Cheers and laughs and the roar of voices echo across the street outside the Three Hills Inn. Inside a bawdy, drunken crowd are engaging in all kinds of drunken frivolities. Banter, ale and dice are bouncing off the wall as a crowd of lords and ladies sit amongst the small folk of King’s Landing, sharing tales of the day’s events at the tourney ground.
There is one man sat alone, however, an empty wine cup laid in front of him. He seems to be the most drunken patron of all, his eyes closed and a mischievous grin upon his face. Yet as the rest of him sits still, his hands are quietely and intently tuning a wooden lute…
The man with the lute -may- be the drunkest patron, but he isn’t the only one already in his cups. For here, at a table in the corner, sits Ammon Massey. The knight is clothed in black, his doublet is one of the man’s finer ones, though it is a bit frayed in a circular patch upon the right breast if truth be told. He was absent from the tourney, for those who had a mind to look for him, and it is clear where he was. For even now he is draining his mug of good brown ale and ordering another.
And across from Ammon sits Jan Marbrand, -also- absent from the day’s tourney, though instead of fine clothing he wears a plain mahogany tunic and riding boots, slightly muddy still. If Massey has been spending his idle time drinking, Marbrand is doing his best to keep up, ordering another. He speaks loudly, boisterously, gesticulating exaggeratedly, with a wide grin plastered on his face - for now, he looks to be a friendly drunk, at least. “Make it two! Seven, make it four!” he hollers at the serving lady, pounding the table good-naturedly.
Tarell walks in, leaving his personal guard in the door. As he inspects the place, looking for something to drink, he notices two familiar faces, along with a drunken man in a table. He wants to get drunk, and there is people to talk, so he heads directly there. “Hello, Ser Jan and Ser Ammon, how are you? And nice to meet you… ser… My name is Tarell Darklyn… wait a moment, you were in this morning’s tourney, weren’t you?”, he smiles and nods gently.
Such revelry this evening was inevitable and the newly wed Alyce Reyne was not about to miss it. Oddly, she arrives with another lady instead of her husband—Lady Delanei Crane, wife of Ser Albyn. They are trailed, of course, by a pair of Reyne men-at-arms. The redhead wears a different gown this night, deep blue with silver lions—or perhaps cats—along the hem and prancing about the flared sleeves. She wears only the necklace of before, having set the rest of the jewelry aside while going onto the heart of the city.
“...and then he fell on his rear!” Alyce giggles as she finishes sharing a story with the Crane and steps into the crowded inn. “Ah, now where to sit? It is quite crowded.”
“Oh goodness! That must have been hilarious,” Delanei giggles at the story Alyce is telling, and looks around the crowded inn. Dressed in a dark blue gown with sleeves cut to show shades of a lighter blue, and a cloak of a deeper shade of the same, with finely-embroidered golden cranes along the border, the Crane lady’s green eyes sparkle with amusement, “I wish I could have been there,” she tells Alyce, and, spotting a small table, points, “oh - over there,” to the corner opposite the would-be musician.
Theonald sits on a table nearby the center of the Inn, his right hand is raised with a glass of wine on it. He wears a purple doublet with some keys painted on it, he doesn’t seem to be as much drunk as most knights on the room, since his clothes aren’t already as stained as they should be by this far of drinking.
A woman who is usually front and center at the tourneys sits near the window, a brazier glowing warmly beside her. Reyna Saltcliffe was not prominent at this morning’s tourney, but she looks to be feeling better than at the feast. She is sitting with her cousin and lady-in-waiting, Miranda Fossoway, at a table meant for more people. They are both eating from trenchers of hearty stew and talking in low voices, their brown curls remarkably similar.
Stiff and sore from the day’s tourney, Ser Cleyton Waxley wanders into the inn. He has since changed out of his armor and is now clad in his normal simple but well-made clothing, all in grey with black trim. Seeing some familiar faces he heads over to a table. “Coz, Ser Tarell good to see you.” Noticing their other companion, a worried expression crosses his face. “Oh, Ser Ammon. Good to see you again too.” Gesturing towards a chair he asks “Mind if I join you? A day like this requires some strong drink.”
