(121-05-08) Brainstorming
Brainstorming
Summary: There's no bad idea when you're brainstormin'.
Date: Date of play (05/08/2014)
Related: None
Players:
Abram..Laurent..Quill..Johanna..Riderch..Tyraxeus..

Dining Hall, Little Bellhorn Holdfast

The new home of half the Tyrell household receives a visitor who had been gone from Oldtown for over a fortnight. Abram wanders into the dining hall, directed to meet Laurent there by the retainers.

Finally, a day without rain. Now the humidity is the bother — the dining room of the Little Bellhorn Holdfast swelters in the summer heat. The last trio of unruly men-at-arms trails out as dinner time passes, leaving Ser Laurent Tyrell and his few closest guests alone at the head table, with room for more. Fine wine is to hand, and stronger drink still available at the sideboard, and the Thorn lounges in his highbacked chair like an arrogant monarch, though he wears a thoughtful frown as is his wont. His dark eyes follow the receding forms of his men, lingering until the door closes before one hand reaches up to unlace his billowing shirt at the neck. When the door opens again, his eyes are drawn back to it, and he can't quite supress a grin. "You're back, you bastard," he says, making it sound like an accusation. "There's wine, and stew left if you're hungry."

"I am. And the offer of wine is enough for me to forgive you not standing when I walked in," Abram quips with a crooked smile. "Is Quill about? Once I'm done wasting words on you, I'll want for some intelligent council." Steps carry him around the table to pour himself a measure of wine. A glance about the holdfast. "Not bad. Mine will be nicer, though."

It's a holdfast, not a marketplace tent, so there were a few guards a new visitor likely had to talk his way past. The visitor is announced by a hurried-looking servant who enters the dining hall, seeking Laurent in particular. "Ser Laurent — A 'Lord Riderch Blackwood' is here asking to speak with you. What should I tell him?" There's a pause as the servant bows his head to Abram as well.

"My sweating arse it will," Laurent says with a snort that might be meant as laughter. Might be derision, though. Hard to say with the Thorn. "The Blackrood was…" He stops as the door comes open again, and scowls at the servant. The harried looking man's words draw a lift of his heavy brow. "Tell him he's better company than this man," he rejoins with an open-handed gesture toward Abram, "And I'll thank him to hurry, so that I might be spared a moment alone in such company. And once you've delivered that message, see if Ser Quillian might be stirred to join us."

Abram grins at Laurent's barbs, swallowing a draught of wine before advising, "Careful, I'm more prominent company, now. You are lucky enough to be speaking to the new Knight of Derring Downs." A flippant flourish is added as he settles into a chair facing Laurent. "Of course, the Downs have no hall just yet, but if you can avoid jeapordizing my cousin's marriage prospects I'll bring you along for a hunting holiday to have a look." A glance aside as the retainer announces Riderch.

Laurent lifts his glass in congratulations, but answers, "I've never heard of Derring Downs." He will drink anyway though, a healthy swallow, before he lets his glass rest on the table. "That was unfortunate," he growls as he moves onto the next subject, shaking his head, "But I think it's seen to. Not her fault at all, and there were servants about who can vouch for her conduct. That mad Targaryen bitch drove your cousin to fury." It's obvious to a keen eye that there's more to the story — Laurent is a terrible liar. But he's stubborn, too, and unlikely to come off the full truth.

The servant has excused himself without stepping on toes. It's a thing a lot of servants are good at. And a few moments later, there's a man arriving. No guards, entourage, just Riderch Blackwood, walking with a casual sway of his arms, although one might note his left shoulder is a tad bit stiff. He looks about the dining hall with a few swivels of his head. "Oh, uhh — I'm sorry Ser. It looks like I showed at the wrong time." Abram is glanced at with a slightly unfamiliar narrowing of his eyes, but all the same the man gets a nod.

Said Riverlander's not in armor, just a nicely-made tunc and riding breeches, with that ridiculous raven-feather cloak he loves to wear.

