It is a crisp morning, one that is surprisingly sunny and cloudless, considering the chilly rains of last night. The sun shines bright, a non-intrusive wind fills the air with the scent of saltwater and the forest, as it comes down onto the Red Keep from the north.
Down in the yard though a group of men-at-arms can be seen, training in mock fights, armored and with blunted swords in their hands. It is a common sight, as ser Willard Ryger takes his charges of the Crackclaw Company out training almost every morn. And right now his tall, thin silhuette can be seen walking among the men, bellowing curses, issuing commands and giving tips and advices. His voice echoes in the quiet of the morning “Move those feet faster, Lem. Quenton will slice ya into little pieces and serve me for breakfast before you notice it, if you’re that slow! Fivepenny, what in the hells are you doing? I’m absolutely fucking sure ser Kedge back in Willow Wood taught you better than that! You. Do. Not. Loose. The. Sword!” Apparently, this is not a good day, even with all the sun…
Jannia Tully enters the yard maid in tow, she is wearing a bright blue gown, a color comparable to the sky on this fantastic day. A smile planted on her face as her lightweight dark blue cloak breezes behind her. Her hair is down this day, curls framing her face, and a cascade of curls down her back.
Sounds of swords smacking wood and men hollering draws Jannia’s attention as it is oft to do… She looks for the voice commanding, and walks towards it. “Ser Willard? Fine day to be training if I do say so myself.” She giggles as he bellows about dropped swords.
The ricocheting yells interrupt the pacing of a very much less martial figure, meandering about near the gate into Western Yard from the east, newly emerged from the Red Keep’s labyrinth. The youthful, but harried looking maester narrows his eyes - fast-sweeping fleet things, that miss little - as he takes in the scene of the warriors’s education. “The last bit of instruction of yours I witnessed did not go so well, ser,” he mutters to himself but not quite under his breath, audible to anyone who happens to pass him. Yet he does not recoil from the brawny exercise, indeed winnowing his way towards it, as if fascinated, or as good as, by some element it contains. During this somewhat trancelike walk, a stray look of his catches Lady Jannia’s giggle. He considers her a friend by now, and gives her a quiet smile.
The overwhelming clangor of the training fighting does a good job of blotting out most of sounds that are uttered in the vicinity, but Willard overhears the call of the lady Jannia Tully. He turns in one swift motion, taps another of his men on the shoulder and whispers something to him before taking off his helmet, sheathing his sword and passing it to his fat squire, who quickly moves away with the aforementioned affects.
As he comes near the Tully lady his face is already lit by the usual smile and he inclines his head politely before her “Aye, my lady. A perfect day, considering the rains and chills of the earlier days. The men were constantly complaining, the ingrates” his eyes glitter with amusement as he looks at her “Why up so early, my lady? Anything of importance happening?” Willard’s eyes glance to the side as a robed figure appears and he nods in greeting to Talbard. He obviously did not hear the maester’s half-muttered comment.
Slightly leaning to the fence, but not too noticeably she sends a wave to Talbard, “Ahh Maester Talbard, good day to you.” She looks up, and back down shading her eyes with her free hand. “More so a fine day, the gods have surely blessed us, no?” Jannia smiles back to the Maester.
Turning her attentions back to Willard, “Aye, it has been unfavorable weather as of late ser. It is just good to hear the clang of swords again, it has been far to long since I visited the yard during training… I forgot how much I enjoyed it.” She watches the men training, “With their follies they are still a good looking bunch.” She looks over her right shoulder to him tearing herself away from the training, “How do you fare ser? It has been long since the last time we spoke.”
Talbard’s benevolent attitude to Jannia looks clouded for a moment by bemusement, quite out of keeping with the sun; the maester is not very used to giving thought to anything so routine as DAILY, as opposed to seasonal, weather. He maintains his puzzled smile and adds to it a faint nod, which includes Ser Willard within its sphere of influence. Then he addresses the knight, “I have always seen Lady Jannia to be most industrious, ser. If I found her at dawn, it would scarcely surprise me…” This muttered explanation trails off as Jannia mentions her love of listening to steel on steel. That sentiment seems to leave the maester not a little shocked, though he contradicts it only by a slight, half-supressed wince. He knows what the Tully damsel means, has felt that excitement himself, but would not expect it in her gentle heart…
Willard keeps his smile as the Tully lady speaks and it even widens when she tells of her love for the song of steel “Aye, whatever else I am, I am a knight and a fighter. I would not go so far as to say I live for battle, but… I do enjoy it” he says this a bit… awkwardly even, as if sharing a dirty secret, then he as easily smiles again and remarks looking back to his men “Aye, they are not as bad as I make them sound, obviously, my lady. But they need to be kept on their toes and never settle for what they have, but aim higher and to become better every day. That is what -I- always strive for.” The young Ryger nods to himself and looks back to the lady, and the maester. He listens to what the robed man has to say, but Talbard quiets down before anything meaningful escapes his lips and Willard is left with nothing, but a shrug to add.
Answering Willard’s question with a courteous nod in return, “When I woke to such a beautiful morning I could not squander it, so I came to the Keep to break my fast.” She smiles, “I am glad I have, this is most entertaining.”
She giggles as the Maester adds to her statement, “You see there my lord, the master agrees.” She smiles to the maester only catching a glimpse of his confusion, “I suppose you are correct, I do so love being outside. But the dreadful rain has driven me indoors as of late.” She frowns slightly, but brings back the smile, “But it is nice today so I have a reason to be as bright as the sunshine.” She gestures to the sky.
“Aye, training is essential,” she blushes, “Or so I have read… If their minds are not train as well as their bodies, they can become quite useless, you are right to be as hard on them as you are.” She watches the men go about for a minute.
The maester does not seem remotely as disturbed at Ser Willard’s confession of his degree of bloodlust - or at least, ironlove - as at Lady Jannia’s less predictable predeliction. Anyone with an eye to see and an ear to hear would recognise a devoted fighter in the Ryger knight, and Talbard’s eyes and ears are keen enough. As the knight expounds further on his regiment with that strange mixture of admiration and harshness so often seen in able captains, Talbard glances beyond his shoulder, sizing up the men themselves one by one. To him, they look less slack than Ser Willard’s deprecation might imply.
His observation is brought to a halt when Lady Jannia mentions her reading, and he cuts in, smilingly, with the proverb she refers to, “Able mind in agile corse” in High Valyrian. The chance to immerse himself back in that familiar trope of learning seems to have opened him back up to the prospect of conversation with Ser Willard, too. “Tell me, ser, have there been any developments about the strife in the kingswood? I hate to think that I might be needed even now on some unlucky casualty, while I chat idly and mull over my breakfast…” He smiles, but his expression is still curiously serious.
