|The Politics of Face-Breaking|
|Summary:||The pros and cons of using bar brawls - with or without shirts - to settle possibly-political disputes is debated.|
|Related Logs:||In the Entrance Hall; Sers and Assholes; After the Brawl|
|Courtyard — Four Eagles Tower|
|The Courtyard of Four Eagles Tower is floored with a fine grey stone that match the color and tone of the interior structure of the castle's yard. Plants have been potted and placed around the entrances to add some color, the greenery accompanied by several trellises of flowers that climb the support columns. The most prominent structure in the area is the set of large slab steps that lead up to the great oak doors of the Great Hall. Several hallways and accesses lead off into different sections of Four Eagles which makes this the hub of noble activity when court is not being held.|
|Sun Oct 16, 288|
It's the end of the day. Before the dinner hour, but creeping up on it. Jarod Rivers has more or less finished his duties for the day, and finds himself sitting out on the great steps, and expression of bemused contentment on his face. It contrasts oddly with the rather impressively purple black eye he's sporting today. He returned home from the Rockcliff with it the previous night, supposedly having gotten into a brawl with some out-of-town knight, though the reasons behind his brawling are unclear. Doesn't seem to have dampened his spirits any, however.
Earlier this afternoon, clouds began to roll in from the coast, dark and threatening. And just a short time before now, the rain started to fall, with crashes of thunder and flashes of lightning. The Banefort guards, no doubt, were not surprised to find no trace of Anais inside the castle during the storm. The Terrick guards may have been more surprised by Jacsen's absence. Thunder warns of heavier rains to come, but for now there's a break in the storm. It's arm in arm that Anais and Jacsen return to the Roost, trailing a couple of Terrick guards, a Banefort guard, and Anais' handmaiden. The entire group is damp from the earlier rains, though Anais at least appears to be in good spirits, her head ducked as she speaks quietly with Jacsen.
Jarod doesn't mind the rain, so long as he's not trapped out in it, though he is sitting under an alcove. Perhaps that's what brought him out in the first place. Or he's waiting for his brother to come home. Not that he really looks at all concerned. In fact, upon seeing Anais and Jacsen, his face splits into a grin. Or tries to. He's acquired a small cut on his upper lip to go with his swollen eye, and smiling too big endangers splitting it. "Was wondering when you two'd make it back. Didn't get yourself muddy, did you, little brother?" He laughs at Jacsen's expense, though it's a warm sound.
Anais looks up at the call from Jarod, both brows rising at his current, battered state. "Good grief, Jarod," she calls back, starting to move forward more quickly and then holding herself back to keep her arm linked with Jacsen's. "It looks like somebody went and busted your face in." That's a safer subject of conversation than what she and Jacsen were out doing in the rain anyhow.
It's clear that between walking down to the beach, the damp air, and walking back, Jacsen has put more strain on his leg than is wise. For all that he speaks to Anais in a pleasant manner, there is a fixed grimace that he wears as they walk into the courtyard. "Jarod," he calls out when he spots his brother, or his brother spots them, lightly releasing Anais' arm and gesturing to the shelter that the guard captain hides beneath. "I did not, thankfully… though what in the name of the Seven did you do to your face?"
Jarod doesn't ask what the pair of them were doing out in the rain. Though, from the look he gives Jacsen, he'll ask his brother privately later. "Let's go inside, dry off," he says, first and foremost. "Have somebody fetch us some mulled wine so we can enjoy the rain properly." As to the questions about his face, he winks. "I'll tell you inside. But first. Two things. I was entirely in the right, and you should see the other bloke." So many Jarod Rivers' Night On the Town stories start out this way.
"It was the Oldstones knight, wasn't it?" Anais lets Jacsen release her arm, though she matches her steps to his until he's safely on the stones once more. "He was rather rude to Luci," she adds in explanation to Jacsen. "Not Ser Anton, but one of his knights. Or at least a knight who was looking for him and claimed to be in his service. Jarod was going to…what was it, break his face?" she grins at the captain of the guard. With the broken face.
Jacsen's brow climbs. "Oldstones knight, in service to Ser Anton? Well, I'm sure it wasn't Ser Gedeon…" He looks at his brother expectantly, even as he acquiesces to the suggestion that they head inside for some mulled wine and better conversation. "You'll have to tell us all about this, Jar."
