(121-08-09) A Talk on the Terrace
A Talk on the Terrace
Summary: Carolis, Malcolm and Nathaniel all meet and talk on the Quill and Tankard's Terrace
Date: 09/08/2014
Related: None.

Terrace - Quill and Tankard

The Quill and Tankard's terrace occupies the area of of the little island that is not filled by the tall, timbered, southward-leaning building itself. There are ragged little stacks of stone sticking up from the Earth around the island's banks, the remains of a wall that once kept drunkards from falling into the river but has now been knocked down and robbed of its stones enough that it better serves to trip them and make sure that they fall headlong into the Honeywine instead of merely walking in. They are rather picturesque. Tall torches stand along the ruined wall. They're lit at night, and in foggy weather.

There's a single, ancient apple tree in the middle of this area. The rest is grass, made sparse by the passage of too many feet, flagstone footpaths that help keep the guests from muddying their feet when it rains, and weathered tables and benches. Tall torches surround some, but not all, of the larger tables.

Out on the terrace, the heir presumptive to House Stark sits at a table under a tree with a view of the river. In the shade, he's pulled back the hood from the pale, thin cowl he wears. It's the same dove gray of his doublet. His voluminous shirt sleeves are an airy cotton that breathes. At his hip is a fine sword, at hand but sheathed and more or less ignored. He sits alone, but there is a large flagon of what seems to be some kind of ale, and there are four empty tankards arranged around it. The fifth he holds in his hand, watching the river idly as he picks at a lemon cake with a lackluster appetite.

The door leading from the inn to the terrace opens and Nathaniel steps outside. The young Crane Lord has a thick leather bound book and a peice of charcoal for writing in hand. The book is open in his hands and he taps the charcoal aginst the side of the book thoughtfully as he walks along the terrace paths looking about half-heartedly for a free seat. Most of his attention is on the book he carries and what appears to be a list of names and charts much like a family tree. He walks along studying the pages of the book and puases near Carolis's table looking up and glancing around. Spotting the nearby Stark he gives the man a nod and a faint smile. "Good day to you." He looks to the table where the young Lord sits and seems to consider before he adds. "Would you mind if I joined you?"

Malcolm eyes the rather tall new arrival with a professional's efficiency, sizing him up as a potential threat, making note of anywhere weapons might be hiding. The rather flamboyant knight sits by his Lord, in a good position to watch anyone approaching..

Carolis glances to Nathaniel, watching the young man as he takes a swallow from his tankard. At the greeting, he inclines his head and says, "Of course." The gestures to the tankards and flagon. There is also a plate with fancy cheeses, cold meats, and bread along with fresh fruits and lemon cakes. He's made something of a dent in it, which may explain the lackluster appetite. Then his Knight has arrived, and Carolis laughs quietly. "At ease, Ser Malcolm. Have a drink and something to eat. To Nathaniel, he says, "My name is Carolis Stark. Well met."

The Knight gets a faint smile as well and Nathaniel does notice that assessing gaze and lofts a golden brow brow at Malcolm. The only weapon on his person is a small knife and while he is tall and rather well muscled he doesn't seem to be the fighting type. Carolis's response gets another faint smile and Nathaniel carefully closes his book and drops into a graceful little bow. "A pleasure to meet you both. I am Lord Nathaniel of House Crane." Straightening up he takes a seat at the table setting the book and charcoal down in front of him. The book is made from dark brown leather with a imprint of a galloping horse on its front. Nathaniel places a hand over the book and glances between the two men with a hint of curiousity. "Forgive my curiousity but what brings a Stark to Oldtown if I may ask? I only arrived here very recently myself so I'm afraid I'm out of the loop on local news and such." He offers a warm little smile to them both.

Malcolm has a tankard of something and helps himself to cheese, meat, fruit, and crackers. His own appetite is quite good. He eats with a simple efficiency, still between bites. His accent is South Storm Coast, and not particularly elevated. "Ser Malcolm Storm, acknowledged of Kelligton, Sworn to the Starks. Welcome." The raised brow gets a big sunny smile in response, "There's been a bit of trouble of late. You can't blame a man for doing his job."

