(122-09-30) Delwyn in Kellington
Delwyn in Kellington
Summary: Delwyn of Tarth shelters with house Kellington ahead of a storm.
Date: Date of play (30/09/122)
Related: http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-01-04-delwyn-in-kellington
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-10-11-charm-offensive
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:123-01-11-the-stag-and-the-evenstar
Players:
Delwyn..

The countryside around here has a wild beauty. Large stretches of forest act as protection for the farming villages and hamlets built in carefully chosen spots to get the most protection in storm season. Right now it is deceptively warm and calm, the air having the heaviness to it that to a Stromland lad presages a late Summer howler, but it's likely a day or so of good riding, but best to be finding good shelter tonight in case it hits tomorrow. It is close enough to the coast that there is salt carried inland on random breezes, and the land here is rocky. Over the generations spent piking rocks from the feilds to make way for plows, Farmers have built high fieldstone walls as wind breaks, and unusually sturdy houses of the same instead of the flimsy wooden shacks more common in gentler climes. The road winds between settlements, connecting people up in case of emergency, rather than following a more direct path. the little bridges over numerous streams are the same mortared fieldstone, older constructions, strengthened and maintained by generations. nothing is fancy here, but everything is sturdy and well maintained against the ravages of Storm and Winter. Eventually the cart road wends more directly to the coast. sea birds mingle with land beast and the smell of the sea is overwhelming. There in the lea of a great rock with a squat, old fashioned Keep atop it lies a village angled to best use Rock and Castle as a wind break. This being afternoon, most of the folk are off fishing or working the fields, though some matronly women can be seen working their gardens or tending hens, or apiaries, with infants tied to their aprons or carried on their backs. The flag flying proud from the keep is a black book on a cerulean background, the colours of that over protective sworn man to the starks, only reversed.

House Kellington, once known for their library has fallen on hard times. Too many children, not enough fertile land or high end marriage aliances. They are closest allied with House Amberly and are about as minor as a house can get and still have a Sygil. Kellington is a Banner to house Fel.

They aren't really important enough to have enemies. They turn up when summoned to fight outlaws or raiders and served well enough in the last war with Dorne. They likely do a bit of smuggling around here, judging by geography and terrain, but they've not been caught at it, so likely small scale with the Lords looking the other way.

Maybe it's something in the blood, but the youth raised in the Riverlands feels at home with the pressure of a coming storm heavy on his skin. He wears a hooded cloak, not only to obscure his telltale golden hair, but as proof against the weather. He takes in the sight of the banner. House Kellington. Too small for his ambitious uncle to have an interest in. They've no soldiers to send, no wealth to provide. Delwyn pressed on. His two (visible) bodyguards were hand-picked by a certain Targaryen. They knew their job well. When asked, they protected a wealthy merchant traveling the countryside. "Let's shelter there," he told them as he rode toward the keep. His horse would need a rubdown and wouldn't say no to some warm oats. The steed had been a good companion these many months, staid and true.

A sentry does whistle seeing a stranger riding up the road, but no one lowers the portcullis and after a bit of a delay a man with sword and practice leathers comes trotting out on a undistinguished gelding to meet the strangers. up colse he's well built and and about two inches shorter than the flamboyant knight in Oldtown, and about eight years older, blue of eye, and several shade lighter of hair and skin. his expression is quizzical, but not unfriendly.

Is that where Delwyn had heard the name Kellington before? That's right. He knew he'd heard the name, not merely read about it. He relaxed some. Ser Malcom didn't seem to come from stock that supported tyrants. He wasn't entirely certain he remembered right, but the man before him, and his resemblance to the knight, made it hard to dismiss. "Hail," he said. "My men and I seek shelter for the night. We've meager coin, but we can offer at least a pittance for your trouble." He kept the hood down. He'd learned his fair features and any claim of largess was asking for trouble. Seal the deal, then reveal. It wasn't always possible, but a man had to try.