"I broke parts of his!" Jarod is quick to defend his face-breaking abilities as he winds his way back into the castle. "Anyhow, we settled things up, I think. Ser Alek - that's his name - doesn't seem like a bad sort, really. Bit of an asshole, and not accustomed to spending much time around nobility, but I don't think he meant any real ill by it." He sounds for all the world like he now likes the man who broke his face. He catches a passing servant. "Could you bring us a flagon of wine? Mulled, that spiced stuff we got in from the Twins. Oh and uh…" He blinks at Anais. "…do you want tea? We also have tea." His own interest in tea is low, but he recalls his manners enough to ask. With a glance at Jacsen, he plops himself down in the first alcove available, slouching comfortable. Broken face aside, he still looks very upbeat. And bemusedly pleased with himself.
Anais quirks a brow at Jarod, amused. "Mulled wine would be just fine for me, thank you," she drawls in reply, following the men toward the entrance hall. "And I didn't think he was all that terrible. In fact, I think I remember pointing that out to you…" But she can't help but giggle when Jarod drops himself down, smile flickering across her features. "Well. As long as everyone is happy in the end."
It's likely more the leg than his brother that gives Jacsen such a look on his face, though it's impossible to really know the difference. "So a sworn sword of Lord Ser Anton Valentin, of the notoriously bruised honor, that is holding the impolite treatment at the hands of our absent brother over our heads… strode into our home and was rude and discourteous to our Lady sister whom Lord Valentin seeks to court…" Jacsen lowers himself into a seat much more gingerly than the rest, with a sharp intake of breath, "And rather than let me make said Knight of Oldstones sweat a little over it, you went and had yourself a fight with his man? Perfect."
"It's not like I planned on it. The opportunity just sort of presented itself, and I figured I'd take advantage of it," Jarod says. Just a touch defensively. Though he's still in a mood that is generally happy the world. He also has some bruises on his neck, upon closer inspection, but they look more the products of a girl than an angry sworn sword. "Anyhow, I figured it'd be best not to make an issue of it. Lord Ser Anton didn't have anything to do with his man being an ass, and Lady Anais is right. It wasn't so awful as all that, really. I mean, don't get me wrong. Nobody disrespects our Luci and gets away with it. And he didn't!" Jarod points at his own broken face, as if presenting it as evidence. "We didn't part on poor terms, I assure you." An odd thing to say, perhaps, given the face-breaking that obviously occurred. But he seems to mean it. "And Ser Gedeon's going to talk to him about minding his manners in front of our ladies of the Roost. I didn't figure stirring up more trouble with Lord Valentin himself would be…diplomatic." As opposed to the fighting. Which was apparently his chosen path of diplomacy.
Anais sinks gracefully into a seat, tipping her head slightly to one side at the interplay between the brothers. "It's some progress, though," she muses to Jacsen with a sidelong glance toward the lord. "If Ser Gedeon is speaking with him on our behalf, and if he and Jarod did indeed part on good terms, that's a good sign. Lord Anton can hardly be too upset with us if his own people aren't." She looks to Jarod then, brow arching. "Did anyone see the fight? Or hear anything that would suggest it was anything other than some enthusiastic sparring?"
Jacsen reaches up to rub lightly at his temple, the headache he had earlier while watching the storm roll in with Anais still very much present. "Seven, hurry with the mulled wine," he urges no one in particular. There's a bit of consternation he wears as he listens to Jarod's explanation of what he thought would be best, but he receives no rebuke from his brother just now. "If Gedeon does not straighten this Ser Alek out, best make sure someone else does. What was he saying or doing that was so rude?"
"Oh, aye, it was a full common room," Jarod replies, chipperly, to Anais' question. "Don't worry. We took it outside, like gentlemen. Swordbelts off. No need for live steel. That'd just have been nonsense. Shirts off, too. I'm not quite sure why he insisted on that, come to it. Maybe he wanted to make sure neither of us were in armor. Hard on the knuckles, that. We got a little audience. Don't think they knew what we were fighting about, though. Crowds just follow a fight. Don't think anybody knew why we were fighting, though. Not like we talked much once we got to sparring. Don't worry, little brother! I gave as good as I got, didn't look too bad out there." He claps Jacsen on the shoulder. As if *that* would be his main concern. He seems a little reluctant to describe his sparring partner's rudeness in detail, offering a shrug in Anais' direction. She can field that.