"Oh, I know it's not her fault," Abram returns with a familiar crooked grin to Laurent's defense of his cousin. "The Downs are north of here, on the Mander near Brightwater Keep. Not much, but it's mine, now." Riderch gets a raised glass in greeting and a merry, "Hail, Ser. The more, the merrier. A statement never more true than when a man is trapped at a table with Laurent Tyrell."

"The more you drink," Laurent says sourly, "The more merrily you might abide Ser Abram's company. Ser Riderch Blackwood," the Thorn introduces the latest arrival. "Ser Abram is the knight of something called Derring Downs," he informs Riderch helpfully, though his tone is anything but. "There's wine, and stronger," he says with a wave at the sideboard, "And the stew is still cooling, if you've a mind to eat."

The door opens again, though rather than being a servant to announce another visitor, it's just Johanna, who makes it a couple of steps in before her gaze falls on the men already present. "Good evening," she says, not exactly uncertain, though the greeting also comes off as a question.

"I just spent way too many days having to share a side in an engagement with Sylas pigfucking Volmark, so trust me when I say I've had so much worse company." Riderch Blackwood's wry, oh-so-dry delivery of a response and his lips curl in a lopsided display of amusement. "I believe I have seen you before but was unaware of Derring Downs. Ser Abram." He offers. "Apologies, that was probably rather uncouth."

This is stated as probably less of a true apology and more of an acknowledgment that he said a naughty word. "Don't mind if I do? I appreciate the hospitality." Settling into an empty seat, he plants his arse in the chair and looks over as Johanna also makes her way in. "Oh, Hello." He begins, before pouring himself some wine he just pinched from said sideboard along with a cup.

"Uncouth?" Abram echoes curiously. "Which part? Of pigfucking ironborn? The Downs are along the Mander River, so cursing the salty savages us likely to become a pastime of mine own before long. And my heirs." As Johanna enters, the lazy lord drags himself to his feet, for the sake if his friend's sister. "Lady," he greets. Belatedly, he adds, "That reminds me…" A swallow of more wine, as he retakes his seat.

Laurent drags himself to his feet as well, when Abram does, gesturing toward an empty chair. "Join us," he invites her with a nod at an empty chair. "We were just discussing little known points of Reach geography," he adds sullenly. "Mayhaps you've something to contribute." Settling heavily back into his chair, he takes up his wine glass again, a wry grin playing briefly across his features.

"Sers," Johanna greets them all collectively, smiling as she crosses from her place near the door to the chair that is gestured to. "I'm not sure I have too much to contribute on that particular topic, but I might be able to drudge something up, should you truly want for me to."

"Gods spare you from that." Riderch's eyes roll ever so slightly in a show of sympathy towards Abram. "I believe you know what to do." He makes a little faux-stabbing motion with his hand to make it more obvious. And there's a blade-twist there for good measure with the pantomime. And he stands too, a few moments afterwards, to more /formally/ greet Johanna as he shoots her a bemused grin. "Good to see you again." Finally he sits and tilts his head at Laurent. "I could use a refresher myself, it seems I am staying here longer and longer than I originally had been led to believe."

Riderch adds a ''mlady' after the good to see you again bit. Really. Fault of the narrator.

Abram nods twice, grinning at Riderch's stabbings and adding a mined hanging, complete with tongue lolling out of his mouth, briefly. "Ahem! Moving on, I require your advice, and Quill's when he limps in. This is a topic my lady certainly can advise me upon: what is the best way to break a betrothal?"

Laurent's heavy brow lifts at the question, and he is silent a moment as stands from his chair to cross to the sideboard. This heady discussion calls for more than wine, and he produces a decanter of amber liquid and five glasses, one of which will stand empty for the moment. The rest he fills with strong rye whiskey and pushes to the others at the table before lifting one himself. No toast, only a sip and a thoughtful frown. "We might kill him," he suggests after he swallows. "Or her. Either."

