(121-03-23) A Bundle of Cockshaws
A Bundle of Cockshaws
Summary: The Cockshaw heir arrives in Oldtown to confer with his brother.
Date: 23 March, 2014
Related: Wickham's Nest

The night is late and the Quill & Tankard is nothing less than lively with song and shouting erupting downstairs. Above, Viggo is stained with ink and wine as he pours over the same letters again, black marks dotting his fingers. There are smears on the table, on his not too long ago clean shirt (that will surely be left for Kevyn to wrangle), and on the crude map of the boarder lines he has purchased. It could be better. All things considered. The map. The man. His rather shaky grasp on battlefield tactics. It is enough to drive a man to drink; oh, he does.

In Haywood's mind, it's taken him far too long to arrive in Oldtown. But comparatively, it hasn't taken long to find his younger brother. Ask around enough (he's very striking, what with that hat of his alone), and before long someone was able to point him in the right direction. There is a knock and heavy steps on floorboards that precede the arrival of the elder - now eldest - of the Cockshaw brothers.

"Viggo!" The reunion should be a jovial one, but given the circumstances, it's rather dampened. "You look awful." Which is a very brotherly greeting where he's concerned. In all fairness, the journey has left Haywood looking a little worse for wear. He could use a bath, a nap, and probably, yes, a drink.

"Who're you writing?" Kevyn asks Viggo, rather tiredly. He's beginning to think these letters aren't all that effective. Not that he says anything. He just watches his knight write, chin propped on his fist. "Or…who wrote?" He isn't sure which anymore. He's not drinking at the moment, for his part, and he lacks for noteworthy stains. Just ordinary sorts of stains.

Kevyn stands when Haywood enters, looking decidedly grateful, though he lets the brotherly greeting occur before he gives his own to his cousin.

"Not…there is no one of import left. The Tyrells refuse us, the King has not sanctioned us, but Father has determined we can act alone. Cowards." Viggo's face turns downwards in a scowl. The letters aren't very effective. Not at all. He knows it, yet there is an edge of compulsion left. Fewer and few have been handed to Kevyn to send.

There is a splatter of ink to the paper as Viggo drops his quill in surprise at the sudden, familiar voice of his now eldest brother. He stands abruptly and strides towards the door with his arms outstretched and a harsh, "Brother," on his tongue.

Older embraces younger tightly, with two hearty claps on the back before withdrawing to arm's length. "I am glad to see you." Which is true enough. While Haywood's smile lacks much of its usual warmth, it's not disingenuous. It is flashed in Kevyn's direction as well. "Cousin. It is good to see you well."

"It is good to see you well, cousin," Kevyn says in return, with a subdued smile of his own in return to Haywood. He extends a hand to the eldest present Cockshaw, for clasping purposes. "It's good to see any of our family well these days, given what's happened. I grieve for the death of your brother, as well as the others at the Nest."

The claps are echoed with a squeeze of Haywood's shoulders. "Alyn," Viggo begins, so rarely taken to using his elder brother's given name that it sounds almost ominous on his lips, "It is damned good to see you." He steps back, gesturing towards the table. "Wine?" He offers briefly, dark eyes flitting towards his squire. "Aye, lad."

All told, when his given name is used, he feels like he's in trouble. Alyn leaves a bad taste in his mouth. Kevyn's hand is taken and clasped tightly, his other hand rests on the younger man's shoulder. "Your words mean a great deal. I wish the circumstances were better. I… am glad you were both spared." There's an uncomfortable feeling there, emotion that makes his throat tight. "Yes, wine. Definitely." That ought to set him back right.

Kevyn pours the wine. Though filling Haywood's cup empties the current bottle. "I'll need some coppers to get some more from the bar," he says to Viggo. He has been making the 'buy wine' trip often. To Haywood he asks, "How was the road? Did you run into any trouble? Are there other Dornish raiders about the countryside?" As if they might be appearing out of the trees now.

