(121-04-20) A Change of Plans
A Change of Plans
Summary: Elionys and Riderch take a walk, and have a converstaion.
Date: Date of play (20/04/2014)
Related: The Old, The True, The... Rest

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.

It is late enough in this hot summer evening to be well past supper for most, and into the hour in which people fall into their cups. A boisterous crowd is inside the eatery, but it's outside and just to the left of the door that Elionys Targaryen stands, a pair of guards hovering nearby as they almost always do, but the princess pays them no mind. Her eyes sweep up and down the street in search of someone, but the way they continue to move, it's clear she has yet to find them.

Black and red. The colors of the armor and the clothing of the men who are clad in them. It's only a pair of said men and at this point the figures would be familiar to anyone who has spent a massive amount of time in the streets of Oldtown. A massive, bald-shaven man in black leather-and-maile and the more wiry man with him, his armor covered in a tunic bearing an array of ravens surrounding a spindly weirwood tree. It looks like a chicken vendor was just accosted, as both of them are busy scarfing down the wings of some massive roasted bird.

It would seem that Elionys has been waiting for a while, as she has begun to look properly annoyed, but when her gaze lands on the approaching, wiry man and his hulking squire, the irritation vanishes at once. "Ser Riderch," she calls, annoyance replaced by a smile as she lifts a hand to wave to him, attempting to get his attention.

"So, I said to him — 'ABOVE THE REST'. And he just grabs my cup and keeps bloody /pouring!/" As the conversation rings out, it's the big squire who speaks, cackling at his lord. "How do you keep up with him? How?"

And the next words come from Riderch. Through mouthed gobs of chicken. "You don't understand, Tel. They're all like that. After we're done here we should go to Seagard, an—" He pauses, tilting his head at a shallow angle as he hears something. Or someone. He slaps his squire lightly on his side. "Tel — look likely." "Princess!" He barks out.

Rather than continue to loiter outside of the eatery, Elionys abandons this post to move across the road and towards Riderch. "Am I glad to see you," she informs him as she nears, the two guards trailing close behind. "Not that I need anything, mind you, but I've been waiting out here half an age for someone, and only just came to the conclusion that they're not coming, so now I am in need of company." And it appears she's elected him to be just that.

"Well, if you needed something, you could probably ask and the answer would probably be 'yes.' Particularly if somebody needed to slapped upside the head. Or said head bashed a little." Riderch finally intones, minding his manners after another bite of the chicken leg and letting it fall to his side in his hand, wrapping it in a rag. With a sidelong glance at the guards, his big squire barks a laugh.

"I doubt that'd be necessary, m'lord." Riderch half-nods in agreement before he counters, "I take it you were waiting for someone less hungry, your Grace?" A mischievous smile flickers on his face.

The offer of slapping and bashing is met with a cheerful smile, turning there so that she can walk at his side down the road. "If I ever have need of slapping or bashing, you are the very first person I will call," Elionys promises, steps carrying her slowly down the road, glancing up to make sure he's moving with her now. "So it seems, Ser, and if I fade away to nothing because they neglected to meet me, I hope that you will avenge me for their carelessness?"

"Gods, that is a relief, given what normally goes on here, Princess." Riderch quips, smirking merrily. It would be noted that he does stand a little straighter though, and the chicken is carefully stowed within the rag. He nudges his squire, who reluctantly does the same, with an air of petulant disappointment. "I spent most my waking hours these days waiting — on Lord Hightower. So trust me when I say I know. And I would hope it wouldn't come to that, though."

"Has he still not gotten back to you on the matter?" asks Elionys as she steps closer to try and take hold of Riderch's arm, without waiting to see if it will be offered, now that the chicken has been tucked away. "Between you and I, I'm beginning to question whether or not Lord Hightower actually exists. He may just be product of our imaginations, and that's why nothing ever gets done."

"I don't think he wants to be bothered, myself." Riderch admits, seeming a bit nonplussed here. His broad smile fades a little as he narrates. "I think things have gotten bad. So my cousin came down here from Seagard to petition over the whole issue and it seems the Mallisters don't have any hidden answers either."

"SER Justyn Mallister, you mean, m'lord." the big squire barks, snarkily.

"The Same." Riderch elaborates. Oh yes, the arm is taken, and he's well chuffed by the gesture. "Lord Hightower will emerge, one way or another, or find a fish of a Mallister drank his stores dry. It's his choice, but he's already been back there three times and they're a little less temperate than my side of the family is."

"I cannot understand why a man would accept the position of Lord Hightower, and then refuse to see to the matters that pertain to the position," Elionys remarks, looking rather baffled by the notion. She leans in a little closer, smiling. "Maybe if they run out of wine, he'll emerge to find out why and be forced to face the matter," she jokes, though quietly, and then straightens once more. "The matter has come to the attention of Lord Lyonel though, and Princess Jaehaera, so if nothing else, you can trust that someone will see to the matter. Just, perhaps not the someone you were hoping for."

