Please…just a moment"

Nathaniel glances to Damien and explains, "I had no plans for her to walk, only to keep balance until she can sit." Then he turns to Penelope and soothe, "Easy now. Move slowly. Hold onto my arm, and I'll hold yours." He reaches to place his hands supporting under her forearms. "Mommy will be fine, Quintan." Then he looks at the girl and adds, "I think that a walk of any distance farther than your temporary home is out of the question. As soon as you've recovered enough for that, I'll take you there. Agreed?"

Damien pays no mind to Nathaniel's explanation. For the time being, he does let Penny use his arm as she lowers herself to a sitting position and then says "Very well, but you must be careful, ma'am" When she is 'safe', he stands straight and nods his head "Ma'am, I would advise for you not to force yourself like you were doing before, it is not to your benefit" He takes a deep breath and offers "And while it has been quite nice to meet you, if you'll excuse me, there are things I need to do. I am sure your companion is capable of taking care of you" See? He can be nice. He however, gives no room for an argument and with a step back, he nods politely and offers "Be well, ma'am" Now, he looks at Nathaniel and nods to him "Master Corbitt" And he is gooone, lost in the crowd again. Well, kinda, because he is still pretty tall.

Nathaniel frowns while he watches Penelope settling on the ground. "Stay with mommy," he tells Quintas. Then he reaches to squeeze Penelope's arm and assures, "I'll be back very soon." He hurries briskly into the inn and returns almost immediately with a clay bowl. He kneels beside the woman, and while holding the bowl in one hand, daubs a cloth into the water and begins to press it gently to her forehead.

Scowling, Penelope snaps "Nathaniel, I am fine. It could be an entire week yet before the babe is ready to come. Random contractions happen, it is when they come with frequent regularity that I need to be concerned." With a sigh, she gives a longing glance towards the direction of the merchant the tall Master Ashdown said sold ribbons. Rubbing the heel of her hand against her forhead she gives another soft exhale of her breath, "I am sorry. I shouldn't be so upset. You are being so kind. I just…miss Rorgan very much and things just are not going the way I had planned. Please forgive me my foul temper."

"I never assumed that you would have the baby immediately, Penelope," Nathaniel answers. His words are as quiet as hers were harsh. He continues to mop Penelope's brow gently. "But I can see that you are struggling. If I can help to ease that, I would like to do so." He frowns and predicts, "You will struggle even more soon enough." He looks at her for a long moment, and he notes, "You have spoken that name - Rorgan - twice in my presence. I do not know of him, but I will guess that he was your husband, and that you loved him dearly. How did you plan for things to go? If I can help you. I will. I mean that quite sincerely. It would mean a great deal to me to help you."

"Yes, Rorgan was my husband. I love him still very much." Penelope says softly, submitting for the moment to having her face mopped…they having managed to get her settled beneath a tree. "You are kind Master Nathaniel, but even you cannot stop a war and turn back time." Her lips curve faintly into a tired smile, she hugs a worried Quintan to her chiding, "Darling, you must stop frowning so. A raven shall fly down from the air…land on your lip…and poop on it!" Her smile brightens a bit as her teasing has the desired effect and the child hoots with laughter at such an outrageous event ever occuring. Sighing, she says "Master Nathaniel, I probably should get back to where we are staying if only to rest. Could you do me a favor though? After I am settled, could you take some of my coins and go buy me a bunch of those ribbons? Brightly colored and decent quality?"

Nathaniel frowns and shakes his head. "No," he agrees, "I cannot stop a war and turn back time, and I am sorry for that because it brings you such sadness." THen he looks at Quintan, and he, too, grins at the though of some large bird dive-bombing the child. "But I offer what help and friendship I can to you, if you will accept it. As for the ribbons, I will do as you ask. I will go back to that merchant and buy all of the colorful ribbon that he will sell to me. And if his price is too high I will buy it anyway if it will cheer you." Then he looks at Quintan again, and back to Penny. "Your children will not know their father as you did, but you should consider writing his story for them, so that in time they will have it to read and ponder, and the love that you have for him."

Awkwardly, with the help of her friend and her son, Penelope pushes herself upright and manages to stand. The effort leaves her gasping, but she manages to admit "Truly, I neither read nor write. I never had time to learn. My mother always wished for me to focus my energies on my craft. That is a good idea for people who can do so though." Glancing down at Quintan she slowly waddles back towards the leather maker's. "I tell my children stories, tell them how I feel. Then they shall tell their children and so on. In that way they will be able to know their father." Reaching the door she fishes out a handful of copper pennies, "Here, do not let him overcharge you. I just want enough of each color that I might make something for the girls' hair and to trim one of their gowns with. It will make them feel pretty and perhaps help them over whatever fear the Ironborn left them with."

Nathaniel bows to Penelope, and answers, "I will do so. As for the writing, if you ever decide that you want it, I will wield the pen for you. It is something that my mother taught me. She hoped that I might use it to help my father, or someone else." He closes his hand around the coins, and adds, "I will return with the ribbon." Then he looks down at her son, and asks, "Master Quintan? Will you come to the door when I return, and take a package to your mother? It would be a great help to both of us."

Nodding solomly, Quintan replies "Yes Masteah Nafaniel. I get it for Momma." Glancing between the two with a faint smile, Penelope says quietly "Thank you Master Nathaniel. Your kindness is welcome." Turning, the girl waddles into the house through a side door, gently propelling her son in front of her.