(121-10-30) Beggars and Curses
Beggars and Curses
Summary: Several nobles and commoners converse in Rag Picker's Square and Lady Juniper cautions against betting against dissolute Begging Brothers.
Date: Date of play (30/10/2014)
Related: None

Rag Picker's Square:

An unseemly stench of unwashed bodies, sewage, litter, and other unpleasant things assails one's nose here. The cramped, twisted streets of the Undercity are almost reminiscent of the pens of an abbatoir, and, indeed, there are mysterious red marks not too different from that of blood here and there. The buildings here look as like to crumble any moment. Some are leaning precariously, propped up with blocks of stone and timbers. Others are so heavily built-over with crude timber, that they can barely be perceived under the wood. It is always wet in this low lying area, and the tops of the overcrowded buildings so close together that the sunlight barely reaches through.

Poxy whores, sellswords, thieves, footpads, cutpurses, hedge wizards, robber knights, pirates, and pickpockets roam the claustrophobic little streets, on the prowl for coin, an unsuspecting victim from the city proper, or merely the next big adventure. There is a throng of smallfolk all about the gateway to the Thieves' Market. There are very few City Watchmen here, and when there are, they travel in a tight, almost phalanx-like formation, shield to shield, spears out and at the ready.

The purple cloaks of Oldtown only travel the streets adjoining Rag picker's square lockstep and in close phalanx formation and, indeed, any Reachlander with anything akin to sanity or the barest shred of self-preservation would not walk the putrescent sore without an escort. Although, Oldtown is the most cosmopolitan of cities and at least one Valeman lacks the requisite sense of self preservation.

They stand just off from a well, throwing dice, of all things with a handful of the local riffraff. Kaspar holds a wineskin in one hand and a bowl in the other. An aged begging brother, a cadavarerous man with naught but seven teeth smiles at the heir to Runestone and rattles his mandibles and heptumvirate of teeth at his fellows.

Both Burton Redfort, an embonpoint lad of thirteen, and young Ernarr Grafton look rather leery. Squire and page clearly have more sense than their knight, or perchance Kaspar is very, very drunk.

"If I kept the Seven, I'd feel half a blasphemer, Brother. Have I emptied your plate of alms? It seems my ancestors favor me. Here, Royce taps the ring of stones over his sword belt, then rolls the dice. "Grafton and Redfort" frown.

The balmy summer winds chase a choir of moist coughs through the streets of Oldtown's Undercity, where the salvation of sunshine had been eaten by shadowy walls, creatures and mostly thoughts. Slender, ailing figures limp, crawl, and falter over the slippery cobblestones while fleas dance in a cornucopia.

Among them, a cloak made of myriads of grey-furred patches wrapped closely, closely around her, a figure moves very carefully, staying close to the walls. Even while climbing over some poor body, that lingers in a corner hoping to find the illusion of dryness, it seems to walk a bit too upright to fit in with most of the others that frequent the area. A wisp of pale gold peeking out under the hood is quickly hidden.

"Don't play with him" she whispers, as she spots the knight with the beggar. "He cheats. And if you manage to win anyway, he curses you and your family. Our teeth will fall out until he has more than you."

There's a bunch of rather ragged looking young men loitering nearby, mumbling to each other, while observing what's going on around them. One of the youths has a hood drawn deep into his face as if he'd rather not be recognized. He's also rather quiet compared to the others. They don't seem to be too terrible off though, since each of them is clutching a mug of some brew.

Keli has no qualms about being spotted here, or in general, a white ribbon tied around her ankle ((page if curious)) but the rest of her rather properly dingied up, boots and drab clothes and all. Watching the gambling group about half the time, and trying to sneak looks at the faces of comers and goers the other half, Keli just observes at a safe distance, hunkered down near a barrel against a wall. Better not to stand out too much when you're her size. As for the filth and stench? It doesn't seem to register with her in the least.

