The day is dank and misty, the air hanging thick and damp. Many denziens of the Landing are seeking warmth in their houses rather than be outside on a day like today.
The Three Hills Inn, however, is nigh deserted. Aside from the smatterings of Reachlanders and ironmen who are picking themselves up after the Iron Serpent’s nameday celebrations, the place seems mostly deserted.
Descending the stairs, pulling a pair of gloves on, is Ser Alek Reyne. The Reyne knight has obviously spent the night there, having been too drunk to stumble home in the mists. He pauses by the bar, having a talk with the innkeep.
The younger Reyne is there, too, arriving early perhaps to find his uncle after their last rather strained encounter. He looks relieved to find him descending from the stairs. “Ah, there you are, uncle Alek.”, he comments.
The journey to King’s Landing was not an easy one for Robett Meadows. This is not surprising, as few things in the haggard man’s life have gone easy as of late. He has just arrived, and he is in sore need of a bath, some food, and a bed-despite the early time of day, he is utterly exhausted.
The Three Hills Inn seems the best place to find these three things. With a word to his man, Robett wearily dismounts his palfrey and gives the care of the horse and his baggage over to the Inn’s stableboys. A moment later, he shoulders through the door and takes a bleary look around the interior of the building without really focusing on anything. A few men, that’s all. Faceless and unimportant, and thankfully quiet. The pounding headache Meadows is nursing is better for it.
Robett drops heavily into a chair, puts his forehead in one gloved hand, and rests.
“Ugggghhhh…..” comes a groan from the back corner of the common room. It is quickly followed by another - and another. And then Ammon Massey rises to his feet, making his way from under a table. His clothes and hair are damp with sweat - and worse. The color is gone from the man’s cheeks. He shuffles slowly across the floor, his head hanging low, and approaches Alek by the bar - but his bloodshot eyes are only for the innkeep. “Water,” he gasps, his breath still fouled with rotten ale.
“Josmyn.” Alek says, nodding to his nephew, before pausing in the act of pulling on his left glove as he spots the familiar form of Robett Meadows. “Ah.” He says, quietly. “Perhaps we had best leave, nephew. Post haste.” The old lion comments, glancing quickly to Ammon, but not wanting to draw attention to himself by greeting the squire.
Josmyn is distracted by Ammon’s appearance and his mouth is already half-open for a mocking remark to the squire, when his uncle draws his attention to the newly arrived man. All color seems to drain from his face when he recognizes him. “Seven hells, what is -he- doing here?”, he asks and nods his agreement to make a quick exit.
A boy scurries over to Robett, who waves him away with a grunted request for bread and beer. He’s hungry, but not at all certain his gut can handle anything more complicated at the moment. Lifting his head, he tracks the boy’s progress idly with his good eye, watching as the little thing ducks past two me—and an apparent drunkard—at the bar. Two men. Two menthat look strangely familiar. His brow furrows for a moment.
And then Robett straightens suddenly, slamming both forearms down on the table with a crash that utterly shatters the Inn’s quiet. “Reynes!” It’s a growl.
Ammon accepts a tankard of water and drinks greedily from it; rivulets run down his chin to spill on his already damp tunic. When the tankard is empty, the squire slams it back upon the bartop and mutters, “Again, goodman.” And then, overhearing Sers Alek and Josmyn, Ammon turns his bleary eyes upon Robett Meadows, but only for a moment. His attention is once again upon the inkeep and a refeshed tankard - until the violence from Robett.
Ammon turns once again. “Oh, seven hells,” he mutters. “Who’s this then?”
“Oh, /hells./” Is Alek’s muttered response to Robett’s outburst before he turns to face the man. As he does, his cloak shifts to reveal a battle-axe strapped to the Reyne’s back. Weither intentional or not, it is unknown. “Robett Meadows. Please, do not let us disturb you. We were just leaving.” He places a hand on his nephew’s shoulder, his green eyes fixed on Robett
A lot of hells have been invoked by now and Josmyn just remains silent, For a moment he stares at the Meadows man, his eyes dark with emotion, then he thinks the better of it and nods to his uncle. “Yes, let’s go…”, he murmurs.