"Good to see you again as well," Johanna replies to Riderch softly, a brief, small smile given the Riverland knight. Her attention is quick to move to Abram, brows furrowing with thought, rather than any sort of judgment on the matter. "It depends on what you're hoping to accomplish, aside from breaking the betrothal. Do you want them to look bad, or do you want her reputation to remain strong so that you can pursue her?" She takes the glass that's placed before her, swirling the contents of it rather than taking a drink immediately. This may be, in part, because she drank half the wine in the house last night. Or near enough.

The door to the dining hall opens, though it is no party of arms men that follow, rather it's a pale and slow moving Blackrood that is soon to enter. Black breeches, and an arm mending in a sling, this is what a champion looks like. His eyes look to the gathering before he is closing the door behind him with his good arm, and makes his way towards where the men are seated. "Evening, my compatriots.." his weak welcome is given.

"Murder. Well, I guess that worked for my brother." Riderch clicks his tongue, as he heaves a heavy sigh. It's not exactly a joke. His head lolls to and fro, seemingly trying to gauge if this statement was a proverbial fart in a room. Having settled into the chair, he brings the cup to his lips as his eyes go from Tyrell, to Oakheart, to Florent, darting to and fro. "You're adding some important distinctions, here. Probably the most — acceptable way to do this in the eyes of the Gods is to dangle the prospect of someone irresistible in front of one of the parties involved, mm?"

Abram shakes his head to Laurent, "No, no, killing her won't do-" He raises a hand to itch at one ear when Johanna and Riderch make it increasingly obvious he needs to say more. "Alright, some context- ho there, Quill." He idly raises his glass in salute, as he leans unevenly on one arm of his chosen chair, and explains: "This supposedly great swordsman from a famous family has become betrothed to a lady that I mean to steal for myself. While I'd never have minded a bit of scandal, given my new status, and the need to marry the lady afterward- Oh, I'm a landed knight now, Quill. Took your advice for once- I have to avoid outright murder. Nothing too cripplingly scandalous. Thus, my question for you all: what is the best way to break this betrothal while preserving the lady."

"Comes now the victor," Laurent growls, as amiably as he's ever said anything in his life. He pours and lifts the fifth glass now, good whiskey, which he then puts down on the table to slide toward an empty seat. "Ser Abram is the knight of someplace or other now — you won't have heard of it — and means to steal himself a wife." The Thorn leans forward against the table now, weight resting on his elbows, frowning as he thinks on it further. "How might he be found unfit to marry her," he muses, staring into his own glass as he considers the question.

The arrival of her brother warrants a smile, and a critical look at Quillian to make sure he isn't hurting himself. Apparently satisfied that he'll survive the (not so) long trip to the table, Johanna looks back to the already seated men. "If you want to break it, and it's unlikely that it's going to happen otherwise, you need to find some way to make him look undesirable to her family. Some sort of scandal that is bad or insulting enough to her that her family will put a stop to the marriage."

"Well." Quillian says with a faint smile. "I do not know what to say. Congratulations, Lord Ser." A faint chuckle there. "What Knight are you?" asked before a motion is made for cup and wine-if someone would be so bold as to oblige him. Quietly, the Blackrood listens to Abram's words before he's laughing softly from his place. "I am sure you could challenge him to a duel over the Lady's hand. Mind you-don't choose swords." and a faint smirk. "I'd say choose Maelys Targaryen, but he is in the habit of losing these days to Reachmen. So whom is it? Someone from Highgarden-which family?" DEETS, gotta give DEETS.

Musing quietly, Quillian looks back towards Abram. "You could kill her father, that worked for me." a snort and then a serious look. "Ah, if you got her with child she'd be set aside and you could snag her for a larger dowry. It'd look charitable."

