(121-05-29) Zero Points In Poison
Zero Points In Poison
Summary: Riderch and Elys have a friendly chat. (LOL.) Rem and Elionys drop by, seperately.
Date: Date of play (29/05/2014)
Related: Ones. Lots of ones.

Quill and Tankard Hightower And Citadel

It is a summer day. The weather is hot and raining.

This is the common room of the Quill and Tankard, that famous Oldtown Inn that has never closed in five hundred years. The building is a noble old half-timber structure with plastered stone between the enormous old black beams. It sits on a small rock of an island at the edge of the Honeywine River, and is accessed by a little footbridge, or by water-taxi.

Rivermen and seamen, smiths and singers, priests and princes, Lords and sellswords, travelers both noble and small, and the novices and acolytes of the Citadel - all come for a taste of the fearsomely strong apple cider that makes this inn so beloved by Oldtown's people. There is a pleasant buzz of chatter, cups and tankards being filled and refilled, and general laughter.

The fire in the hearth allows for a merry glow and a comfortable warmth from Oldtown's breezy, misty cobblestone streets. Benches and tables offer places to sit, and there is a deliciously toothsome smell in the air of food from the back.

!!! Currently at least two City Watchmen are stationed here at all times. They will be quick to arrest those who offer violence to anyone. !!!

It's hot and it's raining today. Surprise fucking surprise. As the afternoon wears on, the crowd at the Quill and Tankard ebbs and flows much like the cider, seats filled and then vacated only to be filled again. Some linger a little longer than usual, hoping for a break in the rain before they dash back off to manses and angry wives et cetera.

Amidst the bustle, a figure descends the stairs from the upper floor. Her auburn hair has been tamed into some sort of submission, a fat braid crowning her head. It's an unusually feminine style for Elys, and surprising it suits her, if not the rest of her attire. She's most comfortable in pants, and leather, her favourite heavy boots thunking along the floor as she stomps down to find a table. Tables seem to be rare, so she waits, scanning the room vigilantly for leavers.

It's not the first day he's done this, but there have been many negative things said about Riderch Blackwood these days. One of these things involves his disastrous sense of timing. Every time he has come to this place looking for a particular lodger, he was turned away, being told she was indisposed. It may have even been true, but knowing the history between these two, it's hard to bet on such things.

Oh, but this is a day where his sense of timing is disastrous. The breeze from Oldtown proper wafts into the common room although it does nothing to stifle the heat as the door swings open again.

This time, though, the door was opened to admit the named Blackwood heir. The man's wearing black breeches and a comfortable black tunic reinforced with patches fashioned of boiled leather, which hangs down to his knees. Its chest does not bear the Arms of his House, but rather his personal sigil — an angry-eyed raven over a blood-red field, standing defiantly. He does not have his customary cloak, and the tunic's sleeves are rumpled up. A silvery chain-link metal belt hangs across his waist which bears a longsword with a slightly longer-than-normal hilt. One can surmise it's for flexibility and one-or-two hand-wielding balance. Next it sits a long dagger, but these items appear to just be there for the sake of being there. There's a drawn, tired look in his eyes as he drags his gaze about the common room. Maybe he's just looking for a place to sit?

She's without her weapons today, relying on the good men of the Watch to keep her safe, apparently. Elys stalks across as a rowdy group vacate a table, slipping into a still-warm seat to claim it promptly. She stretches out waiting for someone to come serve, still glancing about the room, albeit idly now. She might almost wear a smile, were it not for that wretched familiar face. Darkness washes over her features, twisting in a deep scowl at Riderch, before she very deliberately looks away. Don't make eye contact. Don't engage.

Well, look there. All these sweaty tinkers, tailors, soldiers and jackasses clogging the tables make it pretty hard to find a comfortable spot to sit in. It's going to be kind of a challenge for a very familiar, very unwelcome face to find a spot in this crowded establishment. For what it's worth, Riderch looks like he just carries weapons around because he's the sort of grumpy man who does so on a regular basis but his hands don't move anywhere near them.

There is a mostly-open table, but the joy of communal seating will have to be invoked. Don't look now, Elys Bracken, but there is something headed your way. He doesn't make eye contact, in fact, goes out of his way not to, until he weaves through the crowd to place a hand on this mostly-open table. "Bloody packed in here." Comes a voice she should recognize, and it's said with a sigh. "I'm guessing all these seats are taken?"

She's not looking, okay. VERY POINTEDLY NOT LOOKING. Elys grits her teeth, her hackles rising as stench of Blackwood draws closer. It's enough to give a girl goosebumps, even in this heat. At the sound of his voice, she clears her throat, right over the top of his talking. Schooling her expression as best she can — which is to say, not very well — toward neutral, bright blue eyes flicker over to Riderch. Her jaw ticks. For a very long moment, Elys just stares. And then she sighs. "You want to sit?" It's as much an invitation as a question. Why any Blackwood would want to sit with any Bracken is beyond her, but she nods to one of the seats anyway. "Go on then."