His doublet undone and his sleeves rolled up, Ser Dermett leaps upon the wooden table, his lute held in his right hand and his left is outstretched in front of him. Above the noise of the crowd, Ser Dermett shouts to make himself heard: “Sers, ladies, lords, peons and dwarves, lend me your ears! I come to entertain you, to fix my most grievous of sins. The evil that men do lives on through eons; the good is oft forgotten behind lies and slander. Last night - you may have heard - I committed a most uncouth and wicked of crimes. I robbed a noble lady of her smallclothes. A crime, I hasten to add, I DO NOT REGRET! However, today, whilst in my cups and with a head rampant with thoughts of japery, I sought out the Lady in question and returned said item with nothing but good, honourable intentions. An act that was met with unintentional anger from her beloved, her family - of both blood and of marriage - and herself, red faced and glum. How COULD a knight do such a thing, I hear you wonder? A BASTion of honour and decency, a pillar of the community? It’s simple. It is because I, Ser Dermett of House Corbray, heir to Heart’s Home, have the homely etiquette of the common auroch. But ask around; from Heart’s Home up to the Eyrie across to Riverrun (but not the Westerlands because, seven hells, will they despise me there), ask them. Who is Ser Dermett? And they will tell you: he is loyal, he is just. Great with a sword, a man full of lust. But most of all they will tell you that he is fair with a lute. Hand him a quill and the man will make you hoot.” He turns to Lady Alyce, sat in the company of Lady Delanei. “Lady Alyce, do me this honour. Forgive me for my most grievous fault and I shall serenade you with a song I wrote, commemorating today’s events.” He bows his head and awaits a response.
Ammon looks up blearily at the young heir. “Eh?” he asks. “‘mnot a tourney knight, ser,” he says as the barmaid brings more ale for him and Jan—two for each of them! His gaze moves to the tankards before him. “‘sonly two of us,” he says, and pushes one of mugs across to an empty space—not a little of the ale sloshing onto the table. He gestures Tarell to the mug.
And then Cleyton arrives, and Ammon turns to him. “Sit. But y’need to get your own. Jan needs to catch up.” Once more, Ammon’s gaze wavers, this time to the lute player. “Oh, good. A fool.”
Ser Farin Prester is not the peacock he usually is, his vibrant scarlets and deep crimsons traded for darker hues, and behind a black cloak besides. The only bit of heraldry one might gather is the ermine cuffs on his gloves, as he waits patiently at a small table in the corner. Eventually, he is approached by another becloaked man, who grumbles something before tossing the smallest of coin purses onto the table before the Prester knight, and makes a shambling exit from the Inn.
Alyce spots the Silver Rose way off to the side. With a grin, she steers her little group toward the Saltcliffe woman and offers a small curtsey. “My lady, might we join you?” Hardly are the words out of her mouth before the Smallclothes Thief makes his loud, embarrassing declaration. Her cheeks flush, chin lifts, and the Reyne men-at-arms look none too pleased.
“So long as your little song includes nothing about my intimates, I shall consider it for an apology, ser.” With a sniff, she looks back to Reyna for the answer to her query.
Tarell laughs at Ammon, and then at Dermett’s wise words. “Hello Ser Cleyton, please join us! Jan, you and me aren’t drunk. We’re late. And we don’t wanna be late.” He takes the closest glass of ale, and turns his attention to the upcoming song.
“My lord! Good evening!” Jan says when Tarell approaches their table, clapping the man on the shoulder with unintended force. “PYou have the look of a man who wants to drink. Join us! I may not be as drunk as this one, but I’m gettin close.” And when Cleyton comes to their table, he alights even further.
“Cleyton!” he calls, engulfing the man in a friendly, if forward, bear hug. “Of course! Sit! Don’t listen to Ammon, this one’s for you,” he says, thrusting the mug into his chest. As the ladies shuffle past to join Reyna, Jan offers a deep, exaggerated bow. “Evening, ladies!” And he guffaws at the drunken Dermett’s declarations. “Fool or not, I’d -love- to hear this,” he grins at his table.
