(121-03-13) Unfriendly Escort
Unfriendly Escort
Summary: The Tyrell men escort two Dornish princesses back to White Stone Manse
Date: 13 March, 2014
Related: Of Blood and Sand: http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:121-03-13-of-blood-and-sand


Lower Hightower Street

At the southern end of the Honeywine, the river's course quickens and widens. It stretches widest here, and the magnificent bridges of stone and timber are longer and wider than those upriver - nearly big enough to allow a wayn with a full cargo along. Docks small and large dot the banks. On the other side of the Honeywine one can see the grand guild-halls and the larger docks that the trade guilds maintain there. The magnificent towers of the Starry Sept thrust up to the sky in the West, just over the Starry Street Bridge with its seven arches and the multitude of seven-pointed stars decorating its stonework.

The Honeywine makes even the largest river-boat look like a small punt. They ply the waters, keeping up a steady stream of river traffic night and day. Nearly every time one looks, one can see barges and pole-boats making their way along, burdened with goods and passengers, or empty and riding high in the Honeywine's tranquil blue waters. Looking south, one can see the Hightower spearing the clouds, ablaze with light.

Hightower Street's broad clean cobblestone way runs along the bank of the river, heading straight towards the Hightower and the harbour at its feet.

Laurent remains in the saddle behind the Dornish party, half guarding them, half herding. The purple cloaked guards work well together, now falling into a protective ring as the tightly packed crowd is left behind. His eyes drift from the women to Garvin, to the street ahead of them and back, regularly. He's silent save for the occasional command given to a man-at-arms, unless spoken to.

"I'm not on the side of the Dornish, Ser. I am on the side of House Tyrell and offering service to Lord Garvin." Riderch's voice is steady as he responds towards Tyraxeus — he's careful, his tone sounding neutral here. "If you will excuse me." He probably remembers the drubbing he got from the Stormlander's polearm, the last time. He then follows the Dornish, and Ser Quillian.

Once they are further away from the mob, Ashara relaxes ever so slightly, some of the tension fading from her shoulders. It's replaced, though, by something likely far more dangerous, in the form of simmering thought. "Thank you, all of you," she says, looking back to those doing the herding. "We are grateful for your protection." Or at least it's polite to say so.

Looking to the others as they do come along, Bastion nods to what Riderch says, "Well, you are doing what needs to be done." He offers. Nodding to Laurent as well as the man quietly leads them as well. Seemingly the party falling a bit silent at the moment. "We'll be back at the manse soon enough." He offers calmly to those in the group. Nodding to Ashara as well, Though not replying to her words.

"Some people who take the Knightly vows do so for any number of reasons, princess." Riderch intones to Ashara with a slight incline of his head as he follows along, his expression a bit tense, but he manages to flash a grin to her. It's crooked and entirely off-kilter, but it's there. "Lord Stark here just said it as well as I could hope to."

Garvin rides along in silence, his face looking troubled. Now and then, he'll glance toward the two Dornish women, or at Laurent, Quill, or his own men. The others, however, he mostly ignores, too busy with his own thoughts, whatever they may be.

"I would prefer that it not need to be done," Ashara murmurs with a significant glance at Garvin, "But I appreciate it all the same." Now that it's more quiet, she moves a bit closer to Mariya, reaching out to link arms with her cousin and offer a little more reassurance to the younger woman.

"We'd all prefer that," Laurent snorts, overhearing Ashara's words. "But three dozen corpses are shouting the need. I can hear them, all the way from Wickham's Nest." The Thorn's tone is sour — it leaves no doubt which side of this he falls on.

"When the Gods created the world, they did beautiful work." Riderch muses after Ashara speaks, sighing a little as he warily cranes his head about the street. "And they were cruel too — there never seemed enough of paradise to go around." The implication here is a pretty grim one, as the Riverlander falls silent.

Garvin looks up at last, though not directly at Ashara. "Make no mistake, my Lady," he says. "Your protection is only a small part of what's happening here. You and yours will be prisoners in your manse. Our hostages, until such time as our leaders have decided the best way to deal with this matter. I do not take this step lightly, I assure you. You will have the freedom of your manse, and you will be allowed to send a servant daily to the market to buy food. One servant, unarmed. If you wish to send messages by raven, a maester will be sent from the Citadel, that you may dictate your letters to him."