There is a resemblance, particularly with cheekbones and chin and the set of his eyes. He's definitely got that same coastal lilt. "If you've got news or tales from somewhere more than three days ride away or can sing, you are welcome. I can not tell just what is for dinner until Cook sees the catch and whatever my cousins bring in from the woods, but the beds are snug at least and we've fodder for the horses. Come along, then." He turns the horse and rides back up the winding path to the Keep with the relaxed seat of a man who's been riding all his life. The horse itself is not particularly fine, but looks sturdy of leg for a long a hunt in indifferent weather. There are young boys in the courtyard studying under the Master at arms. The boys range in age up to about ten and have hair ranging from chestnut to dirty brown, all look reasonably cared for if grubby with sweat and courtyard dust. All look some degree of related and very tan from a long summer of outdoors activity. The Man is mostly bald, somewhat scared and a decade or more past his prime, but looks to know his business despite a certain stiffness and a knee giving him a bit of trouble. Two lads run out from the stable to get the horses. "I suppose you'll want to meet Grandfather?"

Delwyn inclines his head and says, "I'm not much of a singer, I'm afraid, but I've got news. If what you've got for dinner is food, t'is good enough for the likes of us. We've hard tack, and we've smoked fish to share." Every time they're at a river and the weather permits, he catches a string to smoke over the fire. Since he grew up in the Riverlands, weather permitting has a broad definition. He has some trout left. He'll happily barter them all not to sleep in the storm. He nods to his men and they ride after the man. Delwyn went over in his mind what he would put in his next raven to Prince Dhraegon. He had been keeping his friend apprised of the situation. Not to mention he missed him, and letters prompted letters back. He didn't dare keep any, but at least he can read them before they go in the fire and he knows how Dhrae is doing.

When the stable boys run out, Delwyn comes to a stop, and he dismounts. His horse nickers. It has been a long drive to get here with too few rests. Can he have oats now? And a rubdown? Is there sweet hay for his troubles? Delwyn stroked the beasts nose and gave him a scratch under the jowls. This steed, unlike some others, was no menace to the lads. He would follow anyone leading him to soft straw and supper. Del took the saddlebags and put them over his shoulder to carry. "I suppose I will," he tells the lads. When they come close, at their smaller height they can get a glimpse under his hood. His hair might remain obscured, but there are those light blue eyes and fair skin, the resemblance to the late Ser Risart of Tarth.

The stables are well kept. The usual occupants are mostly off with riders, though several pregnant mares are in stalls. The horses get nice rub downs, clean stalls and some oats. the man laughs, sunny and unsuspicious. News will do. I must warn you were aren't fancy here though. Save the smoked fish for another day. Odds are good of fresh tonight." There aren't many dogs about: a mother with young puppies, several old dogs napping about the courtyard. Those in evidence look to be hunting breeds of one sort or another. Likely the working dogs are out with the men and horses. Inside the great hall, the rushes are reasonably clean and there are people at work mending or sewing or cleaning. In one spot with particularly good light for the time of day, a Septa is holding lessons for a mixed group of girls, the oldest few nearly of marriageable age. They are taking turns reading. From the clothes, likely not all of them are noble, though some of them are. He doesn't seem to notice Delwyn's looks, but it may be he never saw the late Lord of Tarth. "I fear you and your men will have to sleep down here. We're rather pressed for space. it's meant as no insult. your gear will be safe enough over there and out of the way of feet. Grandfather's likely upstairs doing accounts."

"No insult taken," Delwyn says in that soft, reassuring tone of his. It comes so naturally to him, though he's lost the hardest overtones of the Riverlander accent. He sounds more and more like a Stormlander as the months go on. "A spot on the floor with a roof overhead is as a palace compared to getting caught out there in a storm." He takes it all in as he speaks. So this is Ser Malcolm's home? He'll have to tell the man he's been here when he sees him again. If he sees him again. Sometimes he longs for the days when he was weaving in the Riverlands and his greatest concern was if the milkmaid wouldn't mind a toss in the hay after the work was done. Once inside, with no excuse to remain hidden, he draws back the hood of his cloak. "Again, I thank you."

