(121-06-01) Of Blood and Bad Ideas
Of Blood and Bad Ideas
Summary: Several Lords of Some Repute stumble into each other in the woods of Derring Downs.
Date: Date of play (02/06/2014)
Related: Stuff in Derring Downs, others. Will add later.

Sun Jun 01, 121

It is a summer evening. The weather is cool and clear.

Afternoon. The gentle rays of the sun rain through the copse of trees in Derring Downs, just on the edge of a sparse wood. Were one to wander maybe 20 yards, one could reach a clearing and be able to spot the pavilions set up for guests way off in the distance. Aaaand there's the sound of a 'thunk' that breaks the calm quiet here. It's an unmistakable thing, arrow lodging into wood. It's also another unmistakble sound. "FUCK!" The exclamation of one Riverlander as he tries his hand at firing a polished ashwood hunting bow.

"Oh, come off it, Tel. Just because I was lucky before doesn't mean it will hold." And as this admission is made, the same voice snickers.

There is another voice here too, a low, rumbling laugh. There are two people present, and one could spot them both. Riderch Blackwood in his boiled-leather-covered hunting tunic and a larger, head-shaven man in his thirties who serves as his squire, who has just lumbered off to retrieve said arrow.

"Ser Riderch," comes a gruff greeting, as a bit of crashing in the undergrowth heralds the arrival of one Ser Laurent Tyrell, accompanied by his own squire. Young Willem Fossoway is as different from Tel as Riderch is from Laurent — the red-haired youth seeming by turns shy and ineffectual or pugnacious. It's the former for now, as the boy lags a couple of steps behind The Thorn, carrying a bow himself.

"Have you taken anything worth mentioning," Laurent asks as he approaches, frowning his own response. "We've had a brace of hares, and shot at a stag, but missed the mark wide." He seems on the verge of making some excuse, but is distracted by Tel's approach with the arrow in hand, and offers the squire a wordless nod in greeting.

The squire is less of one of those boyish things that passes through this stage on his way to knighthood and more of a 'sworn man' — an obvious artifact of Riderch's unorthodox (and some might say blasphemous) Knightly status. He grunts a little but he does recognize Laurent and offers the Tyrell Knight a bow of his head.

And then the voice that cuts in is immediately recognizable to Laurent, a clear baritone. "PFFFFT. Not a bloody thing since the quail." Comes the Riverlord's voice, and what would be words of disappointment are followed by a trilled laugh.

"I supposed I would get a few shots in just to see but I think we cleared game from this area already. "All birds. It's always fowl, you see."

At first Laurent grunts rather than answering, pausing on his path to… Wherever he was taking his squire. Likely to beat the boy, somewhere, from the look of relief on Willem's face when they come to a halt. "It's a poor patch of land," he laments, in a tone that sounds like agreement. "In truth, I had never heard of it until Ser Abram came into ownership of it." His dark eyes roam the wood surrounding them, his mien disapproving. After a moment's regard he adds, "I suppose it suits him."

Taking advantage of the moment's stop, Willem takes a seat on a fallen log nearby, fiddling with the unstrung bow. Not stringing it, but flexing it as far as he can while sitting, then letting it return to true, and again. He chews his lip idly while he toys with it, lost for the moment in the mindless activity.

"And yet, it sort of suits him. He's a scrappy fellow." Riderch remarks, conversationally. There's literally none of the dreary edge that his last conversation with the Thorn had in the recent weeks. As he climbs through a copse of trees, he slings his hunting bow beneath his shoulder and wordlessly accepts the retrieved arrow from Tel's hand, clutching it in his own gloved one.

"As modest as it is, I would wager that it's witnessed a lot." The Riverlord's head idly glances towards the boy, affixing him with a tiny, wordless nod. "Not all of it good, I'd think."

Laurent and Riderch, squires both close to hand, stand in a clearing a stone's throw away from the clearing that houses the pavilions. Riderch carries a bow, while Laurent's squire carries the Thorn's.