Carolis says, with little concern in his voice, "It's nothing. But my man does his job, as he says." His attention rivets to the book, and he sits up a little. "Lord Nathaniel Crane the horseman? It is an honor, my lord." He finishes off his lemon cake and washes it down with ale. "I'm accompanying Lord Stark, actually," he says. "He is here as well, and while he conducts his business, I am studying Southron culture and etiquette." Either he's not been here terribly long, or the cowl and long sleeves he wears are a frequent feature, because his skin remains pale and untouched by the harsh Southron sun.

Nathaniel looks to Malcolm and smiles warmly, his tone sincere as he speaks. "No I cannot fault you at all for doing your job Ser Malcolm. Especially since you seem to be much more alert than many I've met." Carolis's remark causes him to grin a little. "That would be me yes. You have heard of me then?" He looks a bit surprised by this but also pleased and he nods to Carolis's explaination smiling faintly. "I came here with two of my brothers. While they take care of thier business I'm in the process of moving some of my better horses to a farm outside the city in hope that I might find someone willing to purchase them. I'm also planning a new business venture that will hopefully be a success." He looks a bit excited as he mentions this.

Malcolm gives Nathaniel a bow, "I take my business seriously." Indeed, the apple juice in his tankard is barely cider. "What sort of business? Horse breeding?"

"We take our horse seriously," Carolis replies. "And our dogs. My brother raises war dogs, and as a mounted archer, I've an interest in the quality of my steed." To Malcolm, he says, "We shall have to introduce him to Andy and Tellur. We should buy them each an untrained beast to keep them busy." With a small smile, he raises his tankard to Nathaniel. "Clearly we spares should keep one another company."

Nathaniel chuckles at little at Malcolm's question reaching to pour himself a bit of cider to drink. "Oh I'm already in the business of breeding horses. No I want to build a race track so people can race thier horses for entertainment purposes." He smiles excitedly looking between the two of them and lifting his tankard to Carolis in return. He takes a long drink and smile. "Indeed. If you want once I have the farm set up you could look over my horses to see if one of them might suit your purposes. They are all coursers, bred to be fast and most of them are fairly spirited though some of them have a more gentle disposition…it depends on what your looking for. I breed and train them myself and I take my horses very seriously as well." He smiles and takes another drink from his tankard.

Malcolm laughs softly, "Aye, that is an interesting idea. We ought to get Tellur two, one to train for him and a spare for me if we go Wildling hunting again. Tellur Snow's been asking a lot of questions about Motley's training." he studies Nathaniel with some interest, "What sort of prizes? Will you hold races for Ladies and small folk or just Lords and knights? Have you obstacle races or ring catches in mind, or just races for speed?

"I prefer agile beasts who can handle rough terrain and remain quiet. Intelligence, too. I value intelligence." He continues to regard the book, and he finally asks, "May I see what you've got there?" He adds with a warm smile, "I'm rather fond of books. I'd read every one in the known world if I had the time."
Nathaniel lowers his tankard smiling brightly at Malcolm's interest. "I plan to host races at least once a week. Different races will have different requirements…some will be speed races while others will be obstacle courses. Ladies will be able to enter if they wish as will smallfolk, knights and nobles. I plan to mix it up a little, have a race for each nobles and knights, ladies, and smallfolk along with an ocassional combined race where anyone can participate. Betting will be allowed and encouraged and a small entrance fee will be charged. I plan to offer a large part of the earnings from entrance fees as the prize money for those that win." Nathaniel turns his head to Carolis as the Stark studies his book. He smiles and gently lifts the book offering it to the other lord. "That is my log. I keep information on all my horses in there. It might be a dull read but it helps me stay organized."

Malcolm's tone is wry, "Trust me, there is such a thing as too much intelligence in a destrier." He sighs, "I could use a courser for when there is a rewal fight, My Lord, if your purse will stretch that far." he nods aprovingly of Nathaniel's plan, "It were good you let women enter. There's been… difficulty as there are some warlike ladies and smallfolk hereabouts who can compete with the men at things like joust or melee, but not being proper knights, there's been trouble over them competing. A place they can compete openly, even if it's just riding might take the pressure off."

