(121-04-04) Meeting Magden
Meeting Magden
Summary: In Dorne, Ser Osric meets his former squire's new squire — a woman.
Date: 04/04/2014
Related: Wickham's Nest, New Duds

The gates of Castle Blackmont are shut after dark and open again at sunrise. It's a pair of hours after they're opened that a familiar figure rides into the courtyard, horse's hooves clacking against the stone. Well. Mostly familiar. The newly-made Ser Tameron is surely astride the stallion, but he has a companion with him: a small sniff of a girl in too-large boy's clothing is seated before him on the steed.

In the courtyard watching a handful of Lord Blackmont's men practice is a knight familiar to Ser Tameron, at the least. Ser Osric Dayne watches a pair of Dornishmen spar with blunted blades, then steps forward to take the practice sword from one and give a brief, slowed-down demonstration with his partner. It's in the midst of this that the horse's hooves catch his ear, but he doesn't let them take his attention from the lesson until he's through with it. Then he hands the practice blade back, exchanges a few words with the men, and turns toward the sound of hoofbeats on cobblestone. "Ser Tameron," he calls out the moment he sees the young man, genuine pleasure mingling with surprise in his voice.

The girl seated before Ser Tam — nearly a woman, up close, but it's a mistake easily made — turns to glance back at the knight with whom she rides. There's a brief moment of question and uncertainty in her eyes. She takes a visible breath and squares her bony shoulders, tugging the tunic she wears back onto one as it slips down her arm.

Tameron can't quite seem to help the smile that brightens his face as he's greeted by his knight. Well, his former knight. "Ser Osric," he greets, bringing the stallion to a stop and swinging down off him, a touch awkward, perhaps, for the extra figure he's got to climb around. "The princesses received your raven. Ser Daevon asks that you stay on and attempt to learn more about who could have taken Lady Yael Blackmont. The peace was restored in Oldtown. I've come to help." He is, sometimes, a bit better at sorting out duplicity than his teacher.

Osric crosses the distance between them, offering Tameron his hand as he approaches. "I confess, I had begun to worry," he says candidly. "With no raven from Oldtown, I was doubting my decision to ride on toward Blackmont." Taking his hand back from Tameron, whether his young friend shakes it or no, he offers it up to help Tam's companion out of the saddle. "Ser Osric Dayne, Mistress," he says as his violet eyes turn fully her way. "Welcome to Blackmont. Both of you."

The wisp of a girl in the saddle stares at Osric in such a way that might indicate she doesn't speak Common. That is, a little stupidly. But she does speak it, which she evidences in the next moment — by speaking. "I'm. Uhm." She glances at Tameron. A little help here? "I'm not a mistress. I'm just Magden." She doesn't seem to know what to do with Ser Osric's hand… so hands him the reins and hops off the horse.

Ahhh. Yes. The girl. Tameron glances over at her and then back at the Dayne knight, clearing his throat softly. "Madgen, this is Ser Osric, knight of House Dayne and the Sword of the Morning. Ser Osric, this is Magden Quick." There's a small pause before he adds on, "my squire." His green gaze meets Osric's in what's nearly a challenge, chin tipped up and back straightened as if he anticipates some sort of lecture for that decision.

Osric takes the reins readily enough, content to hold the horse for a moment. He reaches up with his free hand to pat the familiar stallion's neck as he listens to Tameron's introduction. And it does strike him odd, it's obvious. Osric is a man who wears his thoughts plainly upon his face. His head tilts, his brow furrows, but he says nothing. Not for now, not in front of the girl. "A pleasure to meet you, Magden Quick," he says instead, and that he seems to mean.

"And you, Ser?" replies Magden, who seems… really not sure about it. She seems to suddenly realize that Osric has the horse, annnd… that's probably her job, isn't it? She clears her throat and reaches to take the reins back. "I'll just…" she looks around. If she were a stable, where would she be? Over there. Good. She points at the stable. "I'm just going to…" Yeah. She looks at Tameron. Halp.

"Take Horse to the stables, there," Tameron says with a nod towards the structure Magden's already spotted. "He'll need food, water, his tack removed and his coat brushed down. One of the stable lads will show you how." It's easier to look at Magden than at the confused query in Ser Osric's expression.