The Man nods, "Indeed. we;re due for a good blow too. Best to be making yourself comfortable as it could be a few days." there are some banners about with the colours and the tapestries on the wall tend to the blue and black colour scheme, with pictures of ship, or shore, and the occasional hunting scene. Many of the tapestries are quite old, but have been patched with new thread intended to best match the old. They are thrifty here, and none of the clothing in evidence is particularly fine. Delwyn's looks draw no comment, though they do get rather long and interested looks from the older girls and several of the servants. The stairs are as sturdy as the rest of the place, well flagged. Giggling can be heard from below as on as the students are out of sight. The Man leads his guest to a higher room, one situated to make the best of the sun. The storm and siege shutters are open and four people sit working through account and inventory books. A vigorous looking white haired man of advanced years, is bending his head to confer with a woman about his age, her long kinked hair gone to white and grey streaks over lingering black. they are having a whispered but rather intense discussion about how many pickling barrels they still need and where best to buy them. A man with chestnut hair gone to grey streaks in beard and at temples gives them a long suffering look and continues copying notations from a wax tablet into an inventory ledger. A Man about a year or two older than Delwyn's guide is adding up columns in a ledger with a pinched and worried look. Delwyn's guide clears his throat, "We've another guest it seems."

Delwyn makes mental notes. When this revolution is won, he will have to send bolts of fine and sturdy cloth as thanks for hosting him. If he had any now, or thread, or a loom… This was no time for leisure, though. He is not so posh a lord that the giggling of girls doesn't put a rose in his cheeks. Girl-giggles are a weapon he may never know sufficient armor against. As Delwyn takes in the family before him, he waits patiently to be announced, and then for them to acknowledge him before he bows and says, "My name is Delwyn." The name has traveled. Not everywhere, but there have been whispers. His guards aren't terribly fond of him using the name. Sometimes they've talked him down to 'Wyn,' but not tonight. "I offer my most sincere gratitude for your hospitality."

The name gets sharp looks from everyone involved, as if they are trying to figure out if he is THAT Delwyn. The woman writes something on a parchment scrap to pass to her husband he reads it with a glance, then stands and aprouches him. Healthy as the old man looks, he has a crutch and his legs have a somewhat mangled look about them. Odds are they hurt terribly with the coming storm, but the old man has a stoic sort of face and everyone is clearly pretending they don't see the limp and shuffle. The sharp eyed old man looks the blond lad over like he might a horse of doubtful provence he is not sure he'd want to buy, measuring. "Did you know I fought my last battle in the Marches with the old Lord of Tarth? Not this current one, but the one who died with his wife a little before your time." There is a hint of strawberry cordial on his breath this close up, and bitter medicinal herbs, but his eyes are clear enough and his voice though aged, has no quaver or slur.

Delwyn is careful not to notice the limp either. As he's inspected, he holds his head high, and his blue eyes follow the man. His features are soft, as though he takes no insult in being inspected. It's up to his guardsmen to keep him safe. His job is to be himself. It's the hardest job he's ever had. "I hear the late Lord of Tarth was a fair hand with a sword. It is my deepest regret that I never had the chance to meet him."

The old man nods, "He was a young sprout, rather like you when I knew him, but a likely lad and brave enough without being a fool with it." He turns as if to go back to his books, hobbles a few steps and then turns back, "Are you like that, Lad?"

Delwyn's lips twitch at a smile. "Brave, perhaps, and only a fool claims to be wise, Lord Kellington. Suffice to say I'm keen to learn from folly rather than repeat it. T'is my life to live up to his name, and there is the small matter of justice. I take those very seriously."

The Patriarch sighs and nods. "Go have a swim or the like Lad. Dinner won't come for a few hours and odds are you are dusty from the road." The Old Women is eying him with eyes ever sharper than her husband's. She adds, "We want no trouble here, nor do we make any unless we can help it."

Delwyn inclines his head to the man and says, "Thank you, Lord Kellington, I shall." A bath sounds amazing, even if it's in cold water. With a proper bow to Lady Kellington, he adds, "I only desire a dry place to weather the storm, m'lady. No one ever need know I was here." His smile was sweet and boyish. That's where he differed from his brother, who was always so grim and gloomy.

That smile softens the old lady. Apparently even she is not immune to those dimples. The Guide takes his elbow, "Come on. Pond, stream, or Ocean?" He starts leading him off downstairs.

Delwyn is easily led, and he says, "I'll take the stream." Part of him would always feel more attuned to rivers. The running water always seemed cleaner and somehow more pure. To the Guide, he asides, "I must confess, I've known a Storm from Kellington. It leaves me inclined to trust this House, and I'll sleep easier for it."