"Mmm," Laurent agrees with a nod. "If it hasn't seen misfortune before this, it's bound to now, I suppose." That brings a grin to his face, and it's not an expression that he's well suited to. Ghastly, really. Everyone is better off that it fades quickly. "Still, this trip was a fine idea," he remarks, his tone turning sullen once again. "Damnable weather for it, but what do you expect, I suppose."

The big man in Riderch's service just grunts again. "I'll take another look down past the treeline to spot, M'lord." He says. Riderch's squire is competent but not that obsequious or meek. For what it's worth, Blackwood doesn't seem to really take notice, indicating this has been the manner of their working relationship for some time.

Riderch just nods. "Do that, Tel." He offers, smirking a little bit as he bounds towards Ser Laurent. In contrast, the Blackwood Lordling is in something of a vibrant mood, and his teeth show in a half-smile. "Oh, it's not so bad! There hasn't been enough rain to ruin everything. And it sounds like you've made a few kills yourself."

"Hares," Laurent snorts, shaking his head, as though it were almost better he hadn't killed them. "I suppose they'll have to be stewed," he adds with a shrug of his broad shoulders. "A boar — now there's an animal worth hunting. Damned if Harry isn't on about stags, though. Women." He shakes his head, but it's perhaps worth noting that there's none of the foul temper that has colored his conversations about his wife of late.

As Tel stomps further and further off, Laurent's attention returns to his own squire, and when he sees the boy sitting a touch of color rises to his cheeks. "The Father's bleeding arse, but you're a lazy one," he says, raising one booted foot to push poor Willem off the log where he sits. The bow falls from the lad's hand as he topples into the underbrush with a strangled cry, and it takes him a moment to right himself. When he does, he looks indignant, and his fine clothes are spotted with mud.

Coming from the worn path is another pair of gentlemen, one is youthful with sun kissed hair and freckles, the other is the damnable blackrood, who seems more at home in Hunting Leathers, than in his usual sad and dreary black garb. Hair pulled back, and his beard as bushy as ever the other knight makes his way on towards Riderch and Laurent-though no whistling comes from it, why bother scaring game, when the Dornish do that with their smell alone.

Upon nearing the two knights, Quillian snaps at poor Lewyn Meadows to halt where he is, before he is nodding on towards the side-to which the poor lad follows through like a dog. "Y' can fry hares good enough." this said to Laurent from over his shoulder. "I haven't seen tracks for a boar-nor did I bring my spear."

"I went hunting with my sister just days before I found out about this little expedition. Fowl is what we usually shoot. It's a bloody shame she took a little ill when we got back." Riderch intones, his chest heaving in a slight sigh. "So it's quail and pheasant for me. I can't say it's not a bad prize." He admits in a dry tone of voice, looking at his squire as he departs, and then whirling his gaze about to Ser Thorn of the Words of Ideas. "Mmm. The problem with venison is that if you're to stew it, you'll have to cut it with a bit of lard. Boar's better. Although give me a good piece of pheasant or quail or chicken any day, I suppose." All of this talk of food inspires a certain reverence in the wiry Blackwood. The man probably eats half his weight in a week. He does give Willem a sort of half-sympathetic look, indicating to the poor lad that the grass may be greener on the other side of the proverbial fence.

"Was looking for pheasant. Ho, Ser Quillian." He gives the man a wary, if friendly enough gaze. Even though he was joking about drinking from skulls the last conversation they had, for some reason.

Riderch also shoots Laurent a curious glance as he mentions Harry, but nothing is uttered beyond that. And he does smirk. "Heh. Women."

"Mm. And your sister has the same love for…" Bow hunting? Perhaps that's where Laurent was headed, but Quill's approach distracts him. "Ser Quillian," he greets his frind with a heavy nod and a coarse tone. "Ser Riderch was consoling me on my paltry finds so far on this hunt. Tell me you have fared better." His frown and the set of his jaw say he doesn't expect that at all. "I brought my spear, but it seems I might well have left it behind, for all the use I'll get out of it."