A whinny rings out over the song of steel on steel; just inside the gates, a black destrier snorts and pulls at its reins, nostrils flaring, lips peeled back from its lips. Its rider masters it with a curse and the pressure of his knees, dancing it one way, then the other, with the skill of a man born to the saddle. Finally, the horse quiets, and the rider dismounts with another curse, carried on the breeze—and an abrupt, harsh laugh as he pats his mount’s arched neck.
Turning to one of the goldcloaks at the gate, he has a brief exchange, then tosses the reins to the other man. And then he crosses the yard—tall and lean, clad all in dark leathers, the only colour about him the twin silver serpents that make the clasp of his swordbelt and the jewel cut in the shape of a seven-pointed star set in his sword’s pommel.
His attention is on the men who are training, not the small group carrying on a conversation. “They are looking useful,” he calls out as he nears the latter without salutation or greeting.
“I must say, when you speak of this morning with such beauty I’m beginning to think I’ve gotten lax on my men. Maybe I should wait for it to rain?” he peers quizically at the cloudless sky, but chuckle a moment later, a jest for sure, no intent for cruelty there. “A woman keen on watching men fight, liking the sound of swords clashing -and- well read on warfare and weapon’s training? Can it be? A warrior’s perfect companion?” Willard smiles and winks at Jannia at that, still not being serious.
But that look appears on his face as the maester asks about the earlier events in the Kingswood, fortunately he can shake his head with relief “No knights died on our side, we cut through the bandits easily enough. Their leader captured and taken for questioning by ser Farin” the Ryger states matter-of-factly. “If there were any wounded, and I’m sure there were, I’d suggest talking to one of the Wardens of the Kingswood, I’m quite sure they have a better knowledge of the state of their men”
And as a horse comes into view and a rider walks their way, Willard turns and stands facing the new arrival “Useful” he chimes in and then adds “And able. I asked my lord father for men from Willow Wood to fill in for the…” he clears his throat, but finishes “The ones we lost in Crackclaw Point.” he scowls for a moment, but his easy soft smile creeps back onto his face, the Ryger helpless to prevent it. “Morning ride, ser Dagur?” he asks in a much more casual tone.
Jannia turns to the Maester, “From what I hear of the Kingswood, the bandits are fighting amongst themselves, which is good because they don’t go outside of the wood and rave villages. It is bad because anyone that crosses their path is most certainly in a dire situation.” She nods and states matter-of-factly.
She laughs at Willard’s statement, “I do think there is some that would dissagree with you ser, I think a lady knowing so much about battles, war and the like might be frowned upon.” She grins, “Do not tell them I am the reason for training in the freezing rain, I would not like to be part of their ire.”
With the coming of, Dagur Jannia looks up, she steps back of the fence and curtseys, “my lord,” she stands and watches the exchanges of the Saltcliffe and the Ryger Knight with eyes on the practice yard so she knows what is being spoke about.
“No knights dead, no one of note, I see,” Talbard answers Ser Willard, an absent tone in his voice, as if he is stopping himself from elaborating. “Well, I shall follow your advice, and ask one of the commanders if I am needed…if I get the chance.” As Jannia adds what she has heard of the improving situation in the forest, the maester listens with a cautious look, before concluding, “It is less of an advantage that they fight each other, if our knights do not know why they do this. Then again, perhaps they do.”
He falls silent for a moment, but looks as though he is about to say something else, when the exclamation of the Iron Serpent flails into their midst like a tempest. It is an ironic turn of events; just as he has decided to seek out a Kingswood Warden, the commander at that previous, more ill-starred theatre, Crackclaw Point, turns up instead. Talbard lets the mordant nature of his thoughts show in a twisted grin, but he bows his head with respect. He has not encountered this notorious figure before.
Stopping before the others, the Iron Serpent half-turns, watching the men train for a few moments longer: “Give your father my thanks if you see him before me. And tell him that that the coin for their provisioning will come from the king’s coffers.” Drily, he adds, “That should please him, tweaking Beron Buckwell’s nose and making him pay for his men.”
Another whinny splits the air as the destrier nearly yanks the goldcloak off his feet before finally letting him lead it toward the stables; Dagur shakes his head: “That beast has a temper. Not quite a morning ride, no. I would have taken the gelding but this one had been sitting in the stable too long.”
Turning back, he nods to the others: “My lady. Maester. What is this about the Kingswood, now?”
“Oh, please, my lady. I’d never tattle on you to these men. They would break down and cry, that a sweet young woman as yourself wronged them thusly” he exchanges more simple pleasantries there, but quickly turns back to the maester and the Warden.
“Aye, this should be well - ser Farin lead the attack of yesterday, so I’m quite sure he’d be the best man to ask about it” and as the Iron Serpent speaks of his father Willard’s attention turns to him instantenously “I shall tell him, if I meet him first.” he says simply, but a smirk is there when the Warden mentions the two Masters and their little push-and-pull.
Even if he’d wanted to say anything about the horse the young Ryger is again listening intently as the matter of Kingswood appears “The Warden of Kingswood executed a large military operation yesterday, ser. An attack lead by ser Farin was made on a large camp of bandits and as a result we were able to capture Rogen. He has been taken for questioning” Willard glances at Dagur and shrugs “Myself and ser Josmyn participated in the attack, but only by ourselves. It had naught to do with Crackclaw Point, so we left the men in King’s Landing.” whoever’s listening can clearly hear that Willard is speaking more as to a commanding officer than to a fellow noble. Flashbacks from Dorne, maybe? A willingness to be the soldier he never was…?
At the Maester’s words Jannia shrugs, “Again from what I hear, it is over supplies and bounty. Which to me seems believable.” Knowing that woman speaking of battles is not uncommon in the iron islands Jannia speaks up, “There is two factions of bandits in the Kingswood my lord, they have taken from thieving towns near by to each other. The assumption is that they fight over the lands and the bounties there in. They have proven very troublesome prior to this quarrel, killing quite a few of the Kingswood company, and injuring some knights that joined the cause. In fact this be the second time I petitioned my uncle Ser Darmen for Tully men to help with the cause, I do hope these next sieges on them work out for I know my uncle will not be inclined to help again.” She sighs, ” A horrible state the wood is in.”
To Willard Jannia giggles, “I would hope not, I do not think if I could stand seeing a bunch men cry at once to bested by a lady.” She smiles at this.
“My lady Jannia, you are as well-informed as you are fair…and able,” the maester comments after hearing the Tully girl’s substantial answer, though the expression on his face is in equal parts fond and sardonic. But he has listened attentively enough, if only from natural curiosity, as this is one subject in which he is very unlearned.
He explains this relative military illiteracy to the Ironborn Warden, “Ser, I cannot hope to equal my lady’s knowledgeablity…on this occasion, as, I’m sure, on any others. I have only questions, not answers. I’d like to know what kind of hurts I’ll soon be bound to inspect. Do any of you, sers, my wise lady of Tully, know if there is truth in the rumour that the woods were filled with poisoned arrowfire…on both sides?”
