|Summary:||Day enlists Kittridge and Nicodemus to give Rosanna a creative lesson on heraldry.|
|Date:||January 14, 2012|
It is, as it is so often in the Long Summer, a beautiful day — skies of peerless blue, a slight breeze, bright sunshine, fluffy clouds to tease the eye and imagination into seeing all manner of fanciful things. On most such days, Septa Day can be found teaching lessons out of doors, and this one is no exception. The setpa has a large basket — one which is always full of mysterious teaching tools, unexpected odds and ends. Today, she sets the basket down at the edge of the grove, and announces to Rosanna with a smile, "Heraldry!"
Despite an affection for mischief, Rosanna has long been a rather fastidious child in terms of her appearance, and thus it is that she is smoothing down the skirts of her gown as she sits in the meadow. A tiny bundle of copper curls, she cranes her neck to try to catch a peek into the basket, which has historically been the source of excitement. "Heraldry?" she says, childishly dubious of Day's ability to make this particular lesson fun.
"Hmm," is Nicodemus's offer for the topic of the day from where he lounges up against a tree, an apple in one hand. He crunches down on a bite, watching Day and her basket with a faint smile as he waits to see what will come out of it and what part he'll be assigned to play.
"Heraldry? I thought that was one of your favorites, Nic," Kittridge suggests, lobbing an apple core in his brother's general direction. He's lounging on the other side of the blanket, propped on one elbow. Like Rosanna, he too leans a bit, trying to get a peek inside the basket.
The basket, it seems, is stuffed with bewildering tufts of matted fur, shaggy hair, and rough-woven fabric. "Heraldry," Day nods, eyes alight. "Now, you've grown up in a noble house and seen, in some form or another, the emblems of many other noble houses. Today, rather than go into the particulars, we'll see just how well you've been paying attention — for a terrible thing has happened!" She pauses dramatically. "The emblems of ten noble houses have been stolen — " She pulls a shaggy wig out of her basket and crowns Kit with it, just as he leans in to look, " — by trolls!"
Rosanna wrinkles her nose, caught between a giggle and distaste. "Trolls?" she echoes, eyeing her be-wigged brother.
Nicodemus reaches his free hand up to catch the flung apple core, though his nose wrinkles a little as the sticky, slimy fruit bit splats into his palm. "Blech," he mutters around a grin, dropping the apple core beside him and wiping his hand clean on his knee. "Trolls," he gasps in playful horror as the game is unveiled and Kit is so crowned. He eases up into a more proper sit, holding a hand out for his own costume. "Do us proudly, Roz. You're the only hope the Riverlands have, now."
"That was stupid," Kit laughs as his brother catches the apple core, snickering about it a moment longer before he finds himself suddenly wearing a wig. "Trolls," he echoes, looking up at the septa through scraggly troll-bangs before turning towards his little sister to do some proper teeth gnashing, "You'll never get them back!" he says to her in troll-voice, which is somewhere between his dragon voice and his gnome voice.
"Trolls!" affirms Day, tossing a big, burlap vest with bits of fur and leaves attached to Nic. "The trolls have stolen these magical emblems for — alas — trolls are too stupid to create their own heraldry, but just smart enough to be jealous." Kit is tossed a similar vest, and Nic fitted with another horrid wig. "Alas, poor trolls." She turns to Rosanna, gesturing to the trees. "The fiends have hidden then emblems in the grove, and only a young lady of noble blood with a pure, brave heart and great beauty can find them. Of course, the trolls will try to catch you — " she glances at the terrible monsters she'd created, then goes on, " — but they can be frozen for a count of five by holding up an emblem and shouting the name of the house to which it belongs." But! "If you cannot name the house, you'll just have to run very quickly and bring the emblem back to me."
"But they can run faster than me!" Rosanna complains, eyeing both of her brothers all significantly older and bigger and faster than her. Then her chin sets at a stubborn angle and she draws herself back up to her feet. "But I'm smarter than them."
Nic tugs his vest on, smirking over at his brother as his 'troll voice' comes out. He pats his own wig on before standing up and assuming an appropriately stooped and hulking posture. "Trolls are not stupid!" he protests in a low and rather stupid-sounding voice. He reaches his arms out, fingers making grasping motions at Rosanna. "Trolls are… uh…" he blinks, dumbly, through his wild hair, "the thing that is better than stupid!"