The Guide collects a net bag of useful things and starts the walk to a nearby stream. "Mal you mean? How does he in the big city? Best not to be mentioning him to my older brother, but the rest of would be interested in any news. The letters grew sparse after he rode North. Grandmother in particular will want to hear anything more recent." he flashes him a grin, "We aren't Political here. no time for it. we go when Lord fel says go, but we've not much to do with the quarrels of the grand."

"Last I saw him, he was doing quite well," Delwyn says. "He's every bit the image of a knight, as cocky as he is honorable." He smiles wryly at that. The cockiness is endearing, and he wants his smile to convey that. "Which one's your older brother? I don't wish to sour anyone's evening. Sadly, I haven't heard from him or anyone there for many months. If he's ridden North, I wish him safety." In a lower tone, he says, "I won't draw this House into my struggle. I can't help but notice though that your family is in need of pickle barrels? I can get you as many as you need, good sturdy Tarth lumber. My thanks for taking me in."

Dhraegon laughs, "The serious one with the ledger, may he live long and have healthy children. Last thing I want is to be cooped up all day with a ledger. To be honest if I were given my druthers I'd be out riding errant, but i'm stuck here helping run the household instead." He picks a wide spot in the river, shielded from casual onlookers by a little copse of nut trees. he strips off with a casualness that denotes growing up with a lack of the sort of privacy the Targayens take for granted and a complete innocence of the way another man might look at a body like his, lean and well muscled from daily arms practice and hunting and swimming and the like. "It's not deep enough here for diving, but I figure you've likely had your fill of riding and this is closest. he wades through the mud and reads into the deeper part of the river. The bottom is rocky and the water clear enough to show a mix of catfish and other common river fish. his tone is more serious, "There's been bad raids up there, though we've not had trouble along our coast, so odds are it's just Ibbenese with an unusually organized raiding fleet." He eyes him, "We always need more barrels. We pickle a lot of the vegetables and excess catch against the coming of Winter. It gets a little rough along this coast and best to be prepared, but it's Grandmother you want for that. For all grandfather's bluster, she's the heart of the household and the sharpest figurerer.

Delwyn grins. "May his wife have great largess." Delwyn himself comes from a background where modesty between men isn't much of a consideration. He strips, and his guards remain a polite distance but ever watchful. His travels and weapons practice have made him fit, broadly muscled but it suits his frame. He wades in, and it's so much like being home again he relaxes, which makes his guards more vigilant, but that's their job. "I'll have a word with her tonight if I can and send the raven before I bed down. Consider it a down payment on friendly, apolitical contact between our Houses." He purses his lips as he considers the raiding. "I've heard there's turmoil in the North. Ser Malcolm has affiliated himself with the Starks, has he not? I imagine he rides with them."

The Man brags, "He's sworn man to the heir himself! It's hard to imagine really, him serving a Great house." He swims about for a bit, as natural in the water as a fish. "We always assumed he'd make his name dueling in Braavos or on the tourney circuit and marry some fat merchant widow who could afford to keep him, but there he is noticed by the grand folk. I'll not be asking what your plan for yourself are seeing as that's like to be Undertow."

"Ah, yes. Lord Carolis, is it? Never met the man, but I've met his kin. If the Brothers Stark are half what the legends say, he has nothing to worry about." He washes with a long, content sigh. That golden hair is brighter still after the dust from the road is loosened from it by the flowing water. "I heard the raiders had been taken care of," he says. "It was apparently quite the battle, and I imagine since the heir remains intact, Ser Malcolm fares well himself." After rinsing out his hair, he swims a bit, relishing the feel of the water over his skin. "I won't burden you with information that might compromise your position. The intent is to bring truth to light and justice to Evanhall. Politics aside, I owe my family that much."

There was a lump of rough harsh soap in the string bag, handmade and unscented. The Host doesn't bother with it, happy to be rinsing off the sweat in the cool, but not wanting the rough cleaning the soap offers. "See? your news is fresher than ours. Letters travel slow to these parts." He seems cheerful enough about it. "So Granfer spotted you true then? You really are That Delwyn?" It is at this moment a passel of people ride into view, dressed for a long ride or a good hunt, whooping and laughing and generally carrying on.