Arms crossed over his chest, the Iron Serpent listens to all this, brow furrowed. “A pretty state of affairs,” he observes when they are done. “They seem to have grown bold of late, the bandits. Whatever his faults, at least the Stormbreaker kept them in check when he was Warden.” He rasps his jaw with the heel of a palm, “Perhaps the Starveling’s capture is part of it. He kept them on a tight leash. Now that they are off it, they are likely like mad dogs.”
His cool, level gaze rests on Willard briefly, “Best to put creatures like that down swiftly.”
And then he turns his attention to Jannia, studying her with cocked head: “A Tully, yes? I have seen you with my lady wife. You know more of all this than I would have expected from a green land woman.” He pauses as the maester breaks in, then grimaces: “Poisoned arrows. A coward’s weapon. The Dornishmen used them. But I know nothing of this. Wil?”
Nodding to the young Tully Willard chimes in with the maester “Aye, the lady has the truth of it.” But at the talk of poisoned arrows he is more amused than freightened “No, maester, Warden, I have heard nothing of poisoned arrows. There were only the usual, pointy kind. But as far as our group is concerned their arrow fire was short and unsuccessful - we were almost able to get them by surprise. Still, they had no time to prepare.” then the heir to Willow Wood looks at the Ironborn knight and grins a thin line lacking of any merriness “Aye, ser. What I could of that filth, I did. Still, if ser Farin can get any information from their leader, it’s all for the best.” he shrugs “It’s not like the rope won’t wait for him”.
At the Maester’s words Jannia quirks an eyebrow, “My thanks Maester, and word of poisoned arrows I did not hear, I have not had talks with Ser Luthor in well, a while.” She pauses disappointment in her face flashes and disappears, smiling at the mention of Lady Reyna, “Aye yes your Lady wife is most pleasant, and your daughter most well behaved, we have said to feast again. Perhaps you will join, the hope is to have a playmate for your little girl in my niece little Lady Amrya. Such a fair daughter you have, and I hear congratulations are in order.” At the rest of his words makes her blush, “Aye, I pay attention far to much than I should as a Lady of Riverrun, well any house for that matter, but it interests me so. I am probably looking for trouble as I read far to much as well, I apologize if this displeases you my lord.” She half smiles a light awkward smile biting her lip making the light crescent moon scar that resides there turn to a U.
Josmyn Reyne steps out into the yrd and looks surprised at the strange group he’s found assembled there. He heads over and bows to them all, making sure to greet the one lady first, then the Warden and then the other two. “Lady Jannia, Ser Dagur, Ser Willard, Maester. I hope this wonderful sunny morning finds you all well?”
Talbard knows what to make of that kind of apology and that kind of smile, which he returns, “As you know well, lady Jannia, you do yourself an injustice, and your House’s history too. It is a fine honour that you display what you know, and one day you may come to have use of it, in counsel, or who knows how else. The Riverlands have flourished under feminine reins, in this time as in former ones.”
But his little sermon is cut mercifully short by the arrival of the young Reyne knight, whom the Maester greets with cheer and a little concern. “Quite so, Ser Josmyn. How have you been sleeping of late?” He peers curiously at the fiery young knight, wondering if his instructions about dosage of dreamwine have been obeyed…
At the compliment, the Ironman merely inclines his head to Jannia—far from courtly, but there is a blunt courtesy to it. As for the rest, a faint half-smile fleets across his face, “I am no one to be pleased or displeased by what you do. But I would say to you that as a lady of Riverrun, this is exactly the manner of thing you should be concerning yourself about.”
He pauses as Talbard speaks, then nods to the other man, “As the maester says. The Riverlands are fat and rich and have their share of bandits. A woman’s place is at home but it does her no harm to know of the affairs of her menfolk.”
“Pirates, bandits, they all betray their fellows in the end in the hope of clinging to their wretched lives for a few more days,” he adds belatedly to Willard before nodding to the newcomer, “Ser Josmyn. Well enough.”
Listening intently to the exchanges of the Ryger and Saltcliffe men Jannia didn’t notice Ser Josmyn approaching, she jumped a touch at the sound of his voice, “Good day Ser Josmny,” she giggles, “You gave me a fright. Tis a lovely day is it not? I could not stay inside today, and for my efforts look what I have found.” She gestures to her company, “Knowledgeable men with an appreciation for my kind of interests.” She smiles, “How are you on this day?” she says with a smile as she goes to answer the young Maester. “I suppose you are correct Maester. I cannot help answering a question that is asked of me, for which I know the answer. Call it a flaw of mine.”
She ponders the Iron Serpents words, nodding to him back, “Aye I suppose you are correct, the Kingswood most certainly concerns me and mine. I had not though of it in that way.” She giggles looking to her maid who just smiles and shakes her head at her, to which Jannia just smiles and shrugs back.
“Ser Josmyn” the young Ryger knight inclines his head in greeting as the Reyne appears “It has been a fine morning.” he glances towards his charges, inspecting if none is lax or unattentive, but seems content with what he sees. He listens in on the maester asking Josmyn about his sleeping habits, but makes no comment on that.
Instead he smiles at the young Tully lady, so full of surprises today - a bit of warfare, of society problems, of swordsmanship, politics and mingling with nobles. Seems as the youngest of the Tully sisters has become better versed in these affairs than her older counterparts “The Riverlands, or any other piece of land you will be helping to take care of will have an outstanding lady at the helm. I see the land and the smallfolk thriving under such devotion and knowledge” Willard inclines his head, lower than any protocol says, with authentic respect.
“My sleep has improved and I am very grateful for your help, Maester.”, Josmyn says to Talbard, offering the man a little smile, “Can I trouble you for a refill some time perhaps?” He then turns to Jannia with a little chuckle. “I hope you can forgive me, Mylady, I did not mean to frighten you. I mean, I even combed my hair for you before I stepped outside.”, he winks.
The maester looks relieved, receiving and returning the Reyne’s look of courteous contentment. Certainly the lad has thriven unexpectedly on the mild sedative regime Talbard permitted, and it is also a good sign that Josmyn is prepared to return to this limited source. “The aim of the treatment, as you will have intuited, ser, is to improve your nights, not to let you develop a taste. I will certainly let you have more if you insist, but I will half the quantity each time, and I would still rather you drank it over a fortnight. I can brew up a vial and send it to your chambers by this evening, if you keep to those rules…” Talbard smiled wider, “And I’ll keep to mine, and use no lesser vintage than Arbor gold in the mixing.”
Briefly silent, the Iron Serpent is clearly listening to the exchange between Talbard and Josmyn; his expression reveals nothing, but he gives the Reyne knight an assessing look before backing away from the group. “Time I was on my way. Train those men hard, Wil.”
