Blood of Dragons

The 'A Song of Ice and Fire' MUSH


Campfire Songs
IC Date: Day 25 of Month 9, 162 AC (about 6 pm)
RL Date: June 01, 2011.
Participants: Aberyn Crane, Albin Sarsfield, Alek Reyne, Almer Connington, Ammon Massey, Anton Piper, Crispyn of Tarth, Dagur Saltcliffe, and Myles Hightower
Locations: Somewhere in The Reach
Comments: Crispyn of Tarth is emitted by Reyna Saltcliffe, Albin Sarsfield is emitted by Alek Reyne

Summary: Several members of the party in pursuit of Longaxe and Edwyd Bulwer stop for the night and share ribald songs around the campfire.

It is a moonless dusk in the greenwood; all is gloomy and still beyond the orange glow of the search party’s campfires. The stars are just now appearing above, and the crickets are beginning to chirp. Arrayed alongside the faint track through the forest are tents, and here and there, a gathering of knights, squires, and riders sharing their evening meals and conversation.

Ser Almer Connington sits by one of the fires, his back against his upturned saddle and a small pitcher of Arbor gold in the grass at his side. He is silent, for now, gazing thoughtfully into the crackling flames.

Walking amongst the tents is Ser Alek Reyne. He seems to be wandering rather aimlessly until he chances upon Ser Almer Connington. “Ah, good evening, ser.” He smiles. “May I join you?”

Ser Aberyn Crane is walking amongst the tents and fires. He is carrying his food and drink with him as he finds a place to sit. He happens to see Ser Almer nearby, along with Ser Alex. Going over to them, he greets them. “Good evening Ser Alex. Ser Almer.” He says nodding as he sits down to eat.

Standing outside his tent, gazing up at the sky in silent contemplation, stands Ser Anton Piper. Likely the only knight in the group with close blood ties to House Meadows, he has generally kept to himself throughout the pursuit. On this night, he remains fully armoured and armed, his greatsword scabbarded and strapped to his back, while a scabbarded longsword is at his side. Curiously, he wears his professional attire, the goldcloak of the King’s Landing City Watch as opposed to a surcoat of House Piper. Anton’s eyes seem far away and he does not appear to notice the crowd of knights gathering not far away from him.

Ser Humfrey walks through the arbors of the Greenwood, dressed in austere dusky gold mail. He sees the three knights, two standing and one sitting with his back against a saddle. He stops and looks to them “It’s a dark and brisk night, might I join you Sers?”

“Ser Alek. By all means.” Indicating a spot by the fire, Almer invites the Reyne knight to join him. “Have a drink if you like,” he adds, indicating the pitcher of golden wine. “And you as well, Ser Aberyn. And you as well,” he adds to Humfrey. Almer tosses a green twig into the fire, watching it pop and sizzle, and smiles wryly. “Not exactly how I hoped to spend the trip home.”

Alek moves to sit. “I apologise that my actions have caused this, ser.” He says, remorsefully. He takes a goblet and fills it with wine.

“Thankyou Ser.” Humfrey takes a folded cloth out from the saddle bags in his left hand and begins to unfold it on the forrest floor. “Quite an ill turn of events Sers.”

Aberyn fills up a glass of wine and begins to eat. After swalloing he takes a drink of wine. Looking up at Ser Alek he says to the knight. “You could not have seen this happening ser. I am sure we will get Ser Josym back safe.” He stares into the fire watching as it crackles and snaps. He turns to look at Ser Humfrey who has arrived. “Indeed it is.” He says to the knight. “To think that only a few days ago we were having a tornament.”

Ammon Massey strides casually down the track, humming an old marcher’s song. He is dressed in darkened ring mail; his hand rests casually upon the pommel of his sword, a helm hangs loosely from his right hand. The squire nods to Anton as he passes the goldcloak. “Good evening, Ser Anton,” he says, ceasing his tune. But he does not slow, and continues humming again as soon as he has spoken.

“What’s done is done,” Almer says with a shrug. “We’d all prefer to be at home with our families. And the sooner we run down Longaxe, the quicker this will all be over.” The tall young Stormlord stretches out his long legs and begins scraping the mud from his boot as the other knights take their seats. “You have children, Ser Alek?”

Alek nods. “Aye, two daughters and a son. Bella and Alayne are on the barges.” He shudders slightly. “It coulfld have easily been one of them.”