Delwyn takes some of that soap for the ground in dirt from long days riding and too few safe places to stay indoors at night. He grins sheepishly and ducks his head as he says, "I really am. I'd never think it would become a famous name, but the gods teach us not to be too sure of ourselves in arrogance or modesty." He glances up at the riders, and he grins. "What I wouldn't do for a family, though."

The host laughs, "Well, there's such a thing as too many. There are too many among my siblings and cousins for most of us to marry everyone well or even at all. You should see the woman I'm to be paired with at the year's turning." Several of the riders vere off with laughs and teasing comments in suspiciously feminine voices and once out of sight, the riders dismount, tethering their beasts to graze. After some horseplay between the men, they are eying the guards. One calls, "What ho? Is the swimming hole under guard?"

"Is she fair or are you resigned to duty?" Delwyn asks with a wry smile. When the voice calls down, he calls back, "Come swim and you'll be well guarded indeed." How do his guards sleep at night? At least his is a jovial carelessness that makes him friends. They could be assigned to Lord Carolis and end up losing the Shadowcat around every turn.

You say, "It's just that she's a good fifteen years older than I and twice married. Someone closer my age would be less… Motherly. Still, we could use the coin, and duty is duty." The lads shrug and skin out of their gear. Soon the water is full of splashing and taunts about hunting prowess that may or may not have a double meaning, but oddly enough, no dunking or pushing. Kellington boys don't even joke about drowning. They are definitely Kellington boys by the look of them, all ranging dirty blond to chestnut, blue eyed, and with features in common though within a range. All are well tanned and athletic, though well tanned still leaves them lighter of skin than the brown eyed knight back in old town. His features favour his Kellington kin, but his height and his colouring likely favour that mysterious man who fathered him. "So who is this then, Wyllis? Another tinker come looking to sell rusty pots?" The lad's tone is light and teasing and he sends a splash in the host's direction."

The Host says "It's just that she's a good fifteen years older than I and twice married. Someone closer my age would be less… Motherly. Still, we could use the coin, and duty is duty." The lads shrug and skin out of their gear. Soon the water is full of splashing and taunts about hunting prowess that may or may not have a double meaning, but oddly enough, no dunking or pushing. Kellington boys don't even joke about drowning. They are definitely Kellington boys by the look of them, all ranging dirty blond to chestnut, blue eyed, and with features in common though within a range. All are well tanned and athletic, though well tanned still leaves them lighter of skin than the brown eyed knight back in old town. His features favour his Kellington kin, but his height and his colouring likely favour that mysterious man who fathered him. "So who is this then, Wyllis? Another tinker come looking to sell rusty pots?" The lad's tone is light and teasing and he sends a splash in the host's direction." <re>

"If you're lucky, she'll have brought experience to bear." He smiles wryly with a glint of humor in his eyes. He grins at the Kellington boys coming to swim. "Aye, and those men are here to make sure I don't abscond with any." He winked, and he left poor Wyllis to be the one to explain him.
Delwyn has partially disconnected.

Wyllis gives Delwyn a rather wide eyed look as the new perspective on his nuptials is introduced. The questioner laughs and gives Delwyn a friendly splash for his cheek. Wyllis opts for, "This is Delwyn, he's sheltering the next few days and a long ride he's had. Shoot anything good for dinner, Tomyl, or is it all fish tonight." Tomyl snorts. Another lad calls, "We got a brace of birds, some better than others. Janyce shot two pheasants so Tomyl owes her his pudding!" Tomyl splashes the wise ass and there is a game of toss with the soap.

Delwyn grins at the splash and volleys a playful splash back. He too doesn't go in for dunking. Drowning is no light matter, and river currents are treacherous. "Two pheasants? I've chosen the right place to weather the storm." He's got an eye for people's expressions, reading if he's recognized, but he also melds in easily with this sort of thing. Back in the Riverlands, this is the apex of what he could have imagined for good fortune.

The lads don't seem to recognize him and accept him well enough to include him in the splashing. They take him at face value as another lad of similar station. Soon there are salmon belly streaks in the sky and people are having a last rinse and bit of swim before climbing out to dress. Wyllis offer the Evenstar a hand up, with a knowing look that suggests he assumes he'd rather not have his history and antecedents discussed.

