(121-01-22) In a Dark Alley
In a Dark Alley
Summary: A very drunk Thane find himself the subject of a practical joke, and runs into a few unexpected faces in an alley near the Quill and Tankard.
Date: 121-01-22

It is closing time at the Quill and Tankard for the regulars and not the guests in any event. Service has slowed to the point where many have already left and the chill night is what has awaited most of them. A lady in a shawl a few might recognise drinking a bottle of mead to keep her warm - she watches the tavernfolk leaving with the detached amusement of someone mildly tipsy.

A flapping raven precedes the stumbling emergence of a ginger-haired maester. On nights like these, some begin to wonder if this isn't the reason Thane favors a walking staff. It certain is useful for keeping him upright when he's drunk himself crooked. He shuffles across the footbridge, managing not to drop himself into the Honeywine, but pauses as he reaches the street, leaning on the staff. As the raven flaps back to his shoulder, he mutters. "No…s'stayin' in…"

Isador from her perch off in a side street puts on a common girls voice to drag the Maester off the main thoroughfare and to her location for a tiny bit of mischief. "'elp sah 'elp - I've 'urt me leg!" She projects her voice at Thane stifling a giggle. And attempting to get him alone. It is unlikely anybody else would have the skills to help a poor wounded girl in the sorry bunch leaving the tavern as it stands.

Thane perks up at the cries for help, squinting and trying to focus his eyes. But in the darkness, and the bleariness of his besotted vision, he cannot quite make out who is calling to him. He shuffles toward the sound of the voice, partly feeling his way along with his staff. "Fine, fine…I'm coming," he grumbles. "Don't move. Jus' shtay where…there."

"In ere sah…" Isador makes sure her voice sounds sufficiently distressed, "Furthah into the alley." It might sound suspicious but other than on top of the crates - Isador's lofty perch there are few places a crowd sufficiently large enough to jump the maester might be hiding. And what would they steal anyway. Isador waits to spring.

As they approach the alley, the raven takes flight, alighting upon a ledge high above. Thane shambles deeper into the shadows, heedless of any potential danger. "Right…try no' to move it." As he nears enough to make out Isador upon her throne of crates, he furrows his brow and squints up at her. "What're…where's it hurt?"

Isador breaks out in a hideous laugh cutting herself on her brambles she continues to laugh evilly - her features obscured by her shawl. Then in a startling display of power she 'floats' down blocking the entrance to the alleyway. She remains out of the light - a dark figure - blocking Thane's way out. He is trapped!

"What in the-…" Thane looks on, more baffled than frightened, possibly too drunk to realize when he should be concerned. "What are you on about, woman?" He rubs his eyes and stares at her like she must be the drunk one.

The figure merely blocks his way. "We are sooo lost in the darkness!!" she hisses in one voice. "We neeeds company yes we do!!!" in another. "The Maester will join us!! He will join us forever!!!"

Thane stares on, his bemusement turning to amusement, but even that quickly fades. "Enough. Did Maester Orvil put you up to this? That nossensicle little twat." He strides toward her (or, he thinks he's striding…it's more of a shuffle), extending a hand to push her aside if need be.

Isador races forward suddenly going for the jump scare in the failure of everything else. "Boo!!!" she says.

Nothing like a good jump scare to startle the unwary. Of course…the wary are a different matter. Especially when they're intoxicated and carrying large sticks. Recoiling reflexively, Thane shouts a wordless protest and swings his staff wildly in self defense.

Isador steps back and lets the drunk man swing, "Oh you're no fun to trick - no fun at all," says the blood witch in an all too familiar voice. She does not try to retaliate. "Too skeptical…" she says.

Thane takes a few stumbling steps to recover his balance. That voice…ahh, it makes sense now. "Hrmph. I'm not skeptical, witch. I'm learned. I know the fucking difference 'tween a true horror and a madwoman screaminin' in an alley." He leans on his staff, glaring at her with irritation.

"I did fly you know," Isador says bandaging up her injured hand - no doubt where she drew the blood. "Flying usually does the trick — scares even the toughest." Canting her head, "Well okay I didn't fly but I did hover - most witches cant even do that. That wasn't scary?"

Thane snorts, shaking his head. "Child, you are a pale shadow of a real witch." From the leather satchel hanging from his shoulder he produces a small glass phial. He pulls the stopper free, and waves it under his nose, causing him to recoil and squint. "Your inexperience and naivete is demonstrated in that you even try to be scary, or mysterious, or show off your power. A true practitioner need not put on a mummer's show…and knows better than to do so." Blinking his vision into focus, he stares at her with noticeably more sobriety.