“Ammon, squire to Ser Dagur.” Anton intones formally in greeting to the man. He does not however attempt to stop the squire and turns his eyes back to the sky. His ears however perk up when Almer mentions running down his cousin and a gentle sigh escapes Anton’s lips.

Ser Humfrey unfolds the cloak and sits down upon it. Then he reached into hsi saddle bags and withdraws a small pouch in the flickering light of the fire the other knights would see him removes somethign round, about the size of a small, stuffed piglets bladder. Humfrey draws his dagger and splits the thing, then halves one half of it. He sticks one piece of the quartered fruit in his mouth and sucks at the rind. After he pulls it from his mouth and nods to Ammon “Good Evening to you Marcher.”

Ammon hears Humfrey’s address as he near’s the fire. He looks the Westerling knight over and cocks his head to the side. “I’m not a Marcher, ser. I am a Crownlander.” His eyes move over the rest of the group, passing right through Ser Aberyn. But, Ammon smiles as he sees Alek Reyne and Almer Connington. “Ah! Ser Alek. And Ser Almer. A good evening to the both of you.”

“I have no children,” Almer says quietly, and falls into silence as he finishes scraping his boots. When that task is finished, he looks at the other knights seated around the fire.

“This reminds me of nights in the Prince’s Pass,” he murmurs. “Except that now there isn’t sand in my teeth and in every conceivable crevice of my body, nor Dornish reavers lurking in the rocks.” He takes a drink of wine. “Thank the seven for small blessings, I suppose.”

Alek nods. “I know how you feel. Its more mud than sand.” He nods at Ammon. “Aah, Ammon. Please, join us.” He looks to Almer. “If you don’t object, ser.”

Aberyn looks at Almer and nods. “Have to agree with you ser.” He sayd taking a drink of wine. “I hated those nights in Dorne.” He looks up at the night sky and reflexs back on the days he spent fighting in Dorne,

“It’s dark indeed. I beg your pardon Ser. “Lime? Perchance it shall be one of the last any of us ever see, now that Martell suns shine over Dorne.” Here Ser Humfrey tosses one of the green fruit to Ammon. He hears Alek and Aberyn speaking of the Prince’s Pass. “Thank the Seven . . . tell me Sers who won the champion’s purse at Lord Tyrell’s tourney?”

Ammon waits on Almer before sitting, but he catches the lime. “The Martell sun has shone on Dorne for time out of mind, ser. And we are far from their influence here.” Ammons eyes move to rest on Almer. “It was the Boneway for me, ser. Aptly named, that.”

Aberyn sighed and took another drink. “I can still remeber the fighting in Dorne. But the climate was just as bad. It was hot most of the time and the nights were cold. I’m glad the war is over.”

“Of course. All are welcome here.” Almer invites the squire Ammon to sit and drink with the knights. “Yes,” he adds at Aberyn’s remark. “The nights were damnably cold.” He finishes his drink and pours another. “With which host did you ride? Or was it Oakenfist’s fleet for you?”

Ser Myles Hightower comes towards the fire as a moth to a flame, weary after the day’s ride. “Evening, my lords,” the Hightower knight says, stretching and yawning as he unfastens the badge of his house that holds his cloak about his frame and makes a pillow of it, laying flat.

He does not even inquire as to the topic of discussion. “You there, Ammon Massey. You may be Ser Dagur’s squire but you’re still the squire, so you go first. Tell us a joke.”

He uncorks a wineskin, settling in for the evening.

Alek sits back against a tree, drawing his crimson cloak about him. He falls silent as Dorne seems to be the prevailing topic. The old lion listens, looking up from the flames as Myles approaches. He grins. “Aye, Ammon. Lighten the mood for us.”

Aberyn looks up. His mind replays the memories of the battles. The Seige of Sunsphere still in his mind.“I fought with the Reach in the Princes Pass. I also took part in the Siege of Sunsphere.” He says coldly as he stares into the flames of the fire. He looks up as Ser Myles approches.“Ser Myles.” He says calmly as the knight walks over.

“Ser Myles,” Almer greets the Hightower knight. “Have a drink. And the squire should give us a song, not a joke. Something to drive off the gloom.” He tosses an empty wooden cup to Myles and points at the pitcher.

“Thank you, ser,” Ammon says as he sinks to the ground. “I’ve the watch in an hour or two, but have nothing pressing until then.” Ammon looks to Myles as he is commanded to joke. He seems about to retort, but falls silent again as Alek speaks up. He thinks for a moment before offering “What is the difference between a dwarf and a Dornish whore?”

