(121-03-10) The Long Ride Back
The Long Ride Back
Summary: Two Cockshaws talk on the ride back from their burnt hunting lodge to Oldtown
Date: 10/Mar/2014
Related: Fire and Circumstance

It's not been a comfortable couple of days all told, and thats not because of the cold. So far the ride back has been quiet, but as they leave the remains of the lodge behind some of the non-Cockshaws are once more conversing amongst themselves. As for the family themselves though? Well, Alys at least is still silent as she finally lets things start to settle in. Back at the lodge it had been more important to make sure she didn't miss anything, but now? Well, it's a long ride back, lots of time to think and remember.

Kevyn hasn't had much to say, either, since witnessing what was left of the Cockshaw lodge after the raid. He sits quietly now, hunched in his cloak, riding on his plodding gray mare that he borrowed from home. No war horse, but he's not earned that yet, and she's a steady creature. His plodding pace takes him away from the non-Cockshaws in the part, and into step with Alys. He glances over at her, as if trying to think of something to say, but words fail him.

Alys flicks her eyes sideways as she hears another horse drawing alongside. Kevyn gets a few shallow nods before she takes a proper look at him and draws herself straighter in the saddle. Time to be strong for the kid it seems, "you managed to sleep at all?" she asks, "I'll take your reins if you can nap on the move."

Kevyn shakes his head, drawing himself up a little straighter. Time to be strong for the girl, and all that. "No. No, thank you. I'm all right. Slept a little. More than Ser Viggo, at least."

Alys nods once as the offer is declined, then once more as Viggo is mentioned. "I don't think I ever saw him off his feet," she confesses, "I know he won't want to, but we will have to make sure he sleeps either on the ride or once we get back to Old Town. It's part of your duties as a squire to look after him when he needs it, 'though in these circumstance I'll give you a hand if you need it."

Kevyn nods to that. Taking it to heart though, from his expression, it's plain he doesn't really know where to begin on the how of it. "I remember how I felt after Jace's accident. And nobody was at fault for that, save his horse. And at least he lived, thank the Seven. I don't know how I'd have taken it if…" He trails off, swallowing. "I've been trying to remember cousin Eryk. We spent little time together, though." He sounds like he feels guilty about that now.

"I'm not even sure when I last saw him," Alys replies, meaning Eryk, "it must be a year or two at least I think." There's a few moments silence though before she adds, "I've been doing the same though." She can't really compare the feeling to any of her own experiences though so instead she reaches into a pouch on her saddle and produces a skin of watered wine. Offering it across she states simply, "I wish we knew who his guest of honour that night was though. I might not have been with the watch that long but my instincts are telling me that she is central to all this."

Kevyn reaches across to take the wine, muttering a faint "Thank you" before drinking from it. He gulps once, twice, three times, before passing it back. "Do you figure it really was the Dornish?" he asks, in a hushed tone. As if saying that too loud would make it seem even more real.

"Everything points to them," Alys replies as she takes the skin back and takes a swig herself. "I've been trying to think of any way it could have been faked to disguise the real culprits and I keep coming back to the Lady. The armour and gear on that body i fairly damning, not conclusive, but likely enough if nothing to the contrary is found." She falls quiet again as she slips the skin back where she extrated it from, then shakes her head sloly, "right now? Yeah, I think they did it."

"My father says the Dornish are curs," Kevyn says, frowning and idly jogging his horse's reins along a bit. "He's spent many a year patrolling the border. Says they've no honor, not like proper Westeros men. Would take men with no honor, to do such as was done to the lodge."

"It would indeed," Alys agrees dimly, "not that there aren't enough of those on this side of the border mind, but equiped with Blackmont gear? I don't see Eryk, Father Judge Him Wisly, supping with any of them that his right hand though. A Dornish lady come to talk peace or somesuch and set the trap? That I see more."

Kevyn nods grimly, when Alys mentions a Dornish lady. "I was wondering if Lord Eryk kept a…well…kept a woman, who he'd give such honors to. Not sure how to ask Ser Viggo about such as that, though." Not that Viggo isn't the sort to enjoy wine, women and song himself, but Kevyn is treading lightly around his cousin just now. "If it was the Blackmonts, will there be reprisals, do you suppose?" He asks the question like he already thinks he has an answer. "The Tyrells can't stand for this. The Targaryens can't allow it on Westeros land."

Alys looks like she's about to reply to that, then shakes her head slowly and offers a mere, "not that I'm aware of." Nor of course, does she feel it's something that she's likely to be aware of. "I'd suspect that most of the people who might know are with the Stranger now. Alyn might, Viggo, his wife mayhaps?" Although asking her is likely an even worse prospect than asking Viggo. "If what we have found is proof enough then yes, there will be reprisals, and they will be bloody. It is why we must solve the mysteries surrounding this woman before sending our brothers and cousins over the hills."

Kevyn nods again. Then again. As if he's committing the idea to his head. "I'll be ready to fight, if it comes to that." It has the sound of something he's saying almost more to himself than Alys.

"I know you will" Alys replies, although there's perhaps the faintest hint in her voice that betray her mixed feeling on that issue. "I guess we'll have to see what Eldritch has to say, and Lord Hightower. It'll be down to them ultimately, or perhaps the Tyrells."

Kevyn glances sidelong at Alys, hearing that note in her voice, but it's not something he asks about. It's likely he has his own mixed feelings on the matter, though he speaks none aloud. He falls back into silence, watching the road without really seeing it.

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