And just like that, the large, blue-green eyes set within Riderch's angular features narrow a little and there's a certain flagging in his energy that can be detected. "And here I had prepared a whole routine where you'd tell me to throw myself out of of a tower at the Citadel, and I would just shrug, and sit down anyway." His expression hangs crooked, less than a smile but less than hostile. He pushes out a chair with his boot and just sinks into it, resting his hands on the table as he spends a good long moment giving her a patient glance. "The world's becoming a disappointing place."

Rem comes in from the street.

"What a waste," Elys opines dryly of all that preparation, balling fists on the tabletop unthinkingly as she tenses. Her jaw continues to tick, teeth clenching and unclenching rhythmically, her eyes trained on Riderch. Her smile is insincere, more a grimace. "Isn't it just. Did you put him up to it?" She presumes, whether correctly or not, that he will know who and what she's talking about.

The tavern is busy this afternoon, people weaving this way and that to secure tables and seats for themselves. Elys and Riderch are at one such, facing off over the tabletop.

Having not yet even ordered a drink, the lanky Riverlord stretches back in his chair, sitting across from Elys, leaning his chair backwards, the front legs rise a little off the ground. He stretches his arms backwards and folds them behind his head. Waiting.

As Elys says what she says, one sandy eyebrow upon his face arches upwards as the corresponding lid widens. He opens his mouth briefly and then closes it. "What a —" And then the barmaid's there. Probably to defuse the tension. They say the cider's the thing people come to the Quill for but today he's ordering an ale. "Come on, Bracken. First one I will pay for." He says, looking to Elys. "It sounds like we're going to have a little to talk about."

Rem swings into the Inn, his hand hooked round the post of the door whirling himself into the common room of the Inn then spinning round to lean against the wall. He works his hat off his head spilling his straight, fair hair down to his shoulders. A quick shake of the hat, then another, a third is considered but three shakes and you're just playing with yourself…so to be polite the hat is returned to his head with the better part of the rain shaken off.

"When a table opens, make me aware of it." He instructs one of the serving girls as they pass. "And do bring me enough of the cider that I won't be aware that I'm waiting while I do." He offers the girl a distracted smile then turns his attention back to his attire brushing at the drops of water that still cling to him.

Oh, so we're reclining now, are we. Perhaps it's just to be contrary that Elys straightens in her chair, drawing her fists back toward her along the table. Thick auburn lashes narrow over her bright blue eyes, hanging accusingly on the Blackwood — but the barmaid's presence works a charm, and she's distracted momentarily, glancing between them. A little suspiciously, when it's Riderch she's glancing at, truth be told. But, fine. "Whatever he's having." That's her order. Thus spoken, she sighs heavily for resigning herself to this conversation, and glances about the tavern again. Hello, people.

Well, make that two sludgy oat ales. The barmaid takes the order and saunters off from the table with the two Riverlanders who — well, it would be absolutely apparent to anyone there is a thick air of hostility between the both of them, although there's nothing resembling an actual confrontation. At least, not at this time.

"Heard that the price of oats bottomed out ever since one of the local Lords who drove them up — bottomed out." Riderch Blackwood says with a slightly composed smile hanging crookedly on his features, showing a flash of teeth. He does drag his gaze here and there within the common room, but there's no glint of recognition on his features as he eyes the crowd. His short-haired head, which looks as though it might have been shaved three weeks ago, tilts through the air. "Well. Your question just sort of answers one of the ones I had. I just found out."

Whatever encouragement Rem offered to the serving girl in passing is enough that she's back on the quick with a cup of cider for Rem. When it arrives he inspects it curiously for a few moments. "I would have thought a bigger cup." After a quick drink he says, "I stand corrected, I now wonder if they ought not need a thicker cup." He takes another sip his eyes drifting every so often to the door, then away to skip around the room before returning to the doorway again.

Any other might laugh at that oat quip, and in all fairness the tightening at the very corners of Elys' mouth betrays her inner smile. She very studiously keeps her head turned, so as not to encourage Riderch in his humour. Again, she clears her throat, though this time it's in that awkward silence after his response to her question. The Bracken woman isn't quite sure what to say. She chews on her tongue, turning her face back to her tablemate and… well. Her eyes, they dart away and back, before settling on him, brows aloft.