Already haggard and pale, and certainly in poorer shape than he was last time he ‘spoke’ with Sers Alek and Josmyn, Robett seems to lose whatever remaining colour he had. He had not expected (nor was he prepared) to meet these two so immediately upon arrival. For a moment, he does not seem to know what to say.
But when the axe is shown, accidentally or not, his colour returns in a sudden rush and the older man flushes an ugly, mottled red. He jerks stiffly to his feet, toppling his chair to the ground with a clatter. “Do you wish to bare steel against me, then?” It seems he did not hear Alek’s words. Or perhaps did not choose to listen. “Are you so thirsty for Meadows blood?”
“If I had chosen to bare steel upon you, my lord, my axe would have been in my hand already.” Alek replies, coldly courteous. He unhitches his cloak from where it’s caught on his belt, letting it cover the weapon once more. “Again, if you will excuse me, my nephew and I were just leaving.”
“Meadows?” asks Ammon, rhetorically. And then the axe is shown and Robett Meadows jerks to his feet. The squire sighs and leans back against the bar, lifting the second tankard of water to his lips.
Josmyn stiffens when the Meadows man speaks to his uncle, but he remains silent for now, only scowling at the man, while he waits for his uncle to catch up.
Robett glowers, fists clenching at his sides. “I will never excuse you, Sers,” the Meadows man grates harshly. His gaze flicks from the elder Reyne to the younger and back again. Contemptuously, he spits on the floor in Alek’s direction. “Nor forgive your crimes against my House.” This last is said more quietly. The blood-price was supposed to make things even. It obviously has not.
Alek scowls lightly. “I will warn you, my lord,” Alek begins. “This is not the Reach. And the Targaryens are less likely to forgive a second time. This matter was resolved on the banks before Grassy Vale when the gods saw fit to see Ser Alyard win that duel.” He folds his arms. “I do not expect you to forgive us, but, please, this has gone on long enough.”
Ammon sighs. “It’s far too early for this, and I’m far too hungover,” he mutters under his breath.
He turns back towards Robett. “Ser Alek speaks truly,” he says, louder. “The affair is finished in the sight of both gods and men. Let it end.”
Josmyn seems to be in silent agreement with his uncle, but he does take a step forward towards the Meadows man, giving him a cool look. “Once I would have fallen on my knees in front of you and begged you to forgive me for the accident that claimed your son’s life. But after what your men did to me, I cannot feel contrition anymore. My uncle is right. The matter was settled in Grassy Vale. We should move on, go our separate ways…”
Robett’s remaining eye widens such that he almost seems surprised. And perhaps he is-first, at Alek’s audacity, and then at the additional words from Ammon and Josmyn. For the first time, he takes a step out from behind the table and towards the other men. “Long enough?” His voice remains quiet, but there is real fury written on his face. “Long -enough-? You stand there, the instruments of my son’s death, and have the gall to dictate how long I am to mourn his loss? To rage at his fate?” His attention flicks suddenly to Ammon. “And you-you believe that a son’s death is so cheaply bought in the eyes of gods and men? Well, as a man, I say to you and to the gods that it is -not- over!”
Finally, he gives Josmyn a measured look. “My men acted without my knowledge, without my leave, and in my absence. The incident at Grassy Vale settled nothing for me. If you wish to move on, do so.” The words ‘I cannot’ are unspoken, but he may as well have said them nonetheless. Meadows has both fists balled at his sides. He is literally shaking where he stands.
“That isn’t what I said. Nor what I meant,” says Ammon before taking another long gulp of water. “By all means, mourn your son. Nobody would begrudge you that. But this vengeance, this blood for blood? It has been satisfied.”
“Then my warning stands.” Alek says, turning for the door once more. “I shall leave you to your greiving.”
