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The day is sometime into the afternoon and people are at work around the camp set up outside the castle at Riverrun. By now word of the battle at Pennytree has reached the place, even if certain details may yet be unclear. Some knights practice in an area cleared out for such things, others in conversation about the probability of more trouble to come if what they’ve heard is any sign. Naturally, rumors swirl about just what /has/ happened in the conflict so far, speculation growing about what Lady Tully will do first.
The Melcolm tent, somewhere in the midst of those set up, is neither large nor elaborate, but there is some form of identification that lets everyone know the house. Janden sits outside in conversation with his squire, Malwyn. Hunting is the topic, of all things.
The Arryn’s pavilion is not far from where the Melcolm knight’s tent rests amidst other Vale bannermen’s. From there, Jyana walks between a handmaiden and her septa—her guard, Standfast, must be part of those practicing in that yonder clearing. There are still many steps yet between the young lady’s path and Janden’s seat beside his squire; the Jewel of the Eyrie seems to be having a certain, nearly heated conversation with the robed woman at her side. The latter shakes her head, making decisive gestures with her gnarled hands.
Sometimes she has been compared to a ship or a storm with the events that follow in her wake; now it is even more an apt comparison, with the heavy swell of pregnancy to serve as a prow. She seems in no sweet mood, the Lady Serry; her eyes are dark and she is decidedly ironborn in dress and demeanour today, with the tilt of her jaw and the long stride more suited to shipboard than the fine skirts of a lady.
A trio of riders walk slowly through the camp. Two of them are wearing the colors of House Melcolm and their rough clothes give them away as guards as opposed to member of the house. The third rides just in front of them with a light fur cloak hanging off his shoulders. The three look weary and dust from the road cover their gear and clothes.
Dorik’s main attention seems to be more focused on the banners in front of him than anything else. His gaze darts from house to house as he brings his horse forwards, spending a few moments on each set of arms. When he sees the marking of his own house Dorik brings his horse to a stop. He dismounts from his horse, handing the reins to one of his men. Taking a deep breath he strolls towards the tent, though he seems to be approaching from the back so he might not be noticed at first.
There are at least a few Melcolms that no longer reside in Old Anchor. Kennard is one. Janden, of course, is another. The tent itself mostly blocks him from view of the three men drawing closer and the Royal Huntsman’s conversation with Malwyn is put on hold as he looks up to see not just the Jewel nearby but soon Katla as well. Getting to his feet, he offers a polite greeting first to Jyana, inquiring, “How do you fare this day?” Malwyn rises as well. As for Katla, the greeting is much simpler, just a basic ‘Lady Serry’ for her as he awaits to see what’s got her looking the way she is right now.
Lady Belissa Corbray paces outside of the tent she shares with her husband. She is muttering to herself about something or another in a nervous way. It has always been hard for Belissa to sit still for extended periods of time, and now with the battle at Pennytree, her nerves are on edge. Out of the corner of her eye she sees her friend Lady Serry walk past, seeming on edge about something herself, though not in the same nervous state as Belissa. She rushes after her, “My lady may I walk with you?”
Those steps are near enough now; Jyana looks up as Janden addresses her, and a pleasant smile replaces what was beginning to look like a scowl as the septa went on. “Ah, Ser Janden—Malwyn, good day.” The smile fades by a slight measure, “Or rather, to be honest, a tense day, but it is good to see friendly faces at the least.”
His greeting of the Lady Serry brings the young woman’s attention to the gravid woman; she, too, receives a smile and murmur of greeting—that extends just as quickly to Belissa as the lady approaches.
Katla’s pace slows, stops at Belissa’s words. Something in her face relaxes slightly, eyes no longer raging quite as much. “You are ever welcome to,” she responds to her friend. A few more steps, and her lips twitch at Janden’s greeting. “Ser Janden. My lady of Arryn.” A polite nod to them both, eyes settling briefly on the squire. “Malwyn.” She rests a hand on the swell of her stomach absent-mindedly. “A tense day indeed, to see who throws what weight behind Lady Tully’s words and who thinks they know better than their overlord.”
Dorik will wave his men back as he rounds the corner of the tent. There is a certain weariness in his movements as strolls into view and finally lays eyes on Janden. He comes to a halt abruptly as he sees his half brother. His left hand clenches into a fist and he rotates once before he relaxes.
“Now, I was trying to find Ser Kennard.” He’ll say with a sigh. So far he’s been able to keep his tone neutral without any hostility in his voice. “You wouldn’t happen to know where he is, would you?” If there are other people around Dorik hasn’t seemed to notice them, his full attention at this moment is focused on his half brother.
The Hightower squire is quick with his own part of the exchange with the ladies that have come to within speaking range, though the lad goes back to being more seen and not heard afterward. Janden, his knight, nods slowly to the rest, finally including Belissa in with the prior greetings before he speaks further. “More tense than ever, given the news filtering in. I can’t think it will be much longer before we’re on the move as well. They’ve not listened to reason.” Katla gets a firm nod to what she says about weight being thrown one way or another.