Alek grins lightly as he hears the beginning of the joke. He folds his arms, waiting for the punchline.

Ser Humfrey smiles in the waxing fire light he places another lime wedge in his mouth and teethes at the flesh until all that remains is a spent rind. Setting it aside he finishes the other two and waits for the Crownland squire to deliver the punch line.

Ser Myles, never being one to refuse wine or spirits, takes up the wooden cup offered by the Connington knight and pours himself a drink, smelling the wine briefly before taking a sip.

“I think all he knows are Reaver songs, Ser Almer. Are you sure you want him to sing?”

Ammon begins to tell his joke and Myles listens.

“The one is a cunning runt,” Ammon continues, “while the other is a running cun….” The squire cuts himself off quickly. “Well. You can guess the rest, sers. And I fear none of you would enjoy my songs. I sound somewhat like an owl. Dying.”

Alek chuckles at Ammon’s jest. “Where on earth did you hear that one, my lord of Massey?” Alek says, helping himself to a refill of the arbor gold, before looking to Myles. “Surely you have a squire of your own, ser?” He comments, grinning. “Perhaps he shall sing if you summon him from the ether.”

The heir to the crag chokes on the last swallow of lime juice and launches into a sputtering series of laughign whooping coughs A tlength he clears hsi throat. “A memorable joke squire.”

Aberyn laughs at the joke, glad for a change of topic and a change in the mood.“Nothing like a good joke to warm the spirits.” He says as he takes anohter drink of wine.

“We seem to have left all our bards back on the boats,” Almer answers Myles. “So the squire will have to do.” He looks hard at Ammon, his eyes suddenly cold. It is an expression that lesser men quail to see. “Sing.”

“He who would pun would pick a pocket!” Myles jeers, laughing despite himself and halfheartedly throwing a stick towards Ammon. “I suppose we shall allow it, however.”

“Who, Dick, Uncle?” Myles asks. “He’s tending the horses and then tending to his face. He’ll be ‘round soon enough and I’ll make him crow.”

“There once was a maiden from Tarth,” sings a voice unbidden from the darkness beyond the cookfires, “who wanted to piss in the hearth. But she wasn’t a man and therefore couldn’t stand and could only bend over and farth!” This cheerful ditty comes from the throat of a tall blond man with wineskins under each arm and hung round his neck besides. “And trust me,” he says as he squats beside Almer and tosses the man one of the wineskins, “I -know- my maidens from Tarth.”

Ammon laughs with the rest and knocks the stick to the ground. And then Almer Connington speaks and Ammon’s smile slowly fades. He meets Almer’s gaze and holds it - for a moment. But the color begins to seep from his cheeks and he looks away from the knight. “Really, ser, the evening is so much more peaceful without my contributions…..” he smiles weakly - and sighs in relief as the blond man enters the fire light.

Alek grins to Ammon. “You were saved there, lad.” He says, grinning. “Very pretty, my lord. You have a decent voice.” He raises his goblet to the blond man as he joins their group.

“Maidens from Tarth? Are there any left?” Almer catches the tossed wineskin from the newcomer and gestures toward Ammon. “Congratulations, lad. Now you can see a true artist at work.” He unstops the skin and refills the pitcher.

Ser Myles laughs at the recitation from the newcomer, applauding. “Bravo! Very clever, ser, very clever!”

Myles bids goodbye to those leaving and then states, “I’ve got one.” He clears his throat.

“To the Sept in Oldtown did I Ride,
with twelve swordsmen silent beside,
I swaggered in, grinning,
and though it was sinning,
in the front bench I rogered the bride!”

Anton frowns from his position not far away from the other knights. He looks with interest to the newly arrived man and his eyes remain there even as Myles begins his song. As the Hightower knight finishes, Anton briefly looks perplexed before nodding his head as he finally gets the jest. He does not smile.

“Is it a contest?” asks the newcomer, one Crispyn of Tarth, as he uses his teeth to uncork one of the wineskins. “I’ve another one. From Oldtown, or so ‘tis said,” he adds with a nod at Myles. He downs a good bit of the wine, clears his throat, then warbles:

“A dragon has come to our village today.
We’ve asked him to leave, but he won’t go away.
Now he’s talked to our king and they worked out a deal.
No homes will he burn and no crops will he steal.