Bastion nods as he hear Laurent's words. Letting him be though. Glancing to Riderch as well as he speaks to the princess. "We all wish things are different, hopefully we can see to that things are settled with as little bloodshed as possible. I would not wish for an internal war to come to Oldtown. We will see to that things do not seem as cruel." Having heard Riderch last words. Looking to Garvin as well, nodding a bit to his words.

"I think perhaps you should reconsider that decision, my lord," Ashara replies evenly to Garvin, continuing toward the manse. "As tragic as what happened to the Cockshaws may be, it is a raid. An unsanctioned one, if it was even carried out by the Blackwoods. Claiming three Martell princesses as hostages is an act of war." She looks to the lord, gaze steady. "I am quite happy to abide by your suggestion that we remain safe for the next…one to two weeks. Should this be resolved before then, then I should happily forget that you used certain words to describe the situation."

Starry Street

A small, relatively quiet residential street, leading to the prestigious Starry Sept of Oldtown. The manses of the pious (and rich) line the street, clustered in the Sept's shadow like children around an old, decrepit grandfather. The Sept rises skyward to the West, dominating the street. The famous Maidenday Gardens are spread out opposite the Sept's seven towers. To the East is the Starry Street Bridge with its seven arches and the multitude of seven-pointed stars decorating its stonework. It spans the Honeywine to connect with Hightower Street. To the North is the long stretch of Sphinx Street, and the towers of the Citadel at its end. The the South is the Guildhall Row with its somber, semi-fortified halls and guild-owned docks.

There are banner-poles along the street, with banners depicting the Seven-Pointed Star in gold, on a white field. The street is quite immaculate, in spite of the heavily worn cobbles, smoothened by the treading of the pious, on their way to the hallowed ground of the Starry Sept.

Garvin raises a brow in Ashara's direction. "Slaying three Martell princesses would be an act of war," he says simply. "Keeping them under guard, within their own manse, is an act of mercy, especially with the city's mood at the moment. Would you prefer I withdraw my men and allow the common rabble to deal with you as they see fit?"

Bastion frowns at Garvin, "My lord, that is not the point. We should keep our guards around." Looking between both him and Ashara. "We are all on edge. Guards should be kept. To the outside you might have to be known as prisoners to calm the citizens. Though in private, you are guarded. For your safety." Trying to please both sides. Looking to the others gathered as well.

The lean Blackwood Lord merely nods. "Doing nothing woud be the death of us all. Whoever did this clearly didn't give a bloody fig about all the blood spilled as a result." His face wrinkles in distaste as he follows along.

Laurent snorts at Bastion's attempt to make peace — clearly he doesn't think much of that goal. Urging his horse forward until he's at the head of the small party rather than its rear, the Thorn leans forward in the saddle to speak in low tones with one of the purple cloaked men-at-arms, and when he straightens the man nods and turns to jog away.

Ashara smile to Garvin is sharp-edged. "You cannot have it both ways, my lord. If you wish to pretend to be our benefactor, then I suggest you avoid words such as 'hostage', and conditions regarding communications or the status of servants we send to market," she drawls. "As I said, though. I'm happy to abide by your…suggestions for a week or two while you decide. Hopefully that will be sufficient to resolve the situation, or at least shed more light." As they approach the manse, she draws a breath, turning to face the escort more fully. "Thank you, Sers, for the escort. I hope for all of our sakes that you find the perpetrators quickly."

Garvin lets out an exasperated sound. "You are hostages, my Lady Ashara. Your safety ensures that Dornish hordes will not march on the Reach. And I mean to keep you safe, unless and until such hordes cross the border. I cannot give you and yours the freedom of the city, nor can I allow you and yours to leave the city until tensions have died and the matter has been resolved. Do I make myself clear?" He takes a deep breath, glancing between Laurent and the silent Quill, then returning his attention to the princess. "I'm sorry this is necessary. But it is."

"Senseless murder serves no one and harm come to you or yours at this point would be senseless. Princess." Riderch simply gives his head a quick bow. "Think nothing of it." There's that odd grin of his, but he doesn't really have the wherewithal to sustain it for long, given the general tension here.