It also might be entirely outside of Riderch's comprehension here that he just made a funny. As he drums his fingertips on the table's surface here, there is a creeping, awkward silence that he has made no move to break. The man in black with the angry raven blazoned upon his chest says nothing for a moment. The drinks come. Still nothing. Unless she cuts in first. But no — finally, he continues. "Given some of the things my blood is capable of, I'm almost prepared to believe you at this point which completely ruins the other stunts I had planned on this little visit." He lists them off, one by one.

"Angrily pounding doors, screaming, baseless accusations, asking you what in the name of the bloody ancestors you could possibly want. But…"

Elys is stubborn, you've got to give her that. She sits in silence, staring, even ignoring the delivery of drinks. She sniffs, nostrils flaring, and laxes back into her chair as Riderch continues, rattling off his game plan. Finally her fists unfurl, fingers lacing together instead upon the table at a stretch as she considers the man, head tilted to one side. "But," she repeats, cutting in finally. "He sought me out. Continues to. Your House insults me at every turn, right from offering your ponciest prick for my husband to setting your bastard-born on my scent. What do you want me to do, apologise?" She snorts, derisive. "At least this one knows the sharp end of a sword from the hilt."

Well, now that drinks are here, they can get down to business. And Riderch does just that, hitting his brew with a long sip that she might note isn't that deep. Not just yet, anyway. The service here is slow when it's this crowded. "Oh, at least you can still be churlish. I was prepared for that at least." Now the lopsided grin can be seen, that thing that the Blackwood heir just does. He slinks back in his seat even more as he continues. He does snort a little bit twice, once at the description of the unfortunately late Tewdric's charms, and the other at Jorah's named strengths.

"Now who's insulting whom, here? I don't even know what to say anymore. I think when you were betrothed to my brother — Blackwood, NOT Rivers, I'd run out of things to say then? Did you think this was my idea? I'd almost — Aine'd kill me to hear me say this," he casually names the weird(er) Blackwood sister who Elys has no doubt experienced the spirited charms of, "but better Tewdric than me. And for that matter, look on the brighter side of things. It could have been me, but you know who talked father out of it? My mother."

"You don't even know what to say?" Elys' temper flares, red rising up her neck as she blasts back, knuckles whitening as her hands grip tighter together. "You don't even know? You all act as though I should have been honored to sit in that dreary hall next to the only Blackwood who couldn't lift a fucking finger in my defense if his life depended on it. Better anyone than Tewdric, you white-haired sack of shit." She spits — yes, spits — unceremoniously onto the table between them, leaning forward to claim her mug to wash the foul words from her mouth.

"Well, well, it's a good thing he got what you wanted, isn't it?" Riderch's voice rumbles from the back of his throat, in a little bit of something resembling a sneer. "Because if it were me, you'd still be bloody miserable. And I would spend every waking day considering hanging myself, so there is that." He too washes the distaste down with a drink from his cup. His face crinkles into something unpleasant. "And the fact of the matter is, you — ginger haired mare with teats, or what you want, got my arse in the end, and I had to go pick up the pieces because that dear foolish brother of mine decided to go out and play at being me when I was not around. So instead of this I'm going to have to go fuck off and have to deal with Bethany bloody Terrick or some other horrible thing. So the lesson I get from the gods out of all this is simple. We're all given a bloody twist of the knife at the end of things."

His eyes flash downward as he does let forth this admission. "I don't want an apology. I just wanted to know what was going on. Which should answer your question. When Jorah told me, I threatened to skin him for being a trouble-making idiot. But that's a family trait."

"He deserved it," Elys insists insultingly of Tewdric between goodly gulps of her sludgy oat ale. "And maybe you do, too. Ser — what, you expect your treegods to grant you a pretty princess when you flaunt your prowess in the name of the Seven?" Again, a spray of spittle adorns the table between them. Pthbt. Ruffled, the red-headed lass sets her cup down a little too hard, wastefully sloshing liquid over the side. It seems to cool her temper some, though — the ire in her eyes settles to her usual steely glare. "Skin him, then," she says, with a shrug. "If you don't, I imagine he'll skin me sooner or later. I don't imagine any of you Blackwoods are sincere when it comes to Brackens."

There's one thing here. One thing alone that makes Riderch react foolishly here. His hand goes from his ale, to inch towards the swordhilt at his side before he catches it. It hangs in the air and then methodically creeps back up onto the table as Blackwood's forehead scrunches, lined with a brief series of wrinkles that were just not there a moment ago. He squints at Elys, with harsh, narrowed eyes. And then buries his face in his drink again before addressing her in calm, steady tones. "Funny enough, the Oaths I swore weren't exactly what you think they are." He says, his voice sharp and icy. "And it's funny to get a lecture on apostasy from a Bracken, but I will forget that one right here." His eyes drift to the spittle and he just shrugs himself, too.

"Sincere? Tewdric may not have been the best of us, but he was sincere in that." He pauses a beat.

