(121-05-27) Gone Fishing
Gone Fishing
Summary: Riderch, Ainsley and Carolis do this thing.
Date: May 28, 2014
Related: Dinner for Ravens and Wolves

It's late afternoon in the Reach. The ride has been uneventful, so far, but the weather has been breathtaking. The sky is a brilliant, bruised palette of white-dotted blue with the rays of the sun starting to bloom in brilliant colors as it is nearing the horizon in a burst of orange and gold. Were travellers to tell people about this land, they would probably use a day like today to describe it in ideal form.

The makeshift hunting party has gone through a grassy, verdant landscape and crossed a few rolling hills to get here. 'Here' being a clearing through a dense-enough wood which bears a small pond which is alive with the sounds of tiny chirping frogs, and birdcalls in the trees. Of course, a hunting party is reason for a lot of the more alert creatures to go elsewhere. A pack of songbirds rustles and bursts through the treeline, heading back the way they came.

Bow slung on the ground and sword at his side, Riderch Blackwood stands unhorsed, inspecting his black courser's tack as he takes a swill from a waterskin, sort of staring off into the sun as it disappears above the treeline.

Ainsley has found a branch for her gyrfalcon, Esra, to perch and a suitable place to tie up her own white and blue stallion as he munches languidly on overgrown grass. Her own bow and arrows are, for the moment, propped against the tree on which Esra perches. Glancing at the little pond she muses, "I wonder if anybody thought to bring fishing rods."

Despite terrible rumors, Carolis' horse isn't /that/ bad. He does tend to give humans who aren't Carolis that flat-eared 'fuck off' look horses can do so well, and he's a nipper if one gets too close, but he's perfectly nice to other horses, not to mention dogs and birds. He loves Carolis, though. Handsome beast. The horse, that is, black with a mane and tail so long and flowing it borders on ridiculous. The hawk isn't quite so loyal, but she keeps circling back to him, so he must be bribing her well. She wheels above, stretching her wings. Carolis murmurs quietly to his horse, who nuzzles at his shoulder. It's okay, hatepony, Carolis understands. "I think Tellur brought the lure that I gave him," he says.

"You ask this like you don't have a brother who thinks of everything." comes a sudden reply from Riderch whose attention drifts from whatever he was lazily watching up in the sky, to his companions. Particularly the Lady Blackwood who asked the question in the first place. It's so ridiculous-sounding it's a wonder that he can say it with a straight face.

Fumbling through his saddlebags, he manages to pull out a smaller sack. One that has a conspicuous length of…something inside. He unwraps this too and produces a pair of fishing rods. "Mmm. Well. We can take turns. Somebody has to guard the supplies." His brows waggle sharply for comic effect.

"I do have a brother who thinks of everything," Ainsley allows with a too-sweet smile. "Usually all at the same time." She reaches over to collect the fishing rods and laughs. "Indeed. Protect us from theft by wild rabbits and grouses." She peers up to consider Carolis's hawk and then watches the man with his very selective horse. "Hmm," she muses, but says no more.

Carolis gives Ainsley a quizzical look as he sneaks his horse a nibble of carrot he's kept in a pocket for him. Glancing toward Riderch, he regards the rods and says, "I admit, I've never used one. It is my understanding that you wave them over the water and they summon fish. The jingling thing with the hooks has something to do with it." His attention shifts to the sky, then. The hawk will come down when she pleases, and he doesn't seem troubled. "Are you going to teach me this arcane magic?"

More fumbling as another pouch, with what looks to be a square box inside it is produced by Riderch Blackwood, who pulls it from his saddlebags. "And the bait in here. Not the best, but — Hm. It seems to work?" He comments. Turning about now to Ainsley he asks in a lazy tone of voice. "At the same time, hmm? I wonder if you can tell what I'm thinking right now?" He challenges his sister with a muted but surprisingly playful tone of voice. "Beyond how to fend off the rabbit and grouse?"

Carolis' request is also considered here. "What? You don't know how to fish?" Asks the Riverlander. Clearly surprised. For some reason.