Bastion just sighs. "The situation is as it is." He offers, shaking his head. "We all need to find ourselves in it." Then to the Martell princess, "So for now, please. Perhaps it is better if you step inside." He offers, as well as offering to lead her and the others in. Looking to Garvin. "We'll see to that they stay inside and all others stay out." He assures him, looking to Riderch as well, nodding to his words. "You are quite right." Glancing towards Laurent as well but not saying much to him. Letting him go about his business.

Laurent's bellicose enough on a normal day, moreso today. Enough so that if the tension here is exacerbating things, it's hard to tell. He rides at the head of a small party, leading a group of purple cloaked soldiers who surround the group in a loose ring. He wears a suit of mail that is filthy from days spent on the trail, and fatigue shows in the set of his shoulders and the rings under his eyes. He's not involved in the conversation — in fact, he makes no show of hearing it.

Ashara turns a long look on Garvin. "There are no Dornish hordes planning on marching on Oldtown," she explains as she would to a small child. "Though if you put it about that you have taken us hostage, there very likely will be. Perhaps you should take counsel with someone more practiced before you make any rash decisions." Ushering Mariya into the manse, she looks once more to the knights. "Good evening, Sers."

Garvin frowns deeply at Ashara as she and Mariya enter the manse, calling, "Why do you think I chose my words so carefully at the foot of the tower, my Lady?" Shaking his head, he turns to Laurent. "Here come our men," he says, nodding to the soldiers marching down from Sphinx Street. "Once you're content they know your orders for them, return to Garden Isle. You look like you could use a hot meal and a hotter bath."

"Of course," Laurent agrees with a nod to Garvin, "I'll be along soon as I can, Cousin." He flicks the reins to bring the destrier around, and the stallion whinnies loudly as it turns. "Ser Riderch," he calls, trotting toward the Riverlander while he waits for the troupe of men-at-arms to approach, "A right bastard of a day, isn't it?" Now things are wrapping up, and the surly Tyrell knight has found his sociable streak. "A fine thing that you showed up when you did."

"That's something I don't hear very often, Ser." Riderch notes to Laurent, drily. "That could have gotten very ugly, very fast." He looks on as the Dornish depart, leting out a very large and pointed sigh, surveying the area. "Those are a proud people. I hope their pride doesn't get the better of them." He edges his chin towards the Dornish manse now, that they are out of sight. Tactful. "That was very well-handled, Lord Garvin. You do your name honor."

Garvin lifts his chin, looking at Riderch. "We're a proud people as well. Thank you, Ser. It was all I could do to stop myself from ordering their immediate arrest. I'm not sure the Hightowers would have followed such an order, ill advised as it would be." He shakes his head, letting out another exasperated sigh. "There is something amiss with Gwayne Hightower. You should have seen the way he was cozying up with that Dornish so-called princess at court earlier this week, after what their kind did to his kin. It was shameful."

Laurent's opinion of Gwayne Hightower is loud and wet, and splats when it strikes the cobblestones. If the spitting weren't enough, he's sure to snort once he's done. "Hightowers be damned," he opines. "They've little enough to do with this. This is a matter for the Cockshaws and their lords, House Tyrell. If Hightower wants vengeance for the dead squire, let them join. But I don't understand why anyone is looking at them to lead."

"I haven't really treated with Lord Gwayne." Riderch offers vaguely. It's a calculated sort of vague, of course. "I have little knowledge of him. Although I've found Ser Brynden to be decent enough. On the Tourney field at least." He's reaching here — well, he's really got nothing. He even punctuates this with a little shrug. "I wouldn't imagine what the Martells would have to gain from this, but clearly some of their countrymen don't really care for their overlords. Hopefully tempers will cool." He rubs the back of his head where he got beaned with an apple earlier, and smirks absently. "Hopefully."

Garvin frowns a bit, looking to Laurent. "Like it or not — and make no mistake, I don't like it — House Hightower holds Oldtown. It won't be Hightower that leads when it comes to dealing with House Blackmont, but if my lord father calls his banners, Hightower will need to answer, and all their banners as well. But in Oldtown, the people look to Hightower for leadership. And yet, leadership is what the Hightower lacks at the moment. Lord Ormund or his brother should have ordered the Dornish visitors put under guard, it shouldn't have fallen to me." He shakes his head, looking to Riderch again. "I don't pretend to know what House Martell could hope to gain by this act, other than open war between Dorne and the Reach. It isn't a very wise move, to be sure, but who can understand the motives of desert barbarians?"