"I was sincere in the fact that you were a guest in my home. And I'm sincere in asking you about this, and I am sincere in not asking a lot of questions about those raiders we tracked and put d—-" He doesn't finish, snapping angrily as he again drinks his ale down. Thing's about half empty already. "Jorah may be a bastard, but he's, well, incapable of artifice. You should have noticed that by now. You want to know the truth? He's smitten with you." He just lays it out there.

Elionys comes in from the street.

Elys watches as his hand darts down, her jaw twitching again as teeth clench, mirroring back Riderch's narrow-eyed expression. As he abandons the notion for more drink, she seems to think it a win, smug creeping into the twist of her frown. Reclaiming her cup, she sets about finishing it off throughout the rest of his lecture in small, measured sips. "You could ask," she counters sharply, "But you don't, because you don't want to know." And speaking of things you don't want to know — she's mid-sip as the truth of Jorah's intentions are laid out for her, spluttering and devolving into a coughing fit. "Piss off," she manages to choke out in between badly-caught breaths.

The Quill is a fairly crowded place here. One of the sparser tables is in fact one with two Riverlanders drinking a rather thick oat-ale and glowering at each other. Riderch Blackwood happens to be one of those Riverlanders, his face a bit reddened and furious as the raven blazoned upon red upon his chest. His hand drifts away from his ale again but not far, in fact, he clings to it like a sort of lifeline. This is a picture of the lord that few people see often. There's not even a hint of mirth or warmth here, only an icy disdain which manages to override the oh-so-weary cast of his eyes.

"And if I asked, you churl, what would you tell me? And what would we do, hmm? That tree was already watered with blood and I'll water more of it if I have to. What do you think one of your cousins would say if I took old Donal Fenn and a score of men down to his hold and kicked down his door? I'd have to bloody do it, and because there's nobody else left to lead my family now that Tewdric's gone, if something happened to father, what then? Is this what I have to do for the rest of my life? The Ironborn are bad enough without having to look over my shoulder all the time at you." He slams his cup down on the table and stops a moment, his immediate anger spent and just eyes Elys' little splutter. "So you didn't really know about that, did you?" He just plain sighs.

The other Riverlander at the table, one leather-wearing, crown-braided redhaired girl, has a face coloured to match her hair just now. Still sputtering on that last sip of ale, she holds tightly to her mug as her other fist pounds repeatedly at her chest, willing her cough to settle. "We just spar," she gasps out raggedly, drawing longer breaths in through her nose. "He's a bastard, for Gods sakes. And as for the rest of all that — Blackwoods will kill Brackens, and Brackens, Blackwoods for the rest of time. I can't say we don't deserve it, but neither can you."

The door to the Quill and Tankard opens and another small group slips in, two of the being guards that accompany a pale-haired Targaryen. "—and he didn't, but I didn't expect that he would," Elionys is chattering away to the guard that's ahead of her. "So now I have to find another way to get it to him." With that she heaves a sigh and begins to move through the tarvern, neither guard responding to her yammering, but both moving with her as she tries to move through the crowd in search of an open table.

Blackwood looms at Bracken here as the cups turn dangerously low. It's also noisy which might be a blessing, they're not causing as much of a stir with their argument as one might expect. Still, heads turn here and there, and Riderch's furious glare at the red-haired Lady softens a little. Just for a moment or so, until she speaks. "Sparring. That's what he told me. He also accidentally let something slip about that, too." He doesn't immediately say what 'that' is. "You just described a future that is indescribably dreary. Would you like to know a secret? Father was only half-committed to the match. Tewdric begged for it. And when mother stood up for me, he actually did something he rarely ever did. He stood up. He actually said he wanted this to stop and was stupid enough to bloody believe it. Which is another damn fool thing we can all mock him for." He says, glowering. "So I have to ask myself this — do I want to go cut a bloody swathe through your family just so you can try to do the same? And I say 'try', because…" Well, somebody sure has an inflated opinion of his own prowess.

"Even if I wanted to strangle him myself, sometimes, he was blood. And it would be an odd thing to do something that was completely against his wishes in his own name." He lets this little fact drop and adds, "Besides, if it was up to some people in my family, there would have been more blood." His lips twitch. "And Jorah's a bastard, but he was never treated the way he should have been, bastard or no. Thank you again, Tewdric." The name keeps getting dropped and he drinks, almost as in a toast. He starts to say something else as his mouth is caught open as he periodically scans the crowd. And falls dead silent. Pale hair. He knows/ that pale hair.