"I've no experience of the stablehands here," Osric admits with a shake of his head, turning as if to accompany Magden toward the stable. "Leave it in their hands, and they may teach you well," he allows, "Or not." He grins as he looks over his shoulder to Tameron, the expression fond as he's taken back to some far-off memory. "I've a free moment. If you'll be patient with me, I could show you myself." If she is to be Tam's squire, even for a short time, Osric means to see she's taught well in that time.

Magden blinks, then looks briefly annoyed, blushing. "I know how to take care of a horse," she tells Tameron. Then, glancing at Osric, she adds, "Ser." Because she's on her best behavior. LIKE IT SO FAR? "No, I — I really do know how, Ser," she awkwards to the older knight, all tangled up pride and apology. "I've been handling horses since I could walk — it's been a while, but I remember how."

Tameron gives a small nod. "Let her prove herself, ser," he murmurs to Osric. "Anyhow, perhaps, while she sees to Horse, you and I might…" he shrugs weakly. Talk? Spar? Explain one's strange selection of squire?

"Of course," Osric says, "My apologies." And he even sounds humble and apologetic when he says it. "It will come quickly back to you," he says with a grin, "And then perhaps you can reacquaint me with the finer points of it. I've recently found myself without a squire." There's a hint of pride as he says that, and turns back to Tameron. "Of course," he agrees readily. His sword is slung from a baldric worn cross-body. He seems ready for either.

Exit Squire Magden, stage stableward. If there's anything she does with confidence in this encounter, it's lead the horse. And GTFO. Like a boss.

Tameron watches Magden make her escape and then breathes out softly before looking back at Ser Osric. "It isn't how it appears," he says. "Are you well, Ser? Lady Ellia sends her love. Well. And her disapproval."

"It appears you've taken on a young woman as your squire, Ser," Osric says skeptically. He won't say what else it appears to be, but it's there in his eyes. Still, the mention of his wife sees the expression curl into at least half a grin, and he nods. "I thought she might," he admits. "She wasn't fond of my decision to come in the first place, you know." A shake of his head says that he's sorry for their disagreement, but he wouldn't have it any other way. "I'm well enough, thank you," he finally says, turning to lead Tameron back toward the yard. "And you? You've a bit of travel behind you."

Tameron walks with Ser Osric, offering a small nod. "It was little more than a ship's ride." For all Tameron is no fan of ships and tends to avoid them when any other means of travel is an option. "Well, that first bit is so. She is a woman. And my squire. Since last eve, anyhow."

"You are a knight now, and by your own merit," Osric tells Tameron, his chin dipping in a nod. "You'll have my support in your decision, though I won't pretend to approve," which his young friend likely knew. "But you know in your heart that it won't work," he says with a mild frown. "She can't be a knight, and so I don't see the purpose in making her your squire."

"And why can't she?" Tameron asks with a glance over to Ser Osric. "Women of Dorne hold property. It is a Queen that rules here. In Westeros, in the North, there are many warrior women. Why can she not?"

"I see I've failed you in this," Osric says, nodding his head. There's a chastised look to him, even if perhaps that was not Tameron's intention. "Knighthood is an Andal tradition, not a Dornish one. Rooted in the Faith of the Seven, and steeped in history." He frowns as he says, "It's the way of things, Ser Tameron. It's not my rule, but it is a rule, and no knight will recognize her."

Tameron frowns faintly at that, staring down at his boots as if they might offer up some better answer. "If she cannot be a knight, then she can be a warrior. Like Alys Cockshaw or Maera Mormont."

"Or Nymeria herself," Osric says, in agreement. "There's nothing to say she can't be a warrior, nothing at all," he says softly as he walks, "And you'll be a fine teacher. Perhaps that is a better arrangement than knight and squire for the two of you anyway." It's not quite a question, but it hovers on the edge.

"No, we've… well, there were no witnesses, so perhaps it doesn't…" Tameron falls quiet, and he turns on hand so he can stare down at the shallow gash that's scabbed over in the middle of his palm. "If I had been a girl," he murmurs, "when you found me, what would you have done?"

"Taken you in," Osric says readily. "Seen you protected, and taught," he says, turning to face Tameron as he too stops. "I would have done the right thing," he says, summing up. "Just as you will do the right thing by Magden. And know," he adds, reaching out to clap his former squire on the shoulder, "That you have my support, should you need it."