At a voice from behind, Janden slowly turns. The women might catch a look of disbelief before it gives way to something entirely different. Anger? His response is not quite the answer Dorik’s seeking. “What the fuck are /you/ doing here?”
Belissa stops abruptly just noticing the others. “Ser Janden, My lady of Arryn. Malwyn. Yes tense indeed,” she agrees, her hands fidgeting nervously. Belissa tries to be polite and ignore the heated exchange between brothers, but can’t keep her cheeks from turning red and her hand from covering her mouth after hearing such strong language.
The Greyjoy’s eyes widen, and then a slow smile, something like the cat with the riverpike, crosses her face. “And here I only thought I responded like that with Romny,” she responds to no one in particular, chuckling softly. “At least nothing’s been thrown, yet. Or accusations of being a trained seal.” She shakes her head in amusement, and then looks briefly concerned, eyebrows furrowing; she glances down at her abdomen, and very deliberately pokes back at it with a long weaver’s finger. Whatever response she gets seems to satisfy her. “Perhaps I’ll leave you to it, then - this seems like a reunion that does not need my extra observation.”
Slim as the smile is on the Jewel’s lips while she listens to comments of Lady Serry and Ser Janden alike, it disappears completely as the latter responds to the man upon them now.
Her eyes widen at first—then that brow comes crashing down in a deep furrow. The septa at her side animates excitedly, whispering a fierce word or three in the girl’s ear. She turns that scowl on the lady, her own whisper a mere frustrated: “/Please/, a moment.”
Jyana’s eyes look first to Katla, a frown turning on her face as the lady takes her leave—a choice that sparks her septa’s ire all over again. But, the lady fends that robed woman off a moment longer to stare at the knights.
“Friendly as always.” Dorik’s response is controlled with only a slight clenching of his jaw as he speaks. “I was on the road with my family to Red Lake. This will probably be Allon’s last chance to see his grandparents before winter comes.”
It is then that Dorik seems to notice they have an audience. “Lady of Arryn, you’ll have to excuse my half brother. I had heard rumors of what was going on here and that our Lord Arryn was in attendance. I broke off and and got here as fast as I could to see what assistance I could offer. I’ll admit, I didn’t expect to see you here. Have I ever purposely sought you out?”
To be sure, Janden has his off-color moments. They normally aren’t in front of women, however - Katla counted among them for this purpose. They’re momentarily forgotten or ignored, as is Malwyn, as the Huntsman levels a cold glare upon Dorik. “You mistake yourself for someone who deserves my friendship. I’d figured you’d stay close to our dear lord father and enjoy the benefits of being one of his favored sons, but instead I find you here before me.” The reason for it follows shortly afterward, depriving Janden the chance to ask what Dorik must have done. Hands ball into fists and his expression causes that old battle scar to make him look downright sinister, a stark contrast to the way many people know him.
Belissa looks to Lady Arryn for a reaction, as she is unsure what to do in this situation; she is used to attending the Princess at court, not watching knights get into spats. Her gaze travels between the knights and Lady Arryn feeling quite unsure of what to do.
Indeed, even Jyana looks at the enraged knight with a curious distance—a hand flutters to her chest, her jaw slacks to let her mouth hang open slightly. That shock lasts all of a breath, and then the lady is moving as if to come between the men!
But that septa will have none of that! A stern hand wraps bony fingers around the Jewel’s slender arm and all but yanks the Arryn lady to the woman’s side. It may just be the most sensible solution, in this moment, and that seems to sink in for the young Arryn. With one last, helpless glance at Belissa, Lady Jyana is left with no other option but to be led away and towards the keep… rather forcibly, if need be.
“Favored son?” That seems to finally crack through whatever force of will was holding back Dorik’s emotions. “Stop playing the victim. You caused that one. I didn’t accuse anyone of trying to kill me.” While he hasn’t gotten much louder, Dorik tone has completely changed, now it’s all anger. “You spent years badmouthing our father to anyone who listened in Oldtown. What did you expect to happen?”
Dorik just shakes his head at Janden’s display. “I mean, I understand why you did it. After all, what sort of Melcolm doesn’t know how to swim?”
There’s a small scene in front of the Melcolm tent, namely Janden and Dorik looking very much like they’re moments away from going at it with each other. It’s a side of the red-headed knight rarely seen outside battle times. “You know well how father always took yours and Baran’s side whenever something happened. What did you think I was supposed to do when he went straight to blaming me without even giving me the chance to explain?” It may be better for Jyana that she’s led off. Getting in the middle of this one is not like to go well.
“I was much better off in Oldtown than I’d have been around the lot of you, so in that I’m glad for some things happening the way they did. And don’t you dare come here and tell me I couldn’t swim, you little shit.” For as much as the Brackens and Blackwoods have a feud that’s been touched off, the Riverrun camp could be about to have its own all over again.