"He was kind to me," Elys adds, since we're speaking of all things Tewdric. In this rare moment, she smiles. It's a soft thing, so unlike her, but it is only fleeting, replaced by her hardened frown as she continues. "But what would his kindness have served me when the rest of you came looking for me with your steel drawn, Riderch? I'd not have been the first Bracken bride to 'go missing' from the house of ravens." There's a heavy sigh, and she even rolls her eyes. "Try, pff." Really, now. "We will cut through as many of yours as you ours, don't fool yourself. Jorah is kind to me now, you say smitten, but I'm sure the day will come. It's all you Blackwoods talk about. It's in your blood." She's momentarily confused as he falls dead silent, wondering for a moment what it is that she's said, before she follows his gaze about the room to the silver-haired girl. "Hah." Half-laugh, half-scoff.

The pale-haired young woman in question doesn't notice the conversation that she's managed to disrupt by her mere presence, instead too busy looking for a table that isn't occupied. "What about back there?" Elionys asks the guard in front of her, pointing off to some far corner in the back, not yet noticing the Blackwood and the Bracken at the nearby table just yet. It's not until she's just about to move past the table that she looks down and spots the familiar man seated at it, and then the rather less familiar woman seated with him. Rather than keep going, she stops, smiling at both tentatively. "Hello."

"I sincerely hope, despite all my acknowledged faults, that you wouldn't think I would let that sort of thing happen. I can't speak for everyone, but…" It's a very tentative 'but' on his part, Riderch begins. And the strangest thing has happened. He's sort of conciliatory towards Elys as she's in mid-reminiscence. At least for a second. "And Jorah is a strangely basic man. I don't think he'd know duplicity if he studied it for a hundred —" and all the while, his head darts between the redhead to the pale-haired girl. And his mouth opens. And rather haltingly he says something that probably sounded better in his head. "You lighten a thousand doorsteps, Princess. And this one." He says, on the loud side to get her attention.

In the meantime, he does say, sidelong to Elys, "I know Jorah wouldn't mean you harm. I just — don't know what to do about this. Short of skinning him."

"Spare me your lies," Elys shoots back with another roll of her eyes. "You, your sister, all of yours, there'd have been a dagger in my back within a week." She raises her cup, a mocking toast to that, and promptly drains it as Elionys offers her greeting. It's a wonderful thing to hide behind, the rim of a cup, and the perfect place to drown her laughter at the Blackwood's, well, laughable display of chivalry. Her shoulders shake with the effort. "Aye, Princess, a thousand doorsteps." Snerk. "Please, I'm sure Ser Riderch would be most obliged if you'd join us." Scraping out her chair, she rises in the polite way owed to royalty. "I'll fetch another round, eh?"

The unexpected greeting makes Elionys' cheeks color slightly, but after a moment the corners of her mouth tug up into a smile. "Thank you, Ser Riderch. It's nice to see you too." A tentative gesture is made to one of the open seats at their table, gaze darting between both he and Elys. "May I-…" the question is halted in the face of the Bracken's amusement, cheeks coloring all the more. "I would hate to interrupt your conversation."

"I may think your family is some of the most unpleasant scum to crawl out of the holes of the earth, but if you think for a second I'd allow guests or family to be harmed — if I didn't know how much you already despise me I would take offense to that in addition." Blackwood pauses as he shoots Elys an icy glare. "I can't speak for Ainsley, but — she is not as tempered by things as I am." That's one way to put it. More glares. Glareglareglare. Elys goes off to get another round, eh? Well, that's good timing.

To more pleasant people! "PLEASE." Maybe Riderch didn't realize how loudly or insistently he said that, but he indicates a chair that is slid out as he even leans forward to do so, glancing at the princess with a sort of hesitant, gesture. His own cheeks color the same way Elionys' did as he suddenly looks a little hapless. "I —" He pauses ONE moment to watch Elys depart before he gives the Targaryen an entirely different look. "That sounded a little foolish, didn't it? Please interrupt. You're not interrupting. At all."

The exuberant request doesn't exactly startle Elionys, though she does give him a measuring look, as though trying to determine just how much Riderch has had to drink. The further, quieter invitation edges away any uncertainty that might have been present though, and once the chair is pushed out, she slips into it. "Who is that?" she asks first and foremost, gesturing at the back of the departing Bracken woman, though her gaze is quick to return to the Blackwood instead. "Thank you."

Believe it or not, there aren't signs of drunkenness present in the Riverlander. Yet. It does not say that was not a heated and passionate exchange that Elionys stumbled into, however. Riderch Blackwood sits back in his chair a moment and ignores his empty cup, studying the Princess. "Elys Bracken." He says, flatly. "She's a piece of old family business that keeps coming up." Aaaand, winding up for the pitch. "She was betrothed to my brother. So you can understand why I am actually glad Ainsley is not here."

But he doesn't linger on that overlong. "I am surprised, but — it's not a bad surprise to see you here. Something going on, El—" He looks around shiftily. "Princess?"