Tameron accepts the clap on his shoulder. "I made her my squire, ser," he points out softly. "We spoke the oath. I can't take it back, now."

Osric takes a moment to think about that, staring first at Tameron, then into the distance. "No, you can't," he agrees finally, though it's difficult to say. "You will have to make her understand. You'll release her from the oath, and she you," he says softly. "To release yourself is to break your oath."

Tameron is quiet again, his arms lifting to cross over his chest. "Would you recognize her, ser? As a knight? If she could follow the code and prove herself on a field of battle?"

"I would not," Osric allows, after a moment's consideration. "When I took my oath, I accepted not just my knighthood, but the tradition of knighthood," he elaborates. "And that tradition does not allow for your young woman to be a knight, Ser Tameron. Think no less of her, or of your knighthood, for that fact. To do so is to insult both. She has no need of knighthood, nor it of her. You and I have both known warriors as bold and true as any knight, who had never earned their spurs. Even Queen Nymeria herself was no knight."

Tameron huffs out a soft laugh, though it's more a bitter sound than a bemused one. "And what do the Andals have against Nymeria that even she would not be considered worthy to become one of their knights? I… you said yourself, some squires do not earn their spurs. If she cannot earn hers, well, so be it. She can still be a squire until she is ready to become something else."

"Some of the Andals had a great deal against mighty Nymeria, I think," Osric says with a muted grin, which disappears into a serious expression as Tameron goes on. "You will be mocked," he warns, levelly, "Though you need pay it no mind. She will be mocked as well, that's of more concern. What will you say when one of Lord Blackmont's knights sneers at her, or some knight of the Reach?"

A corner of Tameron's mouth quirks upwards for this warning, though like that laugh, it's more a wry thing. "I have known worse than mockery, ser," he points out softly, "and so has she. I do not think I will have anything to say to a Dornishman callow enough to curl his lip at a female warrior. The knights of the Reach have already lost what respect I had for them. Their words are dust." His gaze slides sideways and over to Osric. "Will you mock me, ser? Mock her?"

"You know I will not." Osric's tone is harder in answer to the question, bristling slightly in offense. "Nor will I stand for her to be mocked. She did not ask for it, could not have anticipated it. I'll not see her wounded by the their barbs," he says, "Nor you disrespected, no matter how much or little I think of the man speaking."

Tameron gives a small nod, the answer no less than what he's come to expect of Ser Osric. "Then what have we to fear, with the Sword of the Morning as our ally?"

"Much," Osric says, with a fond expression that's more common to Tameron's face, when he thinks Osric is being naive. But that seems to put the matter to rest in his mind, and he pushes onward. "What more is there to do here, do you think?"

Tameron huffs a soft laugh, this one gentler and easy with mirth. "Even so," he allows with a small smile. "I think it might not be amiss to visit Kingsgrave and learn what we can of Yael Blackmont. Perhaps her former servants know who might have wished her ill, or her family. If we learn nothing more, we'll return home from there."

Osric's brow furrows as he considers Tameron's words, nodding his understanding. "How long has it been since she lived with her family in Kingsgrave," he asks. It's not a disagreement, but neither is his tone eager. "Years, hasn't it? You think we will find some insight there, after all this time?"

"I think habits do not change so much between one home and another, but you're right and there may be nothing more to learn," Tam replies. "But as we are already here, I suppose we may as well look. Ser Daevon was going to try and determine which Houses could have likely reached Wickham's Nest in the timeframe between the Cockshaw party's trip from High Garden to the hunting lodge. If he can send word before we leave, perhaps we can investigate those in Dorne as well."

"Of course," Osric agrees with a nod. "Ser Daevon is taking an active hand in this. Did my wife have any advice? Princess Ashara, or Princess Mariya?"

"Princess Mariya wanted to come along, as a voice of female reason that might charm the maids into revealing their secrets," Tameron says with a faint smile. "I, um… courteously declined her offer."

"Probably for the best," Osric admits, though not without a moment's thought. "She's a smart young woman, but the trail is not for her. We'll travel quickly, and sleep in the open, I think." His raised brows make it clear that it's not settled. He's open to disagreement from Tameron.

Tameron nods. "The sooner there, the sooner back," Tameron agrees, "and as we do not really know what we are dealing with yet, bringing a Princess of Dorne into a potential conspiracy that's already abducted one lady of nobility seemed unwise."