"Ho, Ser Quillian." Riderch's cup is raised in a toast reserved for champions. He's still working on his first cup of wine. His lips purse. "Take stock of a man's failings." He's thinking like Johanna here, it seems. "Is he a ponce? Does he have some unpleasant appetites?" Unfortunately the Riverlander answers Abram's question with more questions, it would seem. He winces a little at the Blackrood's suggestion but stifles a 'heh' indicating he gets the inherent humor in it all.

"Easiest thing you can do is get this 'great swordsman' to go chase after something else."

Abram winces at Johanna's advice, noting, "Her family stands to gain a great amount of wealth by the marriage. Souring them on the match is unlikely, as the wedding might take place rather soon." As Quill speaks up, Abram barks a short laugh, smiling broadly and commenting on his last point first. "I am the Knight of Derring Downs. Thanks in large part to the very same Maelys Targaryen. As for the groom, I've seen no proof of his prowess, though he is rather renowned." Talk of getting her pregnant draws a short chuckle. "I might be ahead of you on that score, but.. what? Highgarden? No," he refutes with an 'ugh' expression. Which bridges to Riderch's query. "Not sure he can chase anything else."

"Send it to him, then." Laurent growls the suggestion, his whiskey forgotten for the moment in his hand. "Doesn't even matter if he fucks them, does it? Whores leaving his house in the wee hours will raise eyebrows. Moreso if they're men," he says with a black look toward the door. "The Father's bleeding arse, but haven't I seen that mess happen." With a look of wry amusement, he adds, "I might even know a man as can find male whores as would take the job."

"There are few options here, if they won't be turned against it," Johanna admits with a glance around at the others. "You could challenge him, but without knowing who it is, it's hard to say whether or not that would be wise. Is this something that she wants to do?" she asks, lifting her glass for a very small sip of whiskey. "If she wants to break it off, she might better know what needs to happen in order to make her family turn against it. Or, as Ser Riderch said, lure him off in some other direction. Some brighter and better prospect for his family, if there are any." She glances at Laurent, brows furrowing with thought. "That might work, depending upon where he lives. If it's a house full of people, you might need to have them coming out of his room."

"Ah, Ser Blackwood!" Quillian says with a wave of his hand before a servant has given him wine. A nod of thanks is applied before he is taking a long pull of his drink. Lips smacked before he is looking back towards Abram again. "Who in the hell is this man that we're talking in vaguery?" A good enough question there. "Well then let her suffer minor scandal. No one will say anything, and should she feel the same way-then Surely she'll be happy with the transformation, no matter the cost." A brief pause, before he is looking at Laurent. "I'm sure your cousin has their addresses memorized.." a pause. "Howbout a mummer's farce? Simply make it look like he likes cock up his ass and then-annulment." a small frown from his cup. "I would have clapped to be dramatic, but my other arm."

"I wonder if the Black Peacock is still in business." Riderch offers, blandly, as he shoots Laurent a /look/ right when he says 'male whores.' Is there a curl of his mouth there? Maaaybe. But he hides it in his wine. The cup then clinks lightly against the table's surface.

"Well, I know a few noblewomen who seem to be /on the hunt/ if that's the thing. Seems to be a lot of that going on up North."

Riderch coughs a little as he takes another sip.

"Had I not said?" Abram queries of Johanna, as he leans forward to refill his glass. "Ser Dresden Reyne. Supposedly some famed tournament knight some years ago, have you heard of him, Laurent?" he queries aside of the Thorn, before noting to the groom's living situation, "I believe he resides at the Hightower, and- frankly, I've little patience for sneaking a cartload of male whores anywhere. I'm no damned Tyrell," a merry grin to Laurent with the barb, before he makes a dismissive motion of his free hand. "To the seven hells with it all, maybe I should just challenge him and have done with it." A groan meets talk of the peacock, "Ugh! I'm trying to avoid talk of murder for now, so no more talk of that one."