"Ah." Elionys glances off in the direction the woman went, though the look doesn't last long. "It probably is best that your sister isn't here, I don't imagine it would go well with both of us here." She settles back in her chair, hands folding in her lap as her gaze returns to Riderch. "Aevander is gone now, on his way to King's Landing. He left yesterday."

"About Ainsley —" Riderch begins, haltingly. Oh, this is awkward. He waves his hand a little. "She — you have to understand. For a long time in our lives, we have been all the other has had and that makes us both a little protective of one another, and it sometimes comes out in a way that doesn't make sense." He lets out a slight chuckle. It's easy to tell that he's more at ease now. "Wait. Both of us? She hates Elys, but —"

He doesn't finish, here, looking at the Targaryen girl intently as he props his chin on his hand and plants his elbow on the table. "I'm sorry. It's how family is. I think I can understand." He says this as though the man never punched him in a seedy tavern. "You're going to miss him." It's not a question.

"Riderch," Elionys' tone is gentle, and she leans in closer to him as she speaks his name. "You don't have to explain, I… it's just how family is, yes? My cousin punched you in the nose. Don't think I don't understand." She smiles a little, but it turns a touch melancholy at his statement. "Yes, I am going to miss him. I'm left in a house with his siblings now, and he's not there to look after them. I'm not sure what will happen now."

"That's something I am not carrying with me. I wouldn't have declared that matter closed if it wasn't." Riderch notes as he peers over at Elionys as they sit at the same table. "I mean — well, maybe you do understand. But I think I said everything to him I had to say. It was — big of him to invite me. Even though that's not why I was at your home." Oh well then. There's a definite pause there, and he peers into his empty cup for a spell.

"Well — my house is becoming ever full I think. Ainsley's come down with something since we were hunting. And Ainsley being Ainsley gets furious when I try to dote on her."

"I know," Elionys assures Riderch with a small smile. "I didn't mean to imply that it was an issue still, only that I understand that sometimes family is overprotective and says or does things that we don't want them to." Without a drink to fiddle with, instead she reaches up to begin fiddling with a silver bird's nest pendant. "Your house is filling up, and mine growing empty. It's strangely quiet there of late," she admits, going quiet for a moment. "I'm sorry to hear that your sister is ill, I hope that she recovers quickly. She doesn't seem the sort to enjoy being stuck indoors for too long."

"And — You do understand." Riderch's sudden admission is accompanied with a blink and a little tension melts from his shoulders. Still, he spies the drink area. Always Elys. Always looking for that flame-haired Bracken. He squints over there and then whips his head around to Elionys as he gives her a tilted-headed gaze. There's a bit of an eye of the pendant she fiddles with, as he speaks. "It's an annoyance more than anything else." He finally states. "She — I don't know. She isn't one for this place, I don't think. She's only here because home is feeling empty right now. I'm the richer for it, but." He muses over this. "This is unfortunate though. Ser Abram has invited me on a hunt and a trip through his new lands, and I don't really have that much familiarity with all involved. I was planning on taking her because — well. Maybe one day you'll see her great big bloody falcon." He says with no small puff of pride. "She told me I should go anyway."

"I'm sure she's the richer for it too, even if she isn't accusom to living so far south," remarks Elionys as she releases the silver pendant and lets her hand drop to the table where. "At least she gets time with her brother again, which I am sure she's pleased to have." Her fingers thrum against the table idly as she listens, gaze wandering toward the bar in search of Elys and the long lost drinks, but it's quick to return to Riderch. "A hunt? That sounds as though it should be fun. My sister was supposed to plan some sort of hunt for our family, but she got too preoccupid with— well, I'm not sure, exactly, her studies, her betrothed. I don't see much of her."

Aaaaaand back to the table comes the churlish redhead, with quite the armful. She could have been a waitress, I suppose. Two more cups of that oat ale clutched in the grasp of one hand, a pitcher of wine and an extra cup in other. Perhaps she thinks royalty is above ale and oats. She winds about patrons and staff alike, setting the beverages down triumphantly as she reaches the table. Then she clears her throat, and claims her own ale back, remaining on her feet for now. "Shall I leave you two to it, then?"

"You really haven't mentioned her." Riderch suddenly comes to an audibile realization — regarding Elionys' sister. He is a bit more relaxed now than he was when Elys left, but gee, wonder why. Wonder why that is. His blue-green eyes blink at hers. He doesn't ask about 'betrothal' but truth be told, last time the word was brought up in her presence he seemed completely sick of it. This holds true now. "Anyway, I was thinking. It's not all hunting and I'm not the best shot. I taught Aine how to string a bow and now she is leagues better than I will ever be. If you —" Pause. Blink blink. Um, Riderch? Eyes up. "Would you like to join me"

And indeed we're back, as Elys brought the drinks, and suddenly the Blackwood heir stiffens, but there's something about his demeanor. It's almost diplomatic. "have a seat. You bought them, you should partake. I think we can agree on that much here. As long as you drink first." He eyes the pitcher with a knowing glance. "It'd be a mistake for you to kill me anyway, considering what I just said." He smirks at Elys and all of a sudden, the Riderch Blackwood smirk turns into his usual sloppy grin.