"Hmmmm…" Ainsley says again, tapping a finger to her chin as she makes a show of considering her brother's mind. "You are thinking you are very glad to be out here and away from Oldtown," she offers, "and you are thinking of spots we might build a fire after we make camp. But mostly…" her mouth lifts into a smile, "…you are thinking that you'll be hungry again, soon, and a fresh-caught fish sounds just the thing." Looking over at Carolis, Ainsley laughs. "Indeed we are. Everyone should know how to fish."

"I shot a fish once," Carolis says. He glances between the Riverlanders, somewhat awkward, as though he knows this is not the traditional method, but he does just put it out there on the table, so to speak. "Tellur can fish," he adds, "and Cregan. There are a lot of things I didn't really get around to learning." He slips another carrot to his horse, then takes his saddlebags off the beast. "But if you want to know the difference between a psaltery and a dulcimer, I'm your man."

"You know." Slinging the bait over his shoulder as he strides on over, looking towards the pond and the rods he handed off to Ainsley, Riderch's response comes preceded by a lazy 'hummm' sound. He looks about the clearing and then back between the other two. "You aren't wrong to be exact. I'm also thinking about sea drift. And whether or not Tel got my maile fixed. And…" He just shrugs now. He could probably be here all day. His sister wasn't wrong at all.

"Shot a fish?" He looks at Carolis as if the man were Stark raving mad. "Hrmm. Song isn't a bad thing either." He beckons them both towards the pond with a series of lazy movements. "I hope it's not carp again."

"Brother, I think you would eat a branch so long as it tried to run from you, first," Ainsley laughs, resting the pole over her shoulder as she follows him. "Shot a fish?" she asks Carolis. "Well, that's very good aim, though whatever had the fish done to you to earn an arrow?"

"Never could do it again, but it irritated my brothers.," Carolis says. "They were trying to teach me how to fish and I lost patience. It was a nice day. You could see them right there in the stream, these nice fat trout, and I had the crossbow in my hands and…" He shrugs. "Never could do it again." He grins at Ainsley then. "He was executed for the crime of being delicious, and he who passed the sentence fired the bolt." He nods amiably to Riderch. "You can't swing a dead rat down here without hitting a minstrel, but up North, you're starved for choice, aren't you. I sang all the time."

"Branch? Maybe, Featherhead." Riderch says teasingly towards Ainsley, with a series of small laughs indicating the high spirits he seems to be in. Be bounds over towards the pond. "Although there are some lines a man should not cross. Carp." He starts unpacking the bait and looks between the two for the other fishing rod.

"Lord Carolis. Want to try?" His teeth flash at the man as he momentarily avoids levelling judgement on the waste of a good trout. And basically succeeds. "If you shoot my dinner we may have some choice words. But — yes. It was something. Nan used to teach me when I was little — " He eyes Ainsely now, "likely before you were able to remember. The War Songs of the First Men. And a few other things. Mother likes the entertainment, though, so we had a few other singers brought in but you're right. It's an uncommon thing." His smile beams, now pond-wards.

"I don't remember those," Ainsley agrees, "I wish I could." She stops at the edge of the pond and sits so she can peel off her boots and roll up her leggings. Feet plunking into the water, she begins assembling the fishing rods so they can be handed out. "You sound like you were a darling baby brother," Ainsley laughs, "not that I was any better."

"What if it's a carp?" Carolis says. He flashes Riderch a grin, then. "I won't shoot your dinner. All right, let me try this. We'll all have a good laugh about it, anyway." He doffs his boots as well, rolls up his leggings, and he wanders into the water as well. "You know, I really was," he tells Ainsley. "But if you ask my brother, he would possibly imply that's not the case?" Behold the wounded younger Stark, terribly maligned. Without his trusty crossbow, he actually watches the Riverlanders to see how they do this fishing thing. "Singing and learning to play gave me something to do," he mentions. "My mother taught me. She loved music."

"Well. Luckily you'll have someone to teach you on some night when I can't sleep." And had entirely too much to drink, as Riderch has unfortunately made a habit of, once or twice. "Or out here, later. Hoaresbane can't pick up bad habits when he can't bloody hear me." He notes as he too doffs his boots and plops down, sidling up to the water.

