(121-09-05) Move Away From the Bar, Professor
Move Away from the Bar, Professor
Summary: Ser Fulk the Subtle finds a maester to talk to. Unfortunately it's Garth and he's hogwhimpered.
Date: (05/09/2014)
Related: None in particular

Quill & Tankard

Past midnight and the air still has the quality of a wet blanket draped atop the whole sprawl of Oldtown; the Quill and Tankard's doors are thrown open and still little refreshment in the form of coolling breezes manage to make their way inside - this does not deter a straggle of patrons, though. A brown robed figure swelters at the bar, he rakes his strong fingers through his brown hair to remove it from his face. Beads of sweat stand out on his brow, another droplet trickles down the side of his nose before being lost on the scar tissue at the ruined side of his face. He lethargically shoves his mug across the sticky bartop towards the person at the other side. "Fill it up, same again if you will." His sweaty hand dips to a decidely empty looking coin-purse at his belt.

The robed imbiber will feel, on a sudden, a heavy, gnarled grip on his teetering shoulder. "Might stand you that last round, maester. No chain m'self, but if I were you I'd let it be the last."

The speaker is a man far past his prime, his costume a criss-crossing composite of half mail, his hair wholly turned to grey and his dark beard goning that way too. He seems ready with silver, and the wench at the board recognises him quickly enough, hailing him with a cheery, "Evenin', Ser Fulk."

"Want to sit a turn with me?" Fulk invites his more inebriate companion mildly. "Always foun' y'r'order interestin' men. And decent, more oft'n 'n not."

Garth's brows draw down slightly as he first feels that grip on his shoulder. "That so… well perhaps it will be my last af'er all." His accent and manner of speech aren't any more refined than his features and yet there's links a plenty around his neck despite his apparent lack of age (at least in terms of Maesterly standards). He then shifts his backside on a stool already worn smooth with the action of many previous behinds, this way he can regard this recent arrival. Garth's shoulders rise and fall beneath the heavy wool. "Why not." He gets to his feet, one hand on the bar for stability's sake though he doesn't really look as though he's quite drunk enough to fall flat on his face just yet.

Ser Fulk's old brows beetle as he hears the maester's voice, not so different to his own in calibre, though tinged with a different region's accent. "You're from out King's Landin' way…?" he guesses tentatively. "And in whose service? I've drawn my long years o' hedgin' to a close in the pay of the dragons, m'self. Might be I'll have cause to see the capital one o' these days, too." He mulls a gulp of cider equably. "Though hardly see m'self ever leavin' the Reach altogether behind. Already ridden long n' far enough from home…"

"No service, other'n the Citadel," Garth says as he gets used to this new vertical position. "Aye, from down that way but it was a long time ago - seems like it coulda been another lifetime in fact." He turns his head to assertain whether the barmaid is indeed refilling his ale mug, when he sees that she is busy with that. "Some might say that after all this time that Oldtown's more my home than anywhere else ever could have been, since I've now been here over half my life," he smiles, his tongue maybe freed by the numerous mugs of strong ale he's consumed. "Don't mind it that way, mind. You?"

"I get restless," the older knight replies without a moment's hesitation. "The life of y'maesters bound to their hearths and ravenries would ne'er suit me. Sure, I like a quill in my hand fair enough, but I prefer a saddle 'neath my arse." He does not laugh or even particularly smile; his brown eyes are thoughtful. "Now I live on a stipend proffered by Princess Visenya, but sometimes I wonder if I did right to accept it. The road is a right siren, and Oldtown has its disadvantages. Maesters I can be doin' with, but septons…"

"I like to be outside, under an open sky much more'n I like to be cooped up in the library," The Maester laughs. "A thought that seems to baffle a lot o' folks, they seem to have the idea that a Maester's gotta like four walls around him an' a roof o'er his head." He scratches his stubbled jawline as perspiration makes it itch. "Much as I like to be outdoors, I can't imagine where I'd go if I had the freedom to just off an… well, go. Maybe north, go to the Wall. But they have their own Maesters already, I'm bettin'." He drags a low stool out from underneath a dark wooden table and sits down.

"The Wall…?" Fulk splutters at that. "…How much have y'had to drink, actually, Maester…?" He realises they haven't actually exchanged names and pauses in amused embarrassment.

Leaning back with a shrug, the knight concedes, "Southron-born, me, n' it tells. Dorne's a fascinatin' land with vile folk and treasonous wanton women…the Stormlands look eventful and that's not far wrong…but I could be content with just the Reach to wander over. The Wall…" Fulk chuckles distinctly. "Y'hear most maesters work out ways to get off their chains wi'fairer company. Imagine that's harder when cold, wildlings and cut-throats are competin' to finish yer off."