"Bastards," Laurent complains. "A pox on every one of you." Reminded suddenly of the whiskey in his hand, he tosses back half the glass, grimacing at the burn. "Save for Lady Johanna," he corrects himself with a look her way, and a lift of his heavy brow. On the subject of Dresden Reyne, though, he has no good news. "I wouldn't want to cross blades with him, and I'm twice the swordsman you are," he opines toward Abram. "Might rather claim that greyscale left him impotent, and makes him a poor match for her."

"Ah, if you did, I didn't hear," Johanna admits to Abram, looking only faintly apologetic for her potentially poor listening skills. A quiet laughter is stifled as she lifts her glass again for a sip, giving Laurent an amused look as she's spared the curse. "So kind." She clears her throat and returns her cup to the table. "If you mislike the idea of a cart full of whores, murder, hurting her reputation, and fighting him is out, is there anything left

"We cannot help it, if our cousin, yours closest darling, " Quillian adds as an aside to Laurent, "has seen more white on ye olde pole than a barber." A sniff there before he is finishing out his wine. "Johanna, please?" a waggle of cup in order to get some more wine. As the name is uttered there is a faint sucking in of air over teeth before he is looking to Abram. "Ah, th' Grey Lion?" as much as he can say he does nod towards Laurent. "I think that is a safer choice. I bet a Maester would agree with that diagnosis as well." A nod. "Make of him a mule."

"Like hell you're twice the swordsman I am," Abram scoffs to Laurent's barb. "Give me my axe, and I'll smite the dusty old bastard so hard, it will knock the grey off his scales AND out of his hair." Another swallow of wine for emphasis. "Which might seem more like a claim that I'm a better axeman than swordsmen, which wasn't the original point, but go to hell anyway." Johanna is met with the stubborn claim, "Fighting him is most certainly not out."

"Reyne. Reyne." Riderch snaps the fingers on his free hand. "Lannister Bannermen. Gold and Greyscale." The Riverlander's shoulders rise and slump in a messsy fashion. "He /is/ a knight and I suppose one could challenge him too. But here's a better question? Who is she?"

Laurent nods as Quill takes hold on his suggestion, smug for a moment, before Abram's denial elicits a sharp (but thankfully brief) bark of laughter. "You think I sell myself short?" He drums the fingers of his free hand on the tabletop, and then leans back into his seat once again, pushing what remains of his whiskey toward the table's center. His dark eyes drift to Riderch and his question, though he wears a skeptical look at this. Is it a better question? The Thorn doubts that very much, apparently.

Johanna's hands lift to fend off the denial from Abram, smiling, "As you say. You know better than I." The hands drop as Quillian wags the cup at her, and she answers it with a sour look, though if there is annoyance it can't be too serious, because she's on her feet a moment later, moving to the sideboard to fetch a flagon of wine. She doesn't pay attention to the kind, but gimpy sibling beggars can't be choosers.

A sigh leaves Quillian as eyes flick back between Abram and Laurent. "Please Sers, we can measure cocks later. There's something of import here." though clearly whatever put Quillian off, seems to be part of there joke, given his own smirking. "Oh yes, we never asked who it was.." he adds before looking back. "I hope someone good." he adds before looking up at Johanna, and then back to Abram. "Wait, you said you were ahead of me? Was she technically a virgin?"

"I think every Tyrell has sold every Florent short for the last century, and fuck you if you think I won't fight him just because he won some damned joust a dozen years ago and you're scared of him," Abram argues back at Laurent. Despite the rebuttal, he seems to share the Tyrell's skepticism that Riderch poses a better question. Still, he shrugs and offers, "I'll give you a hint:" His goblet of Arbor Red is held up and indicated with a flourish of his free hand. He doesn't leave the clue hanging long before supplying the answer, "She's Valerity Redwyne." A sip of the wine follows the pronouncement, and a curious peer at Quillian. "Technically- what? No. I've been bedding her for months- what does that even mean?"

