(121-03-06) The Razing of Wickhams Nest
The Razing of Wickham's Nest
Summary: The events of the Night Wickham's Nest was razed.
Date: 09/03/2014
Related: Wickham's Nest

Wickham's Nest is a well appointed hall lodged amid light woods in a shallow canyon at the roots of the Red Mountains. Secluded enough for a respite from responsibilities, but well appointed enough to host a truly merry revel. It is three hours past sunset on a warm night as Ser Eryk Cockshaw dismisses his squires and retires from the evening's feast with the guest of honor. "Alas that we could not land a stag today, my dear. But I feel we shall be luckier tomorrow, don't you?"

"It is a pity after you spoke of them so highly here, tempting me out," the Lady Yael Blackmont notes in amusement, accent musical with a little rasp. She slides her fingers over the edge of a goblet, crook of her smile causing the line of her scar to deepen on her upper lip. His guest of honor is as red and gold as the sunset in gown that dips low in the front, edged by thick bands of gold embroidery and pattern. A coiling snake spires around her wrist, red eyes winking as the firelight catches them. "I should hope, we might at least see them. Although the pheasant is delicious and your woods pleasant for a day's pursuit."

"If the pheasant has been pleasant, my lady will surely delight in the night," Eryk lilts with a broad smile. His younger brother doesn't have sole ownership of bad poetry, it seems. An elaborate bow to the Dornishwoman, as the door to the grand bedroom is opened, a goblet and fresh bottle of whichever wine Yael had favored dangling from his right hand. The minor clatter of a dropped dish reaches the ear from the direction of the main hall, where dinner had just been served. A brief crash of broken crockery followed by a muffled curse.

"My Lord, you cause me to reconsider with verse such as that," Yael muses, arching her brows sharply as she draws her fingertips along the underside of her jaw. "I do not think you will find your place in a theater nor a stage." She moves slowly in a whisper of fine fabrics, the neat spiralling lengths of her hair falling to a point at her back. There is little of the wildness of earlier, tearing through the trees at his side on horse black. That crook of a smile broadens at his elaborate bow, and she gestures briefly for her servant to take the snake that she has had wrapped around the opposite wrist that lacks a bracelet through the course of dinner. A few long strides put her near his side, the length of her skirts whispering over the floor before she pauses at the crash. "The drink has gotten to them already." Pathetic.

Eryk laughs, genuinely amused by the response, "Fortunately I seek no such place, I am all too happy on the back of a horse and the down of a cushion-" the crash does draw an irritated look, but his eye is drawn swiftly back to Yael as she divests herself of the snake. The newly freed hand is taken in his with a languid sweep of his own, drawing the lady's fingers to his lips. Only to be interrupted by a call of, "Ser Eryk!" A terse exhale followed by a bemused arch of his own brow, and the knight suggests, "Perhaps my lady should retire within. Be assured this will not keep me from your side for more than a handful of heartbeats."

The gentle press of her fingers to his lips sweeps Yael forward in turn, gliding closer. "One might only hope you are as skilled on the down of the cushion," Yael counters impishly, dark eyes almost daring him to ignore the distraction. She sighs with annoyance at the call outwards for him. "Can they not handle it themselves?" Impatience thickens her wry tone, accent heavy as the desert sands. "If you must," she allows grudgingly, turning away from him to sweep towards the bed chamber within. Her maid is bidden forward with an sharp flit of fingers.

"Fear not, my lovely," Eryk smiles, "I'm fond of hunting, but the down is my finest field." A brief quiver of one eyelid as she tempts him to remain, before sweeping off into the bedchamber, a small sound of appreciation in the bottom of his throat escapes his composure before abruptly turning and stalking toward the dining hall, under his breath, the Cockshaw heir growls, "Someone had better be dead, or else someone is about to be." Once Yael's maid slips inside, the door falls closed, sealing off most sounds of the outer hall.

"I look forward to seeing you at your best then," she whispers, withdrawing her fingers from Eryk's with a drag of their tips across his palm. At the fall of the door Yael rolls her eyes with impatient ire, beckoning her maid and more importantly her snake closer. "You would think they would manage their household more carefully than to interrupt their Lord," she opines sharply in Dornish, extending her hand so that the snake slithers onto it easily as she seats herself on the bed. "Hello, my love." She greets the small creature with a smile, stroking a finger down its head.