Burton and Ernarr both whip their heads about to stare at the figure in the checkered gray cloak, upright amongst the bent and bowed waifs and rapscallions. Ernarr stares at the figure with all of the unconscious curiosity of a boy and Burton, seeing his cousin gape so brazenly, delivers a clout to the boy's ear.

"Ouch! I am telling nuncle"

"Squire, Page! Bow to the lady." Kaspar, despite the filth, falls to one knee. The begging brother, and artificer of curses, merely stares at the lady in gray and rattles his seven teeth. He smacks his lips, or would smack if they weren't more akin to dried venison in moldering wrappings than flesh. The sound of his lips smacking is more akin to the sound of rushes crackling.

Kaspar stares at the figure. He can see naught but the gray cloak, but the authority of her voice, yes, lady, or perhaps a woman of means? A wealthy merchant's wife, or a Septa raised in a landed knightly or lordly house?

"He has an unsavory look to him, my lady, but, I am rather fond of the grape and fonder still of taking silver from the hands of begging brothers and septons."

"Septons are the worst, half of their order are degenerate gamblers."

Still, Royce looks about the square. His eyes cut across he gaggle of rough looking men and linger upon them, then upon the young urchin bearing the white ribbon. Any of their number could be footpads, pick pockets, or worse. His eye does linger upon the girl's ribbon. It's certainly at odds with the raiment of most in this place.

The grey-cloaked figure, its voice revealing an obviously feminine nature, turns towards the girl with the white ribbon. She offers the air of a soft smile, even if the shadow of her hood still denies its sight, but the notion alone is rare enough in these streets to be easily noticed.

Addressed at the couple of youthful valets around the knight she promptly orders "Don't bow." The noble himself gets a little shake of her head. "It is stupid to tell those little boys to expose their necks in a street like this for nothing but vain gestures. But, ah, you have the air of ingenuous arrogance on you that protects you and all your foolishness from any harm that could happen to you. I must say you remind me of someone I knew well."

The bunch of wine-armed young men is noticed and observed.

The young men's whispering intensifies a little when the words "my lady" reach their ears. But while they seem to be daring each other with some challenge, nobody really makes a move. Certainly not the hooded one, who's tensing up ever so slightly.

Tension is palpable, and like a spider testing the strands of her web, the slender child soon is drawn nearer the rattling demeanors and pause in the rude, rowdy sound of gambling men. Her huge blue eyes watch the group, glance briefly to the cloaked woman, then settle on that pack of watching wine drinkers.

The spindly tween's daggers do not glint or glimmer, in their leather scabbards, but a keen eye will spot them no less, and if she's willing to wear them publicly down here, it might say a lot for how much trouble it would be to get them away from her.

Knight, page, and squire are struck silent by the lady's rejoinder. The boys freeze in place, half-bowed, they look to their knight and thence to the lady. Only after Kaspar nods to them do they lift their heads. Kaspar slowly rises and places a hand upon the hilt of his sword, swinging the bronze inlaid blade away from his hips. "You sound rather young, you have the voice of a maiden, but speak with the worldliness and perchance the vitriol of the Andals' Crone."

Kaspar looks to the gaggle of men, his gray eyes narrow and he loosens his sword in his scabbard. A rather brazen warning. He misses the look between the urchin and the lady in gray, but he and his squires both give her cool looks. The beggar's teeth are clattering like mad.

Camillo comes from the South, down the steeply sloping track from the upper levels.

"I still bear enough youth to go a detour to get what I want, but old enough to see through your flattery, young man." The cloaked lady replies without the faintest note of humor.

"Come over, sweetling," she calls the young girl and steps another step closer to the child while getting an inch of distance between her and any hand that lays on hilts or wine cups.

There's a flare up amid the young men and the hooded one breaks away, walking over to the cloaked lady, one friend trailing after him. "Should you be here, My lady?", he asks softly, the voice trying to sound down-to-earth but unable to really hide a posh background. "This is not a safe area…."