"Well I do spend more time carving toys for children - but people pay me money to do that and don't go all superstitious on me. Enough money to make me comfortable. So I fall behind on my practice. Gascoign always lamented that I did that - but in Braavos I was not running a business with my wasted time but sleeping around." Isador cants her head at him, "I was looking for you…" she says with a slight smile.

At the far end of a darkened alley, Thane is "cornered" by Isador, eyeing her critically. "You found me. What do you want, girl?" His words still have a slight slur to them, but there is the usual edge to his tone as well.

Eonn has come up from the south, walking. He's taking his time about it, cats at his feet.

"It's not what I want - merely something I had to offer you. Things have been too tense for me to pass it on lately - I could not pass it on when you were saying 'piss off Maegi' of course. I used to have dreams like you - at a young age they turned me to drink. As soon as it was available. That was until Gascoign adopted me. I have no idea whether your dreams are what tethers you to the bottle or whether the matter runs deeper than that but I wanted to give you a choice at least. It is what I use to kill the dreams. Not as self deletorious as drink. A bunch of herbs some of them difficult to find - but the citadel should already have them in stock. A solution on hand then should you choose to try it. It's not a peace offering… I know your /opinion/ of me - just think of it as something from one prescient to another. It worked for me - I hope you try it and it works for you. That is all I guess…" Isador making an effort in her irritating little way. In the moonlight with her alabaster skin the redhead looks younger than she even is. A child as Thane called her barely into her twenties. She has yet to notice Eonn. She takes a sip from her mead.

Eonn stops, silent, listening to the voices from the alley.

Thane nods patiently, with an entirely impatient expression on his scruffy face. "Dreams, child? I haven't the slightest idea what you're talking about. Now, is there anything else? I think I've had enough of your witchcraft for one evening."

"Greendreams, visions, prophecies." Isador says handing him a small sheet of paper with some ingredients written on it. "In case you grow tired of the bottle to take the edge off…" she says smiling. "Call it a gift…" she says.

Eonn stays silent, standing there.

While traveling the city, Bryn often chooses the back alleys rather than the main roads, those gaps between buildings offering safety from the guards who would, back before he had clean clothes to wear, harass him when he entered the richer parts of town. Though he no longer looks like a homeless urchin, he still has those habits, and making his way towards The Citadel he ends up stepping into the alley where Thane and Isador talk. He pauses as soon as he sees them, however.

Thane does not reach for the paper. His eyes never leave her face — her mouth, specifically. He never looks Isador in the eyes. "What I grow tired of is your incessant meddling and stunning lack of wisdom. Good evening." With a gruff harumph, he moves to pass her and leave the alley, only to balk at the sight of other figures in his path.

Eonn simply stays there. He might be recognizable, even as a shadow, being so tall and thin.

Isador sighs and looks sad remaining in the alleyway, "I try I do… I try so hard. If I help it is 'meddling'." She is quiet so quiet and she leans back talking to herself, "And if I stay out of things I am 'heartless' or 'planning something'." Climbing back up to her elevated perch and taking another drink of mead - Isa lies back and looks at the stars that have suddenly appeared.

Eonn is standing on the street at the mouth of a dark alley. Just standing there. As it happens, listening to the conversation within. The others can't be seen, as yet.

Ariston steps out of the Quill and Tankard, scowling back over his shoulder. "Disgraceful," he mutters, hand resting on the pommel of his sword. He slings some errand drops of cider from his hand, then looks up to see Eonn. He pauses for a moment but says nothing.

Bryn, unlike Eonn, had stepped all the way into the alley, so he's plain in Thane's view. So, he gives a little wave, "Maester Thane, I was just coming to look for you." He glances, curiously, passed him towards Isador, but just for a moment.

Eonn glances back at the sound of Ariston's voice. He bows slightly to the man. "My lord. What is it?"

Thane blinks in surprise to find Bryn here…but perhaps it shouldn't be so surprising. He follows Bryn's gaze to Isador behind him, and shakes his head to the boy. "Best not to let your curiosity get the better of you with that one, lad. Why were you looking for me?" He glances up to the lanky silhouette at the mouth of the alley, tensing, but relaxing at the sound of Eonn's voice. He continues his path, dropping a hand to try to usher Bryn along with him.

"There are a couple of smallfolk brawling in there," Ariston complains. "Tankards are being thrown, one of them has set his dog on the other — it's completely absurd."

Eonn sighs rather heavily. "I guess there will be no peace," he says. He moves to lean against the wall near the mouth of that alley.

Bryn turns his attention back to Thane quickly, "I made my decision. Actually, I made it yesterday, but then Eonn took me and Keli out in a rowboat and I fell asleep before I got to come see you."