The distraction outside is lost to the ear for several long moments, the quality of the walls, doors, and windows doing much to muffle any sounds without, but a shrill exchange from the corridor without does reach her ear. A thump on the wall from the adjacent room also earns brief note, before steps approach the bedchamber door from without, purposefully. The handle is turned and the elegant door flung open on its well kept hinges to reveal a tallish warrior armored in maile, a naked longsword in hand and running from it's point in red.

Fingers still in stroking her favored pet, mouth pursing in a frown as shrill exchange and thumping are followed by steps approaching with purchase. Yael rises to her full height, moderate but proud with her shoulders straight and chin angled like a queen, taking a soft step forward. Her dark eyes flash towards the intruder, shrouded in red and gold as she is, gaze catching on the bloodied blade. "How dare you," she commands, accent thick. "Where is Lord Cockshaw?"

The intruder straightens at the sight and command, head tilting to a slight angle within its helm, and the words are spoken- sounding jarringly amused- "Huh. Well this is unexpected." A pass of the warrior's regard around the room, noting the maid, and quickly searching for any others, as he turns to instruct over one shoulder (never fully prying his eye from Yael) "Move, check the next." Yael's last demand is left to hang a moment longer than needed as the warrior steps inside the bedchamber. "Ser Eryk is at supper. He lost his last meal, you see." The words are not sinister in tone, in fact sounding rather jovial.

Expression so chill as to freeze the blood in his bones, Yael scowls in the way only a noblewoman can with her features lovely and placid and fire in her eyes. There is only the one maid at her side, who steps towards her Lady chattering in Dornish. The snake coiling around Yael's brown wrist hisses in warning, tongue flittering like a bannerman's flag. Testing the air. "How…unfortunate," she offers at the news of Ser Eryk's death, thumb sliding along the base of her pet's tail. "On your blade, I suppose."

"For Ser Eryk, yes," the warrior admits to their host's misfortune. "But you.. are a surprise. Who is this, that supposes I slew him?" Idly, he touched the bloodied swordpoint to the rugs underfoot, leaning on the weapon like a walking stick and tapping his armored thumb on the flat of the blade in thought. *tink tink tink*

"Who is it to comes to slay a man of his realm, a Lord no less?" Yael counters, shifting back on her foot as the man approaches. Her maid darts forward loyally admonishing him in sharp Dornish. "No one but another Lord." She furrows her brow, eyes dark with mislike. "I am Lady Yael Blackmont."

A merry little chuckle answers her deduction, as the intruder sketches a short bow of 'you got me'. A distracted look at the bold maid, who he wholly ignores afterward and he speaks to, "Lady Yael Blackmont, a true pleasure to make your acquaintance." A tone of bemused distraction colors his next speech, "I offer you a wager, Lady of Dorne: I give you three guesses to name my purpose here. If you guess correctly then you, your snake, and your little servent girl can be on your way, free as you please. If you do not guess correctly, you will come away from here with me. Have we an understanding?"

"I seem to have no choice," Yael counters coolly for all the fire in her eyes, stroking her thumb along the back of her snake. "You acknowledge it but you do not give me your name." Her brow furrows and she does not curtsey nor offer appropriate greeting of his own nobility, but for a sweep of her hand. "You came to murder." Clearly.

"I'll tell you, if you like, Lady.. though knowledge of me would be quite dangerous," the blood spattered warrior notes, lightly. A shake of the helmed head at her first deduction. "Ah, but I could have murder in many places. It is not simple love of slaughter which brings me here. Your first guess is spent, Lady."

Dark eyes narrow, the point of her brows sharpening as she looks down to the blood that covers his figure. "You say that as if your presence is not the same." Yael's mouth firms in a line. One gone. Not one incorrect. "Not so many, a mix of nobles all attending the same hunt. Deep in the wilderness and without aide. Retribution then. Some feud?"