Delanei sighs and shakes her head, her lips turning to a thin line for a moment, but only for a moment, “Lady Reyna,” her smile is back, “I trust you’re feeling better than you did yesterday?” she asks, giving a polite curtsy. “This is a much more pleasant evening to be out in…”
Unlike most of the knights present, Ryckon did ride in the tourney, and he looks it, still bruised and a little dirty despite a new set of clean clothes. He enters the inn holding a piece of paper and glances around, spotting a number of familiar faces but only one recipient of the message, who he approaches. “Ser Farin, that one… man… well, you can read the note, ser.” He hands the note over and clears his throat. “Now that I’m here, might have… something to drink, ser?” Oh, foolish Ryckon, it would have been better to order something first and deal with the consequences later. He blinks up at Dermett’s drunken rhyming, intrigued.
“The Lady says yes! A man has a pardon. So allow me sing, and give you a… smile.”
Ser Dermett jumps from one table to the next, sending goblets and tankards sprawling. He coughs and plucks a tentative first string.
Twas a tourney to toast
The House of Reyne host
And the wedding of their knightly scion.
With the guests on the dais -
The sun high and ablaze -
Knights fought beneath a fluttering red lion.
Ser Dermett jumps again, landing at the feet of several maidens.
His eye! His eye!
The fair maidens cry
As a knight falls down into hell.
“A pity,” Stone smirks
“Living has perks,”
As his dwarf mumbles, “Bad seashell.”
Ser Dermett jumps to his feet, having spoken the last words in a child’s voice upon his knees. He spins and strafes, standing side by side with Lady Alyce as he sings…
My smalls! My smalls!
The new wife calls
As the raven flings up his prize.
“Leave, you shit,
Or you’re going to get hit,”
Says her cousin with rage in his eyes.
Ser Dermett winks, then bows, in the direction of Ser Farin. Finally, he sits upon the table, slowing the song down to a quiet tickle of the strings.
But alas, at the end -
After a victorious trend -
A bastard was named as the best.
With lance and with grit,
Rivers drove home the hit,
That placed him above all the rest.
Suddenly, Ser Dermett jumps again to his feet, his fist clenched in the air. “Hail Ser Luthor! Champion of the Smallcloth Tourney! Let history tell of his epic clash with Yorick and not of Ser Humfrey’s own grievous sins.”
Reyna looks flummoxed as she waves the ladies to sit with her. “He… took your…” she hazards finally. But then Dermett is singing, and he is sitting right on her table, leaving her gaping openly. “Get off!” she cries into the fleeting silence following his song, then looks mortified when hers is the only voice shouting.
Ammon watches the singer with a furrowed brow. “I played better, when I had my fingers, but he sings sweeter.” And he takes another gulp of his ale. A large gulp. And then Reyna shouts.
Massey’s eyes settle upon the ladies table. “I think my lady Reyna has been dishonored,” Ammon says. “Do you think she wants me to hit the fool, Jan?”
Reyna may be forgiven for thinking hers is the only voice raised against the singer, for Farin’s began in a corner and quite a ways behind her. But distance does little to halt the Prester lordling from standing, the note his squire has just passed to him temporarily forgotten as his booming command voice shouts out, “/Enough!/ Get off of that table, you insolent little /rodent/! You have neither class nor gumption nor etiquette, and I /will not suffer/ your paltry excuse for respect a moment longer! Get /off/!”
Cleyton takes a seat, and the offered mug. He raises the mug in salute and takes a big gulp as Dermett begins his song. He watches the performance with a raised eyebrow. After it’s finished he shakes his head. “A man was murdered today and he’s already singing drunken songs about it.” He mutters and then takes another drink.
Jan spends the song downing his ale and ordering yet another, then flinches as Farin roars at the crooning knight. He grins at Ammon, raising his mug. “I quite liked the song, actually,” he says, taking another large gulp. He shoots the Massey knight a mischevious grin, “But we can’t have him dishonoring the ladies, can we?”