“So what do you want, Meadows?”, Josmyn asks quietly, “Killing me won’t bring your son back to life. I will bear the memories of what your men did to me for the rest of my life. Isn’t that enough?”, he asks, not following his uncle just now.
It is rarely that Ser Willard Ryger breaks his fast outside of the Red Keep. Mostly when he had an argument with his father or just needs a quieter place to eat, than the filled with familiar faces halls of the Targaryen castle. His feet took him to the Three Hills Inn, where he was yesterday for a while during the feast in the name of Ser Dagur.
Opening the door the young Ryger is displeased to see Sers Alek and Josmyn Reyne, the former walking straight towards him “Bugger” is muttered under his nose, but a smile beams easily enough on his face as he nods to the old Lion “Ser Alek, did you stay the night at this lovely…” his voice breaks off as he sees a standoff between Josmyn and an unknown to him elderly man, and hears the words of Josmyn “Meadows? Here?”
The Meadows heir is exhausted in body, mind, and soul. He wanted a bed and some food. He wanted to search out his kin at King’s Landing and find out how to seek justice beyond the insulting blood-price received. What he got instead was a face-to-face confrontation with the people he last wanted to see. He stands alone, but he holds his chin up. “Do I look as though I’m asking for blood?” Robett’s lip curls. “Do you see swords at my back? I am not a sworn and noble knight as you are, Sers.” His tone makes it clear what he thinks of Alek and Josmyn’s ‘nobility’.
He takes a step closer to Josmyn and his voice lowers. “No. It is not enough. Your memories mean less than nothing to me.” Another step. “And you are correct. Your death will not bring Obyn back. I do not wish you dead.” What he wishes is somewhat more complicated.
Ammon, though not directly involved with the confrontation, watches with interest. However, seeing Willard enter, he moves from his place by the bar to the door. The squire nods to the Ryger knight in greeting, but says nothing as he stands next to the man, eyes squarely on Robett Meadows’ back.
The door swings open once more and a cloaked figure slips inside, the newcomer lifts his hands and pulls the hood back. A handsome face and grey eyes reveal him to be Ser Alyard Corbray, the knight’s ebony locks fall to his shoulders as he sweeps the cloak away and hangs it onto a peg. He is wearing a dark leather hauberk, though the raven and heart embroidered onto the chest would reveal him to be none other than the famed Vale knight. He lets a hand rest on the precious red stone set in the pommel of his longsword as he approaches the Reynes.
“Good day, Reynes.” He says, unaware of any hostility, wry grin present as always. The Meadows heir is offered a quick glance before he looks to Josmyn. “I recieved your invite later than intended I imagine, I am glad to see you still here.”
It seems to be enough for Josmyn though, whose stance relaxes somewhat. He’s rather partial to that fragile thing called life. “Good.”, he says stiffly to Robett Meadows, “For I pray to the Gods that I can forget the week in which I was held by your men, constantly in pain and fearing for my life. I’d find it exhausting to spend my life consumed by hatred for you and yours.” Alyard’s arrival distracts him a bit and he smiles warily when the man arrives. “Ah, Ser Alyard. Your arrival couldn’t be more timely.”, he comments wryly.
Willard looks at the scene before him with surprise. As if the Meadows’ presence wasn’t enough there are the two Reynes from which all of this trouble stemmed. The RYger nods absentmindedly to Ammon “Ammon, man, what -is- going on here? Is this a trap or duel proposal, are ones or the others trying to finish things off?” he shakes his head in confusion.
And then the worst happens. Ser Alayard Corbray, the famous winenr of the duel with Edwyd Bulwer, the knight who single handedly, and supposedly, ended the feud enters the inn. Willard rolls his eyes “This isn’tgoing to end well, Ammon…”
Meadows may not be a knight, but he is certainly not a fool when it comes to confrontation. He is outmatched and outnumbered, and Ammon’s choice to move towards the door and stand behind him means that Robett is now surrounded. It makes the back of his neck itch, and his heart beats faster. Perhaps they mean to kill him here, for all their pretty words. It would not surprise him at all.