"It's the life of a Bannerman to a Great House. I'm assuming." Riderch inexpertly opines. "Sometimes though, you don't have a choice. You just do what you're born into." There's a little bit of a shoulder shrug here, although it's a shoulder of the arm the /other/ side of Elionys. Tel, his squire, is silent here, but it's probably for the best.

"I don't want to be there when my cousin gets uninvited, though." Lord Blackwood continues. "Actually, I am pleased that you were all there when you were. Someone has to make this bloody kingdom run. But the matter's gotten worse. Seems the Mallisters had a great cog they sent out themselves — disappear. Gone. Like it was never there. Lord Mallister sent warships out ranging for them but there were no signs. Not even up the coast of the Iron Islands."

Having never been on the other side of the matter, Elionys can only trust that Riderch knows what he's talking about when it comes to Great Houses, and being their bannermen. "Worse?" she asks, pale brows jumping higher as she angles her head to look up at him. "It just vanished? What is awfully peculiar, isn't it? Would you like me to tell Lord Lyonel of this? Or I can leave you to do so, of course, I'm sure he would rather speak to you on the matter, as you're the man with the information."

Ever pragmatic, Riderch's response comes quickly. 'If you think it would help, Princess, I'd be amenable. Really, Justyn knew more about it than I did." There's a bit of a pause here as the Blackwood Lord then laughs merrily. "Well, there's a first for everything." His squire nudges him lightly and Elionys again gets a warm sort of smile. "But worse — we've gone from ships being delayed to ships being — missing. I think unfortunately we're left to pick up the pieces of this mess. I'm of half a mind to find the nearest Greyjoy I can and do something I'd probably regret."

Though she may not understand the joke, having never met the wonder that is Justyn, Riderch's merry laughter elicits a grin from Elionys. "Worse," the grin fades as she repeats this, and a sigh soon follows. "If ships are going missing, that does not bode well. I will mention it to him, and I'm sure Lyonel will want to speak to you again." She gives his arm a gentle, reassuring squeeze, again smiling up at him. "As tempting as it might be to see to the reavers in Oldtown, it might be better to ensure they're responsible before doing something you'll later wish you hadn't. If you must though, do make sure you make the most of it so it's well worth it later."

To this, Riderch positively beams at the fortuitously-encountered Princess. The small group walks along, and it would appear that Tel's sneaking some more chicken. Nobody pays him any heed, though. "No, no, I understand. I've learned not to jump to conclusions, as much as I'd /want/ to. There's been too much of that lately." Boots trod along the cobblestones. "So where are these horribly behaved people you were awaiting and where are you headed?"

"It can be ever so much fun to jump to conclusions occasionally though, can't it?" Elionys proposes, and for a moment, that smile of hers turns a shade impish. "Oh, I haven't any idea as to where they are, but should they decide to come along now, they will find that they are without my company for this evening. I've found better company to keep."

"It is until it isn't." Riderch responds, glibly. "Then people get killed, homes burn, and those left standing just wonder what happened. Believe me when I say I'll never break bread with that Greyjoy in Lord Hightower's court but I'll never speak my mind on the matter truly, which is just as well." He beams a little more at the perceived compliment. "Well, I'll take that as a compliment. Where would you be, right now, if you had your way? Please be honest." That's an odd question.

"Quite true," Elionys' tone becomes less playful, and the arm she holds is squeezed again. "It is nice to hear some here in Oldtown recognize that." Her gaze moves to the river that they walk alongside, and the few lanters that dot the darkness on the opposite shore. "Where would I be? Likely somewhere having a late meal with a cousin. Nothing too terribly important, I fear."

"I can't really take credit for knowing these things, you understand." Riderch counters, walking along. The greasy chicken is sorely forgotten now which is probably a godsend for his companion. The grin returns, more muted and subtle, as he continues. "It's something about where I'm from. You can't go five leagues without walking on the bones of hundreds. And those are just the bones you can see. Our history is writ in blood and war and most of it is sadly useless — what has it brought us? Other than more missing ships.

Weighing her response cautiously he asks, "Is that where you /would/ be or where you wish you would be? Have you ever been fishing, Princess?"

"There is knowing, and then there is knowing," Elionys states, though softly. Those curious purple-hued eyes return to her companion, giving him a thoughtful look. "I suspect it hasn't given us nearly enough for all the blood and war that there has been in our history, but it's good that some remember. Someone must." Her head cants to the side slightly at the last question, a moment taken to consider. "I don't know. Somewhere I've not been before, I suppose, so that I might see something new." A pause follows, and then a small shake of her head. "No, I can't say that I ever have been fishing. Do you fish?"

"Mmm. Before Aegon the Conqueror, we saw the Ironborn. Before them, the Storm Kings. And the Andals. My little Lordship has seen the passing of centuries and nothing really changes, except that the armor gets better looking. Can you imagine wearing bronze? Yechhh." The scruffy lordling makes a sour face as he studies her odd eyes. Well, maybe not odd for a Targaryen. But that's the definition of odd to most.

