(121-03-08) Brothers and Blood
Brothers and Blood
Summary: There is nothing like the loss of a brother. It draws men to oaths: Viggo, Quill, and Abram bleed and promise.
Date: 10/03/14
Related: Fire and Circumstance

Even as the rain has mostly contained and extinguished the fires, there is still the scent of smoldering wet wood, mixed with the stench of the dead. Here in Wickham's Nest, there's no rest. not for those few already tending to bodies, while others have been left where they lie. Currently a pair of silent Siters carefully drag one of the servant's corpse's out, while a man in quartered black and green stalks into the main banquet hall. Or, what is left of it. There's a blank and ashen stare given the long table. Gauntlet moves and trolls along the thick fabric stained with blood, before one place setting is pulled out and the knight sinks with a groan in the chair.

One hand moves to adjust his sword, to keep it from poking into his ribs. Quillian sighs, and draws a hand over his face before he is looking out over the scene-much like a deposed king would-or in this case a Knight that has seen this particular play before.

The sounds of others searching can be heard. Boots crack, stepping around bloodied lines on the floor of the lodge from bodies being dragged, doors and cupboards leaving percussive knocks in the air. One of which is accompanied by a curse as Viggo strides from the master bedroom, face like thunderclouds and poison on his tongue. He arrests abruptly at the sight of Quill seated at the table, blinking to remind himself that this man is not a corpse. "Ser Quillian…" He utters.

Abram enters the hall from the soot darkened front door, pulling soiled riding gloves from his hands, and exhaling sharply upon breathing the pungent air of the ruined hall. "There's a smell a man never forgets," the Florent mutters, before voicing steadily to Quill, "Found another two dead in the woods out back. A pair of smallfolk, tried to slip out a window. Looks like a rider was circling, and rode them down." Abram looks to Viggo, unsure of what to say, and thus holds his tongue.

There is a long blink and he looks up towards Viggo for a moment. And Quill almost does not respond, not right away-he just stares, before he is looking back to the table and then he snorts, taking time to turn his head and spit on the flooring before he is standing from the table. "Sorry." muttered in response before he is grousing with beard and mustache. "I've seen this before. All of it is rather familiar-I just, sat." and he points to the chair. "Here." And he looks back towards Abram. "No, once you smell burnt horse and man together, you never lose it." added out before he is shaking head.

"Fucking roaches. It wasn't even a bloody fight."

"Bloody, craven animals," Viggo growls, stalking towards the table in long strides. His dark eyes threaten violence as his gaze flits towards Abram at this additional news. "They slaughtered the horses as well. Each of the dead in their stalls, burnt clean through." He slams a fist on the table. Stilling to ice as his mouth turns bitterly at the corners. "No, I don't think I shall."

Abram shakes his head in agreement with Quill's last comment, drawing a breath through the mouth to add something further, but holding it a moment as Viggo works out a small measure of his rage. A moment later, he adds, "We sent a squire to the nearest hamlet to see if any folk made it out alive, but it doesn't look good. Should hear back by sundown." A slow shake of his head. "Bloody, craven, brutal.. and complete," he adds, with a snort blowing the air from his nose and twisting the Florent's own lip. He considers speaking further, glancing from Viggo to Quill, silently seeking a 'silent' or 'speak on'.

There's a glance to Viggo. "Did I tell you how they got my brother? Same family too." which does rub a bit too close to home, and odd at the same fucking time. There's a shake of his head, and Quillian brushes something off his shoulder. "They'll pay the same way they did last time. You take a Lord's head and they remember it. They fucking remember it." and there eyes widen before he is looking back to Abram. "Complete?" perhaps there is more there-or that was simple it, but the Oakheart knight would hear it.

"I think I would enjoy that. Not just a single head, though." That is where he starts and ends: with blood. Uncommonly quiet, Viggo nods both for Abram's words and consideration. "If you have words, speak," he bids, voice dark.