"Fine. And if it's carp, shoot away, please. He grabs the other rod and affixes some dubious-looking bait to the end of the line, peering into the depths. "It's better than fishing with Jorah. That man just decides to jump after them like a dog." His smile shows a flash of teeth.

"If Jorah is still at home, Hoaresbane very well can," Ainsley opines of the raven. She attaches a bit of lure onto the end of the hook. "It's fairly simple, fishing," she tells Carolis. "Put something fish find tasty on the end of a hook, tie the hook to a line, flick it into the water. Fish bites morsel, traps itself on hook, you pull in the line."

"Elegant in its simplicity," Carolis says. "A friend of mine described how to fish with the lure, but I gave it to Tellur because I didn't have a rod." Then he forgot all about it because shiny things. He does watch first, though, paying attention /now/. And he wades a bit at the shore, stretching out his toes in the rocky sand. His hawk has returned, lighting up on a branch as she eviscerates and gobbles down a mouse she has no intention of sharing. For the best, really. "I remember learning some of those War Songs very quietly," Carolis says. "Mother didn't teach me the ones about killing Andals."

"If you're bothered — uh — by that." The Brother of the very small unkindness of Blackwoods tilts his head in a small motion towards the younger one, offers — "I'm sure he can, well. Clean up a little." This offer is tentative, but seems rather genuine. "The funny thing about those songs." Riderch states as he dangles the line in the pond bemusedly, splashing a little with his foot, is that some of the names changed here and there. I think they were about killing each other during the Age of Heroes too. Before there were Andals. Then they were about killing Ironborn, which is a relieving pasttime." He offers, just too-cheerily, punctuated by the gleam in his eyes and the slyest of grins. "If you read between the lines, that is what Nan was saying. I was just not old enough to understand, really. Plus, Mother —" He trails off, with a tentative glance at his sister, a bit guarded with these words.

And oh look! The line stirs! He starts pulling…

"Pfffft," is all Ainsley says about being bothered as her own line waits, unnibbled. "If I was fussed by ravens with foul mouthes, I would have stopped speaking to you long ago, brother. I suppose so long as there's somebody that needs killing, the song about it would be more or less the same."

Carolis grins wryly at Riderch's words. "Truth. It's the old versions I went looking for. Stories tell facts, and in the telling there's a life to them, but songs tell the truth. Well. When they're both not utter rubbish." He glances between the siblings, and he shakes his head, amused. Crouching at the pond's edge, he begins to construct a little cairn out of pebbles. At least until Riderch's line stirs, and he pauses to watch. When it's not your lame older brothers doing something, it's easier to want to pay attention.

When it's Ainsley's not-at-all-lame older brother, it is definitely worth watching. Bracing himself, Riderch's arms draw up as he tries to pull the line in. And — well, they're not going to starve. A mid-size, white carp is on the other end, flapping through the air with a distinctly fishy smell to boot. The look on his face went for joy to — well, it's not total disappointment. Maybe he's resigned to make do and try again. Ruefully pressing his lips together, he smacks the fish down in a pail he set down, sighing.

"Pfffft." He finally says, returning Ainsley's very Riderch-like scoffing sound. "Well, it wasn't — I was trying this strange thing they tell me about 'being polite and considerate.'" He snipes at her with a petulance that is altogether not serious. And that's a truth. First it was Horse lord traitors, and then the invading Andals. Then —" Well, obviously Ironborn. "Someone's always going to need to have their head kicked in." He says this with a slightly disturbing cheer, to those that would not know him that well.

He watches Carolis build out of the corner of his eye. "I don't know that they are ever utter rubbish." comes his sudden, very sober-sounding admission.

When it's a carp, after all that complaining about carp, Ainsley tips her head back and laughs. Not the polite titters of a lady, but the big guffaws of someone heartily amused and not sorry to show it. "I think," she says between giggles, "it must have heard you and thrown itself on the line just for spite." Still chuckling softly, she asks Carolis, "Will you sing us one? A war song?"