Now there is but one catch, we dislike it a bunch.
Twice a year he invites him a virgin to lunch.
Well, we’ve no other choice, so the deal we’ll respect.
But we can’t help but wonder and pause to reflect:

Do virgins taste better than those who are not?
Are they salty, or sweeter, more juicy or what?
Do you savor them slowly? Gulp them down on the spot?
Do virgins taste better than those who are not?” Then Crispyn pauses for a drink, the twinkle in his eyes making it clear there is more to come.

Rolling his eyes, Almer tosses the rest of his drink into the sizzling fire and begins pouring another. “Once he gets going, he never shuts it.”

Ammon smiles at Crispyn’s song. He draws one leg up in front of him, rests his elbow upon his knee and listens.

“You’ve got to admit, Almer, he seems to have a knack for it,” Myles laughs as the hedge knight takes a drink.

Alek grins to Almer. “I prefer this than constant speculation of wether my nephew survives, or old stories about damned Dorne.” The lion comments to the griffin. “I grow weary of them.”

Crispyn winks at Almer as he lowers the wine skin and sings on, with more voices joining in the chorus now:

“Now we’d like to be shed of you, and many have tried.
But no one can get thru your thick scaly hide.
We hope that some day, some brave knight will come by.
‘Cause we can’t wait around ‘til you’re too fat to fly.

Now you have such good taste in your women for sure,
They always are pretty, they always are pure.
But your notion of dining, it makes us all flinch,
For your favorite entree is barbecued wench.

Do virgins taste better than those who are not?
Are they salty, or sweeter, more juicy or what?
Do you savor them slowly? Gulp them down on the spot?
Do virgins taste better than those who are not?

Now we’ve found a solution, it works out so neat,
If you insist on nothing but virgins to eat.
No more will our number ever grow small,
We’ll simply make sure there’s no virgins at all!”

With that, he is finished, and raises the wineskin to whatever comes his way in return.

Anton nods as the song is finished. “A wise course of action indeed. The people of this village demonstrate an understanding of strategy that is non-existent in most of the smallfolk.” He speaks quietly, more to himself, but the wind does carry his voice to the other knights in the vicinity.

“Beautiful,” Almer replies sarcastically. “Sers… meet Ser Crispyn of Tarth, an old associate of mine. If you haven’t met him yet.” He looks at Myles. “It’s about all he has a knack for. That and whoring.”

Ser Myles laughs at the conclusion of Ser Crispyn’s tune. “Indeed? Ser Crispyn, we shall have to have a drink when we return to the Landing.”

Then he focuses his gaze on Anton, a queer look on his face, as though he heard something odd.

Crispyn bows his head to Myles. “He says that like it’s a bad knack to have, but I don’t hear him complaining when my sword’s got his back in a fight,” he says in a lamenting tone, clapping his hand to his heart. “Come on, pretty boy,” he says to Almer. “You’ve a sweet voice and I’ve heard songs out of you would turn a pretty girl into a hag to hear it. What do you say, lads?” he asks the rest of them, raising his wineskin like a goblet.

Alek gets distracted by Anton’s words, also. “Ser Anton! Stop being depressed over there and come join us!” He calls. To his fellows, the Reyne knght drops his voice. “Ser Anton has an unhealthy distaste for Smallfolk, I fear. Or so the rumours go.”

Ammon smiles and applauds for Crispyn of Tarth. “Well sung, Ser Crispyn. Well sung!” And then, the squire looks to Alek. “Ser, I share your sentiments on old, done tales. Song and wine and laughter….” he cuts off as Anton’s words are carried to him and raises a quizzical brow.

“Damn fool.” Setting aside his cup, Almer glares at Crispyn, then clears his throat. “This is an old song from the Bay of Storms.” He begins, his voice surprisingly good, if untrained.

“That night I rode in glorious style,
And other things besides,
And on her lily white stomach, Boys,
I had such lovely rides
But when I woke next morning, Boys,
My instrument was sore
As if I had been using it
On the keyhole in the door.

The keyhole in the door,
My boys, the keyhole in the door
As if I had been using it
On the keyhole in the door…

Be warned by this, young sailormen
And listen unto me,
What I caught then, no fishermen
Have ever caught at sea
Beware the pox, the hidden rocks,
That lie in wait ashore,
It’s safer far to bend your spar
In the keyhole in the door.

The keyhole in the door,
My boys, the keyhole in the door
It’s safer far to bend your spar
In the keyhole in the door!”