Alyce’s eyes widen, although it is a wonder she can be shocked after the man’s earlier behavior, then narrow almost to slits. She plucks a piece of lint off of her gown, casually balling it up and dropping it to the floor. Once the shouting is finished, she lightly lifts a glass of wine that had been brought and studies it, noting with icy calm, “Ser Dermett, you are quick of tongue and slow of wit. Should you be fool enough to step foot within the gates of the Reyne Manse, you will find yourself cursing your mother for ever having let your father touch her before you leave again. Your supposed apology is certainly not accepted and if I ever hear even a hint of a rumor that you have again spoken about my intimate items, I will feed them to you until you choke.”
Those cobalt eyes finally flick toward the self-proclaimed bard. “Are we understood, my lord of Corbray?” After this days events, the bride is apparently in no mood for disrespect.
As her freshly-ordered mug of wine is pretty much splashed everywhere, including down the front of her dress, Lady Delanei scoots backwards in her chair a couple of feet with a squeal of indignation. She sits there for several seconds, mouth just gaping open, unblinking. Then the sense of some of the song comes through, and she pales visibly, one hand covering her mouth for a moment. “Who…?” confusion reigns on her face, and she plainly has no idea what to say. Alyce’s rant just leaves her blinking in stunned silence.
Ryckon raises an eyebrow as high as it can go at the song, seeming to have trouble believing that the Corbray heir is actually singing such lyrics in front of everyone. He blinks again and frowns when Farin explodes in rage after the end of the song, and he instinctively backs up a little. No doubt he’s heard that tone before and doesn’t wish to again. “...Ser, he…” But Ryckon doesn’t finish his sentence, as something appears to dawn on him. He signals for a barmaid to bring him a drink, interpreting Farin’s lack of an answer as permission.
“Thank you, my friend!”, Tarell smiles warmly at Jan, but then he stops as the music begins. The reactions are splat, he can hear people laughing at the bottom of the inn, but it is in general an awkward moment. And his cousin is the subject of a fair part of the song. The Darklyn knight turns to the table again, takes a new tankard and keeps silent, waiting, and staring at the whole situation.
Ser Dermett sits, looking thoroughly scolded. A mischievous curl of a grin sneaks out from the side of his mouth. “Forgive me Ser Prester, for my table dancing. But you seem to forget; we’re sat in an inn! If you wish me to halt, my sing play and dance; mayhaps it is you who should fuck off back to his manse?”
Farin exchanges a glance with Ammon, and then looks back to Dermett. “Ser Dermett. But /of course/ I will forgive you. I have /bags/ of forgiveness of you, so here, let me show you just how much I have to give…” he growls, advancing on the man.
Theonald suddleny wakes up from the nap that the wine brought him, the knight is fully messed of it as he listens to Ser Dermett openly offenses to Ser Farin. “Oh shit.” He sighs.
“Stop -talking- about them, for the gods’ sakes,” Reyna hisses to Alyce, her cheeks aflame. She waves for one of the servants to come mop up the wine from the table and bring her a fresh trencher, still looking vexed and annoyed. And now she simply rises from her chair and scuttles backward to put some distance between herself and the drunken Ser Dermett and his aggressors. “He’s a Corbray?” she asks one of those near her, looking ominously as if she is thinking of sending for her husband directly.
Ammon nods firmly. “Can’t,” is his reply as he pushes himself to his feet. If he hears Cleyton’s talk of murder, he makes no indication. Instead he sways unsteadily across the floor, squinting towards the Corbray heir—and Farin behind him. “Can’t dishonor the ladies, ser,” Ammon manages before catching sight of Reyna once again.
“Oh, hello Lady Reyna!” he says with a smile. But then he’s all business and squares up beside Farin.
Jan nearly spits out his ale when Dermett openly confronts Farin. As Ammon and Farin close in on the poor drunken fool, Jan just mutters, “Seven hells, what is it about this inn?” He looks to his companions, Tarell and Cleyton, and nods. “Perhaps someone should make sure the ladies don’t find themselves in between this,” moving to position himself between the ladies’ table and the ensuing fisticuffs.
