|There's More of Them|
|Summary:||Another Ironborn rides into Tall Oaks and is met by Lord Dafydd.|
|Old Oak Tavern|
|The building is small, cramped but the floor is well loved and the timber that it is made of is strong. A scattering of tables and chairs are always changing in position most nights and the area can be cleared for dancing, hay or field grasses thrown down to keep the rain that seeps in from creating a muddy mess. A large hearth takes up one side and at every time of the year it is burning due to the shade of the trees. The atmosphere is one of aged companionship and simple pleasures.|
|Wed Dec 07, 288|
Busy week for Tall Oaks, that's for certain. After returning to their woods without a meeting with the Terricks' Lord, Dafydd Camden thought he'd have at least a little time to begin organizing and working out exactly what they have in terms of goods and services and what it is they'll need in the immediate future and in the coming weeks, or months.
Nope. Not to be. First, there's the appearance (and departure) of Lady Kathryna, and then the appearance of Lord Ser Aeric Mallister, and now?
When all Dafydd really wants to do is to take it easy and nurse the still-swollen side of his head for at least another day, he catches word of the appearance of another Ironborn… and it's an obvious Ironborn, complete with armour and weaponry. As a result, his 'welcome committee' is made up of a couple of Men-at-arms in colours, and himself, sword at his side.
There's something vaguely comforting, however, that the Inn is the chosen spot for the greeting. Food. Ale.. how could that be threatening, on either side? As a result, the three do enter the tavern, his voice calling out, "Ale.."
Nares is sat, quite alone at a table near the centre of the Inn. For some reason it seems the locals don't wish to join him. He has an ale in front of him, although any who've been watching (which is probably half the patrons) will know he's barely touched it, but then there's no point in dulling the senses with excessive consumption when facing an unknown wait in equally unknown territory.
As the door opens to admit the Camden party he turns his head to watch and observe. The lead? Obviously Noble although unlikely to be the Lord of the Lands in these circumstances. No, that would have been a 'welcoming' for a castle or hall. The men-at-arms? They're studied briefly before he turns his attention back to their leader. He'd have to admit, it's not the noble he'd wanted to flush out, but it should do as a starter at least.
Not feeling particularly like a prolonged introduction process he simply calls over, from his seat, "My Lord." He loud enough for the whole tavern to hear given then low initial noise levels added to the drop that had accompanied the new arrivals. "Won't you join me for a drink?" Look see, all nice and friendly, and his hands are in plain sight, no where near his sword hilt.
Information is good, and Dafydd does see the new Ironborn seated; pretty obvious as the man is given his room. Distance usually isn't an issue in the homey, wooded tavern.. but for some odd reason, it is now.
The 'keep does bring out a cup and fills it with what the locals call ale; it's not bad. Dark. Chewy. Can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.. and taking his cup, begins the short cross to where the Ironborn is seated, his step careful and deliberate. The men-at-arms, not invited, nor have they been given a nod, remain where they are for the moment until they are dismissed. (They're not yet, however.)
Reaching the table, blue eyes study the man seated, and before he sits, cants his head in silent question before voicing, "And you are…?" Now close, the cut, welt and bruising along the side of his head, just under the close-cropped red-blonde hair is evident. Fresh wound..
Nares's eyes flash briefly to the wound before returning to the Lord's face. No comment is made on it though and instead he answers simply, "My name is Asvard Nares, in service to Lord Harlaw of Ten Towers." His eye's don't move as he pauses for a slight moment, watching for any reaction there might be, and indeed, listening for any from the men-at-arms or even locals. He then continues, "I fear however, you now have me at a disadvantage My Lord."
He lets go of the tankard handle he'd had in his right hand and clasps his hands infront of himself instead, still in clear view on the table mind. His tone is flat, and emotionless, he;s importing information that is all. While it's not open disrespectfulness, it's clear that the courtesies of title and rank are not perhaps as natural to him as they would be to a Riverland's native. He is however, at least trying not to insult his host by attempting them.
Lord Harlaw.. Dafydd's brows rise in surprise and nods his head slowly. "I see." The tenseness in his frame loosens somewhat and he puts his drink down at the table. "Lord Dafydd Camden, Captain of the Guard.. youngest brother to the Lord of Tall Oaks." It's then, now that the Ironborn is identified, that Dafydd nods to his men-at-arms that they are relieved. Relieved they are as the pair move to the bar and get themselves a drink.