Anton frowns at Alek’s words but does walk towards the group of knights slowly. “I am not depressed, Ser Alek. This is my usual expression.” As Almer’s song ends, Anton blinks his eyes and shakes his head. “Is this person riding a beast of some kind? I am afraid I do not understand, my lord.” Anton does add, “you sing very well, Ser Almer. A good skill to have.”

There is a gust of laughter at the Connington knight’s song; the weary, honest laughs of men snatching a moment of ease on a hard road. At the edge of the fire’s circle, the light licks along the tall, lean figure of the black-clad man leaning against a tree-trunk, arms crossed against his chest. His eyes are lidded, head tipped against the rough bark, but there’s a smile quirking his mouth.

At Anton’s question, he stirs, raising his voice from where he is: “A beast of a kind, ser. It’s a difficult one to catch. You’ll need sweet promises or gold to spare. The ride’s worth it, though.”

Ser Myles applauds. “A capital choice, Ser Almer. I do believe that was one of my cousin at the Bronzegate’s favorites; I have not heard it in quite some time.”

With that the Hightower knight takes another drink, and his brow furrows in concentration as he searches for another verse, uttering an absent-minded “Ser Dagur” as the Iron Serpent arrives.

Crispyn roars with laughter, and surrenders one of his wineskins to Almer. “Another!” he calls out; though he gives Anton a wicked smile, he says nothing to discomfit the man. “Let’s have another! Perhaps the Iron Serpent will clear his gills a while to sing something sweet from the Iron Islands! Or let’s have something from the Westerlands. Surely you don’t -all- dream of gold.”

Let me tell you something, lads, and something plain to see,
There is naught diff’rent, my lord, between you and me!
Dragons fly and wolves howl,
Stags graze and lions roar,
But all men fall prey, my lord, to the pretty whore.

That song comes from the most unlikely source. Uttered from the lips of Albin Sarsfield, Ser Alek’s squire. Alek blinks at the teen, but grins. “Seven hells, lad. Where’d you hear that?”

The Sarsfield lad blushes red and moves to sit by his knight. “I heard Ser Leon singing it.” He explains, taking a gulp of wine.

Anton stands tall as Dagur speaks up and bows formally in the other man’s direction. “My lord, I did not notice you there. Alas, I have neither promises nor gold, I guess I will just continue riding a horse.”

Letting Anton’s question—and Dagur’s explanation—hang in the night, Almer merely takes another drink and settles back against his upturned saddle. He nods to Dagur, and then laughs as Albin pipes in. “Truer words were seldom spoken. Or sung, as it were.”

Ammon looks up towards Dagur as the Ironman speaks and raises a hand in salute. “Evening, Ser,” he says with a nod. He doesn’t rise, but he does relax somewhat as he watches the exchange with Ser Anton.

Ser Myles raises a cup to his uncle’s squire. As a lull comes about, he clears his throat and starts another,

“I gave her inches one,
Shove it home, shove it home
I gave her inches one
Shove it home
I gave her inches one
She said “Ser, ain’t in fun,
Put your belly next to mine
and shove it home.”

I gave her inches two
She said “Ser, I love you

I gave her inches three
She said “Ser, I got to pee

I gave her inches four
She said “Ser, I want more

I gave her inches five
She said “Ser, look alive

I gave her inches six
She said “I’ve seen bigger pricks

I gave her inches seven
She said “Golly, ain’t it heaven

I gave her inches eight
She said “Ser, ain’t this great?

I gave her inches nine,
She said “Ser, ain’t it fine?

I gave her inches ten
She said “Can’t you come again?

I gave her inches twenty
She said “Ser, that’s-a-plenty,
Put your pecker in your pants,
And shove off home!”

The Hightower knight finishes off the rest of his wine as a punctuation to the end of his song.

“I doubt you’d want the kind of song I know,” the Iron Serpent calls back drily to Crispyn. “Reaving songs will make your ears bleed. Or draw steel.”

To Anton he merely says, “Your loss, ser.” And raising a hand in acknowledgement to his squire, he settles back against the trunk to hear Myles.

Alek grins at his squire as the poor lad seems to relax slightly, looking less red in the face as Myles acknowledges his song, smiling widely. The Reyne knight raises his goblet in salute to Dagur, but settles to listen to his nephew.