"I haven't, she— ah, she and I didn't grow up together, she lived on Dragonstone most of my life," Elionys admits, but she doesn't expand on the reasons why that happened. When he changes the subject, she seems pefectly willing to go along with it rather than cling to a topic neither one seems particularly interested in dicussing. The invitation is wholly unexpected, enough that she doesn't answer right away, a few beats of silence follow the offer, and it's in that time that Elys returns. "There is no need for you to leave," she assures the Bracken first, smiling slightly at the standing woman, but then her gaze goes back to Riderch. "Yes. I would like that very much." With that, she reaches for the pitcher and empty cup, apparently not at all concerned with being poisoned.

These fucking Blackwoods, always acting suspiciously. Elys fixes that narrow-eyed gaze of hers, piercing blue, upon Riderch for his diplomacy. "Oh, please," she practically sighs. Does she look like the kind of woman who'd bother with poison, seriously. Her chair scrapes noisily along the ground as she drags it out, collapsing onto its seat. She musters one of her insincere smiles — it really looks more like a grimace — and wordlessly drinks down a goodly gulp from her cup to wash it away.

Well, Riderch warned. He looks almost as though as he's about to rip the pitcher away as Elionys grabs it. But better judgment prevails and he just lets her pour as his eyes drift between the two women, very different looks are directed towards them. First and foremost, he eyes Elys flatly. "Would you like to come as well? We can invite Jorah. It's — there will be a lot of Knights there with no history with your House and you seem the sort that would enjoy it. Don't worry. I won't be nipping at your heels." He adds. And Blackwood just throws the invitation there to Elys, it's a challenging, mocking sort of congeniality that accompanies it, but takes a moment to detect.

To Elionys now, he looks as though he's about to ask a few more questions about the old family history but decides not to pry. "Well, that's settled then. Take guards if you want, but there will be enough Knights present to probably make them superfluous. It is your choice. Completely." He smiles tightly as he obtains his own pour now.

Riderch adds this one little important detail. "I believe Ser Prospero Storm will be joining us." That must mean something.

"We've met before," Elionys mentions as she pours herself a cup of wine, glancing first to Riderch to offer him a reassuring smile, but then her gaze settles on Elys. Apparently the statement was meant for her. "If you don't remember, though Ser Prospero Storm was present, so it's understandable if you do not." She pauses to take a sip of her wine, and provided she doesn't keel over from some evil Bracken poison, looks to Riderch with a smile. "It's settled, then. I'm sure a guard won't be necessary, though I may need bring one anyway, just so that no one worries. I'm sure he'll enjoy the hunt as much as anyone, though."

"Are you trying to set me up with your bastard brother, Ser?" You know that's insulting, Riderch. Elys squints, entirely unconvinced by this turnaround on the Blackwood's part, her ale hovering in front of her. Belatedly, she wipes her mouth with the back of her hand, and glances aside to Elionys. "I remember," she confirms, for the woman she did not poison ok gods she's not a poison kind of gal. Zero dots in poison. Zero. "I hope the wine is to your liking, Princess — this ale is good for a farmer, but I expect the royal tastes tend a bit finer than all that." She stiffens a bit, at the mention of Ser Prospero, chin rising as she obviously considers the offer over another sip.

"No." It's remarkable how fast Riderch's reponse comes to Elys as he sits up. "But you're familiar with his company and apparently you will like to spar." And what he's not saying is 'this is a convenient way to keep you both busy, Elys Bracken. He isn't above doing such things. He lifts the cup to his mouth and takes a generous sip. Zero poison indeed. "For some reason it's better when you ordered it. I don't want to know why that is."

"She is right about the ale." Riderch eventually notes, looking between the two, a little haplessly. "I picked this for the heat. "If you want me to talk to Jorah and have him stay away, I will." Back to Elys again and for a moment, it's a very oh-so-serious matter he's considering. "I mean what I said. Despite what has passed between us, I want this matter settled. Gone. Done. And over. I have too many other things to worry about." He just notes wearily.

Finally, though, Elionys' statement is given full consideration. "El—Princess." There's just so much implied there by the fact that he hesitates before using the proper honorific. "Getting out of this city is really something that I need. Aine reminded me of that since she's been back. I won't pretend to be as good a guide, but — we will have people for that." And right now, this silly Riverlander is looking like he is almost on top of the world. Almost.