When Alyard steps inside, their plan becomes crystal clear. The look on Robett’s face changes and he takes a sharp step away from Josmyn. They -do- mean to kill him. There is no other reason for them all to arrive so promptly. No reason for them to ring around him so neatly. And no apparent escape. Except perhaps one, as the pale face of one of his servants just come from tending the horses appears in the doorway behind Alyard.
Robett, the last string of his good sense snapped by the tension in the room-bellows an order at the startled youth. “Fetch the Goldcloaks! Conspiracy!”
The boy blinks and runs to do as he’s bid, so he does not see his lord whip around to grab at a nearby bottle with his left hand and throw it viciously towards Alyard’s face. His sword appears in his right hand, and with an enraged roar, Robett hurls himself hopelessly towards towards the two Reyne knights.
And that bottle sails towards another target, the reckless abandon in which the heir to Grassy Vale threw the item sends it crashing into the back of Ser Alek’s head. And the man had been reaching for the door handle to leave! There’s a muffled grunt as the man staggers against the wall, before slowly sliding to the floor.
Poor Alyard has no idea what’s going on and his reaction adds some credibility, quickly steps to the side as the bottle is thrown, caring little for where it ends up. He knows he was the intended target and wastes no time in drawing his sword and striding quickly across the inn. A few gasp as the Corbray knight closes the gap and his sword sounds as if it slices the air as he strikes.
Thankfully for Robett’s sake Alyard doesn’t wish to spill blood and looks to put the heir down with a savage punch to the face with his sword hand.
Ammon hesitates for a moment as the bottle hurtles through the air; as it strikes Ser Alek and knocks him to the ground; as a small trickle of blood flows from Alek’s head. A naked blade is in the Meadow’s hand and he is charging at Ser Josmyn. And with a roar, the big, hungover squire throws himself at Robett Meadow’s back, unarmed as he is. Ammon attempts to bear the older man to the ground.
Willard gasps, all his icy and smiling persona shatters in an instant. In two steps, without even thinking he’s at Ser lake’s side, catching the old knigth before he falls to the floor, sitting him down and leaning against the wall. He starts to rise and nods to Ammon “Hold that madman down, Ammon!” he then tries to reach Alyard before he uses his sword, unaware of the Corbray’s intention.
Josmyn had been determined to keep his calm and be all mature and sensible about this confrontation. But that determination goes out of the window when he sees his uncle being floored by a bottle thrown by the Meadows man, who is then coming at him.
“You leave my family alone, you fucking bastard!”, he yells, now white with rage as he flies at the man, sword drawn, “GET OUT OF MY FUCKING SIGHT - NOW!”
Another man is walking down the stairs, doing up his belt before he stops, seeing the carnage below. The man’s jaw drops in shock at this, the knight being Ser Leon of White Harbor, one of the Kingswood Company.
Behind the bar, the innkeep is bellowing for them to stop, having no-one in at this early hour for crowd control, as they’re out doing other duties. Two brawls in so many days! It has to be a record.
The bottle certainly did not hit its intended target, but one murderer beaned in the head is as good as another as far as Robett is concerned. He has not stopped moving for an instant, as the Inn explodes into activity. With Alek out of the way, Robett’s focus is on Josmyn, and only the sudden rush of Alyard and Ammon combined—one from the side and one from behind—keeps him from meeting the younger Reyne blade to blade. Alyard’s heavy punch takes him in the jaw and drops him like a sack of vegetables, while Ammon’s tackle finishes the job by grinding him nicely into the Inn floor. Robett’s head slams into the floor with an audible thunk, and his blade skitters out of his hands, spinning towards Josmyn’s boot. The Meadows man is done.
“What in th’ bloody hells…?” The baseborn knight, Ser Leon, mumbles, before noticing the comatose Alek, and he pales. “Shit…” He swears, under his breath, the northman moving to go and check on his master’s best friend, avoiding the brawl.