"They made a point not to let any escape," Abram repeats. "They even killed the bloody horses and smallfolk. Ser," he notes to Viggo, "To break the peace like this, the Blackmonts- or at least some Blackmont, must have had a powerful hate for your brother, Ser. Was there anything- in tournament, in battle, in anything- did he bed a Dornishman's wife, that such a revenge could be taken on him?" He looks back to Quill, "I know they're a treacherous race, Quill, but what happened to your kin were at least during a war. This…"

"It was no more war when he was attacked." Quill barks back towards Abram. "He was released from the Front, he had gone to meet his betrothed, who is off fucking some Cuy now.." And there the knight seethes. His hand gripping the back of the chair he had previously sat in. "This here is goddsdamned proof you cannot trust a Dornishman, unless a spear is pinning him to his fucking sandy grave. No-they're like roaches. Come out in the dark.." And there he jerks back the chair, before stomping at it with his boot-likely trying to break a leg. "Fuck if we were at war with them. We're always at war with them." he says after a moment, breathless before he looks to Viggo. Apparently Abram's question stands.

"The earring," is all Viggo says, rolling the events over in his mind like a blade between his palms. Examining things as carefully as he can manage with rage showing on his features as clear as sunlight in the mornings. "The godsforsaken earring." He slams his palms on the table, teeth gritted, as he looks from one man to another. "The tracker, Rory, he found a woman's Dornish earring to the South. We are missing one body. They might have taken her… the wife or the sister, whomever my brother was looking to fuck. The bed room..there was no blood." He layers this thoughts out in the way of a man not directly making a connection but letting them loose to the air.

"You'd need a spear for each of his brothers, as well, but THEN aye, you could trust him," Abram amends to Quill's ranting on the trustworthiness of Dornishmen with a dry note to his voice. The Cockshaw knight's words pull his regard promptly, though. "The tracker found an earring?" the Florent echoes Viggo, brows drawing together. "Where?"

Quill watches Abram for a moment before he is looking back towards Viggo. "It was by one of those goat paths that go into the Red mountains proper, wasn't it?" Obviously the knight is trying to remember what he heard. Then there's a look back to Abram there before he is scratching at his beard again, more or less trying to suss out information in his brain. "Still- fucking one man's woman is not enough to murder a whole household."

"He could tell you exaclty. Climbed the tree like a damn squirrel," Viggo mutters, pinching the bridge of his nose as he pulls out a chair at the table. He tries not to look towards where his brother bled out supposedly on the floor, but cannot help himself. "Something like that." He flaps a hand at Quill in agreement. "It isn't… A duel, a challenge, sure. This. This is somehing else, fucking roaches."

"There are stories of women that men would start wars over, Quill," Abram notes with a dry smile. "All it takes is one jealous prick with a circlet on his head, and.." As both men search for something deeper, Abram pauses a moment and lets out a slow breath. "What else then? A diversion, mayhap? What can Blackmont gain from this?"

There's a laugh at that, the image of it, the whole thing seemingly tickles the Blackrood. "No, this was something else. I know how I would handle it, if Emilia was fucking another man." And with that the knight looks at Abram, one hand going to his sword. "I'd come into our room and pin her to our bed." And like that the castle forged blade is drawn and stabbed down into the chair's cushion. "And then I would find this man, and kill him too. His family doesn't need to be involved."

A snort there. "Yes well Trant Gardner fucking murdered the Manderly's over one woman-but that I don't believe counts. If Trant Gardner wanted to fuck a horse he'd have murdered the stable owner for it I imagine." And there he looks back to Viggo. "I don't know, really-Abram…They killed the horses, which would have gotten them a fine bit of coin."

"I can't imagine a woman worth this much slaughter or a man for that sake," Viggo says with a bitter laugh, pulling his short dagger from his side to toy with the blade. It threatens to cut into his fingers. "I'll not judge what a man would do for his own wife, mind. Still…" His train of thought breaks off as Quill stabs the chair. "Can't simply be coin… it'd be worth takin the horses. No one knew there were here after all." Swallowing thickly, he casts his gaze about the room for any wine that is left. Finding a flagon, he strides over and takes a drink of still warm liquid.

