(121-11-18) Strangers on a Ride
Strangers on a Ride
Summary: When a Braavosi Lady and a Dornishman travel together…
Date: 18/11/2014
Related: http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:121-11-16-strangers-meeting-on-a-foreign-shore

Begining a journey with a large party is never an easy or orderly thing. Particularly when half of that party doesn't speak the common tongue, has more furniture, boxes, and goods than they were intending to carry across land.

When Elyas arrives at the appointed stables at the appointed time, a Braavosi guard with a crest of the Iron Bank meets him. He is a large, disapproving-looking sort. He speaks more with gestures, indicating a horse, and other things that might be necessary. Sable Derossi is nowhere in sight at the time. As Elyas continues to move through the group, it will be clear he will not be making many friends. Braavosi whispers follow him as he moves, getting quiet as he gets close, though eyes and glares of distrust do not cease. He is hurried into line with everyone else quite suddenly, and off they set. It isn't until they are long out of Three Towers, the sun already passed it's zenith, when the ride relaxes. Some people move up in line, some people move back. Some move from horses to carts, some move from carts to horses.
It will be hard to find Sable, if one is looking. She rides in the middle, one leg on each side of the horse. Harem-style light pants peek out from under her long riding tunic skirt of cotton, both dyed a light blue. The tunic has a hood, which is pulled up over her black curly hair, which has been pulled back in a braid with a few whisps escaped in curls, each decorated with a silver bead. She rides beside a young woman dressed similarly, chatting happily in her home language.

Elyas has turned up in his regular scruffy garb again. Perhaps he's even returned the nice tunic to its owner. He is definitely travelling light with only a small pack flung over one shoulder, though there's a long Dornish dagger and a sword stuck into the cloth that's wrapped around his middle. He doesn't seem to care much for the whispers and glares, trying to keep a casual facade. Having exchanged some chitchat with Sabre when they were all getting ready, he has since been content to keep his own counsel, his ever watchful eyes on the road and the bushes that line the dusty well-worn street leading North. Once in a while he softly sings a tune under his breath, something very Dornish involving the desert, the sun and some beautiful maidens.

The ride can go on like that for some time. In fact, it does, the sun moving along the sky as the road narrows and widens, twists and turns in natural shapes. Eventually, an amoured fellow rides back, the same that delivered the missive a few days before. Grouchy, these Braavosi guards are, at least when delaing with this Dornish rouge.
"Madame desires you this way," the man says, and he does not wait to hear a response. He turns to lead.
He will eventually lead Elyas to a cart in the center of the line, a cart with a frame for a covering but bearing no covering. It has some crates loaded in it, but toward the back the crates give way to pillows and upon them, in the same garb with the hood down, reclines Sable. Apparently she's given up riding, by this time.

Elyas guides the horse to the cart and has it ride besides, so he can look into the cart over the edge. "I hear the lady is desiring me?", he asks playfully, "In those comfortable pillows? I wouldn't say no to that…" He looks at her expectantly.

The first thing he'll hear is her laugh, that handsome womanish chuckle he's heard a few times before. "I do wonder how all the men here would talk to have you lounging comfortably while they bump along such an atrocious road." She sits up on her elbows, looking up at him comfortably. "More importantly, however, I am in the pillows now, and there's no space for a cat, nevermind another person. But yes, I did desire you here." She lays back, sitting at a higher incline now so she can look over at him easily. "I heard you singing for a little while. It was nice. But already I am sore from this terrible riding, and I would be distracted from it. Is the horse satisfactory for you?"

"Well, it can't match the swiftness and elegance of the Dornish horse, but it's a fairly decent creature.", Elyas replies politely. Naturally nothing un-Dornish can ever be as good as anything Dornish. "I believe we should be making camp soon.", he adds with a look towards the sun that is considerably lower in the sky now, "From what I saw on the map we'll be passing a lake soon, I'm sure it will have an inn or at least an agreeable spot to set up camp and fish for dinner. Until then… perhaps you'd like to entertain me with Braavosi songs?"

"How well would a Dornish horse do, in such a place as this? I imagine these creatures being used for crossing your expansive deserts. Beautiful, you say, though the only deserts my mind knows are fully of craggy rocks, unforgiving and cruel." Sable says, laying her head back to look upward, upside down, at the road ahead for a moment. "Do you truly think so? I had hoped … well I had hoped to close my eyes and wake up in Old Town, without a need to travel again for some time." She's not a fan of the road, it seems, nor the sea.
"I would sing for you, good man, but I do not wish to cause you harm. That is all my voice should do - I have no talent for it, have hardly attempted it once or twice but the cats in the alley howeld with me and covered up the noise. But…" she settles back among the pillows, stretching her arms above her head. "If you think we ought to stop soon, ride up ahead and see what they say, if there is no inn and we must sleep like animals in the open air I suppose it must be so. But see what is said, and what is recommended, and we shall do that."