Alyard points his sword at the fallen Meadows and flashes a dark smile, a couple of white teeth bared as he speaks. “You may wish to pray to the maid tonight, if you hadn’t thrown like her and hit me…” He shakes his head. “...I might have done something you would regret.” The Vale knight looks to Ammon as he sheathes his sword. “Who is this?”
As the sword clatters so coveniently close to his boot, Josmyn stands on the blade, his own blade still pointing at the fallen Meadows man to make sure he stays down. He looks rather shaken, not sure what to do with the man now. “Shall we just… drop him somewhere?”, he wonders.
Ammon hits the ground - hard - on top of Robett, and grabs at the skittering sword as Josmyn steps down on it. Seeing the blade secured, the squire shifts his body weight so that he is kneeling with one knee across Robett’s back, his other foot on the floor. He looks up at Alyard as he is addressed. “A Meadows,” he says, simply. And then he winces, one hand going to his forehead and another groan escapes him.
Willard stops as he sees the matter solved with fists, rather than swords and comes back to check up on Alek’s wound and condition. Hearing Josmyn’s proposition he stands up and fumes “Are you completely insane, Reyne? Drop him where, you idiot? We need to get the cloaks here and get this man arrested!” he spits on the floor in disgust and turns back to see to Ser Alek.
At this point, the door slams open, revealing a squad of Goldcloaks, an officer at their head. They take in the scene in a bit of a shock, the officer stepping forward. “What the hells is going on in here?!” He bellows, trying to get attention.
“I saw it all!” The barkeep calls out. “That one,” he points to Robett, “Just attacked Ser Alek, with no provocation!” The Watchman scans the assembled nobles coldly, stepping into the inn. “Sheathe your steel, my lords.” He calls out again, hand resting on his own blade. The other goldcloaks cluster around their leader, holding pikes and swords in their own right. “I will not ask again.”
The Meadows servant has come back with the Goldcloaks as his master ordered, only to find that Lord Meadows semi-conscious (at best) on the Inn floor. The young man does not know what to do, except to go find Anton—which is what he scuttles off to do. They will not kill his master now, it seems, and his master does not look as though he has any use for him at the moment. The boy disappears once more.
“Nnghh,” is all that Robett Meadows can say in his own defense. He is bleeding from the forehead and his jaw is rapidly purpling. The man’s eyepatch is askew, though the scarred mess underneath is currently hidden by the fact that he is still face down on the floor. But he will not be resisting arrest—or standing—any time soon.
Josmyn bends to pick up the Meadows man sword and keeps a firm grip on it. Looking over to Willard, he smirks. “Arrested for what? For showing his ugly mug here in town and cause trouble?”, he asks, “I want to kick him out of the town gates and never be seen here again if he can’t keep his peace. He could have killed my uncle!” Incandescent with rage, he gives Robbet a mighty kick into his chest and yells at him: “Get up you bastard, so I can drive you right out of town again!”
Leon is busy tearing the sleeve off of his undershirt to press to the old lion’s head to try and stem the bleeding. “Have you sent for a maester?” The baseborn man asks aloud, eyeing the goldcloaks. “It don’t look too bad, but we need to get it seen to.”
“Oi!” The goldcloak officer yells out, motioning his men forward to restrain Josmyn. Two, rather big-looking, goldcloaks move forward, and grab Josmyn under the arms, trying to remove the swords from the Reyne man’s grip.
“That might explain it.” Alyard mutters before smirking once more, kneeling to take a closer look at the Meadows, whispering something. “... was for ... ... Meadows, ... if ... ... aggrieved ... ... ... me with ... ... bottle. ... ... settle it ... ...”
He stands and looks between the goldcloaks and the Reynes. Josmyn’s kick in the chest is met with a dark look. “Leave him be, Reyne.” He places a hand on the youngster’s chest. “I hear striking downed Meadows started the fued, don’t be a fool.” Alyard releases his hand as the goldcloaks take over.