Anais sighs dramatically at Jarod's description of the fight. "Men finally take their shirts off and start fighting and I'm nowhere to be found," she says mournfully, though she manages to moderate her tone at Jacsen's reaction. "He was rude, generally," she explains. "Didn't bother to introduce himself to Luci. Didn't answer when she asked him to. And then suggested that if she wanted to know why he was here to speak with Lord Anton, perhaps they could speak in her room. But he'd hardly be the first knight with a lack of manners," she adds, grimacing faintly.
Jacsen doesn't seem to know where to direct his ire just then, between his brother clapping him on the shoulder and avoiding his question, or his ostensible betrothed waxing on about missing out on some shirtless men fighting, his brother amongst them. "I… think I might need to change out of these clothes," he decides, reaching for his cane. "And put some ointment on my leg. Have someone bring the mulled wine upstairs, won't you?"
Jarod has the grace to look, just a little, abashed to Jacsen as he stands. "All right. I'll have one of the servants bring it up. Jace. I promise. It's not so bad as all that. It was just…a little stupid. But not a lot stupid. Swear to Seven. No long-term stupid will come of this."
Anais grimaces faintly at Jacsen's reaction, a slight flush at the back of her neck and her ears. Though there's a defense on her tongue when she opens her mouth, she bites it back, instead only reaching a hand for his to offer what support she can. "Thank you for spending time with me this afternoon," she murmurs.
He nods to the both of them, "Yes, I'm certain you're right, Jarod." Jacsen straightens and offers Anais a polite sort of smile. "And the same to you, Anais. I know these preparations have taken most of your free time of late, that you had some for me is a kindness." He steps out of the alcove, leaning heavily the cane in his hand, and adds, "Enjoy the mulled wine." And off he is, towards the inevitable climb of the stairs, that itself a challenge.
"I'll look in on you later tonight, all right?" Jarod asks of his brother before he departs. "I wanted to ask you about…" Side glance at Anais. He totally wants to ask about what went down this afternoon. Subtle Jarod is not subtle. He clears his throat. "Anyhow. I'll, uh, see you later if you're up for it." He stands as well, not meaning to linger in the alcove, apparently. Though he does at least wait until the servant's returned with the wine.
"Good night, Jacsen," Anais calls quietly after the lord, worrying her lower lip between her teeth as she watches him go. Only once he's well out of sight does she sigh, taking her own glass of wine from the servant and settling back into her chair. "Some day I may know him well enough not to offend him with every other word," she murmurs, shaking her head.
"Jace frets too much. He's like an old woman," Jarod says, albeit very fondly, directing the servant up to Lord Jacsen's chambers with the second flagon. He does pour a cup for himself, drinking it standing. "I don't think he's too pleased with how I handled Ser Alek, but we'll kiss and make up. Probably should've broken it to him easier." He's apologetic, but he doesn't seem terribly worried.
"I'm sure you're right," Anais smiles faintly, though there's a little strain behind the expression. "Anyhow, I think we made a little progress this afternoon. I hope so, at least." She takes another sip of wine, lashes lowering in relief as the warmth starts to spread through her. "The wedding is so close now."
"My little brother's a good man. Just be good to him," Jarod says. Gulping his wine and finishing it off quick. "I figure you'll both be happier when it's over and done with. Anyhow. I think I will get upstairs and dry out. Get some food. See if Jace is still cross at me in a couple of hours." He's not too concerned. "M'lady Banefort." He flourishes a quick bow to her in parting.
"I will be very good to him," Anais promises with a small smile for Jarod, raising her glass. "As good as I would have been to Jaremy. As good as he could hope from any woman. Take care, Jarod," she nods at his bow, smile curving once more. "Have a good evening."
Jarod pivots and makes his way out of the entry hall and toward the stairs. Stride still easy and loping, spring in his step. He's probably be whistling, were it not for the risk of irritating the cut on his lip.