He gives the two knights a sardonic smile, “You will be fighting against Ser Josmyn here soon enough. And I haven’t forgotten your wager.” And with that cryptic remark and a nod to Talbard and Jannia, he takes his leave, striding across to the inner yard.
Jannia smiles to the Ryger Knight, “Aye, our lands are full of kind and appreciative peoples. My Lady Mother, is the reason for this , she is very attentive to the needs of her lands. I suppose that is why I respect her so much, besides being my mother of course, she has never been afraid to fight. I could only wish to be half the lady she is.” To all, ” I do not see me ruling at all, but I pride our family on it’s accomplishments, and fierceness to duties needing done. I am the fifth of six Tully children after all.” She smiles, “I am most gracious for the compliments.” She nods her head to the departing Saltcliffe, “A pleasure my lord, hello to your Lady Wife if you please, and do hug that dear daughter just once as well for me.” She smiles as he leaves
She giggles at Josmyn, “It was not your appearance but your catlike stealth that had me jumping from my skin, you snuck up on me ser,” she then grins.
“Certainly, Maester.”, Josmyn nods, “And I appreciate you not skimping on the vintage.” He turns around when he hears his name, but before he can ask Ser Dagur for clarification, the meanie has turned and left. “What… what was that about?”, he asks the Saltcliffe’s retreating back and looks confused. “Talk about stealth.”, he mutters to Jannia.
Willard listen very attentively to the Reyne and maester’s conversation about sleep, alcohol and medicine, and his brow creases in a frown. But he is quickly snapped out of that state, by the departure of ser Dagur and the words about his men “They know their duties, ser. So do I.” he says firmly, but a smirk shows on his lips as soon as the Warden’s last words sound “I shall hold my end of the bargain, ser. But” he now has to call out at the Saltciffe’s back as he walks away “We’ll have to discuss what my -win- will give me!” and merry laughter follows Dagur as he leaves the company.
Talbard looks faintly as if he is on the point of exploding due to the effort of not citing a couple of dozen cases where the fifth children of Greater Houses have ended up inheriting…but his tact wins out over his desire to educate, and, other than a reassurred nod at Josmyn, he holds his peace for now. He, too, is nonplussed by the Iron Serpent’s allusion, but being rather impatient with unnecessary sparring and fighting, he is less interested in the answer to the mystery than the others. He can’t help smiling, though, at Willard’s open enjoyment in the secret joke.
Jannia laughs, “How very vague, rather cruel of him I do agree. But I think instead of stealth it is more of cunning, I think you should cajole the Ser Willard into telling you what is meant.” She looks to Willard grinning, “It would be most interesting to see his tactics of making you talk… Because now ser I am most intrigued. I am the only one here that is allowed to be coy” She giggles, “Do you not agree Maester? ”
Josmyn quirks a brow, but since nobody seems to have any explanation on what Dagur was alluding to, he shrugs it off. “Some bet, I suppose?”, he asks Willard, then turns back to Talbard. “Maester, I may have another question for you…”
Looking exasperated but also quite pleased, the maester rasps, “It seems everyone has questions for me. Not that I’m not used to it, I just happen to be a bit low on answers at present. My lady, you’ll find no coyness like the coyness of Oldtown; but since I don’t want to be accused of it, ask on, ser knight…”
Jannia smiles and nods to the Maester, “Aye to that I have no doubt.” She turns to Willard, “Ser Willard, amuse me with this supposed bet… if you will of course, any fight between you and Ser Josmyn could prove quite amusing in its own right.” she giggles, in far to much a of a bright mood to no laugh.
Willard is still somewhat amused as he turns and listens to the nobles scheme to get the anwser from him “There might have been a boast of mine, that may just come back to… kick me hard.” he grins a bit and shrugs to Jannia “Amusing? Even spars are serious - it’s training and using one’s skills. But true, my lady, and for now, for me, every fight with ser Josmyn has proven to be quite amusing and very pleasant.” he smiles to the Reyne with the faintest hint of warmth.
Josmyn just rolls his eyes at Willard’s words. “So let me guess, you boasted to Ser Dagur that you can defeat me in joust and sword combat any time and now he’s asked you to prove it to him?”, he asks dryly and shrugs, “Seems some people always need to get into cock-length measuring contests but if it pleases you, I shall not refuse of course.”
He turns to Talbard again then, offering him a weak smile: “There are too few maesters around the Keep, so your advice is always welcome. However, I would wish to talk to you in private some time and in confidence.”
Slightly fazed by the new acrimony that seems to be covertly leaking into the discussion of the enigmatic projected duel, Talbard is all the readier to agree in order to strike a peaceable note; “Indeed, ser, that can be done very easy. When I’m - really - busy I tend to be under Clement’s lock and key entirely, so whenever you espy me around Keep or City, I hope you feel quite free to approach me on any subject…” But the maester’s face is not quite as accommodating as his speech, darkened by ambiguity and caution. He’s learning to be wary of private chats in King’s Landing.
To change the subject, he asks Willard, in a rather needling tone, “And how, ser, exactly, would you define a ‘pleasant fight’?”
She nods, “Precisely what I was inclining Ser Willard, it would be a good spar, whether verbal or done with swords.” She smiles, then turns to Josmyn stifling a hardy laugh, “Is that how it is then, I always wondered why I heard the roosters crowing so late in the day.” A jest for sure, though it may have been only funny to her, “Ahh well nonetheless, you two amuse me thoroughly. You pick at each other as my brothers did with wooden swords before they could hold iron.” She smiles gleefully. ” Do not go killing each other now, if you do where would I find my entertainment?” She gives in and giggles a little now at the Measter’s question. “Aye what do you consider pleasant ser?”
Willard smiles at Josmyn and then nods to Talbard “A pleasant fight? One that you win easily and with no effort, maester.” at that he winks to ser Josmyn, whether jesting or serious is anyone’s guess. Looking at Jannia he smiles “No, killing would be missing the point of the spar. A practice fight is for training, for learning.”
Josmyn rolls his eyes once more and turns to Talbard. “Well, Maester, if I could borrow you for half an hour, would you accompany me to the solar for a shared bottle of wine and a private conversation?”, he asks politely, not interested in playing the cock-measuring contest.
Jannia nods, “I meant it only in jest ser, I know better than that… it is like a teacher speaking to another one.” She giggles, “I see more than I let on to.” Noticing the two others leaving Jannia smiles, “I should get to the library, I have a meeting with the Godswoods for some reading in the sunlight and a stream at my feet. So quiet a place is that. I thank you all for the company, it was most interesting.” She curtseys, “Good day my lords, Maester.” She smiles at them all and leaves.
As if the Reyne knight has not spoken, the little man in grey sways with powerful emotion, his eyes flashing, as he looks right at Ser Willard. His voice is as cold as a Northerner’s courtyard. “Learning, ser Willard? What sort of education, then, did you dole out to Lord Serry before I first encountered that nobleman’s broken, re-opened corse? It did not resemble, to my eyes, a lesson in mathematics.”