Alyce looks back to Reyna and dips her head. “I apologize if my words have embarrassed you, my lady of Saltcliffe. It was never my intention.” Falling silent, she sips her wine and catches Delanei’s look. Her free hand waves downward in a motion of ‘I will explain later.’ Oh, but the angry men are rather near, aren’t they. Pushing herself up to her feet, she sighs at the inconvenience and takes several steps back, alongside Reyna. “This could get messy.”
Lady Delanei finally recovers enough from her shock to brush the wine from her dress, frowning a bit as she realizes it’s going to stain, but then the dress and the wine become a secondary - tertiary - consideration as Farin and Ammon both square off against Dermett. Eyes wide, she scoots back further, getting to her feet and, with a reach for Lady Alyce’s shoulder, moves back towards the wall of the inn, intent on putting as much space and furniture between her and the brewing brawl as she possibly can. “Messy? It already -is- messy,” she mutters to Alyce.
Cleyton nearly chokes as Bermett unleashes his latest insult. Nodding to Jan’s suggestion he downs the last of his ale and rushes to his cousin’s side.
The dextrous Ser Dermett leaps upon the table, then again up into the rafters of the inn. Hanging high above his aggressors, Ser Dermett sticks out a tongue. “Men of the Vale!” he roars, laughing manically, “pray save the heir to Heart’s Home from the wrath of Prester the Bard Pester…er.” Swinging from beam to beam and shelf to shelf, Ser Dermett finally misses his footing, falling hard onto the concrete ground. He is knocked half-unconscious. “Totally worth it,” he is heard saying through bloodied lips. He attempts to rise to his feet, but staggers wildly into the side of a table…
A hand goes to a dagger, perhaps in a wistful effort of pegging the man whilst he jumps among the rafters, but it is left in its sheath as the bard falls flat on his face. Ser Farin wastes no time in grabbing the man’s main arm, and motioning for Ammon to grab the other, leaving anyone else who wishes to help tp pick a limb while they hoist the man up, and carrying him towards the door, which Farin kicks open, and continues to drag the other heir outside, unless opposed.
“Hearts Home?” Ammon asks as he watches dextrous Dermett dangle dangerously from the rafters—and then fall. “You’re a Corbray? My good-sister’s a Corbray! And Ser Alyard,” Ammon says as he makes his way toward the fallen Valeman. But Farin gets to the man first, and begins to drag him toward the door. So Ammon helps as he can, drunk as he is.
“Still, Corbray or no, you shouldn’t dishonor the ladies.”
Theonald laughs over the situation, hitting the table with his fist and asking the barmaid for another glass of wine, “Make the ‘bard’ fly, Ser Farin” He yells.
Ryckon has only just begun to drink his mug of ale when he notices that Farin is grabbing and dragging Dermett. Ever dutiful, he puts down his drink and picks up a leg, nodding politely to the ladies and the knights as he backs up toward the door.
The man lands not too far from Jan’s feet. The fight apparently won and the ladies safe, with nary a punch thrown, Jan shrugs as Ammon and Farin grab the man’s arms, Ammon struggling a bit in his drunkenness, and opts to help, nabbing a leg. “You’re not a bad singer, to be honest, but no, ser, we can’t have that.”
“I don’t…” Reyna stammers, giving Ammon a weak wave of greeting. She watches as the Corbray man starts capering in the rafters, falls, staggers up again. Finally, she just shakes her head, speechless, looking as if she has no idea whether to laugh or cry.
Ser Dermett spits out a tooth. “You are? Then defend /my/ honour, ser!” Ser Dermett cries to Ammon Massey, a hint of recognition in his eye. As he is hauled, his body goes limp and a quiet cackle emerges from behind all the spit and blood. “Who’s got my fucking lute? MY FAT COUSIN IS TRYING TO EAT MY LEG!” he roars, laughing even more.
It is already nightfall when the knights haul the Corbray heir from the Inn, one on each limb. The chill of the night has already set in, but there are mercifully no Goldcloaks about to put a stop to anything - at least, not yet. “Ryckon, take this arm, and hoist him up,” Farin instructs, preparing to level a punch the moment the bard is firmly clasped and at the proper height.