“I might break my fast elsewhere…” He utters before looking at the gathered men, shaking his head as he steps over Alek’s downed body and leaves.
Ammon relaxes as the Goldcloaks enter, but his eyes widen in alarm as Josmyn kicks the felled man. “Ser Josmyn!” he hisses, with glances between the Goldcloaks and the younger Reyne. As the watch moves in to subdue Josmyn, Ammon stands and faces the officer, his empty hands placating. “I am unarmed,” the squire says as he takes a step forward. “It is as the innkeep says. This man attacked unprovoked.”
“HE TRIED TO KILL MY UNCLE!”, Josmyn yells after Alyard when the man starts to leave and as the goldcloaks grab him, he begins to struggle against them. “Let me go, idiots, I must take care of my uncle!” But with his wrists still being sore after being tied up for a week, he can’t resist them much longer and least drops the swords, though doesn’t stop struggling for now, or casting murderous glares at Robett.
Josmyn’s kick drives the air right out of Robett’s lungs, and the older man chokes wetly as he curls himself around where the boot hit. He was already at the end of his strength before this fight began, and now there is nothing left to him. Just an old, ill, heartbroken man on the floor—soundly beaten by those of greater number and greater skill. And now hit when he’s down. Well done, everyone!
And Alyard’s way is blocked by two other ‘cloaks. “Sorry, m’lord, but we can’t let you go nowhere.” One says, with a thick accent.
The officer sighs, rubbing the bridge of his nose with a mail-gloved hand. “Very well. As much as I hate to shackle Ser Anton’s uncle…” He motions for them to shackle Robett and Josmyn, before turning to them and reading their offenses. “Robbet Meadows, you are charged with causing afray, unsheathing a weapon in a public place, and assaulting an unarmed noble. Ser Josmyn Reyne, you are charged with attempting to pervert the course of the King’s Justice and…” He notes the man’s struggling. “...Resisting arrest.” He jerks his head to the door. “In the wagon with ‘em.”
“Perverting…. what?”, Josmyn protests, “You cannot toss me into a wagon like a common criminal! I’m a Reyne of Castamere! My father will hear of this and have you all transferred to the Wall! Pfff, this is outrageous!”, he huffs angrily, but apparently the guards are all deaf, they just drag him away.
The guards will get no interference from Robett—no help, either. They have to drag him up off the ground, one on each side, and lift him bodily to get him out of the Inn and in to the wagon. A groan or two is all he offers in conversation.
Ammon begins to move back towards the bar, looking morose and miserable. His clothes and hair are damper than before with new sweat sprung up from his recent exertion. His cheeks are pale once again. He shuffles slowly across the floor, his head hanging low, and leans heavily upon the solid bar when he arrives. Ignoring Josmyn and Robett’s departure, his bloodshot eyes are only for the innkeep. “Water,” he mutters.
Alyard halts, standing with one foot either side of Ser Alek. He steps aside, his hand resting on the hilt of his longsword, his finger tapping the pommel. “I see.” He utters, looking to the downed Meadows and then to the goldcloak with the thick accent. “Under what charges? The Meadows tossed a bottle so I put him down, I had arrived a heartbeat before it started.” The guards missed him with the sword so he tried to push it. “Who commands here?” He asks.
“Fine. Looks as though I have to do everything myself.” Leon scowls. “Shift!” He says to Alyard, hefting the Reyne knight onto his shoulder.
Willard stands up as Ser Leon puts Alek’s one arm over his shoulder and helps the smallfolk knight by doing the same with the second. They both walk through the door of the inn carrying the unconscious Reyne to the nearest maester.
The officer pauses by Alyard. “Then, ser, you’re free to go, too. We have the perpetrators.”
“A wise decision.” Alyard utters to the goldcloak before smirking and stepping out, not before giving Leon a glimpse of that same wry grin.