Kittridge catches his vest, and sits up a bit to tug it on before vaulting to his feet. "Too nimble by half for a troll," he comments after he's done it, and then takes on a similar sort of lurching posture to Nic's, reaching towards his little sister. "Yeah, not-stupid!" he agrees in troll-voice, "We've got heraldry things now! Lots of 'em! And look, a little girl to eat." He reaches wiggling fingers towards Rosanna like he might scoop her up for their cook pot.
"Very much smarter — the smartest girl I know!" Day tells Rosanna, giving the young lady's shoulders a bracing squeeze. "Also," she whispers, though quite loud enough for the trolls to hear their instructions, "trolls are often clumsy. And near-sighted." She sagenods. "Prone to run into trees. Go quickly now!" she gestures once more to the wood. "Ten emblems! Bring each one back to me, brave lady! The fate of the noble houses is in your hands!"
"They're not better than stupid," Rosanna claims haughtily. "They're /worse/ than stupid." She listens intently to Day's final instructions, takes a bracing breath, and then darts off towards the the grove before Kit or Nico can get their wiggling fingers on her.
"Mmm, little girls. We will have little girl stew!" Troll-Nic effects a raspy cackle at this nefarious dish. "Look, there she is! I'll catch her!" He goes lumbering forward into a wild-armed charge… right past Rosanna and into Kit, arms wrapping around his quarry with a triumphant shout. "I got her! I got her! Little girl stew!"
"I got her! I got her!" Troll-Kit shouts as well, "She's bigger than I guessed, we're going to have tons of stew! But she smells like troll," he says, and then makes a bleching noise as he mimes a nibble and then shoves Nic off, "You're not a little girl! Where did she go?" He gives Nic another shove before galumphing off after Rosanna. "Not our emblems! You can't have them!"
Day laughs delightedly and claps, then cups her hands around her mouth to shout after Rosanna, "Remember: if they get too close and you have an emblem, shout the name of the house to freeze them!" Meanwhile, she beams at her twin trolls and makes a heart shape with her thumbs and forefingers.
Rosanna is not the running-jumping-climbing trees sort of girl, but she /is/ quite determined when given a task, so she gathers up her skirts to dart into the familiar space of the grove. They are not terribly hard to find once she's there, her stubborn fearlessness refusing to be daunted by the threat of her troll brothers. She snatches up a little silver fish from the crook of the roots of one tree with a triumphant sound. (Fish are easy.)
Troll-Nic gives a bellow as he realizes the 'girl' he's caught is another troll. "Lout! What are you doing pretending to be a little girl? She's getting away! Give chase! Give chase!" He lurches in hulking troll steps into the grove after the darting Rosanna, moving towards her with another bellow as the child plucks up one of their stolen coat of arms. "I have you now!"
Rosanna gives a little squeak when Nico gets close. She holds up the silvery fish, bold and defiant (even as she ducks her head away a little bit) and yells at him, "Tully!"
Day whoops and applauds wildly. "Well done, Rosanna! Well done! One down!"
He's nearly upon her when Rosanna shouts, arms outstretched, fingers a breath away from grabbing Roz up by her waist. As 'Tully' is shouted, Troll-Nic makes a sort of 'gluck'ing sound and freezes, stock still. A Troll-Nic statue. Save for the low, growly counting of "One… Two… Three…"
Troll-Kit has blundered in the wrong direction, and is behind a tree when Rosanna freezes Nic by naming the Tully sigil. "Nooooo!" he cries in a trolly roar, "No freezing! I will get yoooouuuu!" He thumps after her in pursuit, troll-gait changing frequently as he tries out various silly walks.
Just for good measure, Rosanna darts towards Nico and gives him a swift kick in the shin before scrambling away in search of her next target. She finds an eagle next and starts shifting weight from foot to foot anxiously as she attempts to recall the familiar sigil.