"The smallfolk will have trouble paying the fee without a patron," Carolis points out. "But if you get enough nobles interested, they might be willing to pick a favorite to compete in their name and with their coin." He takes another swallow of ale, and he helps himself to a little crumbled white cheese with veins of blue, nudging some onto a cracker. Of the log, he says, "That's a fine idea, my lord. I imagine you must have to keep a lot of names and figures in your head." To Malcolm, he says, "I'm sure we could find enough, Ser Malcolm. Of course I won't be needing another horse for some time. My Midnight is faultless."

Nathaniel smiles to Malcolm. "I think it is only fair to give everyone a chance be they lady, noble and smallfolk. I firmly believe a woman or one of thre smallfolk can be just as good a rider as any knight or nobleman if they are taught and enjoy practicing. I would think the same would apply to a melee or a joust as well. Its about talent and skill not gender or social status in my opinion…though some would disagree with me on that I'm sure." He takes another drink of his cider and looks to Carolis with a smile and a nod. "Yes there are a lot of details that I need to keep track of." He looks to Malcolm curiously. "If you want a courser then I would be glad to let you look over the ones I brought with me. I'm having a few others brought down from Red Lake but they won't be here for a while yet…still I have a fairly decent selection with me now. I just need to get the farm set up so they have their own stable and enough room to graze. I tend to spoil my horses a bit."

Malcolm smiles crookedly, "I am very fond of Motley, but horses bred for the joust are built a bit differently than the sort you ride to war, just as jousting armour's very different than the armour you wear for melee or real warfare. A jousting horse is stronger and heavier boned and needs particularly strong hindquarters for precision work. A good courser's a bit lighter as the armour isn't quite as hard on the horse, and needs to be faster, if just as brave or braver." he opens his hands, "It's a small difference, but we got Motley when I was planning on trying to make my fortune on the tourney circuit. It's looking like I'll be needing something that can keep up with your beast instead… Tellur's vowed not to bring Loathley into combat again, so I'm thinking, he'll be needing a second horse too, either courser or palfrey. I think that's why he's been asking after Motley's training." He flashes Nathaniel a grin, "Well, I expect you'll be popular with the womenfolk, then. I admit, I side with the fiercer of our womenfolk… Oh! You ought to do contests for horse archers as well!" he nods, "I'd like Tellur Snow along to help look them over, but it sounds a good thing."

"Goodness, no, Loathley's not made for combat," Carolis says. "She's gentle as a lamb. Midnight is a bit nippy, but in battle I've seen him tear pieces out of an enemy." He smiles with wistful pride. "We'll get Tellur a good horse for combat and let Loathley have a calmer life. I think he should get a foal off her." He perks up when a contest for the mounted archers is mentioned, but he says nothing that would give away any untoward excitement. "Tellur Snow is our Master of Beasts," he tells Nathaniel. "He trains the dogs and horses. No luck with the cats, but one can't expect miracles."

Nathaniel's eyes light up a bit at Malcolm's suggestion for a mounted archery contest. "That is an excellent idea and you are welcome to bring Tellur Snow with you if you wish. He sounds like someone I would like to meet." Nathaniel chuckles a little at Carolis's comment. "I have yet to meet anyone who could tame a cat….they have minds of thier own but they still make good company all the same." A servant wearing the Crane house crest comes up and whispers something in Nathaniel's ear. The Crane lord's brow furrows and he nods looking to his company with a warm smile. "It seems my eldest brother has requested my presence. We are still getting our manse set up so he is probably struggling through the tedious process of home decorating…I'm so glad I'm not the heir." He smiles wryly and rises to his feet taking up his book and charcoal once more. "It was a pleasure speaking with you both Lord Carolis and Ser Malcolm. Hopefully I will see you both again soon." He offers a bow before heading off after the servant.

Malcolm seems to like the same sort of stinky cheeses as his lord, judging from his choices. He flashes Lord Carolis a bright smile, "I think it would be a lovely gift for him, like the pup." He winks at Nathaniel when he takes up the idea of a mounted archery contest. He stands and bows to the departing Lord. "Likely, we will see you soon, Lord Nathaniel."

Carolis glances to Malcolm when Nathaniel makes his remark about taming cats, or rather the inability to. He takes a drink from his tankard, and then he sets it down as he rises to his feet. With a bow to Nathaniel, he says, "It was a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Lord Nathaniel. Should it please you, come calling at Weirwood Manse. It is the home of House Stark while we are in Oldtown. It would be our pleasure to host such a well known horseman."

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