Talbard is far too furious even to notice Lady Jannia’s conspicuous exit.
The Ryger is taken aback at first by the fury of the maester’s words, but then composes himself and looks at the grey man before him “Maester Talbard. Justyn is my kin and his well being is of much importance to me, never forget that. Never.” his words are calm, cold and calculated, but he is obviously starting to boil “And as I recall Lord Justyn came to spar of his own volition, perfectly knowing the seriousness of his injury. Yet, if anyone is at fault that he was later severely wounded at the tourney, it is you, maester. For you cared for him, you healed and patched him up, and -you- allowed him to join the tourney where it all went to hell. So if you want to point fingers” now the Ryger is clearly angry, the words coming out of his mouth are almost grunts “as to who is responsible for his near death, you watch yourself in a mirror, you hipocritical fuck! Because he never should have been allowed to take part in that joust and that one’s on you!”
Josmyn blanches and steps forward to face the Ryger knight, almost nose to nose. “You take that back, or I’ll make sure you’ll be sent off court and never allowed to return!”, he hisses furiously, “This is no way to speak to a maester! Better apologize right now….”
The maester swallows hard, but holds his position. For a moment he replies only with a blush; he is very unused to soldierly language, having been of the studious rather than the brothel-creeping variety of Oldtown student. He is simply thanking the Seven that Lady Jannia timed her exit so well, until Ser Josmyn intervenes.
Touched though he may be by the heat of the knight’s reaction, he desires only to palliate it, reaching to lay a shuddering hand on the Reyne’s arm - he does not want any kind of fight to start in true anger, after hearing the ire behind the so-called banter earlier.
It is at this moment that he makes his reply. “Ser Willard, I forbade Lord Serry to attend, let alone ride at, the Tourney of Love, and I extracted his word on the matter. Unlike Lady Katla, however, I did not think it necessary to secure that word with actual iron chains. I had more trust in the word of a Serry - in the word of a Ryger’s kinsman too, aye. I can only regret the matter turned out so badly.” He is blushing hard now, but not because of Willard; he remembers that Justyn’s second overthrow was caused by his sister’s champion. Overcome, he turns about; “Come, Ser Josmyn; you wanted to speak to me in private, I believe?”
A retinue flood into the yard in the red and blue of house Tully, bringing along with them Andrya. She dons a gown of deep blue today and her hair is held up by a red ribbon although some strands have escaped and frame her face. She seems to be heading somewhere and does not notice the company in the yard at first although when she does a smile lights up her face, faltering slightly as she sees the expression on the faces of all present. Making her way over to them curiously, she curtsys and upon reaching them greets politely, “Ser Josmyn, Ser Willard and Maester Talbard. It is good to finally meet you properly Maester I have heard many good things about you.” she smiles to the man then looks between them all, “Is err…all well here?”
“Get out of my face, Reyne! This touches you naught.” Willard is teeming with barely restrained anger now “And even if it would, you are the -last- person to teach me of what one should and shouldn’t say or do.” glancing once more to the robed man he almost spits the words out of his mouth “A maester serves, that is what their order is for. -Not- to accuse knights of accidents, the stupidity of their patients nor their own inability to care for them.”
He then begins to calm down as he actually hears what the maester has to say and the anger just… dissipates from him. Still, with cheeks flushed and hands gripped tightly into fists he says “Then you see, maester. Your are as much at fault as I am, then. If we’re still to point fingers. I thought Lord Justyn knew what he was doing when he accepted the spar. You thought Lord Justyn knew what he was doing when he promised not to attend the tourney.” he lifts his gaze and there are actual tears in his eyes “We’re equally at fault, or equally innocent here. So stop with your accusations, for those are wounds too.” he turns as if to leave, but then notices a new arrival.
“Andrya… I mean, my lady… I” the Ryger is clearly found completely out of balance here and stands gaping for a moment before composing himself. He gives a shallow bow and, cheeks still red, anwsers “It is now, my lady”
Josmyn gives Andrya a rather cool look, unable to fully surpress the rage that is still making him seethe. “Lady Andrya. Your sister just departed.” Then he nods to Talbard. “Come, Maester, let us not waste more words here.” He casts one last scornful look at the Ryger knight and shakes his head. “I’m terribly sorry for his uncouth behaviour, Maester… some people have apparently never learnt courtly manners. Perhaps he will remember them when he lies bleeding somewhere, desperately wishing for a maester to be near to save his life.” With that he strides off.
Talbard is, however, more impressed by Ser Willard’s almost-apology than the Reyne, and nods in Ryger’s direction, with a comparatively silky, “I think that will do.” His look to Andrya is frankly apologetic, “My lady, I would treasure your acquainctance as I do your sister’s…but I gather the boy’s in a hurry.” Then he turns and scampers, headlong, after Josmyn.
Andrya is rather shocked by all the drama and stands there speechless for a moment, staring after the departing couple and then back to a rather distressed looking Willard. It is his state which finally moves her to do something and she looks at him with concern, “What has happened in the yard? This and before for I saw my sister with a rather pensieve look on her face as she left..” she murmurs quietly though a hint of curiosity can still be sensed in her tone, “It certainly does not look like all is well. Are you alright?” she asks.
Shaking his head the Ryger glances over to where his men are pretending to train all the once. “OK, you lot. You’re done for today. I’ll see tomorrow if you got any better!” a collective yell of happiness greets that call and Willard then turns to Andrya. And smiles “Jannia impressed me today, ha!, she even impressed ser Dagur and that is -no- small feat! She will make some lord very happy someday, or very depressed” his smile turns into a smirk, yet anyone can notice it does not even begin to touch his eyes.
“And here? A… misunderstanding?” he scowls and the hate swells up -that- easily and bursts into a sentence “And that -fucking- idiot Josmyn being… well, an idiot. As always”. And then it disappears as Willard regains his cool.
“Jannia and Ser Dagur…Truly?” Andrya chuckles at that, “My do tell me about that-” she begins but as soon as she hears the latter part of his speech, the mirth disappears and she stops abruptly. Her eyes widenening and her cheeks colouring up, she looks away awkwardly to check if her septa is near enough to find a frown upon the septas face and she looks back at the Ryger knight with her brows slightly furrowed as well. Clearing her throat but still blushing she continues, “Yes do err tell me about this Jannia buisiness. I am sorry for whatever it is that happened with you and Ser Josmyn..” she trails off.
“But there is -no- need to use language like that in front of gentle company.” The septa finishes the sentence and speaks up in a curt, stern voice that cuts through the air like a very sharp little dagger..