"The wine is lovely," Elionys assures Elys with a warm smile, taking another sip of the aforementioned refreshment. "Thank you for it, my lady." She seems uncertain of what else to say to the somewhat dour woman, so rather than ramble, she listens, looking to the Raven Knight as he speaks. "Getting out of the city would be nice. I've not spent a great deal of time outside of the city, save for the ride here from King's Landing, but it would be nice to do so for a time. I— I even know how to shoot a little bit, now. Jaehaera's man has been working with me near every day for what feels like forever, at least with how much he makes me practice, but I'm actually starting to improve now." Okay, maybe she decided to ramble after all.

"I spat in it," Elys lies about the ale, probably wishing she'd thought to spit in it as she glances into her own cup. Dammit. "Not yours, Princess," she asides with a brief flash of a nervous smile, continuing to Riderch, "And I'm not some hapless maid, if Jorah Rivers needs speaking to I can do it myself, thank you kindly." Only, not so kindly is her tone. Straightforward kind of girl that she is, she seems exasperated by this continued ceasefire in the Princess' presence, rolling her eyes again behind the flutter of auburn lashes as the Blackwood's 'weary' magically disappears when he addresses the Targaryen. Of her martial exploits, she says nothing. Not a thing. Doesn't even look skeptical. (Maybe a little bit skeptical, behind the rim of her cup as she drinks again.)

"You probably do." Riderch notes, fairly on a beat here. "And you probably can." The Riverlander grudgingly admits. He looks at the 'spat in it' cup that Elys mentioned and he eyes his own nonplussed. Whoah. Did she really spit in it? "Well, if you decide to go, Ser Abram Florent is your man." Moments of pause ensue as he works his way back to Elionys.

"My history of offering women to shoot has ever turned out something of an embarassment." He pauses, ever-so-slightly. "In the short-term. But I claim brilliant results."

"That's a relief," Elionys replies to Elys with a momentary grin, though she doesn't appear to have been too worried that her wine is laced with spit. "Though it wouldn't be the worst thing I've found in my cup, my younger sister is…" a bit crazy. "A bit silly, and enjoys a joke here and there, and on some occasions, it was at my expense." She doesn't say what she found in her cup, but maybe that's for the best. The grin of before returns as she looks back to Riderch now. "If you are an especially skilled teacher, you will have to help me when we're on the hunt. Maybe I can come back even more improved and impress Jaehaera's man."

"Siblings," is Elys' response to Elionys, with that same wan smile and a shake of her head. And the ale — she did not spit in it, guys. Maybe the previous waitress spat in the previous ale, though. Maybe it's all some grand master Bracken plan, in cahoots with the Reachmen. Who knows. Elys gives a sort of a sideways nod, at the mention of Abram. "My cousin's recently arrived, and I'm not sure I can… leave her be. But if I decide to, I'll talk to Ser Abram." Her tone now is something of a 'thank you', only she rarely manages those exact words. "Come to it, she should be back by now. If you'll excuse me." Even if you won't, she's scraping out her chair again.

Aaaaaand — Riderch's response is simple, but from him, it comes out as something a little closer to a toast. "Siblings." He says, raising the cup. "Well, like I said before, If you can, you are welcome. I suppose." As she comes up with a reason to make herself scarce, he half-nods. "Pleasant enough company." He offers to Elys, as he leans back in his chair, hard. Even though she wasn't talking to him at all — there's a part of Riderch that clearly indicates he'd like to think so.

"I'm not a skilled teacher. Just a lucky one. My main gift is a swordsman's training." He confesses to the Targaryen rather cheekily.

"Siblings," Elionys agrees as she lifts her own glass, sounding amused before taking a sip of her not-spat-in-wine. "It was lovely to see you again, my lady," she tells Elys, either very good at lying, or meaning it. "I hope to see you on the hunt, but if not there, again soon. Have a good night." Elys is given one last smile before her attention shifts to Riderch. "Well, you can try anyway, and if not, maybe you can help me once they actually start to teach me the sword. If they ever do. I honestly haven't any idea what they plan to teach me next."

Elys looks at Riderch so flatly, it's pretty obvious her opinion of this encounter is different to his. But. She raises her cup to toast him, and the Princess too. "Good eve." And then she's off — not at all to find her cousin, but to skulk somewhere less Blackwood-infested for a time.

Well, Riderch isn't exactly smiling at Elys. Maybe he's smiling that she's leaving, and no tears or blood were shed. But these are bold hopes.

He watches her depart and then says, to Elionys, flatly. "If they don't, I will. Pfft. I don't really care who gives me a bloody drubbing over it, either." He thinks he means it, too.

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