Delwyn takes the offered hand, and he grins at Wyllis. He's sure it'll get around by dinnertime, but it's nice to have an afternoon where he can not be 'that' Delwyn but just Delwyn again. With a glance to the sky, he purses his lips. "Yes, it's about that time." He's been here long enough he can read the skies like he was born to it. Then again, he was.

Wyllis grins and pulls him up, "One of the younger ones asks, "Are you here for our Janys, Del?" An older one elbows him hard. he gives him and indignant look, "Because odds are you'll get an arrow if you are!" This gets a punch to the arm from another older lad and a hard kick to the calf from a third, who might be overheard hissing, "Don't scare him off. Gram will skin you."

Delwyn holds up his hands peaceably as he says, "I come courting only a warm place to sleep and lodging for my men and horses." He dries off and changes as quickly as he can to minimize that time between leaving the water and covering up from the air that has suddenly become freezing cold because naked, wet, and there's a breeze. "Though a woman who can bring down two pheasants sounds like a woman after my own heart."

The lads are just a quick to cover up. Wyllis says, "Father says it's a shame she's a girl, but not in her hearing." Another chimes in, "Not after the last time!" A third calls, "Want a ride back or would you rather walk?" Indeed what was the occasional wisp of breeze on the walk there has turned into a steady noticeably more chill wind off the bay.

Delwyn glances to his men, and one of them says, "Ride. We'll be right behind." He's no good to the cause if he catches his death, and the guards have sized these ones up as well-intentioned. Delwyn says, "I'll accept a ride. And I'll mind myself around your Janys."

One of the older lads winks and teases, "Cleverer than you look." Delwyn, Wyl, and the guards are offered a chance to double up for the ride home. The courtyard is empty except for stable lads impatient to get to super and the guards on the walls above. They are soon through the doors into the great hall where everything smells of brown bread, herbed birds fish with cream sauce, and fresh vegetables cooked just enough to be soft. Most of the household is assembled at tables along with what looks like most of the village, packed in on long benches, dogs yipping and growling and barking. A stream of them come flowing from under table to great the returning lads. There is much noise and petting and general ruckus. Wyl attempts to lead Delwyn towards the high table to sit with the family and several others of the better class of travelers, "People crowd in in case it's the first serious storm of the season. It's a chaos when Winter comes." The women of the house seem to have beat the lads home. All neatly braided and in gowns for the guests, the number of cousins might be a bit overwhelming for one raised as an only child. He murmurs in Delwyn's ear, "Do you want your precedence or would you rather sit lower down?"

The guards are happy to take the ride. At least with the dogs about in a friendly hall, they'll get some rest tonight. Delwyn follows Wyllis, and he regards the gathering with intense curiosity. And, it has to be said, delight. Too much of his life has been spent without family, but he remembers community, and he's missed it. "I can imagine," he tells the second son. What he can't imagine is a family this large. Community? Sure. The concept of the people at the high tables being related to him? It would boggle him. He leans in to murmur, "As much as I would love to sit among these fine lords and ladies, I worry that recognition might bring untoward notice upon them. I defer to Lady Kellington's preference." Already he knows who holds the reins.

Wyl laughs, "There's none hear like to recognize you except Da and Granfer and Merl the mast at arms and maybe a few of the older guards up on the walls. I am fairly sure my lady cousins will have pinches and possibly daggers for me if you don't sit where they could get a good look. Steward says gram says to suit yourself. Squeeze in where you like."

"In that case," Delwyn says with a grin, "I'd love to dine with the House. I should hate for you to suffer on account of my caution." He gestures for Wyl to lead the way. "I can't disappoint the ladies, anyway."

Wyl leads him in a trajectory that lets the ladies get a good look at the guest, the younger ones whispering and giggling, and the matronly ones eying him speculatively, then back behind the high table to sit towards the middle with Wyl on Delwyn's left and a woman in her early twenties who looks so like him they likely traded places off and on before puberty. Unlike many of her peers, she looks not at all impressed with the guest, dimples or not, but she does slide to give him room. It's her trencher the guest is to be sharing and Wyl gives Delwyn a mischievous look and a wink. The Lady looks like she's tempted to swat him good and hard for it.