On this particularily beautiful day, Ser Urston Coldwater is looking not up at the spectacular view of the sky, but downwards at the traitors blade in his hands. It was not a fancy or regal thing, but pure fine craftsmanship. Having spent half the previous evening claining and polishing the thing until it shone with the pride of his victory, Ser Urston couldn’t bring himself to take his eyes off the thing, sheathing it and going about his day, only to find it drawn again and whipping through the air like a dancer with ribbons, for it was so much lighter than his regular blade, he found it tore through the air with a swiftness Urston himself could hardly follow.
The septa is graced with a grin and a gentle nod of the head as an apology, but that is it as far as Willard goes. Looking at Andrya again he smiles, that easy soft smile of his, a bit more real and true this time “Jannia impressed us immensly. Who knew that she was so well read -and- versed in so many scholarly sciences? Ser Dagur almost complimented her, and that’s a lot coming from him” he winks, then his gaze turns a bit more pained as he tries to tackle that other thing that happened.
“The maester… accused me of being responsible for what happened to Lord Justyn. And I got…” he clears his throat “Tired of those accusations just flying around. I snapped at Talbard and Josmyn, of course, sided with the maester. Like anyone would suspect him of anything else. And he -dared-” Willard’s voice raises a bit again “Accuse me of being uncouth and impolite. The arrogant, self-centred dishonorable idiot that he is!” the Ryger snorts with contempt “Just to think how many times I said nothing when that blundering buffoon committed folly after folly, said things without tact nor thought, dishonored himself and his house, was rude and ungrateful! How can one of such noble birth fall so low, I ask you?”
“Ser Josmyn is a man who acts in haste at times and says things he does not necessarily mean..” Andrya replies carefully, eyeing Willard with raised eyebrows, “Like some other knights I may or may not know” a faint smile graces her lips at that “but truly Willard you are taking it far too much to heart. If the man bothers you so leave him be and do not let him get so under your skin. I do not wish for that to happen and I know all about such err issues. Things may be said or done which we do not wish to take place…” she says slowly with a knowing look.
Andrya looks around the yard and spots the Coldwater knight with his weapon at which he seems to be gazing at like its a certain ‘mummer’. “Ah how was it in the Kingswood yesterday? Nothing too reckless and knightly…I hope.” The Tully maiden chuckles but perhaps only because she can see the Ryger knight safe and sound in front of her, “Should we call Ser Urston over?” she questions.
Staring at his blade, sheathing and drawing it repeatedly, Urston savours the crisp sound it makes as it flows into his hand, as if it belonged there. As if he had been destined to defeat and capture the traitor, and take his blade. Ser Urston Coldwater grins at the one time fate seems to have done him a kindness
Shaking his head Willard says “No. I’ve blamed it on rash decisions, on hastily made assumptions, but no more. He is an arrogant, dishonorable excuse for a knight. And if it weren’t for his saint of an uncle he’d be either killed in a duel or kicked back to Castamere harder than his rump could bear.” he snorts again “And to think I rode after him, when he was kidnapped. If I’d have known what a pompous prick I’m saving, I’d have traveled back by boat.”
“The Kingswood… hah, why not ask ser Urston, the man of the day!” Willard raises his voice so that the Coldwater knight might hear him “He, who single-handedly defeated the leader of the bandits and delivered him alive and ready to talk to ser Farin, the Deputy Warden!” beaming a smile the young Ryger gestures for his fellow knight to come over.
A massive boost to his ego is, it seems, enough to distract Ser Urston Coldwater from his shiny new sword. Grinning just as broadly to Ser Willard and the Lady Andrya as he had been while taking practice swings with his sword, he approaches happily, grinning. His sword still drawn and held as if to display it in both of his hands- palm up -one hand on the pommel and the other on the blade itself. “You are too kind Ser! Rogan did not go down easily. The man was rather keen to take my life, I was kind enough to settle for taking his blade. Though I was considerably more battered afterwards than you were when you felled that massive brute of a man!” Urston recalls happily, some parts of him had ached horribly this morning wheras Ser Willard had fought and finished considerably more… gracefully. “I have named it Redemption, I hope I can do enough good deeds with it to make up for all the wrongs Rogan commited. The man betrayed the Kingswood, and I would gladly have taken his life for it, but the craven was quick to yeild” Urston grins to Willard, before turning to Lady Andrya “My lady, it is good to see you! You were quite right, it seems. I did not die.” he says, as his eyes shimmer joyously at his companions with almost the same sheen as can be seen in his sword
“Redemption..” Andrya repeats with a smile, “A truly fitting name! Well done ser. Ah so much happiness I find in you today ser…it seems felling brutes and bandits will do that to a knight.” she says a shake of her head. “I am indeed glad you made it out alive…I told you I am always right in these things.” she comments before turning a little more serious, addressing both the knights. “Pray do keep that pattern of not perishing up.” She moves a few strands of hair away from her neck so that glimpses of pretty little chain alongside her usual thin silver one are seen. “It is so nice, I could not help but wear it. Thank you Ser Urston” she says to the Coldwater knight with a slight grin.
The Ryger knight is all smiles as Urston comes over and once more congratulates him on his effort. When the Tully lady starts getting overprotective he smiles all the wider “My dear lady, we are always careful. And you need to trust in our overpowering ability, otherwise - the magic may be gone. Poof!” he goes waving his hands in the air, depiting falling dust. He winks and smiles “I jest. We are just careful, no unnecessary risks taken. And we always win.”
His smile wanes a bit as Andrya shows another chain on her neck “Oh, is… is that a present from you, ser?” he glances at Urston then back at Andrya again, his gaze growing colder “What’s the occasion, so that I might also… participate, maybe?”
Urston grins widely during Andrya’s protectiveness, and chuckles softly throughout Ser Willard’s talk of magic. As the locket becomes a topic of conversation, Urston’s smile glows just as brightly as before, clearly not phased “Indeed it is, Ser! A gift of friendship to the Lady Andrya, as it were. There was no particular occasion, I just like to have all my affairs in order before I head into battle, and should things have turned for the worst, I should have liked someone to have something to remember me by. As you would have likely died by my side in any such misfortune, I did not think to give you a…keepsake, as it were. Sorry, I did not mean to exclude you. I just know that if you were to fall I would stand by your body until I fell in turn, brothers-in-arms have bonds that go deeply, it is said. And it is true. If you would like something similar, it could be arranged, Ser.” Urston says, smiling to Willard amiably as his eyes are supportive, as if trying to tell the man not to worry. Turning his smile to Andrya, Urston says “And I am pleased you like it, my lady!”
“I am not being protective it is the sort of thing you two would do…” Andrya chuckles. As all attention becomes focused on the few glimpses of the pretty red and blue lockety thing around the Tully maiden’s neck, she sighs. Raising her eyebrows at the Ryger knight slightly but a smile finding its way onto her lips all the same, she explains “Ser Urston insisted upon me accepting this locket as a token of friendship or he would not be convinced of it otherwise. What could I do but accept this pretty piece of jewelry and confirm my friendship to him. Oh the dilemmas I have to live through! In all seriousness though it is a token of friendship that Ser Urston saw fit to give me.” she finishes her eyes never leaving the Ryger knights face.