<FS3> Carolis rolls Singing: Good Success.

"Well, no, they always have something to say," Carolis says. "It's that the events therein did not necessarily — strictly speaking — ever happen." Ainsley's laughter is contagious, but next to her guffaws, his own nigh-silent mirth is downright dainty. "Throw enough spice on it, it'll be palatable," he says. "Tellur brought all kinds of spices, herbs, salt, things like that." The Lady's request gets a speculative grin, and Carolis lowers his gaze, actually capable of bashfulness. "If you like," he says. "I shall pick a version that won't get my head separated from my shoulders."

He does have a nice set of pipes on him, to his credit. Even crouching, he can carry a tune. It is a safer version of a song that, at one point, was a rallying cry from the North for the battle that never took place when Torrhen decided a shiny hat wasn't worth thousands of lives. No, this version is about an Ironborn invasion along the coast where villages were burned and pillaged, people raped and murdered. It's got a mournful quality to it, but also a really angry quality to it. The last version of the chorus is about how they Ironborn will pay, a life for a life, a town for a town, until the Drowned God chokes from glutting itself on their corpses. So. A cheery ditty.

<FS3> Riderch rolls Singing: Failure.

"Well, it can pile on then." Ainsley's brother gives her the most petulant of looks. He notes the laugh and for a second, there's a twinge of a smile on his face. As he tries not to catch one himself. "I think, in the long list of things the gods have decided I should endure in the last few weeks, this is probably somehow the most cruel." Riderch intones as he looks at the fish, flopping its last in the pail and grimacing a little bit for effect as he readds the bait and casts his line again. "Going to need a fat fucking lot of spice." Well, that wasn't polite either. But politeness went out the door a long time ago and he's not even making attempts to make a show of it.

As Carolis sings, it sort of draws out a twinge in him. He knows this, all right. And he adds in the last verse himself. It's almost on-key but goes horribly wrong as it's out of his range. His voice cracks. Also, one would note that the verse is a little different as there is something localized, "And the Kraken shrinks, and the war-ship sinks, for the Storm God is a RAVEN!" The end is different than the one Carolis sung. And not just the Stark Lord sung it well. Riderch for his part — looks around, a bit abashed.

Ainsley listens, both to Carolis's fine voce and her brother's… well let's be kindly and call it 'cawing'. She doesn't seem much bothered by the darkness of the verses. She requested a war song, after all. As it comes to an end, Ainsley holds her pole under one arm so her hands are free enough to clap. "Very fine, Lord Carolis, thank you. Though, of course, I must be a bit partial to my brother's lyrics. Family pride, you know."

Poor Riderch. He does get a sympathetic look from Carolis for his recent suffering. As for the singing, what can he do? War songs are meant to inspire this sort of thing. He grins as the sheer Riderchness of it, and then outright laughs when the Riverlander's version declares the Storm God a Raven instead of a Wolf (whose howl can be heard in the fierce blowing of the stormwinds, of course). It's that same soft laughter, more of a trembling in his voice than an actual laugh. He inclines his head to Ainsley when she applauds, and he says, "I see how it is to be, then. So long as the bloody Kraken dies, I won't mind who slays it."

"And that was one — Nan used to sing. Mother loved it too though although maybe we don't need to think long and hard on why that is." Riderch says, a little color flushing his cheeks as he works hard at dangling the line in the pond. Yes, he knows he sort of bought it, tone-wise, on that verse. "Supposedly the Ironborn identify Ravens with the enemy of their squid-god. As well they should." Nothing really gets him riled up and truly cheery about life as reliably as any reference to killing Ironborn anywhere. "Maybe, deep down, they remembered what happened when the Grey King pushed too far." The broadening smirk on his face widens to the point where it is toothy. Very toothy.

"But — well, Lord Carolis. You're better at this than me. But I have to agree with sister here as I tend to with most things. Still, that was —."When it comes to dead krakens, M'lord brother wolf — As far as I am concerned, we can slay them together." And this — well, he is going to say something else here, when he just bursts out laughing. Presumably for no reason, but is a sharp, rich laughter, that lasts a surprisingly long time.


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