Garth laughs loudly enough that some of the others around the room's perimeter pause to look at him, he doesn't seem to mind all that much though he does lower his voice to a more conversational level again. "Probably not enough, but well… it's somewhere most men wouldn't go, not wantin' to freeze their balls off. I've no use for mine, one thing Maesters an' Septons have in common… no wives. Black Brothers don't have any either." He leans forwards, his elbows dig into the table top and help support him this way. "Name's Garth, since we've not traded names yet."

"Ser Fulk," offers the knight in question, who looks quietly sceptical about the maester's declared powers of celibacy. "Well, it seems a long way to go to confirm yer, ah, vows. How do y'get on with septons, y'self, anyway? Word is your order and theirs fight cat and dog. I was brought up in, ah, the bosom of faith," Fulk adds somehow rather cagily, "but the Starry Sept's taken a dislike to me since I went and knighted a woman. S'why I have to stay with the Princess for now. I need a powerful patron, but livin' protected is not the life I dreamed of as a boy, nor led as a man."

"Can't say as I've ever had to deal wi' Septons much, sometimes now an' again we see one at the Citadel if services are needed on-site - there's the folk in the Healin' Halls who want last rites and the likes afore the Silent Sisters come to collect the bodies, that kind of thing. I wonder sometimes whether animosity between the Godsworn and the Maesters is more to do with steppin' on each other's toes over healing, monies… that kinda thing more than anythin' else. Who can tell, politics is somethin' I try and stay out of. It's not my forte. Plants, animals… mending broken bones, that's my love. Daresay I'd made a decent farmer, if my life had been different." He listens curiously to Fulk's tale. "What'd the lady done to warrant a knighthood? It sounds like the beginnings of a ballad." A lopsided smile that's added to when the barmaid sets down a full mug in front of him and whatever it was that the knight had wanted.

Fulk is still finishing his first cider and looks moderately irked to see it so instantly reinforced - not as boozy a knight as many nobler, it would seem. "Ah…'twas a fool fancy, but the two of us beat an array of Oldtown and Dorne's best, at Prince Maelys's tourney. When this 'mystery knight' was revealed as a maid indeed, and one whose foster-father I'd known, I misliked the thought o' falling to her or havin' to beat her…so I dubbed her and threw her the victory instead. She done damn well; I still sometimes wonder if I could have taken her. Not like that," he adds hurriedly.

"Certainly the stuff of songs, if you'd a skill to write one. Was that a popular move wi' folks other than the Septons? Some women're made of sterner stuff than men want to give 'em credit for. Granted, it's not always the same kinda strength as men possess but still. Not all are delicate little flowers who're crushed by a stiff breeze, that's for sure." He picks up his mug of dark ale, some of the foamy head spills over onto his knuckles as he raises it. "To strong women all o'er the Seven Kingdoms!"

Fulk raises his nearly full tankard and clinks the maester's, but does not raise his voice alongside it. His expression looks just a little weary. This may or may not have to do with employment under Princess Visenya… "'S it happens, I have got a voice," he adds now, brightening. "Could bang you out summat of the top of m'head…"

And he first drinks deep, then launches into a rather monotonously tuned, marcher ballad style recitation of tourneys, Targaryens, alighting to strike with swords on foot, hedge knights, mystery knights, Dornish scoundrels and so forth. It's loud and lengthy and surprisingly kindly received in the tavern at large; Ser Fulk may be no musician, but he is generally liked.

<FS3> Fulk rolls Singing: Success.

Garth sips periodically from his mug, at least he's not gulping back this drink as though it's going out of style. "Not bad, not bad at all…" the Maester says, his right foot tapping along to the beat of Fulk's impromptu song. He shuts his eyes, or rather eye since he only has the one, and lolls forwards a little only to jerk awake again ere he falls over the table or knocks over the remainder of his drink. "S a good thing it's not far home, stumblin' distance even. I need to make sure that the novices're in their beds. They're like sons to me, you might say." He smiles a little wryly and the gets up and straightens out his robe. "Air'll likely clear my head, though granted…" he peers out of the door "still feels like a damp armpit out there."

Ser Fulk seems a little dazed by his own performance, and gulps the last of the cider with a distracted, vague air, "Aye, right enough, g'night, Maester Garth. Careful not to stumble over much, eh? Sleep well, I 'spect that at least 'll come easy…"

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