The Dornish horse is sturdy and tough… just like the Dornish people. We have both been shaped by the desert.", Elyas says proudly. He listens to her suggestions, then hrms and nods. "I will be back.", he announces and nudges his horse onwards to the top of their little column. There's some talking and one man gallops ahead. It takes a good while until Elyas returns to the cart and its pretty content. "About three or four miles.", he reports, "There is no inn, unless we want to detour to the other side of the lake shore. A boy we caught by the roadside told us most people manage to make the journey to Oldtown in one day and have no need for an Inn - most just sail into Oldtown after all. But with all this -", he gestures around at her baggage train with a frown and doesn't bother to finish the sentence.

The words do not bring brightness to Sable's features - in fact, she sighs unhappily. "Would that we had … well I suppose it's no matter." She groans as she sits up, sliding to the edge of the cart. "If this is the way we must arrive in the city, let it be for the best. Serah!" Sable turns, peering around the other side of the cart to a girl on a small horse. They talk back and forth for awhile in Braavosi, no doubt preparing for the stoppage. It isn't long after that the convoy comes to a hault.
Sable slides to the edge of the cart and slides off, landing with a small thunk and a grumble of unhappiness. Serah is there soon after, helping her mistress stand up straight. "No doubt my men will select a place for you to set up, if you have everything you need to do so," The dark-skinned woman says, tilting her eyes upward to the Dornish man on the non-Dornish beast.

I would appreciate a mat to put between me and the ground to sleep on. Otherwise I'm quite fine.", he assures here, "The nights don't get really cold here in the Reach." He dismounts form his un-Dornish horse and looks around at he ensuing chaos of setting up camp. Two guards are already off collecting wood for a fire. He turns back to grin at Sable. "You know what's great after a long wearying ride? A bath. And we have a lovely lake right here. Care to join me?", he asks her. A man can hope.

"I am sure something can be used for such a purpose. Though do not let it be said that bankers are entirely uncharitable, after this journey," Perhaps it is a little harsh, but it is said with the same lightness of play that has become something of the norm between the two of them. His offer for a bath causes her smirk to widen. "Perhaps I do not swim," she suggests to him. "But go and clean yourself off as you desire. Upon your return I am sure all will be set for supper." Although if he does head off to swim he'll likely be picked up by a Braavosi guard with the 'suggestion' that he help them set up the camp.
In the meantime, if Elyas is perceptive, he might notice a particular look from young Serah, dark of hair with more Valyrian features than her mistress. She would go for a swim at a moment's notice, it seems.

It seems that while Elyas has been ignoring young Serah so far, he is not entirely blind to the girl's looks. However, he knows better than to incur her mistress's wrath. So when he gets his marching orders from Sable, he just winks at Serah and wanders off towards the lakeshore. A guard tries to stop him and soon enough tempers fly, with one of Elyas' hands going to the hilt of his dagger. Another guard interferes and things cool down a little bit. Apparently Elyas is allowed at least a short dip in the water for he proceeds to the lakeshore now. Where he takes off -all- his clothes, presenting a nice rear view to Sable should she look that way before hopping head-first into the lake.

"Just like a Dornishman," heaves one guard in disgust. He got a facefull of bare ass, as did a few others - Serah and Sable included. The former giggles, and the latter just shakes her head in amusement.
Some time is spent setting up a few fires, the largest in the center of the camp, with several tents, carts, and bedrolls set up in ever-widening circuels for security. Near this is Sable, where her cart has been covered with an awning so she can sleep among the pillows tonight. But for now she is seated on a few logs, cut by the fire-wood gathering men, as a few animals roast on the spit over the fire. The wine is flowing, music is playing, even the guards off-duty are more relaxed and chattering. Not always such serious people are the Braavosi.
One is a bit too clever for her own good. Elyas has been left to his own devices for now, and Serah thinks that should end. So she slips away to go and find him, to call to him. "Dornishman! Is hungry? Is thirsty?" You know, as gigglish young women tend to do when they think they're cute.