Gah. Giggling! His cheeks color a few shades, and he grins despite himself. He glances to Wyl with a knowing look. He sees what the man is up to. He inclines his head to the woman with grave respect and says, "Thank you, m'lady." He takes his seat. "My name is Delwyn, and it is so lovely to meet you." See him behaving himself? This is a man who chooses life.

The Lady looks at him rather as if he were a cheeky urchin currently on his best behavior, but liable to burst suddenly into song, but her words are civil enough, "Lady Janys Kellington. I do not like grease in my drinking cup." The cups, like the trenchers are shared here from the looks of it.

"Lady Janys Kellington. A pleasure." In her defense, Delwyn has been out rough and tumble with the boys, and though his clothing is very well made from good fabric, it bears no trappings of finery nor lordly colors. He has such finery with him, but he doesn't wear it unless he has cause. He glances to the cup and says, "Oh, yes, of course." His lips twitch, but he's not smiling! No, not at all. Maybe a little. Fortunately, he's been trained in table manners by Targaryens in their own fine manor in Oldtown. She shan't find so much as a drop.

This is likely the Lady Janys' best gown, being a bright blue with little embroidered foxes and hounds for trimming, but like everyone here, the cloth is more sturdy than fine and to a tailer's eye shows signs of having been made over, likely after use by a shorter, curvier woman, though the wide border at the bottom of the sleeves and kertle disguise it well. She nods, eying him with some wariness, but she does have some manners after all and asks in her polite, company voice, "What brings you to our keep Lord? Master? Delwyn?"

Delwyn got his start in lean times; he probably knows every trick in the book, and he makes a mental note of approval at the job done here. He lowers his gaze and has no heart to lie to the woman, especially since her elders already know and she might come after him if she finds out later he had been fibbing, so he says, "Lord." So subdued, like an admission rather than a correction. "Passing through, and with the storm coming in, we came seeking shelter. Your family is very kind to take us in."

It is the way he says it like an admission that causes her to look at him more closely, and for a moment, one might guess what her Grandmother looked like as a green girl sent to marry an heir who is now a patriarch. After some thought she asks in a more sympathetic tone, "Did they send you out to seek your fortune through a sword or the marriage bed? It's all right. You needn't be gallant. We both know there is no fortune for you here and pretending there is will just strain both our patience.

Servants are coming around with a dent local ale, and bowls for hand washing, one for each table.

Delwyn lifts his head and considers her question. There is humor in his young features. "Not quite, m'lady. I go forth to see my mother's family. They've extended the invitation, and it would be rude to refuse them." His eyes narrow in thought. "I don't think they've got a match in mind." Though surely a wise and ambitious lord wouldn't be above keeping that die in his cup. He shakes his head to dismiss the thought as tomorrow's problem. "I will do my very best not to be gallant," he tells her with a smile. He's a very model of noble manners. Maybe a little too fancy for a House more remote than the big ones. "I admit, I heard of you from the menfolk and that you're to thank for the pheasant."

She takes in his answer with a politely conspiratorial air as she rinses her hands, right up to the moment he thanks her for the pheasants. Her chin comes up as proud as any Princess and eyes as fierce as any Prince (except for that one particular one best not mentioned). She declares defiantly, "I am a better shot than any man here!" Her brother rolls his eyes with the air of one who has heard this and what follows next all too often, but there is fondness underneath. Servants appear with various dressed birds and the promised fresh fish, good bread, and some sort of thick fish soup for the high table and stew for those below the salt. Delwyn is one of the lucky inner circle about to be offered pheasant instead of pigeon.

Delwyn is glad he took the offered seat! Pigeon is fine enough when one is on the road and hungry, but pheasant is even better. When her brother rolls his eyes, Delwyn watches the pheasant brought out, and he says, "I do believe the proof is in the pudding." When the food comes around, he chooses some of the bread, among other things, and a pinch of salt. "Shall we break bread, Lady Janys? I would know no hostilities between us."

She glares at him the whole time, waiting for the judgment or the argument or the scoffing, or the mocking, but it does not come. At his offer, she remains extremely warily, but relents enough to take up a pinch of the vaguely pinkish salt and sprinkle half of it herself in the expectation of them splitting the bread, those pale eyes searching his face for reaction.

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