“I know you,” Ser Dermett says, pointing at Jan Marbrand. “You are the man who carries around a rock for a wineflask. Apprehend /this/ maniac!” He turns to the raised fist of Farin Prester, and smiles.
There is a marked change in Ryckon’s attitude from inside to outside. While within the inn the muscular squire had been rather dispassionate about punishing the drunken Corbray, treating his disposal like business rather than pleasure. But then he was called fat. He growls and scowls, though that scowl turns into a grin when Farin makes his request. Ryckon complies. “Gladly, ser.”
Jan allows himself a little grin - he’s trying to seem offended, but he can’t help but be amused at the Corbray’s antics. “You’re a funny one, ser, I’ll grant you that. But you really -do- need to be taught a lesson,” he says as he helps Ryckon hoist the man up.
Theonald leaves the inn, rushing to see the Corbray fly, however the northern is a lot drunk and fall over crates making a loud crack when his face hits the ground, his nose is now bloody, but he still gets up to see the fight that is going on.
“-Your- honor?” asks Ammon, the cool air beginning to sober him. “I’m afraid you’re on your own, Corbray.” The knight grasps Dermett’s arm tighter, holding the man as still as possible. “But for my good-sister’s sake, I’ll not hit you.”
Tarell walks outside the inn with his tankard, filled again with ale. Beside the nobles, there is many people gathering to watch the scene. However, some of them doesn’t seem happy for the treatment the new bard is receiving. “Holly crap.”, he says. “Holly crap.”
“Gladly sher,” Ser Dermett laughs, mimicking Ryckon. Through broken teeth he taunts his cousin, “You know they heard you fall from that horsh all the way at the Wall? I shwear I thought you were going to pop when I planted that lansh in your belly,” he is speaking so fast that he slurs his words, Ser Farin yet to punch him. He twists his face, ready for impact.
Farin lets the men have their say, and then takes half a step back…and throwing his weight into a step forward, connects squarely on Ser Dermett’s jaw. “/You/, /Ser/, /are an heir,/” he all but shouts, after the blow connects. “Have you any consideration for example? Hor heraldry? For anything resembling the smallest increiment of honor? I look forward to the day /you/ are lord, Dermett Corbray. I shall have your lands by invading with an army of /pig boys/, for even they know more of life than some two-copper guttersnipe heir who prances about like some /smallfolk motley version/ of himself.” And then he spits, full on in Dermett’s face, and looks to his companions.
Ryckon lets out a single, loud laugh at Dermett’s insults. It’s not an amused laugh so much as it is an enraged one, though. “At least I’m not stealing fucking smallclothes, /cousin/! Seven hells!” He grumbles and turns to Farin “Could I… please have a go at him, ser? He’s practically asking for one.”
Cleyton follows the group out but doesn’t join in the beating. He takes in the scene with a concerned expression, wincing as Farin punches him full in the face.
Ser Dermett licks at the spittle playfully. “Housesh rishe and fall… but the mountainsh live on forever.” Ser Dermett’s head swings towards Ryckon. “Oh I did more than shteal them, coz… I returned them! I pray you do not end me with your trottersh. Would hate to spawn a kinshlayer.” He closes his eyes. His tone may suggest otherwise but the pain - and the severity of the situation - are finally taking their toll on Ser Dermett.
As Dermett licks the spit off his face, Jan’s vague amusement slowly fades to disgust. He nods at Ryckon and keeps holding the Corbray knight upright. “Get in a good one, Ryck.”
Alyce steps out of the inn with the Reyne men-at-arms and the Crane woman. Lady Delanei moves off toward the Keep with one of the guards, but the bride finds herself shifting to the side to get a good vantage point. She is already smirking, having seen Farin punch Dermett via her view of the window while inside.