Day chokes on laughter as Rosanna assaults Troll-Kit, biting her knuckle to keep from cackling outright. She stands and cranes to the side, attempting to follow the action through the trees. "Remember, you can bring the ones that stump you to me — but be swift!" she calls.
There is a yelp from Nicodemus that's a bit less troll and a bit more genuine ouch as he's kicked, but he holds his freeze for the requisite five seconds before he straightens and gives himself a shake like some big, hairy dog. As Roz struggles with the eagle he growls, "Grrrrrr, guard yourself well, little girl! For that kick, I will push you into the sea!"
"I'm going to catch you!" Troll-Kit calls as his big, ridiculous lunging troll-steps bring him closer to Rosanna, even after a break to snicker at that kick. "I'm going to catch you and have eagle & girl soup!" He turns an accusing look on Nic, "Don't push her into the sea! She's our dinner! She'll get all salty."
"You will not!" Rosanna claims back, darting behind a tree to try to shake off her pursuers before making a break for Day, clutching the eagle to her.
"I'd say she's probably salty enough, fellows!" laughs Day, running over to meet Rosanna at the treeline. She stretches out her hands to receive the emblem. "What've you got?" she asks, breathlessly.
"We could make little girl jerky," Troll-Nic suggests, quite cleverly for a troll. "Salty is good for jerky. Raaaaah! Where are you little girl?" As Rosanna makes her way to Day, Nic stumbles in the wrong direction, arms reaching but finding nothing more than air.
"Jerky!" Troll-Kit likes this idea, "Jerky is tasty." He makes lip-smacking noises while weaving his way towards Rosanna and Day. "But tough!" he announces of jerky, "And little girls are so tasty! We should make Septa jerky!" He decides suddenly, changing course with a lurch and reaching to snatch Day off her feet.
"I can't remember," Rosanna says, a hint of a whine in her voice. "Mallister, but—" Something else is clearly nagging her mind about it. She squeals as Kit swoops in to try to snatch up Day and promptly darts in to try to kick /him/ in the shin this time. "That's not part of the rules!"
Day shrieks in delighted terror and laughter as Troll-Kit snatches her up, straining to reach Rosanna and just managing to take the gold eagle from her hand. She holds it aloft, crying, "Terrick!" She blows grateful kisses to the brave little lady, still held by the frozen troll. "Thank you, thank you, my lady — but fear not for me! There are lions and boars and stags in the wood, still!"
"Septa jerky!" Trol-Nic crows in delight. "Shake her up good, make her nice and tender. I'll boil the girl for our soup!" With another roar, his ducks his head down and goes charging at Rosanna rather like a bull might, if a bull had a wig of hoary hair instead of horns.
"Ahhhg," says Troll-Kit as he is kicked and then frozen, and he holds still in that pose, bend back a little, Day held aloft, one foot lifted, about to kick back in Rosanna's direction. "Ahhhhg," he says again, troll vocal chords apparently not subject to the freezing magic.
Rosanna will not be little girl soup this night! Determined to rescue her favorite septa from the foul clutches of her evil brother-trolls, Rosanna zigs and zags through the grove, collecting sigils and either declaring them or racing them back to Day. Eventually, she has collected all ten of them, and she sets her little girl fists on her little girl hips to tell her brothers, "Now you have to let her go! No jerky or soup!"
"You heard Lady Rosanna!" declares Day. "No soup for you!" Laughing and breathless, she hugs her charge. "Very well done, Rosebud!" Then, grinning at the twins, "And thank you, boys! I really thought it would have taken more effort for you to get into character, but 'oafsh dullard' seems to come to you both so naturally!"
Troll-Nic has done his best to turn Roz into soup, blundering after her, stumbling into trees, falling over Kit and bellowing appropriately Trollish epithets as each grasp fails and all of their stolen sigils are reclaimed. He peers over at Rosanna and Day forlornly once it's become clear that they've lost their prizes and their meal. "We… we will let you go," he growls sadly, "if you will make us an arms coat of our very own." Then as Day ends the game, he straightens up and removes his wig. "Oafish dullard?" Nicodemus asks, back in his own voice and with a 'wounded' gasp. "Kit, did you hear that? We can't let such slanders to our good name stand…"
Troll-Kit finally sets Day down as the last sigil is delivered, groaning in troll-agony, "Noooooo. You've beat us!" He falls to his knees beside Rosanna triumphant, shaking clawed fingers at the sky, and then finally tugs the wig off and scratches at his head, ruffling hair with both hands. "We're even better actors than you imagined, is I think what you meant to say," Kit corrects Day, "Naturally talented, that's us. Didn't you, lady Day?" he looks at the septa, brows lifted, brown eyes widened expectantly.