"We're all lucky that Trant Gardener isn't the Lord of Blackmont, Quill," Abram returns with a snort of bone-dry amusement. Idly tossing his riding gloves onto the table, rather than tuck the reeking leathers into his belt, the Florent leans on the table through his knuckles, still standing but leaning over the tabletop. "Not simply coin, but gold weren't without its lure: they robbed the bodies," he reminds, perhaps unneccessarily. "So.. if they took gold, but left the horses… they took what they could carry. Where can a man go that a dozen horses can't?"

Blade plucked up, Qullian eyes his sword for a moment before swinging it out and free, a twirl of the wrist and he slides the blade back down into the scabbard. "When I found out it was the Blackmonts with my brother, I rode for them..I had to draw them out, first you know. I burned villages- small things, so that they would have to come out, then it was outposts…Finally I had Lord Blackmont's attention. You hang enough boys and kill enough men and they listen." Hand leaves his pommel and Quill turns aside as Viggo gets a drink. "Then I took a head-and they sued for peace and admitted their sins." A glance back to Viggo. "How did your father know, or find out?"

As to Abram's question, Quill japes. "To Hell."

Viggo shakes his head. "Uneven trails… or a horse can leave a message that dead men along cannot, they did not care." His fingers fold around the blade in his palm, gripping it just enough to cut the skin. "I will find who did this and aye, if need be I will burn and bleed their lands to find truth." Extending his palm, he lets the blood drip from it onto the floor in ruby drops. "This I swear." On life. On death. On blood. Vow made, he wipes his palm against his jerkin and lifts his shoulders in a shrug, laughing blackly at Quill's jape. "It takes much effort to plan something of this size. I will speak to him after Hightower."

"What, no horse-Hell in your philosophy?" Abram quips back, with a brief grin. As for drawing out Blackwoods years ago, "True, but you didn't raze the earth, Quill. We didn't ride down women and children as they fled- at your most hateful, you weren't this bad." Another breath drawn in (through the mouth, not the nose) and let out slowly as Viggo reasons out the question. A nod as the bereaved nobleman makes his oath. "Well spoken, Cockshaw."

"He may know of who all is here. Beyond the Hightower, there may have been other nobles attending.." or looking to attend, which Quill does not state. Instead there is a look given towards the man's hand. And there he draws his own blade- a dagger to make a similar cut. This offered to the Cockshaw. "Allow me then to see to your vengeance, Ser. For I have a taste for it. And will pay back the man who did this for you tenfold." a vow matched for vow. And there he looks to Abram. "I was merciful then…Now? I do not know."

The edge of a smile touches Viggo's features, still too dark to be named properly so, stricken with surprise and touched at Quill's gesture. He extends his bloodied hand to the man when offered his oath. "Then I accept both heartily and with my thanks, my friend." Blood to blood. Oath to oath. His head bows with his sincerity. "Mercy has its place…this may not be the time." Straightening, he slides his blade back into its sheath and exhales slowly as he looks towards the door. "I… must think. Excuse me." Making his exit, he heads towards the out doors where bodies lay stretched across the dampened field.

"I'll be damned before letting you ride into Hell before me, Quill-" Abram crack's a rogue's smile as the Oakheart adds his own oath. After a moment, given thatbhis hands are already bared, the Florent draws a dagger of his own, and draws forth enough of his own blood to complete the symbol, "There was no honor in what happened here. In shedding my blood I vow: the blood of he who did this shall spill until your brother's memory is honored."

A blood pact signed by three men, now all bound by blood. Surely nothing horrific and tragic can come from this. And there's a grin given back towards Arbam, wild and blood. After all hands have been grasped and oath made, he clasps the Florent on the back before stepping back. A kiss to his hand. "I'll see if the Dondarion has found anything further.." Apparently the Stormlord gets no first name from Quillian. And he, is stalking out.

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