"Seems like a jealous husband and his sworn men," Laurent says with a shrug of his broad shoulders, "More than anything. To me," he's quick to add that last. "Viggo's brother was entertaining a lady," he says, finally sliding from the saddle so that he can speak more softly to Garvin and Riderch, "And she was nowhere to be found. They made off with her into the Red Mountains."

Garvin arches a brow, as he slides off his horse as well, lowering his voice. "Is it safe to assume this woman was not Ser Eryk's wife?"

"I've seen something like that before." Riderch scratches his chin with the back of his hand. His eyes dart towards Garvin a moment. "Make no mistake, Lord Garvin. The hospitality I've received from House Tyrell thus far has been impressive, and don't hesitate to call for aid if you need an extra Knight." He glances between the two Tyrells, and amends, "Although I imagine you have no shortage." A weak grin to Laurent is still a grin. "But —"

Pausing several moments, he considers Laurent's words. "So it started like so many other things do. Some arsehole with a grudge and no bloody sense, and next thing you know, the heads keep piling up. So it /is/ the same in the south." He observes, his tone positively dripping with disappointment.

"More fact than assumption, that," Laurent says with a nod toward Garvin. He runs a hand through close-cropped hair that is stiff with dried sweat, and grimaces at the feel of it. "You'd hardly be 'extra,' Ser Riderch," the Thorn pronounces grimly. "More need than knights these days. You're a swordsman, and you know your way 'round a blood feud."

Garvin presses his lips in a thin line then. "Please tell me she isn't Blackmont's wife. Or daughter. Or anything at all to do with House Blackmont. For the love of the Seven, please tell me we're not on the brink of war because Eryk Cockshaw was sheathing his sword in some Blackmont wench."

"Depends who you ask, Ser. I've already told you a little story about Elys Bracken running around Oldtown." Riderch smirks, his tone entirely too rueful. "But battle is something I do know. Probably more than statecraft, all things considered, much to my father's chagrin."

His jaw drops a little as he gives Garvin a sidelong glance. "That sounds — while succinct, Oh…." He doesn't get caught this off-guard often, that's for sure. "How banal."

Laurent, for his part, looks surprised at the sudden fuss. "I expect that's exactly what it is. No way to no for sure — all they found was a place setting and an earring." He lets his left hand fall to rest on the hilt of his sword, a comfortable posture, as he adds, "Any man says it aloud and I'll call him a liar, of course. Kill him, if needs be." Because to Laurent Tyrell, apparently some things are more important than truth. A lot of things, some of them petty.

Garvin lets out a sigh, head shaking. "You see? This is why I have nothing to do with bedding women." Yeah, that's the reason. "We shall see how House Blackmont answers the charges that will be laid upon them. Always assuming, of course, that anything comes of this. Of late, my lord father has been rather…uncommunicative, at least with me. But I should get a letter off to him at once." He pulls himself back into the saddle, giving both Laurent and Riderch a nod. "Thank you again for your assistance, Ser Riderch. Laurent, I'll see you when you've rested." And with that, he turns his horse back up the street.

"More torment for me, I suppose." Riderch opines, grinning slightly. But the grin is indeed a bit pained. This is to Garvin. To Laurent's vow, he essentially has nothing. "They make it sound better in songs than reality. But in the end — I think a lot fewer boys would play with wooden ones," He thumbs his sword hilt indicating his weapon "if they knew what it really was like." It's a rare moment of reflection on violence from a man who made a career around it.

"Think nothing of it, Lord Garvin. Oh — if you see your cousin Keyte, give her my best." That was random.

"Soon," Laurent agrees, nodding to Garvin. He'll be home and rested soon, that is to say. He snorts a laugh at Riderch's assessment, though he nods. "Good thing they do," he counters in a voice laden with black humor, "Or we'd be riding against Dorne alongside untested amateurs." The mention of Keyte raises his heavy brow, though it's hardly his business, so he leaves that to Garvin.

Garvin reins his horse, turning back to Riderch with a puzzled expression. "I…shall do that, Ser. Good evening then." Looking troubled and still confused, he again turns toward home and spurs his horse forward.

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