(121-01-16) Plotting
Summary: Maera, Eonn, and Thane make plans for a dangerous mission.
Date: 121-01-16
Related: Black Sick

Sailmaker's Manse, Appletree Wynd

This modest stone manse is well appointed, with three levels, each about thirty feet square.

The lowest includes a main hall with a massive stone fireplace, and an exit into the stable. There are no windows facing the wynd, but an arched door and wide windows give a view of a walled garden in the back. The back garden wall is the wall of a house the next alley over, and its windows and those of the surrounding residences might offer a view of the garden, but no access.

The floors above house several chambers of varying sizes, a few with fireplaces joining the single big chimney.

"Nor I." Maera admits as she looks up from her sharpening. "I think we do need him, but I'm afraid we'll spend half our time trying to keep him alive if we run into trouble."

"It might not be that bad," says Eonn. "He's not stupid. I wonder if he can ride."

As if on cue, Thane arrives. He will be greeted at the door by a stout woman in her forties who remembers the chalk symbols he drew around the house, and will eye him with a measure of suspicion and disgust. The cook leads him into the main room where Maera is busy sharpening her weaponry. The Valyrian sword Longclaw is laid out along with daggers and other sundries. Eonn stands in the doorframe. She looks up from her dagger to say, "Well, this is opportune."

Thane doesn't wait for introductions, striding into the room as if he belongs there. "Lady Mormont. I'd like a word." He pauses, eyeballing the collection of weaponry laid out. "What in seven hells are you up to?"

Eonn looks over at Thane. He's wearing a 'what did I do now?' expression.

"Preparing myself." Maera says with a thin little smile. She stands up from her chair, and sits her dagger down on the table, "Alone or may Eonn remain?"

Thane stares at Eonn for a moment of indecision. He doesn't verbally approve of the sellsword's presence, but neither does he try to send the man away. "There are two things. First, I need two teeth from a watchdog. Perhaps three. Preferably an excellent watchdog. Second, the matter of the Braavosi banker. Master Malti. I've learned where he is staying. It's information I thought you'd like to have."

Eonn stays where he is. He raises his eyebrows.

"I hope you mean a literal watchdog, and not figuratively." Maera says at the odd request, "My men are quite fond of their teeth." She nods once to this, "I believe my business with Master Malti is at an end. He's been most helpful, and I would feel badly for harassing him."

"Yes, of course I mean a literal watchdog." Maester Thane says, a hint of protest in his voice. "Or several watchdogs. It needn't be all from the same one. As for Malti, so be it. But I may continue to observe him for a few days, just to be certain."

"Malti," says Eonn, as if to himself.

"You could do that." Maera says with a little nod, "And potentially…well, probably waste your time. Or, you could come with us to look for the long-armed man in the woods."

Thane goes dead silent for a moment. The spark of curiosity lights a fire in his eyes. His research has turned up nothing so far, so the prospect of actually locating this strange being is a lure he can scarcely resist. "I'm listening. I assume you have some notion of how to handle him? You seemed to suggest he was inhumanly strong, not to mention agile and quite adept at vanishing."

Eonn nods. "Can you ride?" he asks.

"I don't." Maera says with a little shake of her head, "I've not even seen him up close. I do, however, know that if we do not seek this man out he may attack with his poisons again. It may be a village or it may even be Oldtown itself. This cannot be allowed to happen."

"Assuming the poison was his. A fair assumption, but not a foregone conclusion." Thane looks to Eonn with a nod. "I can ride. I don't often, but I can. Whatever happens, we'll need a plan. How is your bowmanship? Either of you. It may be a better way to engage him than blades up close."

"Terrible," says Eonn. "Can you fight?"

"I'm good with a bow." Maera says somewhat modestly.

Thane sighs. "I can defend myself," he says with a thunk of his staff on the floor. "But I'm no warrior. Lady Mormont, perhaps we could coat an arrowhead with a potent concoction of sweetsleep. It may not put him out, but it might slow him, weaken him, giving the two of you an advantage if it comes to close combat or a chase."

"We could do better than that," says Eonn, thoughtfully. He looks at Thane with some interest. Appearantly he likes the idea.

"What could we do besides for sweetsleep?" Maera asks with a curious glance to Eonn, "We want to take him alive if that is possible. For all we know there could be more of them or there is a complex plot afoot."

"Plenty of things that will work more quickly than sweetsleep," says Eonn. "I hadn't thought of it. I don't want to leave traps in the wood and I can't shoot respectably. I do not think he'll be easy to hit."

"Then we may have to rely upon you to acquire such things, Eonn," Thane says. "I only have access to so much. Sweetsleep, nightshade to confuse him, even a strong does of milk of the poppy can be powerful. But all of these are best delivered by ingestion. I fear I don't usually truck in 'medicines' that can be delivered by arrow."

"You may not be a good shot." Maera says to Eonn, "But I am. I suspect I hit him the other day, but can't be certain." She frowns thoughtfully, "I wish I knew his motivations. Maester, you must have books on these Warlocks?"

Eonn nods. "Medicines," he says, "Are not what I truck in at all. I will see. This should not be so difficult."

Thane arches an eyebrow. "The warlocks of the House of the Undying? I do, assuming this man was one of them. So far I've not found anything related to what you've described. But then, they don't exactly go about actively sharing their secrets for men like me to learn. But I'll continue my research. In fact, I should return to that, if we're to be leaving…er…when did you say you wanted to have this hunt?"

"As soon as possible." Maera says to Thane, "The next few days, even."

Eonn grimaces a little.

Thane nods sharply. "Then I'll dedicate myself to this. Also, those teeth. If you can acquire them, they are to be used to ward off the blood witch's magic. Though I fear they may be ineffective against the warlocks. That is something else entirely." He nods curtly to each of them, and as abrputly as he entered, Maester Thane strides out.

Eonn watches Thane depart. He sighs. Then he goes over to the fireplace and sits on the hearth.

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