"In the extreme," Osric agrees without hesitation. "I believe we can trust Lord Blackmont in this. He may be a rake and a lecher, but the man seems genuinely aggrieved." His voice drops to something just above a whisper as he adds, "But if I am wrong in that trust, and this turns against us, you have to see your squire clear of it and get word to Sunspear."

"She may not need my help to get clear of it, ser," Tameron replies, "and she is no fine noble to be used for political gain. But I have vowed to protect her, and I shall, if it comes to it. I hope we may trust Lord Blackmont. I hope, if there is a conspiracy, he is a victim and not a part of it."

"That is my belief in this," Osric confides, and though he's confident he can't pretend to be certain. "He believes this attack on his wife comes from within the Reach somewhere, and he means to demand satisfaction. He has asked me to fight on his behalf, if it comes to that."

"I am not surprised he would ask," Tameron replies. "Have you yet heard word of the Red Rookery?"

"I have," Osric says, and clearly the word pained him. "A black day, easily the match of the day that precipitated it. My young cousin died there — he was a squire to Ser Ryon Blackmont, the castellan."

Tameron exhales softly and dips in head. "I had heard. I am sorry, ser. Will you fight for Lord Blackmont, then? If it comes to that?"

Osric takes a deep breath, then nods his gratitude. "Thank you." And then, just as seriously, "I told him I would, so long as I remain satisfied that he is seeking the truth of this matter, with no fear of what that truth might be. And I am satisfied of that, for now. I believe that he would make the truth known, even were his own brother the guilty party."

"Then… unless Lord Blackmont is shown to be complicit, I will join you ser. Well, if Lord Blackmont would have me," Tameron amends a touch wryly.

"He also asked that I seek out other champions for his cause," Osric answers to that, grinning at Tameron's wry tone. "And there is no man I would rather see fight at my side."

"It's a shame we cannot demand honor with our fists," Tameron muses with a soft sigh. "I feel I am a surer fighter when I've only my own body to deal with. Still." He glances over at Ser Osric and smiles. "Of course I will fight beside you."

Osric nods readily at Tameron's assessment. "I've never seen your like in a fistfight," he says, and it's an honest evaluation. "You're a fine swordsman as well, but don't let the blade in your hand distract you from the fight." He grins as he says it, as if he were passing on an old and cherished piece of advice. "If you see an opportunity to finish the fight with an elbow or a knee, rather than a blade, then a fight finished is a fight finished."

"If the Sword of the Morning advises such, then it must be so," Tameron teases with a quick flash of a grin. "I shall look for every opportunity to use my elbows, ser."

"It was advice given me by Ser Errol Gaunt," Osric admits, "Late of the Kingsguard." The knight to whom Osric squired, as Tameron is sure to know. "I've ever been one to lean toward the sword, since I was a boy. No doubt I've missed opportunities for it, and Ser Errol was keenly aware of that fact."

"Perhaps that's why they made him Kingsguard," Tameron muses, mostly in jest. "He knew how to use his knees in a swordfight."

"If that's the key to it, you'll rule from Sunspear soon enough," Osric laughs, reaching out to clap Tameron on the back. "I think Ser Errol was named to the Kingsguard for his keen eye, as much as for his skill at arms, in truth. He could read men, and had a good head for fighting. He understood the way of things before they fell into motion."

"Those are good skills to have, on the field of battle and off it," Tameron agrees as he's clapped on the back. "And he trained you, so he must be a great warrior."

"Better than most," Osric says, looking away at the roundabout praise. For all his skill at arms, all his composure, he has still never learned to take a compliment gracefully. "Never the finest swordsman of the Kingsguard, but perhaps its most dangerous man nonetheless."

"Dangerous can be good, too," tameron opines, "if it's used right." He looks up at the sun, already creeping higher in the sky as the morning goes on. "Well, I suppose I should greet our host and see about getting washed. I'm glad to have found you well, ser."

"It's good to see you, Ser," Osric returns, and means it. "Give Lord Blackmont my regards, and tell him I'll join him for dinner. You'll eat with us?" He seems to assume it. "In the meantime, if you need me, I'll be here." In the yard, working with Lord Blackmont's men.

Tameron nods, "Yes, ser, if it would be rude to do otherwise. We'll speak again later, then." He offers his teacher another quick smile before heading into the keep to see about a room and his introductions.

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