“Oh, thank you, ser!” Ryckon grins like a kid who’s just been given the key to a candy store, and then takes Farin’s place in front of Dermett. He takes a deep breath and then starts punching, and because of all the muscle he has instead of fat the punches are most likely quite hard. “I’m not fucking /fat/ and I’m not /little/, and I’m certainly not both at /once/! If you don’t stop… all those… things you’re doing… I can act like my other cousin and plant a lance in your fucking /eye/!” Each emphasized word coincides with a punch, the first two in the face and the last two in the stomach. He has the decency to avoid the balls, at least.
Ryckon takes a step back and lets out a deep breath. “Seven hells, I needed to hit someone.” He’s too caught up in the moment to notice Alyce’s arrival.
Melaen slips out behind her lady, holding a pitcher and tray of winecups for all as though this were some light affair. Upon spying RYckon pummeling the smart-ass, she openly grins and a twinkle enters her eye as she begins to serve any not actively punching.
“Mayhapsh the Sheven have not abandoned me?” Ser Dermett wonders aloud. “Warrior give me shtrength. Maiden give me love. Crone bring me cunt! Pray SHTRANGER, if one of your shervtants should ssssave me, I would be mosht grateful!” Ser Dermett slumps. Ryckon’s blows leaves his nose severely broken.
As Dermett talks about money, the gathered crowd begins to scream and advance to the nobles. “Come on!” Tarell shouts and drinks the rest of his ale in one drink. One stranger runs to Farin, but the Darklyn knight manages to throw him to the floor. “Jan! Wanna help?”
Jan steps back and looks at the broken man in front of him up and down. He cocks back a fist and delivers a short, swift punch to the gut, though it lacks the venom of Farin’s or the barely-controlled ferocity of Ryckon’s. “And -that’s- for spilling my wineskin everywhere the other day. That was damn good wine!”
Alyce watches in silence, even as her guard becomes a bit jittery with the crowd. She looks for all the world as though she wishes a turn and the way she eyes his family jewels, it’s clear she would have no trouble hitting below the belt.
And another sound whispers out, somehow carrying over the cries of Dermett and the natterings of the anxious crowd. It is the sound of steel being freed from a scabbard.
Ammon Massey has moved away from the heir to Heart’s Home, sword in hand, and faces the smallfolk. His voice has no trace of drunkness in it; it is low and soft, but carries to every ear.
“It’s bad luck to draw a blade without a mind to use it,” he says to the gathering, “or so I’ve been told. Go back inside. These matters don’t concern you.”
Farin looks over his shoulderr at the crowd, which begins to cower at the sight of Ammon’s blade (as well they should, considering the last time Farin sent Ammon out among the smallfolk with a blade and torch), and then back to Dermett. “That ought to do, I should think,” he practically spits again. “But let us not forget this this is about /honor/, Corbray. If you still have a brain left in there to think, remember that this is the fate of those who think to make fools of his betters. Drop him, friends; let him sleep on it in the gutter. If any of you have more mercy than I, drag him somewhere where the hounds will not chew him up, but make sure to hit his head on all of the stone on the way,” Farin grumbles, before quitting himself of the scene and stalking back to the Inn’s entrance, pausing only to look at the crowd. “You lot had better go home. This good ser has gutted more bandits than the lot of you have balls.”
Free from his captors, Ser Dermett sways and takes two small steps. He is in stood directly in front of Alyce…
As the troublemaker, although broken, advances toward Alyce, the Reyne guard begins to unsheathe his sword. “Stay your hand,” she orders her protector without taking her eyes off of Dermett. “The heir to Heart’s Home.” She clucks her tongue, then glances around to the other men. “Seeing as how I have more cause than all the rest to strike you, ser, do try to take it like a man.” Suddenly, her brow furrows in an exaggerated fashion and she leans over a bit as though looking for something on the ground between them.
“Lantern,” she orders Melaen, who quickly complies. The redhead holds the light to shine between Dermett’s hips, not the ground at all, seeming more and more puzzled as she squints harder and harder still. At length, she gasps with great exasperation and straightens up. “A shame. Nothing there to hit.” With that, she walks off, starting back to her new home.
Ser Dermett’s knee buckles, and the Corbray heir slams into the mud. He is unconscious.