Behind the Thorns' back, Willem looks grateful for even Riderch's small sympathy. Being Laurent's squire must truly be an awful appointment. At least today the boy has no visible bruises.

"How is it, that stewing is the only way to bloody well eat something? Is that all you eat within the Riverlands? Stewed fish, with a side of stewed shit?" Quillian asks with a faint laugh. "The only way to eat Venison." besides stewed, "is roasted. A nice flank steak over roaring fire. At least with boar you get bacon, and all sorts of chops and loins." the Blackrood opines before he is rubbing at his jaw. "Ho, Ser Riderch." he adds affably enough.

A glance is given to the Thorn and a grin before he is shrugging. "I keep looking for a Stag myself, though I netted a fine fat brace of coneys the other day. Quiall, I like, though I've no patience for parting shots on the wing." which is truthful enough. At least both squires aren't treated like some doofy dog as Lewyn Meadows is. "Well, there is a Dornishman with us. I'm sure we could cover him in hair and call him a hog."

"She's trained, Ser. And trained as a falconer too. And got under the skin of our Master of the Hunt when she was younger." Riderch cheerily explains to Laurent. The Riverlander's spirits are probably as high as the Thorn's demeanor is grumpy here, despite the drizzly weather. And it's probably annoying as fuck. "She is better than I will ever be." The man beams, a little unbalanced, and one would probably be a little afraid here that the women of his family are as visibly — touched as him. He hefts the bow again, glancing at Willem. Well, the boy will live.

"Stewing? STEWING, Ser Quillian?" Now the Blackrood might have gone too far, questioning Riderch's culinary tastes seems like it might actually have touched a nerve. "No, you put it on a spit, but Venison is fucking dry unless you fatten it, Ser. Even you would note that." He eyes the other squires bemusedly and then throws his head back in a howled laugh, indicating — A) he is not mad at the Blackrood at all, B) Well, — He's Riderch. "You and your little thing with the Dornish. And the Dornish and their thing with you. It's charming, really."

"Stewing? What are we, peasants at a roadside tavern?" is Abram's cheerful greeting to those of his friends already present. "No, no, no, venison is best when soaked in milk and then roasted in a cutlet. We aren't barbarians, after all." A moment's pause. "Damnation, now I'm hungry. What are you all about, then?"

Laurent is just on the point of offering some culinary opinion — most likely a caustic one — when Abram's arrival in their little clearing distracts him. "Our host," he says flatly, nodding at the other knight's arrival. "We were lamenting our lack of success in finding larger game this past day," he offers glumly. "And I was just about to march off in that direction," he says with a nod, "And beat a bit of laziness out of my squire."

Said squire, mud-spattered and nearby, pales a bit at the claim. It takes him no time at all to go from indignant to nervous, though he lifts Laurent's bow and straightens his clothing in an attempt to look prepared. Or perhaps an attempt to look as if he weren't about to be thrashed.

"If you lot will excuse me," The Thorn growls out, offering a nod or a wave of his hand to each man gathered, "I'll see to that." And with no further ado, he sets in the direction he indicated. Willem Fossoway, jaw set and head held high, hurries after.

As Laurent saunters off, there's a brief look before Quillian is eyeing the Riverlander knight. "He's such a pleasant person, I cannot imagine him having marriage troubles." said with a rather straight face, before he turns to greet Abram with a wave. "Some of us were. Personally I don't get enough of the small game. There's skill to be had." the Blackrood states before whistling at Lewyn. "Keep your eyes sharp, boy." A bark of command, before Quill slides into an easy lean or shift of weight.

"Hunting in general though..And I've been a look out for your Hill, I think I may have found you, something."

"Can you believe the last thing I ever wish to discuss with anyone is the issue of Ser Laurent Tyrell's marriage?" Riderch offers, glibly, as he adjusts his stance, looking back over his shoulder and staring off at where his big squire went. The man's still all smiles. "I — well." He doesn't elaborate, having the look of a man who's said enough. "At this rate, the two of them will be the last man and woman bloody standing."