"Lord Harlaw." He shakes his head, "I didn't send any letters," yet. "I assume, then, that the Lady Kathryna has." Formality is safest at this point.. until he's certain, or certain enough, of where this will be going. He does take a seat, however, and retakes his cup of ale in one hand. "Well met… Asvard Nares. Welcome to Tall Oaks."
Nares inclines his head a fraction in acknowledgement of the introduction and then flicks his eyes to the men-at-arms as they move towards the bar. A moment later, when he's sure of their destination and intent he brings his attention back to the table and the matter at hand. The reaction received is noted as interesting, especially the remark about letters.
What he says next is obviously hard for him, and readily apparent that were this elsewhere, the phraseology would be remarkable different. "You'll forgive me," Lord Dafydd? Ser? Captain? "My Lord," well, it's worked up to now at least, "but my business is with the Lady herself. Word has it," he smiles, more an amused smile than a friendly one, "that she is likely to be found in these parts." His part said he reaches for his tankard as well, taking a small sip. His gaze remains on Dafydd though.
My lord works, and Dafydd nods the acknowledgment without saying a word, listening to the end of the other man's words. Something of a scowl crosses the man's face, his expression shadowing. "She was supposed to take her leave today and head back to Terrick's Roost. I haven't yet seen her today, however." His smile is tight, and there isn't much amusement that is held within. "The Lady may still be here, upon the request of my brother, the Lord of Tall Oaks, but we don't wish to keep her from her appointed duties at the Roost."
Nares inclines his head again at the news, almost a mirror of the previous. Leaning back in his chair a little he catches the change of demeanour in his host and a faint, rye smile appears on his features. There's definitely something going on here and he's curious to find out what, although that can wait until he's caught up with his Countryman. For now, he'll settle himself for oh so gently playing with the locals.
"Is the distance ride-able with what is left of the day?" he asks straight up, figuring that if she's due to depart then she will have done. He's still not entirely used to the distances on land, nor the limitations of horses. Sea-miles, not a problem, land ones? Well, they're a different story all together.
Dafydd looks considering before he shrugs a single shoulder, not yet taking a swallow of his ale. "It's a day's ride south, keeping to the road." Now, the Captain of the Guard takes hold of his cup and takes a small swallow, and another, holding it and tasting it before it's finished. "If you like, I can send a raven as a message to have her expect you.. and if you do not appear after the day, she'll know to send word back. There are highwaymen on the road, though.." He chuckles softly, wryly, "They'll likely not be an issue. They only travel in groups of about 5."
Nares weighs his options carefully, thinking several permutations through. Much as he would love to see the look on Kath's face as he pitched up out of the blue, it probably wouldn't do her standing among the Riverlanders much good. He may not know much about diplomacy and the fine arts there-of, but the last thing he wants to do is hinder her efforts for simple amusement, "That would be appreciated."
"Your tavern have rooms?" he asks when he's formed his plan of action. Safer to over night here, where he's fairly certain now that he isn't going to get stabbed in the night than at some road-side in where he hasn't sat and been very publically seen to drink with one of the Lords. Raiding his gear to look for letters? Maybe. Stabbing him in his sleep though he's fairly certain not, not after some of Dafydd's reactions anyway. He'd almost, almost, smiled at the quip about the bandits but instead keeps to the business at hand.
"It does." Dafydd looks off to the side, the entranceway not very obvious. It's not a multi-storied tavern, "You're welcome to stay the night. Your horse will be taken care of, and ready for your ride in the morning." Now that there's something of a.. balance, the cup is drained and he twists around to check on the availability of a refill. "I'll send word of your arrival, certainly." Even if the use of the birds are usually for an emergency. Not much point in sending a rider only to have.. a rider show later.
Instead of waiting for that next cup, Dafydd begins to rise from his seat again. "The Lady knows she's welcome here, so perhaps I may see both of you again and some point? You, before your departure, undoubtedly." No, he's not reaching for his weapon to stab the man in the back.. and with a low whistle, calls for his men-at-arms to depart with him.