“And that is all.” Andrya adds as if to make sure her point is got across if that is what is needed in this… strange situation.
The Ryger stands still, his eyes shifting from the Coldwater to the Tully. Then he can’t help himself, but laugh. He’s probably laughing at the unbelievably strange and chaotic story of ser Urston, but through the chuckles and laughs, his eyes are visibly displeased. “Andrya, please tell me.” he starts speaking after he regains his breath and his pale blue eyes fix upon hers “If I wore another lady’s favour to the next tourney, what would your reaction be I wonder?” Willard tilts his head to the side and raises an eyebrow, reminescing of a curious bird, clearly ignoring the Coldwater for the nonce.
Alyce walks into the yard from the north, likely from the sept, holding her well-used copy of the Seven-Pointed Star. As always, she is flanked by her guards and followed by her maid. Spotting a trio of familiar faces, the Bar Emmon heads their way. The Ryger’s laughter and warm expression have her studying the others.
Once she arrives, she hands the tome to her maid and curtsies. “Good day, my lady, sers. What joy did I miss?” Those perceptive blue eyes catch something suddenly. Rather difficult to miss with the sun reflecting off the modest rubies and sapphires bound with silver. “Lady Andrya, what a beautiful locket. Truly exquisite. Is it a Tully heirloom?” The colors being Tully ones, of course.
A heartbeat later, she slowly looks between the other lady and the Ryger heir. Her eyes begin to widen. “Is that… an engagement gift? Yes, of course! How foolish of me not to see the obvious! It is truly beautiful, indicative of only the deepest love and sentiment. Ser Willard, you have an excellent eye for jewelry; most would have commissioned something large and gaudy, but you know her well enough to realize that is not Lady Andrya’s style.
Suddenly beaming, eyes wistful and bright, she does not wait for a response before grabbing the unsuspecting Tully woman in a tight hug. “Congratulations!”
When Lady Alyce arrives, Urston is almost relieved and beckons her over happily. Then she opens her mouth. Stunned, Urston sheathes his sword, looks about utterly nonplussed, and curses his own fine taste. “Uh…” is all he can manage, as he stares dumbstruck at Ser Willard, and then Lady Andrya, and the Ser Willard again, before staring at Lady Alyce, mouth agape, in an experssion that simply said ‘why woman. WHY.’
And the words she had been waiting for from the Ryger knight arrive. When they do, Andrya studies him carefully and quietly, also ignoring the Coldwater knight for now. As if thinking on all the Ryger knight has said though her face is now blank; she does not answer his query. Instead, she asks, regarding the locket and the Coldwater knight, very quietly but with a strangely calculating edge to it: “So, what would you have me do ser?”
When the whole Bar Emmon of a storm arrives and embraces Andrya, she stares at Alyce as if she has gone slightly mad for a few moments before composing herself and letting herself out from the woman’s clutches, not really even hearing the crazy speech though she got the general gist. Instead she waits in eerie silence for whatever -he- will say in response and perhaps also how he will react to Alyce.
As Andrya asks him what to do with the locket in a queerely down-to-earth voice and Willard prepares to anwser it… Lady Alyce Bar Emmon happens. And again, for the third or fourth time today, in this yard, the Ryger heir is caught completely off guard, off balance, and just overall off. His curious stare which was set on the Tully lady is now replaced with one of utter surprise and disbelief.
He stands there, hands still folded on his chest… and a strange sound comes from his mouth. A gurgle, a cough maybe? Then again. And once more on this day, when the situation is so tense, so unbelievably bizzare and wild - ser Willard Ryger explodes into laughter. He sprays saliva and can barely breathe due to the fierce laughter that holds his throat and only after a long strained moment the high pitched, almost hysterical sound fades away.
Wiping off tears from his eyes Willard chuckles once more then rubs his forehead and with a visible strain tries to compose himself first turning to Alyce “My lady, you are mistaken. It is not yet anything official, though we both would want that verily. The locket is a present of ser Urston’s. We thank you for your sincere congratulations, but they are as of yet - premature”.
Then to ser Urston he glances and a barely suppressed smirk passes through his face “Ser Urston. I understand friendship, and I understand the need to present someone with something of worth. But this is the woman I hope to wed, and, plan to as well. And I cannot allow her to wear another man’s gift to show off to the entire court. Forgive me, ser, but that just will not do.”
And at last he turns to the Tully lady “My lady, I trust I have anwsered your question sufficiently? And…” he falls to his knees before her and takes her hand into his “I still remember what I swore before the Father, and the Mother, and the Maiden. And you know of it, as well.” he looks at the accursed locket once more and frowns “You should’ve known better, my Andrya.” he grins and smiles at her. Through the pain, the disbelief and all the strange feelings that have gotten hold of him in this moment.
Alyce releases Andrya without resistance, realizing that the tone of this little gathering is not what she originally thought. As it dawns on her, her face flushes as red as her long braid. Then Willard’s words fill in the details of this mystery. Her auburn eyebrows lift so high upon hearing that Andrya is wearing Urston’s locket that they threaten to fly off her face entirely.
Although she glances at Urston in a look of mild disapproval, she is hardly surprised. After all, he’s known to be socially inept. But now it is her turn to stare at the Tully as though the young woman were entirely mad. Wearing another man’s locket? Surely not! The incredulity takes a moment to remove. Silently, she curtsies to the pair having an intimate moment and heads off, glancing back every so often in disbelief.
A hand up to her neck to brush her hair away and she remains so for a second. And its gone. Only the thin, silver chain remains. Andrya is relieved as it is just her and Willard left…well and the hovering retinue. “I…you know I would never wear it to hurt you…or whatever it is you thought.” she murmurs quietly. “It was nothing more then wearing it to be kind to the Coldwater knight and that is why I did not run around hiding it. It could never be anything more…you trust me do you not?” she asks in a shaky voice, her strange calmness dissolving into something altogether more emotional as she beckons the Ryger knight of his knees. “You do seem to be in that position a lot..” she even manages to say with a faint smile before looking once again at him with nervousness for an answer.
He is smiling, that can be surely said of him still, and his eyes shine strangely in the afternoon sun. His right hand brushes the Tully’s cheek, the fingers tracing her jaw for a while and he sighs. But a sigh of relief it is, not one of pain nor sorrow. Lowering his voice to a whisper he says…
Willard whispers to Andrya, “I understand why you did it, but please - do no such folly again. If I’m officially courting you and you are seen walking around with another man’s gift - that could spell disaster. For both of us. I love you, you know I do, I know it as well. But we enter the moment where we need to think first. We cannot allow mistakes like this, my sweet Andrya.”