Elyas didn't stay long in the lake, just swimming around in wide circle like a happy dolphin for a few minutes, before rinsing his hair and climbing out of the lake for half a second's full monty before he's reached his clothes and starts dressing again. Afterwards he actually helped with setting up the camp and found a nice little spot for himself under a low branch. A piece of cloth is strung from the branch to another, offering something of a roof under which he's rolled out the mat he has been given. He is busy cleaning his fingernails with his dagger, apparently not too eager to join the Braavosi chattering and singing.

When Serah appears, he studies her for a moment, probably thinking thoughts that would make even a sailor blush. Then he clears his throat. "Oh, dinner's ready? Sure… I'll join you for a bite.", he agrees and gets to his feet.

"Yes." Serah says, in her very broken command of the language. She reaches for Elyas' hand with the intention of dragging him along toward the fire, and the food, and the warmth. Perhaps it is a little forward. But aren't the lowborn known for being rather low anyway?
Upon arrival at the fire, there's more music. Sable is on her feet down, being spun around the fire in the center by one of the guards in a very fast but simple dance, her braid bouncing along behind her. Serah seems intent on leading Elyas along to sit near her, for the moment, if he'll follow her simple lead. But if Elyas does appear, he will momentarily catch Sable's eye and earn a smile from her for his presence.

Elyas doesn't mind being held by the hand - in fact he might have stumbled otherwise when he sees Sable dancing so carelessly with one of the guards. He quirks one brow in response to her smile, then settles down beside Serah, looking around for the food and the drink.

The dance continues, even as some rabbit and ale find their way to Elyas' hands. Wine, it seems, will not be offered unless he finds himself with the mistress once again. There is a swirl of action, ruffling of fabric, with the energy of it all. Just a step up from tavern dancing, really, with all the fun therein entailed. Sable is as delighted as anyone by it, and spins as hard and as fast as she can by the fire. The song ends, another begins. Every so often Elyas will hear Serah beside him. "Good, yes?" She asks, regarding the rabit. "Good, yes?" She asks, regarding the music.

Elyas happily tucks into the rabbit, washing bits down with ale on occasion while he watches the show on display. Poor Serah is merely a blip on his radar for now, though he gives some vague nods to her questions. "Your Mistress is pretty hot.", he admits, "Didn't know there was so much dancing in Braavos…" He takes another bite out of the rabbit hungrily, nodding along as if to testify to its quality.

"Dancing in Braavos … it …." Poor Serah doesn't speak enough to communicate, and it frustrates her almost immediately. But that becomes less important as another song ends, and another song begins. Suddenly, Sable is there.
She is offering both hands down to the seated Dornishman, breathing somewhat heavily from the excursion. "Come, Elyas," She tells him, giving her hands a little shake as if to indicate what she wants. "Come and dance. But you must dance fast - I don't care to dance too slow. Come."

Elyas almost chokes on a bit of rabbit when Sable suddenly turns up out of nowhere. "Hang on…", he mutters and reluctantly sets the rest of the rabbit aside, gulps another mouthful of ale and finally takes her hands to be pulled to his feet and follow to the fire. "What this shindig needs is some good Dornish drums.", he mutters half to her, half to himself, but he does get into the spirit of the thing rather quickly, moving with the sleek elegance of a big cat on the prowl.

And yet elegance does not seem to entirely be the name of the game. If he has danced in taverns, jigs and other such things, he will get the hang of this gathering rather quickly. "Why are Dornish drums different from other drums?" Sable calls to him during it all. He can feel her almost bucking at the gate - almost leading him, she wants to go faster, be spun more. "How does a Dornish dance go, if there are many drums? You shall have to show us tonight."

"It's… different.", Elyas replies vaguely and shrugs. "I cannot play drums and dance at the same time, can I? You will have to visit us in Dorne to see how we dance." He's not really the jigging sort, though he's spent enough time in disreputable harbour bars to know this kind of dance and spins, spins, spins there, seizing whatever opportunity there is to pull her tightly against him whenever the chance presents itself between spins and turns.

For the moment, the behavior is permitted. Indeed, a few of the guards and women are performing the same manner of dance, while the men actually on guard duty in the dark likely bitch and moan amongst themselves. "No, you cannot do both. But perhaps one, if you have the energy for it. Or else I am sure when I visit Dorne I shall see it done." She's breathless still, but laughing, having a gay time even if she is a little damp and shiny from the exersion. "But then I doubt I shall see you in Dorne, for when I am there you shall be somewhere else. We will likely part ways entirely tomorrow, yes?" She calls to him as they continue on.

Elyas twirls her around energetically, then pulls her in, so that she nearly crashes into his chest and wraps his arms around her, disabling her capacity to move for now. "Does this thought make you happy? Or sad?", he asks, looking down into her eyes, "Might you miss your scruffy pirate perhaps, Lady Iron Bank?"