"Oh, I do not deny that I am a dangerous man, Lady mine. But like a potent drug, danger must be taken in moderation, lest you die." The intruder's voice retains its bouyant tone, as though laughing at his own gravity. A second time, he shakes his head. "I held no bad blood with any of those who die this night. Ser Eryk was a rather enjoyable sort, even if he was a bloody fool who couldn't hunt a hare with two hawks and a head start. Your second guess is spent. Do be sure to spend the last wisely," he advises knowingly.

"I am not your Lady." Yael's correction is swift and commanding. It is not a shout, merely spoken with power and focus. Her dark eyes slide towards her maid, the old woman at her side offering some degree of a blockade between her and this man. "The third…" Licking her lips, tongue dragging over her scar, she muses over the third option. "If not revenge, not simplicity, then you do this because there is power to be gained in these deaths. Likely political." Her mouth twists with amusement at the corner. "I do presume there was no woman involved. You speak too enjoyably of the man you just murdered, even if he was not well at the hawk." Or she doesn't think he could steal one. One or the other and irony set deeply in both.

"Not until your last guess is spent," the warrior returns, smiling behind his helm to Yael's protest of not being his. Her latter words are met with appreciation, "Oh, a valiant last effort, Lady mine.. vague enough to hedge your wagers, while still dangling just enough substance to hint at something greater. Why, you even worked in a fourth guess toward the end, thinking I might not notice the separation. Truly, yours is a lively wit, and I salute it." The longsword is swept up in a flourish that adds a jaunty touch to his gory form. "Yet, alas: your last guess is spent amiss. By your word, you are now my prisoner, shall we walk forth as gentlefolk, or…?"

Yael's eyes are flat as she looks up at the blank planes of his helm. Never. The word is written clearly in them for him to see. Bold and defiant. The snake on her wrist, sensing its lady's unease, hisses warningly. "By your word, I am." It is not an agreement, stepping around words as she moved through her guesses. Her maid dashes forth chattering at him in Dornish, understanding more than enough of common but disliking it for cursing a man, his family, his dog, and his unborn sons. She attempts to strike at him with a nearby wine flagon. Yael dashes in the opposite direction attempting to break away around him moving on instinct at seeing a possible escape.

The would-be kidnapper keeps his eye very clearly on the prize- Yael, in this case- sparing nothing more than a backhanded swat at the old retainer in moving to cut off the Lady's escape. A deft series of steps and the warrior has intercepted the Dornishwoman, setting a shoulder into her stomach and hauling the Blackmont Lady off her feet. A playful swat of the blood smeared blade's flat across her backside, adding a stinging insult to the indignity. "As my Lady likes it," he voices, turning to bear the angry southerner out of the ill-fated bedchamber.

Any shriek that would be voiced is cut off at the warrior's shoulder hammered into her stomach knocks the air from her lungs, but for a pitiable wince. Still, Yael doesn't make an easy arm full as she is hauled up and off of her feet. Her hands ringing out useless blows against his armor as she squirms, until struck by the flat of his blade. It stings. The indignity. The capture. The sight of her maid wincing on the ground. She doesn't cry out, doesn't scream, knowing it would be pointless and still lacking for breath.

Yael is borne out of the dying hall, being treated to her captor calling to one of the bloody-handed reavers who have replaced the refined dinner guests. Rings are being cut from noble fingers, coinpurses thrown into larger sacks without being counted. Amidst the numerous bodies of retainers and servants, at the foot of the dining hall the Lady's captor steps over the dead body of Eryk Cockshaw, stabbed in the belly, and his throat cut, staring lifelessly at the rafters. The call goes up for torches, as Yael is borne out into the night air and toward the waiting horses.

It is impossible not to choke at the scent of blood that cloys the air, clinging to her captors clothes and dripping onto the floors. The air is hot with iron and sweat, so different from the spice of her perfume. Gagging Yael's fingers curl against the maile of her captor's back, whimpering softly. The sound catches in her throat at the sight of Eryk Cockshaw's body as the step so callously over, fists pounding against the shoulders that carry her. The sound of maile on her hands ringing quietly. "Why," she murmurs despite herself. Her dark head turns trying to track the flames to no avail.

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