With this, he waves it off, whirling about as he raises his hunting bow again, squinting off in the distance to stare down the woods. "We found..Quail here yesterday. Right in this very spot." Riderch Blackwood may be many things, but he is not an expert hunter. "I'm looking for fowl." He pauses a little, puzzled by the Blackrood's words. Blackwood to Blackrood here, Riderch looks at the Oakheart knight with a wrinkled brow. "Huh?"

"Thorn," Abram offering to Laurent in parting with an easy smile, "There is no excuse for you." The obligatory barb traded, the Knight of Derring Downs nods to Quill, "Hear, hear. All told, I'm quite pleased with the land and game. And the Mander has given up one monster already," he notes with a wink to Riderch. The Oakheart's latter words are met with a nod. "Show me, later. Curious to see whether you and I chose the same one. It's a blessing being this close to the water: can never be too far from a fresh well, if a man digs deep enough."

"The Thorn didn't try to fuck your sister did he?" Curious as to how far the poor knight's reputation suffered. Still Quillian glances towards Abram. "I know he sniffed around your cousin." and there he starts to say the word Bashful, but halts. Instead he merely grins and whistles softly. "It's good land for sure. I couldn't argue for better." Quillian says before he is nodding back to Arbam. "I suspect. It's got a good defensive view, and some other things, that I am keen on."

"That scaly shit paid for its bloody crimes." Riderch blusters towards Abram with a slight turn of his head, grinning wildly here as he takes another series of steps through the wood. "I think Tel was able to grab hold of some adequate spices though, at least from what I was able to taste. Made an egg tart and a decent one at that, I believe."

He clears his throat now and observes. "This isn't a bad spot. Defensible, sure. And it's just old.. I like it, when you walk upon the ground you can sense the bones of history. Not a bad place to be. Did you find King Mern's Sword, yet?" He asks them both, chuckling a barely-controlled laugh.

Abram sniffs shortly at the talk of Laurent and Sera. "He made apology for it, and did no real damage to her reputation or virtue, so all was forgiven. But aye," the Florent notes with a rueful grin. "Tyrells and Florents have never gotten along easily, that business could have set us to blows." Riderch's commentary is met with an easy smile and appreciative turn of Abram's head around at the hills surrounding them. The last is met with a crooked grin and rueful exhale. "No, I have not found the tomb of King Mern the Last. Tell me, do knights in that barbaric Ironborn backwater you call the Riverlands know what the Festival of Chivalry is?"

"Were he fucking someone in my family, I don't know whom I would hurt more. The Oakheart stupid enough to allow him that-or the Thorn himself for such disrespect. Our house has served them loyally for some time-It'd be shitting where you eat." Quillian tacts on before he is nodding for a moment. There's a glance back towards Riderch at his question, and there his grin curls up. "I imagine all festivals in the Riverlands either have to do with weeping or fish."

"Hrm. Well, there is the Tyrell curse. You know, his little piss-stain of a brother was sniffing around. At your celebration I might add, ser." The long-suffering Riverlander declares towards Abram with more amusement and less aggression than one might expect from listening to the words themselves. Some grass crunches under his boot as he takes another step. "I believe Little Squire Loryn already hobbled back to his theater after I offered to widen his arsehole so much that that when he went backstage they'd call him 'Lord Garvin the Second.' Riderch Blackwood imparts all of this before finally coming to a dead stop, nocking an arrow after reaching back for his quiver.

"You all cry and moan so much, and we are happily sworn to House Tully." Happily. Heh. "You mean, do knights in that Ironborn graveyard celebrate your festival?" He asks, his mouth beaming in a crooked smile. "You know, Skull-drinker, I wonder how you get any skull-drinking done with the amount of crying about fucking Dornishmen you do. Although you do have an impressive collection, or so I've heard." The man's just full of laughs, today. And he delivers them all with a smile.