Lady Belissa works up the nerve. “Ser Janden, Ser Dorik! What if Lord Arryn heard you? It is bad enough that Lady Arryn heard that first bit,” she says in a strong, yet still feminine voice. She steps towards the two. Belissa hopes that the two may cease their quarreling, at least in her presence. At least it is better than being left with her own thoughts on the battle and what it means for herself and her family.
“You were given chances the same as anyone else. You were always the one to take things too far.” Dorik pulls himself up to his full height, still several inches shorter than his younger sibling. “He sent you off for your own good, even when doing you favor you still attack him. You’ve never appreciated your family.”
He takes a step closer, though the two knights are still well outside of striking range. “Here’s what I’ve never understood. You want out? I don’t think anyone would miss you.” He points at the banner of Old Anchor displayed on the tent. “Then why do you still identify? You can’t have it both ways.” As Lady Belissa steps forwards Dorik moves to give her room, but he concedes no more to her.
Storming in the direction of the commotion is Ser Eon Hunter. He is wearing his jerkin and a glare that could melt lead. His steps are heavy and with purpose. Upon reaching the quarreling siblings he says, “My lady, sers.” Eon does not look at Belissa, “What is this yelling about?” The tone of his voice indicate anger at the arguing, though it is not a voice of rage, but one of a contained fire.
Janden is left shaking his head. “No, he never saw me the same as you and Baran. I could never be the same to him as the children from his first wife.” For just a moment, it sounds like that might be the part that hurt him the most back then, but it’s gone again. “Oldtown was the best thing for me and yes, I said a few things, but I grew from it. Things were peaceful when I was home from the war, then you showed up.”
The taller Melcolm knight moves to meet Dorik’s step toward him. “I claim because I’m still a Melcolm no matter what I think of you. I’m the one who’s been out trying to improve myself, all without his help. I cost him nothing. In fact..” A finger lifts to jab toward Dorik’s chest, but before that happens Belissa’s stepping in with her words of wisdom over what Lord Arryn might think, not to mention the fact the Jewel and more heard his remarks.
“What? I..” Janden frowns at her words, further when out of the others beginning to watch, Eon comes over to seek answers. “We’re..catching up on old times, ser,” he answers, expression cloudy.
Belissa is relieved to see Ser Eon striding towards the bickering brothers. “Ser Eon, thank the Seven,” she says, not bothering to elaborate on the disturbance, but instead changing the subject. “Ser Janden and Ser Dorik were just telling me about their younger years.” Belissa looks at the knights in a way that suggests she would rather forget about the altercation altogether.
“Yes, I came back to my home.” Dorik seems to have regained some control. “You were happy to come back to Old Anchor when it was convenient for you. If you’re one of us, fine, but then you respect our father, our family, and the house.”
At Belissa’s words Dorik takes a step away from his sibling. “You’ll have to excuse me. It’s been long day of riding to reach this camp. I see the arms of my house and when I approach…” He’ll turn towards Eon, raising his hands in the air. “We’re just making up for lost time, ser. It’s been years.”
Eon still scowls at the quarreling brothers. “Making up, indeed. When our ranks have already been depleted by knights going to bear arms against each other. When you are quarreling like this you only weaken our force’s morale. Infighting may as well be a plague.” His tone is still angry, but still controlled, “If you two have a quarrel let it be dealt with after this feud is resolved.”
Janden’s eyes narrow briefly at Dorik’s choice of words. “I was sent there to heal. Things seemed better again. I got on well with Baran.” The one he once accused of trying to drown him. “Respect goes both ways, Dorik,” he reminds, but the problem lies in neither of them seeming to give it to the other.
With others trying to be the voice of reason, it at least has some level of success as Eon chides the both of them. Janden frowns but the worst of the anger begins to fade away. “You..are right, ser. My lady,” to Belissa, “I hope you will accept my apology for speaking out of line before you.” It’s back to Dorik he turns, though his jaw is tight as he speaks. “Lord Arryn has bid the knights of the Vale to avoid taking sides and instead lend Lady Tully any support she needs. I still intend to do just that. Now if you’ll all excuse me, I need a walk. I trust you can set your own tent up elsewhere, /brother/.” The man turns to step away, which may be the best thing right now.
Belissa steps back turning to Eon, “Thank you ser.” She turns to Janden and Dorik, “I really must be going I do believe this day too tense for me. I am feeling faint, if you will excuse me good sers.” She rushes back towards her tent. leaving the knights standing outside of the Melcolm tent.
Dorik has the decency to look ashamed as Eon speaks. “It wasn’t my intent to make things worse. We’ll both try to keep things under control until things settle down.” He lowers his head to Belissa. “I’m sorry to caused you any problem, believe me I wasn’t expecting things to turn out quite like this.”
“I intend to do whatever either Lord Arryn or Lady Tully have need from me. I haven’t heard everything that has happened, but enough to know it shouldn’t continue.” He’ll wait for Janden to leave before addressing the two remaining nobles. “If you’ll excuse me, it been a very eventful day. I need to get things set up before the family arrives. Ser, My lady.” He’ll turn on his heel to head back to where his horse waits, to look for a campsite far from this one.
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