"If you think my cock's not a thing of import, run and fetch a set of scales," Laurent tells Quill, with no mind at all for manners. The group sits in the dining hall, four knights and a lady, a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of fine Arbor wine between them. The Thorn lounges in his chair, practically sprawled, with little interest in either drink. Nor in the identity of the lady, from the look on his face. "If you need, I'll face him in your place," he suggests. "Not because you're scared," he's quick to interject, raising a hand to forestall Abram's indignation, "But because I have a chance of winning."

"Who is dueling now?" Ty Dondarrion is late to the party, but invites himself in anyway, apparently invited(?) but just belated. He pours himself a drink and looks around, double-taking when he spots Johanna. He bows his head politely to her and then looks back to Laurent and Abram, brows up in question.

"Well this is something." The look is shot between Abram and Laurent with a screwed-up quirk of Riderch's mouth as he curls his hands around his wine cup. Maybe it's just something to hold on to.

"All right. This point is taken. So the direct approach?" The Riverlander seems a little detached from this whole affair.

"Heyo." Apparently in all this madness it doesn't seem to bother Quill that his sister is here amidst the talk of technical virgins and cocks. Quillian does smirk back over towards Laurent before nodding thanks idly to Johanna. "Thank you, darling." added to his sister with a smile. More wine to be had. At the mention of Redwyne both brows shoot up. "I do not know the girl, but the last name is promising." he adds with a grin. As for Abram's question there's a shrug in reply. "Ask Garvin Tyrell?" or has Garvin-well there's likely a lot of things one has done and one should not know. "A reference to stemming the rose, son."

"You're not going to start talking about that whole rose business again, are you?" Johanna asks Quillian as she pours some of the wine in his glass, it's a gold variety, apparently, then thunks the whole flagon on the table beside him. With that task done, she circles the table and returns to her seat, looking up at Tyraxeus with a small, amused smile, though it fades and she makes a face as Quillian does exactly what she thought he would.

"Ty," Abram greets the Dondarrion, distracted only for an instant from his argument with Laurent. "I am," he answers the question of who is dueling, "Because I'm not inclined to grant Dresden Reyne the sporting chance he would have in thrashing a Tyrell." Quill's banter is answered with a sardonic half-smile and quip of, "Is that why Emilia hasn't gotten with child yet?"

Laurent laughs as Abram turns the tables on Quill, their argument forgotten — at least for the moment — as he leans forward to lift his glass, and take a swallow of the amber liquid inside. He nods then to Ser Tyraxeus, and slouches in his seat to nudge the chair across from him out with a toe, in mute invitation. "There's wine and whiskey," he adds with a gesture that way, straightening slightly again.

"What a place." Riderch's voice is rough as he simply drowns his observation in the rest of his wineglass. "I could get used to this." He leans over and ambles to his feet to go for a refill. He ends up fumbling about and putting a dollop of spirits in his wine, which is probably a terrible idea.

Ah and there a sour note turned. "No." Quillian states back as eyes narrow slightly over towards Abram. "She's been-" and his teeth grit down. "It's deliberate." That is likely a touchy subject with the Oakhearts at the moment. "I'm thinking of rectifying it though with a garden that can produce." added quietly before he is looking at Laurent. "Speaking of wives, Ser.." and there a brow shoots up.

Thankfully, Tyraxeus shows and thus any quip Quill had is lost there. "Ah! Lord Dondarrion, how are you?"

Tyraxeus gives a nod of thanks to Laurent as he takes his seat and acquires a drink, and nods and gestures of greeting to the others. "And why Dresden Reyne?" he asks, "I'm late, forgive me. I take it it's something to do with a wife. Has he challenged you over his own, Florent?" Worth a guess, at least.

"He doesn't have a wife yet, and I mean to see that he doesn't marry the one he is betrothed to," Abram clarifies the admittedly murky topic at hand for Tyraxeus. "Which is why- unless you have a better idea for breaking up a betrothal than carts full of male whores, or turning him into a mule-" the ideas have been lively so far, it seems, "I mean to challenge him."

