The heavy wooden door opens into a large sitting room for this medium sized guest apartment for visiting dignitaries and nobles.The walls and floor are constructed of smoothed grey granite, a large window present opposite the doorway to help provide light. The sill of the window large enough to be used as a bench for looking out into the courtyard of the Red Keep below. A trio of doorways lead off from the sitting room, one next to the hearth the others arranged opposite of it, there destinations the privy, and a pair of bedrooms.
Daylight streams in through the window of the main room illuminating everything in a splended array of colors. Painted hangings line the bare places of the wall done in full color as they depict scenes of The Young Dragons victories in the war against Dorne, the two most remarkable the fall of Sunspear and the Battle of the Carrion Woods. Heavy carpets in matching colors to the main body of the tapestries, red and black, cover the rooms stone floor adding a degree of comfort. The only added decoration a battered and dirty war banner depicting the rusted anchor and colors of House Melcolm hanging next to the window. A pair of heavy chairs occupy spots to each side of the fire, a padded couch occupying the remaining wall space across from the hearth. Shade from the sun can be found in the far corners of the room a small wooden table and chairs occuping the right hand corner while a small armory has been setup in the left. A weapons rack contains a bastard sword, daggers, a mace, and a bow, while stands hold a collection of plate, chain, and leather armors. A sideboard next to the table is the only other item of furniture, seasonal fresh fruit, and a selection of wines and brandys sitting there.
A heavy door of aged wood, banded in black iron bands, complete with lock and key.
Outside, the grey of the clouds begins to darken. A chilling wind blows from the west.
There’s a knock at the door. Knock knock knock. Outside stands one Ethos Mertyns, cousin and friend (maybe?) of Janden Melcolm.
For now, Janden is the only one in the apartments. When the knock comes he looks up from a book he’s in the midst of reading, getting to his feet. The door is opened and he steps aside. “Cousin. Come in,” he says with a smile.
Ethos gives Janden a grin and strides in, glancing around. “I just wanted to ask you a favor, cousin. I won’t take up too much of your time. I have some other things to get to.” He explains, turning back to gaze at Melcolm. “How are you?”
Janden rubs the side of his nose, the colorful bruises nearly a thing of the past. “A favor? This isn’t to do with another trip looking for women, is it? And on that topic, what’s the story with the feathers?” Yes, he’s heard the rumors. Shutting the door, he returns to his table where wine and some fruit and cheese can be had. “I’ve missed the last couple bandit things, hoping to get involved with the next whenever there’s more to do.”
Ethos, for once, isn’t sporting any bruises or scratches or burns at all. He’s looking positively healthy. Well, as healthy as the rough man can look. His hair is uncombed and he’s overdue for a shave, and his shirt is wrinkled. The man grins, “Women? No. I need a hunting license. I need to get out of the keep for a few days. I can handle things myself, I just… I need to kill something. I’m getting too stircrazy.” He chuckles, “The feathers.. mmm.. something for court to talk about.” He says with a grin.
“And talk about it they are,” Janden answers, shaking his head briefly. It looks like he’s amused as he adds, “So long as you don’t go around hooting like an owl, but I wouldn’t put it past you.” At the request for a hunting license, he reaches for a ledger and something to write in it. “What are you thinking of hunting?” he wonders. “And you’re sure you don’t need anything set up?”
“Oh.. a stag would be fine, I think. That’ll take me a while, my bow skills aren’t the best.” Ethos says, smiling. “I can get lost in the woods for days tracking one down.” He grins eagerly at the thought. “No, I’ll be fine by myself. I’ll take the squire with me.”
Looking down, Janden begins to write. “Stag, then. Usually that’s..49 stags for it but I’ll gift you this one, probably the next two or three after that if you want to hunt again sometime.” As it is, he reaches for a coinpurse of his own to take out the payment in order to account for it. “I don’t need you getting lost out there, though. Be careful, hmm?”
Ethos gives Janden a curious look, his brow lifting. “What are you doing, cousin?” He asks, crossing the room and reaching to wrap his hand around the quill. “Didn’t I teach you anything?? Who’s in charge of counting the game??”
Janden glances back up, his answer a simple one. “I’m accounting for the license, Ethos. One way or the other, it needs to go into the books and be tracked, so I’m covering it for you. You’re welcome.” he explains, a small smile there, although he raises a brow when the attempt to log it is interrupted.
Ethos shakes his head. “You don’t have to pay for it, cousin. That’s ridiculous. Just go to the front of the ledger, add one deer to the count. Write up the license for me. You’re done.” He says in a quiet, insistent voice. “*You’re* the one that counts, them, cousin. You’re the one that checks the numbers.”
Perhaps this day was coming sooner or later. Janden doesn’t show anything one way or another to give away his thoughts, but he does subtly take back the quill to continue writing. “I could do that, but I’m not. Everything that’s hunted, I’m accounting for it as best as I can. I keep an honest book, cousin.” Along with that, he scribbles out a license to slide over to the Mertyns knight. “We’ve been friends a long time. You know me better than that.”
Ethos doesn’t press too hard. He lets out a sigh, shaking his head. “I do, but someday I hope you wise up.” He says with a smirk, grabbing up the parchment and folding it up without even reading it over. “Thank you, cousin. I appreciate it. Do you think I could borrow the hunting lodge as well?” He asks with a grin.
Janden gives the man another smile, even if it’s a brief one and hints at some discomfort. “Ethos, you know I’d like to return the favors from the past and the salary the King gives for this is good, better than anything I’ve made before, but the licenses and the lodge are the only way I can earn a profit on any of this. Do you know what Farin did during the first hunt I held? He came in to ask me if everyone had their licenses.” That, he scowls at. “Do you think I wouldn’t make sure things were taken care of properly? That’s why I won’t cut corners.” The ledger is closed, then he sips from a cup of wine. “You can use the lodge, but don’t leave me a mess to deal with.”
Ethos runs his fingers through his hair, further disrupting its disorderly lay. “Farin is a dick.” The man replies, rolling his eyes. “I should have killed him when I had the chance.” The man says, sighing. He shakes his head, narrowing his eyes. “Maybe I will, someday. We’ll see.” Does the man really mean that? Maybe. “Well, I appreciate it.” He says with a wide smile, clapping his cousin on the back. “There won’t be a mess. You let me know if Farin fucks with you too much. I can repay him in other ways.” Mertyns says, chuckling darkly as he turns to head for the door. Then he calls back a tidbit of advice, “If you want a profit on the lodge, rent it out more!... outside of the hunts. Should be damned easy with the whores driven out.”
“He’s a piece of shit. That will never change,” Janden says, not hiding his opinion of the man in the least. “But he’s the Warden now, which means there are some things I have to stomach, including him being the Warden at all. I talk to him as little as I’m required to.” Then comes the frown, shaking that red head of his. “Cousin..I’ll pretend I didn’t hear you openly say that, lest anyone start turning their eyes my way. If you do something, don’t give me an indication first, please?” He just doesn’t need the trouble. Finally, “We’ll see about the lodge. Things aren’t over with in the ‘wood yet, based on what I’ve heard. Bors is still out there and so is this Rogan person. Anyhow, I wish you a good hunt.”
Ethos throws Janden a grin, “Don’t worry, I know how your lawful heart can’t handle things like that. There’s nothing to worry about, though. I’d rather have Farin there than one of the other idiots around court. Farin I know how to deal with.” Mertyns inclines his chin, smiling. “Thanks again!” He heads out.