(121-04-07) I'm on a Boat
I'm on a Boat
Summary: Magden and Osric have their first real conversation. It could have been worse? There were no sharks.
Date: 07/04/2014
Related: Related Logs

The seas have been mercifully calm, so far, during the journey to Oldtown, and the moon hangs large over the black water, but there are restless souls awake on the Sunspear Star yet. The girl called Magden Quick is one, having climbed straight up the mainmast like a large-eyed monkey, just her legs and one arm anchoring her as she leans out into the gentle wind. She seems quite content there, much to the consternation of the skeleton crew.

Osric too must have trouble sleeping aboard the ship, for the night sees him emerging from below decks where he was meant to sleep. He wears a sandsilk robe, trousers and sturdy boots, the wind tugging at his loose clothing. The moonlight silvers his blonde hair, making him stand out from the crew from the moment he appears topside. He wears a thoughtful expression, calm and contemplative, as his careful steps carry him to the rail at the starboard side of the ship, somewhere near the prow. He reaches out to rest his hands on the rail, staring out over the sea as the agile trader cuts through the water.

She barely makes any sound at all as she hits the deck, dropping from her perch like a diving hawk and rolling to her feet. She steps over to join the Sword of Morning at the rail, childlike beside his height, weight resting foward on her bony elbows. Magden glances at him in silence, saying nothing at first.

With the wind steady across the deck and the sound of the ship itself breaking through the waves, there's little hope that Osric might hear Magden's approach. Still, he doesn't startle when she appears at his side. Violet eyes turn her way, and a grin tugs at the corner of his mouth. "A fine night, isn't it," he asks, though it's a touch chilly. "A fine thing, to be aboard a well-crewed ship. There's something about watching men work, who know their business, isn't there?"

Magden looks a shade skeptical. "If you say so. I'm not so fond of sailors." She studies the glittering shards of the moon in the water. "Is there going to be a war?"

"Fond or no," Osric says, his eyes turning from her to watch a man work in the rigging, "These men are skilled and confident — skilled at something I have no grasp of." He continues to watch in silence for a long moment, his momentary grin fading as he considers Magden's question. "Is there going to be a war," he finally asks himself, aloud. "I don't think so. I hope not."

She nods, frowning out at the waves. "Then… there'll be a challenge. One of theirs against one of Blackmont's." A skeptical, sidelong look's cast up at Osric. "And you think the gods will make sure the guilty man dies?"

"Men," Osric says, shaking his head once. "You'll remember that raven I sent from Kingsgrave," he says, assuming an affirmative. "Lord Blackmont means to accuse several knights of the Reach of the attack on Wickham's Nest. It's his wish that their innocence or guilt be determined by a Trial of the Seven."

"And… that's a trial by combat, isn't it? So whoever's better with a blade wins." Magden looks at Osric, now, not at all sure she has the right of it.

"It is," Osric agrees with a slow nod, the sort a teacher might give to a promising pupil. "Seven champions to a side, rather than just one. It's rarely done," he says with a lift of his brows. "There hasn't been one in my lifetime, I think. Neither in Dorne, nor in all of Westeros."

"It's a stupid thing, when men kill one another," opines Magden. "There are worse things, but not many." She pulls a windblown lock of hair out of her eyes, pensive. "I don't see how the gods have much to do with it. I think, if I were a god, I'd be annoyed if people used my image to justify their silly slaughters."

"It's an unforunate thing," Osric agrees, perhaps surprisingly. "It represents a failure, I think, most times. A failure to communicate, by those men or their lords." His violet eyes are wistful now, turning back to look out over the water. "But there are times when it is necessary, and this may be one of those times. Whatever your beliefs, Magden, the Seven do take a hand in justice. And this is justice." A shade of a smile, soft and genuine, twists his lips as he turns to look at her again. "This is why you and I are not gods, Mistress."

"I'm not a mistress," the girls corrects, grumpily. "Just a Magden. And if the gods allow this sort of silly shit, maybe people of better sense should be." Magden glances at him a bit guiltily, more apologetic for her language then the lord's presence, perhaps, than her heresy. "Ser." She turns and levers herself up onto the rail, sitting on it with her back carelessly to the sea. "I don't think I believe in the gods. I've never seen justice. Not real justice."

"Stay close to Ser Tameron, then," Osric says readily. "You may not see the gods, but he'll show you justice, I think." His grin fades, and his tone is heavy. "He's a man with more care for justice than for laws, I think. The world has need of young men like him, Magden. "Good men. Good knights."

"He's more clever than most people, then," says Magden. She looks down at her feet, hand gripping the rail on either side of her. "I haven't met very many good men, Ser." She kicks the heels of her boots on wood. "Tam might be that, though," she agrees, hesitantly.

"He is," Osric says, and there's no hint of doubt in his voice. "But he'll need reminding of it from time to time. If you're to be his squire," Osric says — and there's conflict in his voice when he says it, "Then I would ask you to remind him. Is that what you mean to be to him?"

Magden blinks, taken aback. "He certainly values your good opinion over mine, Ser. Over anyone's." That much is obvious to her already, no matter how new she is to either man's acquaintance. "I'm not sure how I would." Remind him, that is. As for being his squire, she shrugs her shoulders. "He seems set on it."