The laughter fades a bit when the crash occurs. At first it's loud and playful, but when Elyas has a hold on her, stops the dance with her, the laughter settles. She's still smiling, speaking between deep breaths, but no longer laughing. "I shall be sorry that our ways must part," she admits, easily and openly. "I like you, Elyas Seafarer, as I say. But you are not my pirate, nor am I a lady." She pulls away from him a little, not enough to make a scene, but enough to indicate her desire no longer to be held quite so close. Not that a scene needs to be made - every guardsman and servant around the fire works for her. "Will your friends meet you in Old Town, as you planned?"

Apparently the confession is enough for him to let her ago again, twirling her around once more as if it was merely a slightly longer pause in the dance. "I would hope so, yes.", he replies, "Unless they get lost on the road or attacked or decide to be on their way without me. I trust I shall find you at the Iron Bank, should I…. find I'm missing your pretty face?"

The dance continues, and that seems to put the dark-skinned woman at ease again. She twirls happily with him, steps in against him, steps out away from him. "For awhile, I suppose," Sable admits. "But I do not intent to stay in Old Town. I intend to see more of your lands, and to make myself available to those who we are in business with. And will you not be off with your friends?" She asks, tilting her eyes up to look into his following a spin.

"At some point, yes… but until then… maybe I'll pop in and see if I can open a bank account with you.", Elyas winks, "And if you decide to travel to Dorne, I'm sure you could use a native travel guide to the most beautiful kingdom of Westeros?"

"You may come and see me, if that is your wish and you have business with the Iron Bank." Sable says breathlessly. "I did not think you meant to be long for Old Town, that is all." Another spin and the music dies down, leaving Sable heaving a tired breath and laughing again before a little cheer goes up for the musicians. "I will have some wine before I go to sleep. I am sorry, Elyas - I did not mean to keep you from your supper." Yes, there is teh supper, sitting with Serah, who has been watching.

"Who knows, I may not be meant long for this world.", Elyas replies philosophically before the music suddenly dies down. HIs hands rest on Sable's hips for a moment too long, before he withdraws and chuckles. "I'm not all that hungry anymore, but I'll settle down with the rest of that rabbit and some wine." He winks at Serah upon approaching the girl and sits back down beside her.

"You must not say such things, for to speak them is to invite them into the world," Sable says in response, letting his hands fall away before she moves. As he moves one way, she moves back to her own seat, someone handing her a cup of wine that she takes a few deep sips from. Serah, in the meantime, beams at the return of the Dornishman. "Good, yes?" She asks, in regard to the dancing. She is quite the conversationalist.

"Yea, pretty good". Elyas replies with a little smile, "You should have danced, too. You - dance." He points a finger at Serah, then wiggles a little to get his point across despite her wobbly grasp on his language. He leans back, resting on one elbow, while his other hand holds the wine cup he sips from. Staring into the flames of the fire thoughtfully.

"You dance." Serah says, smiling wider. Her hand is reaching for the hand on the ground, the one belonging to the elbow propping him up. Really, he should have anticipated that would happen. "You dance."
Sable, in the meanwhile, has returned to her own log a little bit away. Her legs are straightened out, the tunic and pants pulled smoothed out over her form as she works to finish her cup of wine, chatting with a few of those around her. Most of the talk is Braavosi.

"I'm done dancing for the day, sweetie.", Elyas assures Serah, "I can't dance without the Dornish drums." He offers her an apologetic smile but seems rather firm on the issue. He's also struggling to hide a yawn. "We should all sleep soon, so we can be up at daybreak.", he suggests, "Then we should make it to Oldtown before noon."

He is not the only one with the idea. Some people are starting to wander off to their respective sleeping areas. Most maids are tucked into carts, some guards on the ground, or in a tent, or under carts. The guard on the perimeter is changing.
Sable finishes her wine and hands off the cup. Some more words in Braavosi are said, smilingly, to those around her. For a moment she'll look to Elyas, and give him a nod of farewell for the evening, before she turns to head toward her own covered cart.
Serah seems to get the idea as well. "Sleep," she agrees, moving up to her knees. She collects some of the cups around her. "I sleep …." she nods off in a direction, towards a cart where a few ladies have already bedded down - or are trying to. They're telling stories and giggling a bit and whatnot.

For a moment Elyas stares after Serah as if wondering about the subtext of that remark. A man has fantasies. But then he sighs and drains his wine cup before getting to his feet to wander off to his own little corner of their camp.

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