Camillo slips through an alleyway, pausing not far from the corner to share a word with another shady-looking character, though neither of them looks at the other while they talk. Then Camillo moves on. He's got a mask hanging loosely round his neck, but it dangles down rather than obscure his face.

That voice of the cloaked man is quite out of place here as well, but given he is nearly disguised and approaching the cloaked lady, the slender girl with daggers makes short work of the distance between her and the lady, a hand on her weapons. She approaches the cloaked man and his friend, not the woman, placing herself between the two, but within a moment she is grinning and relaxing. Apparently whoever's approaching she recognizes, and feels like perhaps giving him a hard time. The whole group of them stand not too far inside the entrance to the Wynd, Kaspar and several others gathered around a cloaked woman, generally ill or unwell underfolk strewn about on streets and walks like rubbish.

"Maiden's tits, a toothless beggar and a septa." Here, the Royce wrenches a wineskin from the shoulder of his squire. Despite the "septa's" remonstrations regarding wine and imprudence, Kaspar uncorks the skin, a soft thing of doeskin adorned with silver scrollwork. He upends the flask and takes a long draught. "Even in a syphilitic cesspool, I am confronted by Andal wisdom." Here, Royce turns to the newcomer standing beside the cloaked lady. "No, Ser, I dare say, she isn't safe. A few words of from her Seven-Pointed star and the fair Septa will, like as not, be none so fare. The begging brother has a hungry look and, I'll wager, he's a bit wroth over the remark regarding his teeth."

Camillo steps over a sick man, frowning as he notes others in a similar condition along the wynd. He glances at the clump forming near the entryway and takes a few steps that way.

For a moment the hooded lady's posture stiffens, as the young man approaches, but as the girl relaxes, the tension disperses.

"Neither should you, I assume," she answers the younger man. "And you shouldn't worry about my faith or virtue, I didn't come down here to lose any of it, nor to preach and order you to find yours. Feed the hungry beggar your silver if you want, I just wanted to warn you, for… you do remind me of someone. While you speak of the Andals, a thief plucked your poor squire's purse. Your charms do not seem to cover them with the same protection that seems to cover you."

The hooded man shrugs at the rejection from the lady. "Well, don't say, you weren’t warned.", he grumbles and turns away from her - only to nearly bump into Keli who's positioned herself close. "Oh hey, Keli!” he bursts out, rather pleased to see a familiar face - and one who's not likely to rob him. Hopefully. But now that he's blown his cover, he realizes it's best to flee the unsavoury scene. "See you at the theatre soon, huh?” he smiles and then Loryn Tyrell flees the shabby wynd before anyone else twigs that the young lord had been slumming it.

The former urchin looks amused when Loryn recognizes her, and once he's been revealed and beats feet, she actually lets out a giggle and nods, not hiding a friendly demeanor toward the man. The others, though, they're a bit less familiar, so it's Camillo's familiar face that she gazes to and he whom she silently beckons over. After all, drunk Kaspar and his squire and page look to be a bit sideways to the lady's demands so, you know, this should be amusing.

Camillo spots Keli's gesture, of course, so he makes his approach, circling slightly so that he'll come to her first and not any of this unknown assortment, each of whom gets a glance.

Young Burton looks to his side and, yes, sure enough, the boy is missing his purse. The boy looks ready to rage, ready to weep, when he realizes that his lemon cake and strawberry pie coppers have been snatched by one of the unsavory fellows of Rag Picker's square. Ernarr snorts and begins to chortle. Then, all hell breaks loose. Burton leaps at his cousin and nearly collides with the smaller, younger boy, Kaspar makes a grab for his squire, but he misses and knight, squire, and page chase down the wynd, splashing through puddles of foul standing water.

What a great opportunity for Keli to scoot, actually. Fighting boys, missing coin purses - at least she's so skinny and her clothes snug enough she doesn't seem to have anywhere to hide a coin purse. She reaches for Camillo's wrist and drags him towards the exit of the wynd, back toward tamer places with fewer sick people.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License