Abram grins throughout Quill's banter, the smile enduring while the Blackwood adds his own words. A merry chuckle at the insult, "Heh: Garvin the Second. Quite good," he commends the wit of the violent threat. Riderch's rebuttal is met with a return volley, "Quill, why is it, do you suspect, that Westermen and Riverlanders are so fair haired, while we Reachfolk are so notoriously.. unlike the Ironborn in complexion? A mystery for wiser men than we, no doubt." A light chuckle matches Riderch;s good humor, for all the barbs, and he nods, "Yes, the Festival of Chivalry. Every seven years, knights across the Reach quest and seek great deeds for a month. Well, seven years past I wasted the entire bloody month searching for the tomb of my great-uncle. Chased every minstrel's yarn and backwoods legend I heard, without a shred of luck."

"I didn't know though Ser, before this time, that you had a sister." Quill states with a faint chuckle. "Is she available? By that-is she betrothed to anyone?" A slight chuckle before he is looking to see what the Riverlander has seen, and the Blackrood squints his eyes. "Do we, I must have missed the note about the tears." he adds absently as his hand crests over his eyes. However to Riderch's threat to Loryn, there's a snicker. "You know he came round the Holdfast, claiming some Dornishman stabbed him-and then proceeded to drop trou before Jo?" This said to both knights. "I almost gelded him on the spot-were I not healing from kicking Maelys' Targaryen's arse." A sigh there, before he is looking back over towards Riderch.

"Tell me, Ser. Do you love your family? " Likely there is a line there "Tell me, would you simply shrug it off if your greatest enemy kept the bones of your kin?" His voice raising, likely to spook game, but it drops as Abram steps in.

"I believe I knocked twenty men down that year." And then a shake of his head. "Gods, I was terrible at the Lance. I really only toppled five. It's a damned shame-that. This year I think I will be more practical, or better."

"A thing of my family." Riderch starts — and, well, great, guys. Somebody just wound him up a little. "We were there before the Grey King shit along the shore. We endured the horsefuckers." Which is funny on this expedition, considering, well, he rode not too far from a Bracken. "And we endured everything leading up to Aegon's arrival. We don't look like any of them." Nobody was really asking him this question, but he answers it. "But — hm. A festival, you say?" The man can't hide the fact that he might just be a little intrigued.

There's a spring in his step as he bounds along. And then Quillian asks that one simple question. "Why don't you ask her yourself, Ser Quillian? And I'll pretend not to laugh at the answer she gives you. She's a handful of years younger than me. But she's probably more willing to slice a man open than I will be." His teeth flash as he continues along. "Did he go sniffing around Lady Johanna as well? I — well." Riderch shakes his head a little, puffing up with a deep, deep sigh. "So — what did she see? Is there anything down there?" He does in fact acknowledge Quillian's statement about bones, and bones of family. And he quiets down a little.

"This will be the second Festival since my knighting," Abram notes, choosing to dwell upon the more cheerful subject as by turns Quill and Riderch grow loud and quiet at the japes. "Kngihts ride abroad seeking jousts and duels. They seek to slay famous beasts, do great deeds of arms, and recover lost treasures, all for the right to be hailed as the highest example of chivalry. By tradition, even the Kings of the Reach would bow to the victors, for the seven sacred days afterward." He grins afresh, noting to Riderch in particular, "More than one especially gallant knight has won an exalted bride by great deeds done during the Festival."

"So" Quillian says with a look to Riderch. "That explains the Dornish, and my love of hating them." As it seems he will not go further, for Abram's sake. Though as Abram explain he does grin. "Yes, if you had your eye on a prized woman-were you to say be lifted up by your deeds, I don't know how her family could deny you." Of course he doesn't know whom Riderch has his eye set upon. "It seems gentlemen, I've come single at the right time. My legend is growing if not cemented-and now we've the festival coming in short time." There's a look towards Abram. "Have you decided what you will be doing this Festival? I believe, I may go looking for something to fatten my estate."

"Oh." Riderch begins, being kind of caught in his tracks here as Abram recounts the details of this event. "That sounds — explempary. Noble, even. Actually doing something with these oaths instead of sitting around with your bloody spurs with your hand on your rope at the Ponce and Tankard trying to tumble barmaids." He observes, coughing up a dry, dry laugh. "Seven sacred days. Heh. Heh heh." All right, this has earned his laughter now, but it's an easy guess why that is.