As the laughter from Myles’ song dies down, another voice cuts in, rough and with so many accents jumbled like a tangled ball of twine that it’s impossible to tell where the man actually might be from: “Never you mind, ser. I’ll sing for the islands. Hells, I have a song meant special for you.” The small, pockmarked man who’s spoken from the other side of the fire pauses to drink from the aleskin he’s holding. Dagur uses the interruption for a resigned: “Go on then, Poxy. Don’t keep me waiting.”

And grinning—it makes his face look an imp’s mask in the firelight—the other man sings in a surprisingly deep, tuneful voice:

Bring out the mead, mother. I’m so thirsty, mother
Bring out the sheep I’m so lonely tonight
Bring out the sheets of samite, bring out the whale butter
Pyke’s forever but Saltcliffe’s depraved!

Bring out the mead, mother. I’m so thirsty, mother
Bring out the seals I’m so restless tonight
Bring out my little brother, I’ll have no other lover
Pyke’s forever but Saltcliffe’s depraved!

Bring out the mead, mother. I’m so thirsty, mother
Bring out the grease, I’m feeling frisky tonight
Bring out my little sister, Gods knows I’ve really missed her
Pyke’s forever but Saltcliffe’s depraved!

Bring out the mead, mother. I’m so thirsty, mother
Bring out the prize ram I’m so randy tonight

And when I’m done with humpin’, we’ll all feast on mutton
Pyke’s forever but Saltcliffe’s depraved!

Out in the fields of heather, bring out the whips of leather
Whip me most soundly lassie and hear me rave
Down where the streams a’ winding, bring out the ropes for binding
Pyke’s forever but Saltcliffe’s depraved!

As the Iron Serpent wraps up his tune, Almer nods soberly. “Well, that makes sense,” he murmurs into his cup. “And on that note, I’m for the cot. Good night, sers, and my thanks for the entertainment.” He gets to his feet, offers a somewhat unsteady bow, and ambles off toward the tents, wineskin in hand.

There is a moment of somewhat thick silence when the song’s done, and more than a few eyes turn to where the Iron Serpent leans against the tree. Save the singer himself who spits a glob of phlegm into the fire, unconcerned, then drinks deep of the ale again.

Dagur stares at Poxy Alan for a moment—and then throws back his head, laughing long and freely. The pockmarked man grins and raises his aleskin in salute to the ironman.

Shaking his head still, the ironman raises a hand to Almer as the Connington knight takes his leave.

Ser Myles laughs and applauds, yawning for the first time tonight. “Bravo!”

Ammon stands as Myles finishes his song, smiling wryly. “Ah, sers, excuse me. I’ve a watch to stand.” The squire bows to each man in turn and begins to walk away when Poxy Alan starts his song. Ammon stops, his back to the fire, listening. At the song’s completion he adds his voice to the laughter. Shaking his head, but still chuckling, Ammon moves off to stand his watch…...

Albin shifts lightly as the song is concluded before piping up once more. “I’ve remembered the rest of the song.” The young squire says. He clears his throat:

And roar in outrage, those lords doth roar,
Should I continue this a wee bit more.

Something else that’s true, lads, and also plain to see,
There is naught diff’rent, my lord, between you and me.
Stars fall and Suns are speared,
The stag and the rose are right to be feared,
But, when night falls, and All’s said and done,
They’ll all romp rightly, ‘til the night be done!

And roar in outrage, those lords doth roar,
Should I continue this for a wee bit more.

One more thing that’s true, lads, and also plain to see,
There is naught diff’rent, my lord, between you and me.
Krakens surge forth from islands to the east,
To pillage and plunder and rape, at least!
To face the oxen of fires on the shores,
both shall war, like forever more!

With that, the young Sarsfield lad shuts his mouth, blushing again.

Crispyn of Tarth, who has drunk he way through one wineskin and started on a second, laughs uproariously at each song. “By the Gods, this is good fun!” he says approvingly, wiping wine from his chin with the back of his hand.

“Very nice, Albin,” Myles calls out at the end of the song.

Then stretching and standing, he belches from too much wine. “I am turning in, sers. A welcome change of pace tonight. Morning comes early, you know.”

And with a last bow to those gathered, Ser Myles departs.

Anton looks at the various knights gathered around and nods solemnly. “Good singers, are you all. The night is late however, and we likely have another early start the next morning. Excuse me, my lords.” With that, he also heads off to his own tent, bowing to the other knights before he does so.

“I think the stag and the rose had the better of it,” is all the ironman says to Albin’s song. And then he too is gone, pushing away from the tree and fading into the night without another word.