Even Johanna's expression sours at the mention of her brother's wife, and this time it seems a more genuine displeasure. "About time," is all she says on the matter, and then sets to work sipping down the rest of her whisey, which doesn't help to make her expression any more pleasant.

"Ser Quillian — did you hear about the Exile from Qarth?" This is an obvious expression to change a subject, on Riderch's part. He's already working on his crude mixed drink, too.

"You want his betrothed for yourself?" Ty will just keep guessing annoyingly for the time being, though he also shrugs. "Beyond that or finding someone else to catch his eye so he gives her up himself, I suppose a challenge'd do it. Assuming you win. If you lose it'll be too late to try anything more subtle."

Another good mood (such as it is) spoiled by talk of wives. "I've nothing to say on the subject of mine," Laurent claims. He attempts stonefaced, but bristles slightly nonetheless. His frown is deep now, drawing lines in a face that was not handsome to begin with, and he nods at Tyraxeus. "I still think calling his virility into question might do."

"Yes, " Quillian chirps. "losing does have it's downfall-as likely he might try to kill you." before he is rubbing his chin. "I'd do it if it were me. Kill you that is, and just claim an accident." Licking his lips he looks back over to Laurent and smirks. "I agree, coz." though a challenge would be something to see. "It seems to be a season of dueling." and poor ideas. "Hmm?" And now he is looking to Riderch. "An Exile from Qarth? No-"

"Yes!" Abram declares with relief to Traxeus as the Dondarrion leaps to the correct conclusion. A pull of wine to set that explanation to rest. "I don't know what would catch his eye. Apparently he enjoys calligraphy. Maybe we trap him in a particularly seductive library?" Unsure of what to make of his own statement, Abram muses on the worse outcome of a duel. "I suppose I'd want to kill me as well. But I'll be damned if some greyscaled old Westerman will be the end of me."

"That's the long and short of it." Riderch offers to Tyraxeus. His head whirls about to spy Laurent — ooh, the damage is done. Finally to Quill. "Yes. He is in King's Landing. And he was looking for money for some adventure."

His cheeks are a little flushed here as his drinking goes on.

"There are herbs that can induce impotency," Johanna remarks in an all too casual say, nursing the last of the liquor in her glass. "It's temporary though." A pause. "It's probably temporary." The cup is set down as she looks up. "It would make that rumor true enough, if only for a short while, if you can get him to ingest any of it."

"And you can't pay off her father?" Tyrax assumes, "Or convince him Dresden's poxy or something? Well I hope you best him then, ser," he shrugs. And drinks, and then looks at Johanna and drinks harder. To Riderch: "Who? What sort of adventure?"

"Ah, I wonder what for. Is the pay he is offering good?" Quillian asks before shifting in his seat. "I wonder what a Qartheen would want here in Westeros." A sniff there before he is sighing and scratching the back of his head. "Ah well." and then he is looking to his sister with raised brow before he is eyeing his wine, but briefly. A shrug-and the Blackrood is looking over to Abram with a large scoff. "What do you mean a seductive library?" Incredulous that. "I imagine I wouldn't wish to sit on the furniture in there, and the books have trouble opening."

"The problem with the duel, Florent," Laurent growls, "Is that it's final. There's no second go at it. You might try another strategy or two first, and keep that as a last resort." He reaches to put his glass on the table again, laying the whiskey aside. "Though seeing you carved up by Dresden Reyne might entertain me briefly, I couldn't bear your cousins' weeping. So let's try something else, first, shall we?"

"Remind me never to get on your bad side, Lady." Riderch offers to Johanna, wincing a little. Seems when you get right down to it, his ego is as fragile in certain areas as any man's. More sipping.

"Oh, uh —" answering several people at once. "Never mind about the bastard from Qarth. He is asking for money and promising much more, it sounds like thievery." It was an obvious wild distraction play.