And raising his voice he says with a smirk “I seem to like that very spot beneath your feet. My knees start to feel at home there, my lady. I hope you won’t get bored with that”
Andrya takes hold of his hand at her cheek and listens to his whispered words with a solemn expression. A conflicted look upon her face at first when she thinks of really what to say before joining in his sigh. “I…want no disaster either. It is the last thing. It really was nothing though Willard. Nothing.” she repeats, “But of course -some- make everything out of nothing.” she smiles weakly. Letting go of his hand she nods, “No more follies from me….but promise me the same…you will keep your own temper in check?” she questions, her chin rising up ever so slightly and an expectant look upon her face. At his later words she chuckles, “Bored ser? Never! Merely concerned for you knees..”
The young Ryger seems quite pleased with his beloved’s words. He nods, though a mischievious streak appears in his smile “I will try to look out for my temper, yet it is not always easy to hold back, when one is tempted so often. But” he lifts up a finger to stop her from interrupting him “I still will try. For you, my lady.” he inclines his head politely. Then looking at his knees he shrugs and beams “They have suffered worse, and will suffer more if need be”
The door to the Traitor’s Tower opens and out, into the afternoon, walk two men. One is, clearly, Ser Alek Reyne, Commander of the River Gate, returned to his usual attire of black and gold. The second man is a little more shabby. A knight, judging by the spurs on his boots, but clearly lower in rank than the Reyne man. He has the look of the north about him, but that smirk is of the Iron Islands. He is one Ser Leon of White Harbor.
Alek does not notice the others in the yard, their conversation muted, but not entirely. “Did you have to do…/that/ to him?” The Reyne asks the man. “Hey, he squealed like a little pig when I did. Be grateful. You got somethin’ you wanted.” Leon bites back, wiping his hands. The cloth is stained suspiciously red.
Andrya also nods in approval. “Good!” she declares with a smile, which grows even more and turns into laughter at his latter words. “My what did your knees do for you to torture them so..” she muses. Spotting the newly arrived company in the yard, she gestures towards them to the Ryger knight. “It has been a while since I talked with Ser Alek..perhaps we should call him over?” she questions.
Willard smiles and as Andrya notices ser Alek his smile… isn’t sure what to do. It widens, then wanes, but widens once more as the Tully girl proposes to invite the old Reyne over “Ser Alek, greetings. Care to join our company?” he calls out in a pleasant voice also nodding to the smallfolk knight by Alek’s side, onehe’s come to notice in the old lion’s company.
Another Reyne appears from the opposite direction, smiling when he sees his uncle. He heads over towards the two men and calls out: “Uncle Alek! A moment please!” Just then he hears another voice and his expression darkens when he sees the Ryger knight. Again.
“I didn’t realise he’d gush so much.” Leon grumbles. “Made my hands all sticky.” The smallfolk knight pauses as he notices Andrya’s gaze and elbows Alek slightly. “Looks like we’ve been spotted. And I’d better make myself scarce. I promised Ser Luthor I’d be back once I’m done.” The hedge knight eyes the pair of nobles.
Alek turns his head as Leon gestures, noticing Andrya and Willard nearby. “Ah, yes. It seems so. Thank you for your assistance, ser. Be sure to thank Ser Luthor for allowing the time.” And then Willard calls over. “If you do not mind me encroaching on your chat, ser, my lady. I fear I cannot…” And the Grey Lion is interrupted by a call, and turns slightly. “Josmyn. Yes, of course.” Turning back to the others. “Excuse me, please.”
Leon, meanwhile, takes a step back into the background, smirking. The hedge knight has noticed the dark expression being flung from Josmyn.
Josmyn heaves a dramatic sigh at Alek. “My family has been suspiciously scarce since I asked about going on a hunt together.”, he explains, “Are you interested at all, uncle, or not?”, he tackles the man head on.
“A hunt?” Alek says, frowning. “I was not made aware of such plans.” The Commander folds his arms. “And where were you planning on holding this event? The Kingswood is still rife with villans and brigands, even if you have a guide like myself.”
Josmyn shrugs. “It was suggested by Victoria and Fiona, together with Ser Humfrey. Naturally my sisters hatched the idea, then dumped the plan at my feet to organize and disappeared. So I have no idea when to do this and what area can be considered safe enough.”
Andrya only has time to curtsy to the older Reyne knight and offer a “Good to see you Ser Alek” before he is off again, joining the unnoticed Josmyn who has crept back into the yard. Turning back to Willard she offers him a warm smile. “I think perhaps I will be on my way..” she says quietly, “Remember your promise…” she reminds him as she watches the two Reynes. “I will see you soon I am sure, for now take care and farewell Ser..” And with that she is off along with her retinue and a last smiling glance back to Willard; she is out of the yard.
“I could consult Ser Luthor.” Alek says, frowning. “But I belive it should wait until we have routed Breakhelm and his curs.”
Willard noticed the arrival of the younger Reyne and his own expression turns a lot darker as well, but then he glances to Andrya and smiles with an effort “I shall do, as I promised. I will not start anything.” glancing again to the talking Reynes he muses “And a fair night to you as well, my sweet lady. Farewell” he watches the Tully leave then stands yet again, straight and patient, his arms folded on his chest.
Josmyn nods. “Well, I’ll be happy to help you with that, uncle.” he offers and shrugs. “I’ll seek out Ser Luthor myself. Be well!” And with that he’s gone too.
Bidding his nephew a good evening, Alek sighs, turning back to Willard. “My apologies for that, ser. It seemed a matter of import.”
Willard shrugs and nods in understanding “Of course, ser. Family comes first.” with pleasantries out of the way, he asks “Which of the bandits did you have ser Leon work on? And did he say anything… of interest?” the heir to Willow Wood asks with complete indifference as to the bandit’s well being.
“Scum does not deserve a name, ser.” Alek says, bluntly. “He was the beast whom beset young Ryckon. And I received a few tidbits of information, nothing to change my investigation, but it shall help.”
As if knowing the man was still here, Alek calls out. “Leon, inform Ser Luthor that I shall be turning custody over soon. I shall visit with the correct paperwork once I have filled it.” There’s a grunt of acknowledgement, and disappointment, and then the sound of boots on gravel.
The young Ryger nods “Aye, those bandits yesterday… gut all of them, I say. And their leader - squeeze for last drop of information, then hang. Lest he puts his feet back on our ground” at the other part of the Reyne’s speech Willard does show interest “Investigation, ser? I was unaware you are conducting one…?” He obviously waits to hear more of it.
“Indeed I am.” Alek says, but doesn’t indulge much more. “And I must return to it. Please, excuse me, ser.”
Nodding the Ryger knight says “But of course, ser. Do not let me detain you from your duties. Farewell” and with that he himself turns around and goes towards the Ryger appartments.