"He thinks me naive," Osric says with a shake of his head, "And mayhaps he's right. I don't doubt the truth of your words, but if he thinks you more clear sighted, then it would do it well to hear it from you, from time to time." A moment's pause as he watches Magden, and he adds, "You could release him from the oath. The two of you could release one another, and no one would think less of you for it. In truth, it might change your relationship but a little, even." His violet eyes seek the young girl's out as he says, "It will be a hard road, if you are to be his squire. Hard for both of you. Though you will have my support, that may mean little enough in the end."

"I don't care to be a knight," says Magden, frankly. She rolls her eyes a little. "It never occurred to me to be one, or a squire, either. But that's not really the point." Lashes sweeping down, gaze on her boots again, she hunches her shoulders. "He wants a squire. He wants me. I can give him that… until he doesn't, anymore." Her glance touches Osric. "It's not bad for me, so long as it lasts. I'm fed and I'm safer than I would be on my own. That's no small thing."

Osric nods his agreement, taking in her summary of their relationship. "You can't be a knight," he says at length. "Though some might wish that were different, it is not. So there are knights who will not accept that you are Ser Tameron's squire without comment. They won't mock you in my presence," he's quick to add, "Or I'll see them make amends for it. As will Ser Tameron," he goes on, "But it will make things difficult for the both of you. So he wants a squire, and he wants to help you. But do those two things have to be one and the same? Could you not travel with him, and he still take on a squire?"

"You men think words have so much weight," says Magden with a faint, mirthless chuckle. "Who is wounded by mockery, save the one who cares? And I am not that one, Ser." She smirks. "You think I am afraid to be called Ser Tameron's whore? And would they call me that any less, if I simply traveled in his company?" She shakes her head. "I would rather be a whore than be given coin for pity, Ser. One way or another, I'll earn my way."

"If you think the words won't wound him," Osric says with a shake of his head, "Then you've less understanding of the world you move in than you think, Magden. A man is his reputation as much as anything. If Ser Tameron is mocked, then that reputation suffers, and the man suffers with it. I am hardly suggesting you be his whore," he says, the words edged with disapproval. "Only that the two of you consider what you mean to be to one another, and be it. Earn your way, Magden. But if you think on it, and decided that being a squire is not important to you, then earn your keep some other way. You might do all a squire would do for him, only not be called a squire, and so save the both of you a great deal of frustration."

"I've already suggested that," says Magden, a hint short. "The words I spoke said serve, and so I'll serve. I don't need to be a squire or called a squire or — " she huffs out a breath. "You think I have some kind of pride or ambition, Ser, and you're wrong. None of this is — this is his desire. His decision. What he wants me to be — I'll be the very best there is. That's all."

"You have the wrong of it," Osric says with a shake of his head. "In fact, I know Ser Tameron very well. We have spoken of it, and if we had not, I fancy I might still know his mind. I never doubted this was his wish, and never assumed you to be either proud or humble. There will come a time when we are familiar enough with one another to need make no assumptions. In the meantime, I will do my best to make none from ignorance. The would only serve as stumbling blocks to our efforts to know one another."

"Then why try to convince me I don't need to be a squire?" asks Magden, clealy skeptical of his assertions.

"I'm not trying to convince you of anything," Osric says patiently. "Only warning you that if you mean to be a squire, or to let Ser Tameron call you one — whatever the case in your mind — that it will be difficult for him, and for you. Do what you will with the warning, now that you have it."

"You have a reason for your warnings — an end you'd like to see — like most men. You just don't want to come out plain. Like most men." Magden pushes off the rail and hops down to the deck, once more.

"You're wrong again," Osric says. "I have been plain. I do not wish to see Ser Tameron, or you, put through that difficulty unless your eyes are open and you decide there is a purpose in it." He watches her as she moves, turning slightly to face her once she has landed, one of his hands remaining on the rail. "If you choose that path, then I will stand by Ser Tameron in his choice. But I would not see it made lightly."

"Do you think I am light?" asks Magden, plainly.

"I think you do not fully grasp the situation," Osric answers, just as straightforward.

The girl folds her arms. "And what would you have me do? Plainly."

"Think on it," Osric says, frank. "Now that you have a clearer picture. Think on it, discuss it with Ser Tameron, and decide what you mean to be to one another."

"What part of 'We discussed it, I told him I don't need to be a squire or be called squire' am I not conveying in Common?" asks Magden, exasperated. "He wants what he wants. You think I have some kind of sway over him you don't? He doesn't know me from the First Men."

"I think that, if you truly did not want it, he would not force it on you," Osric says, disapproval tingeing the words.

Magden narrows her eyes. "Now you're finally speaking the truth. You might have said as much, like an honest man, many, many words ago." She spits over the rail. "You must think I am very stupid, as well, since you have me wanting something so injurious to Tam and me, both." A muscle flexes in her jaw. "I wanted very much to like you, Ser. Because he loves you. If you want this remedied, talk to him. I may not be much — I may not be anything — but while I'm free, I don't need to bear your insults." She turns on her heel.

Osric's brow furrows, but he doesn't speak out to stop her. He's perplexed by her reaction, but apparently not inclined to pursue the matter. The look on his face says he may have more to say on the subject, but that look is between Osric and the silver moon. And with a deep breath taken and released, that look too is gone.


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