As he recovers, he looks towards Quillain a little more seriously and a little more fair. "To be honest, Ser, you are the first man in the Reach who has actually tried. I love the best of my blood and I can - well." He says, a little nonplussed. "There are people I'd burn entire fucking cities for, Ser." He leaves it at that. Finally Blackwood lets out another ragged cough. "Heh. So — 'Prized women.' You say. In the Reach? What if a man who had some middling worth were to find a woman who was not of the Reach, necessarily?"

"Well," Abram notes to Quillian with a grin, "Our fortunes have reversed since the last time: you the errant rake, and I the wedded man. Dear Gods, is this what the poets mean when they speak of irony?" the Florent wonders lightly. As to what he shall seek, Abram muses a long moment. "Seven years past, I swore that rather than chasing a legend that may not even exist, I would use my better skills and track the Questing Beast-" aside to Riderch, he explains, "It is a famous monster, that emerges every seven years; it is said to have the head and neck of a great serpent, the body of a leopard, the haunches of a lion, and the feet of a hart. Only great hunters have ever slain it," he notes, before exhaling. "Though now… Hrm. The sheer satisfaction if a Florent were to find the sword of Garth Greenhand. Mayhaps we'll all ride together for a time, but I think that I mean to seek the Old King's Sword again, after all." Riderch's cautious answer draws both the Florent's brows high as he glances aside to Quill, before regarding the Blackwood. "I should say, Ser, that any knight who is acclaimed as the highest example of knighthood alive could win any bride in Westeros."

"Well, I've not understood hate and such before. Once I could hate a man as just part of killing him. You have to do that a little you know. Hate the man in order to do it." Quillian says, before he is stroking at his beard. "I'll speak to your sister if you don't mind, Ser." Apparently not entirely put off by the thought of being stabbed. And like that looks back towards Abram, and then he laughs. "I think at this point, Ser. My father would be fine with me marrying some poor common born lass, if it meant I could get a son of her." Son first, Daughters later. Still he is looking back towards Riderch.

"Aye, my sworn brother speaks true. You claim the Old King's Sword or slay the Monster of the Valley, I do not see how any man, even the King Himself could deny you." And there he crosses his arms. "Who do you have in mind, if I may ask, Ser?"

"If you wish." Riderch offers, easily enough to Quillian, indicating that he finds the idea ludicrous at best. "Ainsley's the best of my blood, but all sharp talons and angry eyes to most. Particularly those that can count on two fingers to the number Seven." The Riverlander's eyes drift to the bearded man, widening a little and making a face like a man by a campfire describing a fearsome beast. A fearsome beast he clearly dotes upon. "I'd step carefully. But also, at least I don't know that you're claiming betrothal to someone, so you have that in your favor." This stated, he steps a few more yards and lets out a sharp 'WHOOP!' Nothing. Absolutely nothing is there, and clearly the man is out here to kill time more than seriously hunt.

"Pfft. There are many strange things in the corners of the world that the Andals forgot, Ser Abram." He states plainly. "I would find a sword of an Old King. Perhaps I will look upon his bones and my ancestors will recognize him from the days past when the Raven Kings of the Black Hill held court." And with that, he pauses a beat. "Or I could die like a fucking idiot trying. I'm sure that is what happens." He wheezes out a peal of laughter.

Back and forth though, he finally eyes Quillian with a skeptical look. "Are you asking me, Ser? I think you are clever enough to know the answer if you half-bother to look. After all, I've been here for a few days now, hunting game. Slaying — trout." There's a reddish flush in his cheeks but the smug look remains.