"The Reynes are rotten with gold, I can't match the lucre the Arbor stands to gain by trade with them," Abram mutters to Tyraxeus, mood briefly souring with the admission. He cracks a fresh grin and chuckles, downing a fresh gulp of the Arbor Red. "I hope I win, too," he notes with a grin, before laughing to Quill's query, "I've no idea, as I'm not drawn overmuch to books, myself." Laurent's caution and suggestion is met with a familiar crooked grin. "Afraid that you'll be the last at the table without a duel under his belt, Laurent? If you've another suggestion, make it soon, as otherwise, I am resolved to march up to the Hightower and issue a challenge. I hear that has turned out well, of late," he quips aside to Quill.

"Oh like a letter one receives from old Volantis, or someone claiming you have inherited a Valryian horde of gold. All you need do is pay passage to some remote island where they can kidnap you or kill you and steal things." Quillian adds before chuckling. More wine is imbibed before he is clearing his throat. "Ah, dear Abram, and you wonder why the Florents have never taken the Highgarden. Illiterate degenerates." There's a certain fondness in which the insult is delivered before he is sipping more wine. "Hmm-yes, well-if you did claim the twilight years of Ser Dresden Reyne, I am sure it'd add to your legend. Perhaps you might catch up, finally. I think a lion is a close to an exiled dragon." And there he looks to Laurent- a brow raised though no questions asked.

"You should never get on the wrong side of a lady, we're devious, horrible creatures when properly inspired," Johanna informs Riderch, but it's with a smile. Which might not be entirely reassuring.

"Mayhaps you two will settle it with canes rather than blades," Laurent suggests, scoffing at the thought he might be worried about his reputation as a swordsman. He seems on the point of saying more when Johanna speaks, and the words prompt a nod of his head and an expression that, rather than playful, certainly seems genuine.

"I believe that is more or less the summary of it." Riderch confirms to Quillian with a decisive nod. His eyes loll over to Johanna with an appropriate mix of fear and respect. Maybe more of one than the other. "I must confess that the great institution of marriage is losing what luster it had as this evening progresses." Swig. Swig. Don't mix your booze, Blackwood!

Abram is deep enough into his cups that he considers the following an eloquent rebuttal to Oakheart: "Just because I don't want to fuck a book doesn't make me illiterate, Quill." Sniff. Obviously. "Well then! Who fancies a march to the Hightower? I have a challenge to issue." The smiling Florent downs the last of his wine, sets his now empty goblet down, and claps his hands on the table resolutely in rising to his feet.

"Are you saying you'd not marry my sister, Ser Riderch?" Quillian asks with a slight lean from Johanna to look the Riverlander dead on.-And then laughter bursts out as he looks over towards Abram. A look over there, and he's snorting again. "Paper cuts, ser, are the Stranger's foreplay." he adds before he is raising a brow there. "Perhaps in the morning? I'll put on my best sling and cripple myself down there."

"I'm with you," Laurent says, despite his earlier protests. Now it's resolved, he's for it. "I'm a lucky second," he adds, with a nod Quill's way and a look of shared humor, dark though that mirth is. He too puts the knuckles of both fists on the table and groans as he pushes himself to standing, then moves to a window to bellow into the courtyard, "WILLEM, MY BALDRIC!"

"Don't let me tarnish it for you, I'm sure you can find some perfectly dim Lady with which to settle, then you don't have to worry at all," Johanna assures Riderch, which again is not that helpful. The mention of marriage from Quillian earns him another look, though it's far from properly annoyed. "Quit threatening people with me, my feelings are going to get hurt soon."

Choke. That's what comes from the Riverlander here. The painted throwback to the age of heroes, scourge of wildlings and Tironos Tarly's overpriced armored carcass — he just chokes on his drink as the combination of whiskey and wine goes in the wrong way. "I — don't mean to insult an —" cough. "Fuck." Maybe he is trying to heave up an embarrassed laugh here. The red in his cheeks might be from the drink, right?

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