"We were so lucky," and there may be bitter sarcasm there, "That none but a single dead reamined upon our arrival to the hunting lodge." Lifting his hand, Viggo runs his hand through his dark swath of hair. He nods in permission for Kevyn to take coppers, hand rummaging in his pocket to toss a few to the lad. "See that we are paid through when you do. And a room for Haywood." ALYN. "Aye. What have you heard, brother?"

"I expected trouble," Haywood admits, exchanging what he assumes should be enough coin to cover the cost of a room for the glass his brother's squire has poured for him, "but it seemed it did not seek me out." The corners of his mouth turn downward. "I am almost disappointed." He would have liked to have an outlet for his aggression.

Kevyn mutters a "Thanks" to Haywood when he hands over the coin, though he seems to consider pressing the money back to his cousin. He doesn't, though. "Have either of you ever been…I mean, have you battled the Dornish before?" A pause and he adds, "My father has, on the border, many times. He told me stories." From his tone, he did not find those stories particularly pleasant. But, Ser Henrik Cockshaw is a hard sort of man, not known for spinning pleasant tales.

"Just as well. I'm not sure you might have made it in as well a shape as you did," Viggo suggests, showing the first edges of humor in the day. "There'll be blood yet, brother. We won't need to look far to seek it. Even without aide from the bloody Tyrells." His mouth purses, moustache folding downward at the corners in an attempt to cull his tongue. At his squire's question, he merely sighs. "Nay. Not I, I've ridden against a number in battle, but only at a tournament…even done a turn on the borderlines. Nothing."

The beginnings of a smirk are hidden behind a sip of wine. To Kevyn's question, he shakes his head. "The Dornes have not had the misfortune to cross me as yet." As opposed to Haywood having been so lucky as to avoid combat outside of tournament rules, of course. There's amusement in his gaze as it turns back to Viggo. Any inkling of things being like old times is welcome. "Are we quite certain where to direct our vengeance? I was hoping you would bring me up to speed." And to that end, he finds himself a seat, ready for the long version of events. Or at least the aftermath of it.

"We found a dead Blackmont man at the Nest," Kevyn says. "The Hightowers keep saying there isn't enough evidence but…" He sighs, an exasperated sound.

"The Hightowers are so far up their own arses that they can't see the blood pooling at their feet," Viggo supplies colourfully and without his usual gallantry. "And a woman gone. We don't know who she was, but Eryk was up to his… proclivities, Mother keep him."

"He is rather reliable that way." Haywood flinches, and corrects, "Was." He doesn't allow the moment of melancholy to cause him to lose a beat, however. He's suspicious instantly of the lack of response sanctioned. "Are they all cowards then?" A scowl settles in. That doesn't bode well. Obviously they should be allowed to strike, and who would refuse to back them?

"Have you any idea who she might've been?" Kevyn asks Haywood. "The woman, that is. He had a table set for her as a guest of honor, so she must've been noble?" He says it like a question, though he himself sounds reasonably sure of it. As for the accusation of cowardice, he shrugs. "I don't know what to call it. I think they worry over offending the Dornish princess more than anything else."

Viggo nods solemnly at this brother's mis-naming of Eryk's current state. "I have said some prayers at the sept." Recently even. "Or so much as ordered by the Crown to cease any attempts on the south as to not persue a war, to quote the letter from the Tyrell's." The Cockshaw knight shakes his head in frustration, abruptly grabbing a bag from the table. "Wine. I'll get us more. And you a room. Kevyn, see that he has what he needs." It is an abrupt order, but one made with intent. Gesturing at his squire, he moves to depart the room.

"I'm afraid I haven't a clue who Eryk may have been spending his time with. He didn't brag of such things to me." Haywood watches Viggo's agitation grow until he seeks solace in the promise of wine and whatever duty he chooses to derive from securing Haywood's room. The new heir gestures for his brother's squire to be seated. "He'll be all right," Haywood assures. If Kevyn even needed reassuring to begin with. "Now, tell me all you know of what's transpired…"

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