"There my sworn brother and I must disagree," Abram notes to the first of Quill's words. "I don't hate the men I fight, seems like a lot of fire spent for nothing, in truth." He smiles afresh at the latter claim, "Though I am with him on the second: the Knight of Honor is the foremost champion of the Warrior himself, it would be a hard thing to deny such a man." Though talk of the Old King, and the courts of Black Hill, he notes- in the voice of one who is well read on the subject- "The last bearer of Garth the Greenhand;s sword is said to have been King Mern the Ninth, who fell on the Field of Fire, a hundred and twenty years past." But talk of Riderch's chosen Lady again draws a crooked smile from the Florent.

PFFFT, that is the sound Abram gets, before he is looking back to Riderch. "You miss out on the delicious personalness of killing if you don't hate them." Clearly the Blackrood is deranged or just trying to justify his position in a rather cartoonish manner. However he does offer a bit of a grin back to his sworn brother, before he nods. "His closest surviving knights gathered him up, and had him and the sword entombed, in order that the King would rise again and save his Kingdrom from the Dragons." And there he sighs. "I believe a knight of House Gardner extinct is said to watch over him. Or a Oldflowers, I don't remember. But the Knights who remained Loyal were: Florent, Oakheart and Rowan, whilst Tyrell in Highgarden waited to usurp the claim." A shrug there. "Old tales."

And with that Quillian looks back off in the direction of camp. "Be assured I'll call on her once. If she says leave off, I'll not follow her like some damned puppy" he states to Riderch. "I need alliances and else. You're a good man-and if you're to be Lord of your lands, I'd have my family treat with yours anyway."

"I don't hate most of the men that I fight. But I don't kill most of the men that I fight either these days." Riderch confesses, wryly. "There's a difference between facing a Knight on the field and setting upon them in the dark, burning them out of their Hall and setting upon them one by one as they flee in their fucking smallclothes and feeding the Earth their blood." He says this all in a cheerful, conversational manner of course, because that is the place that he is in right now. "There are times when men need to be cut out of the ground like warts and times when gentler rules apply. Don't think I don't know the bloody difference." And his teeth gleam again in a cheerful smile.

"The sword of Garth Greenhand. When House Gardner was cut down and House Tyrell paid surrender to Aegon the Liberator." This title should likely send titters through the other men, but it does denote a certain — difference of opinion the men might have. "I know of Mern, and I know that he should have probably stayed wiser in the face of Dragons. But who am I of all people to say such a thing?" He sighs. Nope. Still no birds. He holds the bow aloft as he finally states to Abram, the flashing grin directed at him before wheeling about to Quillian. "Believe me, despite your reputation in certain circles, if I didn't think you would try to be a decent sort to her, at least based on the character your sister has displayed, I wouldn't give you one chance. So feel free to talk to her, see what she says. And don't talk about your Stone Gods." Yeah, some heathenism is up in here today. "But anyway, women pose a greater problem in my life. This could be a solution, or at least.. I don't know." He doesn't, really. He shrugs to prove it.

Abram nods to Quill's recounting of the old tales. "Five Florents died in the King's company, that day. My line is born from the King's nephew, who carried the Royal Standard into battle and perished in fire at his side. That the Tyrells bent the knee without a fight and were rewarded for it by the Targaryens was a source of bad blood in the Reach for- well, it's still a source of bad blood," he notes with a laugh. As to the guardians, "It varies by the legend. Usually an Oldflowers, sometimes one of the outlawed Warrior's Sons, but in Goldengrove they still claim the tomb was guarded by a Rowan, because the Rowans are so far up their own asses that their tongues are hairy." Riderch receives another grin. "Lords of the Reach pride themselves on valour. Wisdom… tends to slip by the wayside," he admits with a shrug.

"When House Tyrell fell into their luck, you mean to say." Quillian notes with a bit of a grin. Though at the mention of Aegon the Liberator, there's a look over to Abram as he does most visibly snicker at that amusing title, to the first Targaryen king of Westeros. "King Mern, was many things-brave though I don't know if Wise falls into it." As to Riderch's words, he does offer a bow of his head, before giving the other man an amused look. "Do I seem a septon to you?" Likely religion won't factor to any of his words. Instead his attention shifts back to Abram with a snort.