"Trolls don't get arms coats," Rosanna says with ready confidence, giggling as she swept into a hug with Day. After she's been freed, she marches over to Nico expectantly. Hello give me attention.
Day glances back and forth between the strapping young knights, both of whom are taller than she by at least two inches, however willowy the stands… and decides that discretion is the better part of valor. "That," she agrees dryly, "is exactly what I meant." Adding sotto voce, "Lest my own cleverness get me carried off and tossed in the mill pond." It's happened before. Grinning again, she suggests, "Lunch? And we can discuss what, exactly, a troll's coat of arms might look like if they DID have." Which should segue nicely into the meanings of fields and blazons and tinctures, rounding out the lesson over a picnic in the sun-drowsy afternoon.
"They might if you made them one," Nicodemus points out reasonably as he unbuttons his toll vest and hangs it over one arm. He smiles down at Rosanna as she peers up at him, and then swiftly grabs the girl up to drape her over one shoulder. "Lunch!" Nicodemus agrees cheerfully, beginning to walk back towards the sunny spot where they were all reclining before the emblems of the Riverlands were cast into peril, "For a brave girl, a wise, dry septa and two very talented actors."
Kittridge clicks his tongue, "Septas tossed in the mill pond? We can't have that, can we? Do septas float, do you think?" he asks, tapping his lip thoughtfully at Rosanna and Day, "I know little sisters do…." He tosses his wig and vest back towards the basket and flops down beside the picnic blanket with a contented sigh, lifting an as-yet-imaginary drink to approve Nic's description, "Here, here."
Rosanna giggles in a delighted half-shriek as Nicodemus tosses her over his shoulder. "No they don't!" she tells Kittridge urgently as she's carried over to lunch. "Sisters don't float! Stop it!"
"I'll teach you how, my rose," Day tells Rosanna, unpacking lunch (from a separate basket than the nasty troll costumes). "Tomorrow, maybe. If it's as hot as the Maester says it will be, it should be a good day to study naval battles."
Nicodemus sets Rosanna back on her feet, giving a fond tug to the ends of her bright, copper hair. "Septas float," he answers sagely, "when the stars are out." Dropping down onto the picnic basket near Kit, he leans over to peer into the basket Day roots through to see if he can't pilfer a skin of wine with which to fill his brother's imaginary glass.
"They don't?" Kit gasps at Rosanna, "Well, that'll have to change. We don't want little sisters sinking, do we?" He grins at her and taps her on the nose. "Yes, yes, our septa is very buoyant, I know." He grins, and then leans over to help look for the wine.
"You're dumb," Rosanna tells Kittridge with the confident sincerity of childhood. She snuggles up to Nicodems as they settle in, nose wrinkling with a giggle as Kit taps her on the nose.
Day glances at Nic beneath her lashes for just a moment, smiling, cheeks and ears turning a bit pink. Knowing full well what the boys are both after, she hands she wine skin to Kit, deliberately bypassing Nic in the process. Favoritism: shown. Laughing, she advises Rosanna, "A little compassion, sweeting. Not everyone can be as clever as you."
"Well, she's right you know," Nico sighs for his brother's intellect. He smiles a it more as Day's ears go pink, though it dissolves into an expression of indignation as the wine goes past him and over to Kittridge. "Hey!" he protests, even as he drapes an arm lazily around his little sister.
"See?" Rosanna beams up at Nicodemus when he agrees with her. You are the best brother, Nico. She snuggles in, enjoying the warmth of the son coupled with the comfortable rest of her brother.
Kittridge glances between Day and Nicodemus and then pulls a face at Rosanna before taking the wine with a triumphant sound and sitting back with it, helping himself and making no move to share anytime soon.