"/Try/ to fish is more like it. I'm just remembering. The last time I was able to relax here — Keyte Tyrell's people tried to steal my bloody boat. And my bastard half-brother and I ended up in a lake just out of the city's limits. Jorah caught a fish with his bare hands." He laughs some.

"And My Lord was kept dry when it began raining furiously." His squire chimes in, maybe acting as a bemused buzzkill.

"Maybe men simply weren't designed to learn anything significant, at least not when it comes to warfare and bloodshed," Elionys muses these grim things out loud, and the thought has the corners of her mouth turning down into a frown. If only for a moment. "I haven't any idea of how to make that better," she adds, shoulders rising in a helpless little shrug. "Though, if I am honest," and here, she angles her head in closer, as though to impart a great secret. "I can't imagine wearing much of any metal, at least not the sort that isn't made into jewelry. It all looks terribly heavy and hard to move in, I imagine I would have it on and find that I was rooted to the spot from the weight of it all."

The talk of fishing draws her gaze to the river again, and the story pushes away the darker thoughts in favor of this new amusement. "They tried to steal your boat? Why would they do that? They must have boats of their own! Were they up to mischief?" She turns to shoot an amused look back at the squire, but her gaze is swift to return to Riderch.

"I feel like I'm betraying my whole cause for existence, here." Comes a measured and hesitant response from Riderch, who apparently is listening to his own babblings. "So you don't have any great secret, either? Well, that's disappointing." He chuckles nebulously. "Ah, well. And the armor — the secret to it is this — A decent smith will know how to make it so it doesn't weigh you down. Also, I don't go in for all the plate that the Reachmen do." His nose twitches.

"Oh, I think it was merely /borrowing/ the boat. It was still there the next day." His blue eyes twinkle with mischief.

"I fear not," Elionys admits, shaking her head slightly, pale gold and argent waves swaying with the motion. "If you want proper, great secrets, you will probably have to speak to Princess Jaehaera. If anyone has the answers, it has to be her." She cracks another grin, steps pausing as she leans away from him slightly, all while still keeping hold of his arm. "Could you imagine me in armor? I don't know. I am being trained now, but they're forcing me to practice with a bow only until I am good enough with that. Once I am, they'll train me in other things, though I don't know what yet." With that shared, she straightens up again and continues the leisurely stroll down the road. "The Reachmen do appear to like their plate, don't they? They're all so tall though, and large, I suppose they have the strength to walk around in it. I get tired merely looking at them while they wear it."

"Mmm, a bow, aye? /That/ is useful." Riderch responds carefully chewing o the particulars. "That and the spear. You can conquer a bloody kingdom with those things alone." He continues as he walks her along. He himself stops regading secrets. "With all due respect, I think the Princess has the secrets /I/ don't want." This is clearly said to describe Jaehaera.

"And the Reachmen fight the way the Reachmen fight. It seems to work, I certainly don't have any answers."

"A spear as well?" asks Elionys, head canting to the side slightly, as though she's considering the choice of weapon. "Mm. If they ask me, I will tell them that I wish to learn a spear, and once I am able to conquer, I'll be sure to thank you for the advice," she teases. And here, the steps slow to a stop, and she looks around at the guards that trail them. "Though for now, I fear I should be going back, if I don't, I'll start having people fuss at me about being out too late and too long, but you should come by. It would be nice to have more company."

"All these things are useful for hunting, too." Comes the long, slow response on Riderch's part. "Which is sort of the point. If you can make something of warrior of yourself in the process, all the better." The man merrily notes as he too follows her lead and holds up a hand to his squire to signal his own stop, rounding on the Princess. "Once you're able to conquer, remember the little Lords who bear you goodwill." Lord Blackwood's voice isn't mocking. It is, however, amused. "Well, that's it, then? I shouldn't keep you. Although I see you have an able enough escort."

He pauses on this last bit. "An invitation? I'll have to actually dress up. But I'm flattered, Princess." He even bows a little.

Elionys releases his arm as he turns to face her, smiling merrily up at him and leaning in just a little closer. "I will be certain to remember you, Ser, you can be assured of that." She straightens and folds her hands before her, that cheerful smile changing into something warmer for the Lord. "You are welcome to come just as you are, and if anyone has a problem, I will have some very stern words for them." She draws back a step, preparing to go on her way, but before she does the Lord is given one last smile. "I am so glad to have run into you, you've made my night far better than it was, Ser Riderch, and I am awfully grateful for that. I hope that you have a good night."

"Probably the best thing I've heard all week, and worth every ship we could hear about losing in the process." Riderch bows his head smoothly to the slight chagrin of his squire who does the same - a bit deeper though, though. "And /that/ isn't something I hear every day. For your part, you make this square a little brighter with your footsteps, Princess. Whether you're used to hearing things like that now, or not. /Do/ have a pleasant evening."

Whether she's used to hearing things like that, when it's said, Elionys' smile turns just the tiniest bit pleased. With that, she inclines her head graciously, and turns to make her way down the road with her two looming guards in tow.

And so it is left - a pair of Riverlanders and some slightly aged chicken. But the night is young.

(feel free to tag the log with character names of those involved!)

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