"House Rowan has as much as House Tyrell when it comes to pomp and piss about ones great accomplishments." A sniff there. "Our families are old-and proved loyal to the man they were to be loyal to. Unlike some." Indeed the whole surrender of the Reach to Aegon is a bit tetchy with the storied knights of the storied place of storied knighthood.

"If you both will excuse me." Quillian says, "I am off to see if I can't find some water fowl, and use Lewyn here to scare them up." A wave of his hand. "Ta' friends."

"That's the thing about my home." Riderch may be prancing and half-mad at times, but he's not completely oblivious. And also, this discussion of blood and history has his attention gripped like a vice. "The war came to us long before the Dragons did. At that time, we had to contend with bloodthirsty lords, hairy-cheekd invaders and slaver kings all around. And when Aegon landed — instead of delivering the worst, he treated with my ancestors." He sort of lets that lie there as he takes in the reality of the Reachmens' tales. Also, it's entirely up to question whether or not they'd get a certain resigned note here. "We'd dealt with 'conquerors' before. This was the start of something new, the Great Rising." He lets the topic fade though as he listens heavily to the stories of Oldflowers, Rowans, Mern, Tyrells, the rest of it. And he just shrugs now.

As Quillian makes his obvious statement about being something less-than-devout, he simply offers. "You may not be, Ser. But she is." Still, he watches the man go, chuckling a little bit as he gives him a wave and then turns to Abram. "Aine might end up drinking out of his skull." He says, not altogether serious, but clearly amused by the idea. "I shouldn't be too rough with this though. But it sounds as though — your ancestors, and his? Maybe they deserved better. I dislike a story where a traitor walks away with the fucking gold."

"Our ancestors," Abram begins, with a thoughtful breath drawn and let out, "Did their duty. Many of them died for it, but they died in battle, fighting for their leal Lord, against the most powerful foe the world has ever seen: never before or since were three dragons turned against a host of men." Talk of traitors walking off with the gold causes a return of his crooked smile. "That, Ser Riderch, is why I like you so much: we share an irreverent humor, and a stout sense of justice. May your sister spare poor Quill, so that we can all share a toast to honest men, honest deeds, and fresh glories in days to come."

"At least mine lived to see Harren the Black and his line put in an ignoble grave. Where is your squid-god now, Greyblood?" Well, that introspection didn't last long. Riderch's grin is a half-snarl here and it's as though his hated foe is lingering right around these parts. Even though thankfully nobody was silly enough to invite Ironmen on the hunt. Just a Bracken.

Rolling his shoulders back in his hunting tunic, the Heir to House Blackwood smirks crookedly. "And that, Ser Abram, reminds me of a toast I would share with you once I have a drink in my hand — because you figure things out. Were I half as bold as you with the things I wanted, I imagine my name would be remembered a far length longer than it will. Even if it would turn to tears at the end." He snorts a rueful snort-laugh. "Oh, I puff these things up a bit. Ainsley's — better than that. I'd never stop laughing if she sent the Blackrood running fearing for his manhood, though." He howls in laughter. It's a completely ridiculous idea of course, but the man is positively full of them.

"Boldness I have to spare," Abram claims with a jaunty bow at the compliment. "I've been told that, like my great-uncle, wisdom may not be my strong suit, but bah!" the Florent declares with a laugh. "Better to live briefly and well, say I. More than worth a few spilled tears or drops of blood." A fresh laugh at the idea of a scalded Quillian fleeing from a Lady, and Abram's eyes are narrowed by good humor. "I think I'm off to find a drink for my sadly dry hand, Ser. Good luck finding a deer, and we'll have that toast of yours over dinner."

"I'd better scare up some game soon, or I will be a sad Raven." Riderch responds, screwing up his face in a smile. "You are a gracious host, Ser. And — for what it is worth? This land is beautiful. Enjoy your Lordship." And with that, he bounds off, with one final thing. "Oh, I intend to just live. And we will have that drink while I still live." And then he is gone, into the trees, no doubt seeking his long-suffering squire.

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