"Well, certainly not in there, that's for certain." Ariston seems very much put out.

Thane lifts his brow at Bryn. "You've decided already? Are you sure, lad? I don't want you to rush things." He pauses, crouching to look Bryn in the eye. "Well, go on. Tell me what you've decided."

Isador is gone almost as soon as Than has the conversation with the urchin as if "by magic".
Isador has disconnected.

Eonn watches the woman go, with narrowed eyes.

Bryn nods, "I'm sure. Like you said, not deciding my whole life, just for now, you said I can change my mind before I take my vows. So, for now, I want to learn at the Citadel."

Complaint aired, Ariston seems more or less satisfied, not that the situation in the pub is going to be improved by his displeasure. But at least someone heard that he was annoyed. He nods vaguely toward Eonn and strikes off in search of a quieter watering hole.

Eonn glances to Ariston, shrugs. "I won't stop them. I'd sooner get paid." He smiles, a little sourly.

Ariston shrugs back at Eonn. "Who would expect you to?" he replies on his way.

Thane smiles, clapping Bryn on the shoulder. "You've made a fine choice, lad. You won't regret it. Whole worlds will open up to you in time." He rises to his feet. "Have you decided when you will come to the Citadel? I'll be glad to get you situation, myself."

"You'd be surprised," Eonn tells Ariston, quietly. He looks over at Thane and Bryn, and smiles a bit.

Bryn smiles brightly in return. Then he nods and says, "I'd like to start as soon as I can. Especially since Lady Mormont and Eonn think sooner is better, with.. what's going on. But… I haven't told Lady Banefort yet what I decided." He sounds a little nervous about the prospect of that conversation.

"Then let me make a suggestion," Thane says, moving closer to Eonn, since he was apparently an influence on this decision. "Go back to the Watercliff Manse tonight. You needn't say anything. I will come tomorrow to collect you, and you can tell her then. That is, if it would be easier to talk to her with me present."

Eonn turns to look down the alley at the pair.

Bryn glances up to Eonn as they get closer, giving a smile, but then looks back up to Thane and thinks about that suggestion a moment. Then he nods quickly and says "Good idea. It will be easier with you there, I think."

Thane nods. "Then it's decided. I'll come by three hours after dawn. That should give you time to break your fast. I suspect Lady Banefort will want to make arrangements with me right away about your visitation. But I am not in a position to make such decisions yet. Suffice to say that your first few weeks will be intensive, young man. Prepare yourself."

Eonn frowns slightly, watching the two openly now.

Bryn looks curiously up to Thane and asks, "Intensive? What do you mean? What'll I be doing?" Then, out of nowhere, he asks, sounding a little hopeful, "Oh, the chores… would one of them be something like lighting the kitchen fires?" Glancing up to Eonn he notices the man's expression, "What's wrong?"

Thane nods. "Perhaps. But I was also referring to your studies. You'll be tested, to determine what you know, so we know where to begin teaching you." He arches an eyebrow at Eonn, his expression mirroring Bryn's question.

"Nothing, lad," says Eonn, smiling again. "I only hope that your lady will not be too, mm, adamant."

Bryn blinks, "Oh. They won't kick me out if I don't know enough, right? 'Cause I've only been taking lessons with Lady Banefort for a few weeks. I'm picking up reading good, but I haven't actually read much yet. Most of what I know comes from the stories my mum used to tell me."

He then nods quickly to Eonn, "Hope she isn't too."

Thane chuckles, shaking his head. "They won't kick you out, lad. Not unless you demonstrate an unwillingness to learn. But that doesn't seem to be a problem for you."

Bryn smiles again in relief, and shakes his head quickly, "Won't be a problem, I promise. I like learning new things. Even when they hurt, like sword practice with Aeron."

Eonn stands near the mouth of an alley, watching Bryn and Thane. He nods approvingly.

Maera appears into view, one of her Mormont men-at-arms in tow. She heads across the square towards the Quill and Tankard without noticing Eonn in the alley. Bryn and Thane get a brief look, followed by a respectful dip of the head.

"Good. I would offer to walk you home, lad…but I wouldn't want Lady Banefort smelling my breath just now." Thane smirks, chuckling. "I will see you tomorrow morn." Thane looks skyward, and from its perch above, the raven that so often accompanies him flaps down to alight on his shoulder. Spotting Lady Mormont, he returns the nod, and makes his way out of the alley to head back to the Citadel.

Bryn nods and grins, "Alright. Good night!" Spotting Maera, he, too, waves, then glances up to Eonn.

Eonn steps out of the darkness to move towards Maera.

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