(122-05-09) Diplomatic Head Thumping
Diplomatic Head Thumping
Summary: Tellur Snow and Ser Malcolm Storm discover just how messy things are getting in the North.
Date: Date of play (09/05/122)
Related: http://gobmush.wikidot.com/plot:something-is-rotten-at-winterfell

The ride North is a long one. Ser Malcolm's Motley, while strong and willing enough is not built for fast travel over the long haul, but they are North of the neck now and past the Fever River, into the flatter country where grain is grown in earnest. Ser Malcolm is cheerful enough, though underneath is a worry for Lord Carolis he can not hide from Tellur.

Tellur is not riding his beloved Loathely - though it will be months until her pregnancy slows her down, he does tend to adore that horse above all others. Instead, he is on a massive shaggy gelding, this one a grey-patched colour, both white and black, all over. The gelding is not entirely good natured, but it is swift and strong. Tellur himself is healing up, his body stiff, his breast freshly tattooed now. He is silent, himself, though the further they get away from the city, the more he relaxes. Finally they are out into a long, golden swath of grain and he suddenly kicks heels in "Hiyah!

You don't have enough XP for that. You need 12.

Malcolm kicks his motley into a lumbering cantor, but can't match the gelding. He grins, both from the joy of the race and to see Tellur in his element for the first time, really.

Tellur encourages the gelding to let itself go all the way out, to stretch out those long legs, and get its lanky body going in heart-pounding heat. He races along the first path, towards a field that is heading into purple shades as the sun dips past the main part of the horizon. The sound of crickets whirls up from below, and from the side, Malcolm can see the grey streak of Dog rushing towards him.

Up ahead the road curves around a copse and the sound of metal on metal can just be heard over the pounding of hooves. Ser Malcolm misses it though, over the jingling of his heavier gear and his eyeing of Dog, for whom he has respect.

There is the brachet and Grace as well - Tellur decided that Fiona was safer away from the city. In many ways, she acts mostly like a dog - some of her higher intelligence has faded - but it never seems to bother Tellur. The beasts sleep all in a big pile, but right now, Grace and the brachet are off in the woods, a distance away. Dog pricks his ears up and pulls back - towards the brushes by the side of the road as Tellur tries to slow his galloping beast in time.

Malcolm slows his own beast in response to Tellur's change of pace and Dog's behavior, and in the silence the sound of fighting is distinct. There is very little yelling, suggesting they haven't much breath to be wasting.

Well, Tellur is not always a fan of humans, but realistically, he knows that Malcolm is tough enough - and Knightly enough - to get involved in anything. He whistles Dog back to join the rest of the pack, and keeps them on the side of things while he points to Malcolm and gestures with two fingers, forward. At least two. Tellur clip clops closer still.

Malcolm nods and draws the greatsword he uses for War a tourney, it being better suited to this sort of thing. It turns out to be six men instead of two. They are on foot and fighting in earnest, all Northern and dressed in leather by the cut of their gear, and all bleeding in one or two places.

Tellur's mouth drops open, puzzled at this, and not exactly as aware as Lord Carolis is of the matter. However, he is well aware that he has Malcolm. The problem is mostly that he has no idea exactly who is being the fool here. So he settles for something else. His voice, when it snarls out, is furious, an angry warg. A _disappointed_ warg. "By _my_ arse, what the hell are you _idiots_ doing?!"

Malcolm is stratled by Tellur's approach, but seeing the wisdom of it, keeps his gob shut and settles for looking knightly and menacing.\The men are startled into putting up their weapons. One growls in a Marshlands accent, "These _Traitors_ are going to go fight for the Winter Rose!" Another, in the accent of this neighborhood shouts, "Lord Carolis is the true King of Winter!"

"Gods, are you all lackwits? Did any of you actually _think_ to find out what in hells Lord Carolis and Lord Cregan actually think about this idiocy?" Tellur bellows "I DO NOT THINK SO! Gods, what do you think you are - SOUTHRONS? _POLITICIANS_?!"

The Carolis supporter snorts, "Lord Carolis sent our Lord a letter raising the banners against his brother!" The Cregan supporter shouts, "Our Lord was sent that traitorous missive! your Winter rose is a fool and a madman!"

Tellur says dryly "And…none of you thought to _check_ to find out if it was actually Lord Carolis who sent the damned letter and not one of Winterfell's very many enemies? Congratulations, good souls! You're able to ruin Winterfell _for_ them - they don't even have to bother rolling off whatever whore they're in bed with!"

Another marshman pipes up, "It was one of the Winterfell ravens right enough, the Maester said!"

Tellur says "You've spoken to the Maester? And he said this? Personally, to a number of you?"

The Marshman is stubborn, "He said it to our Lord in the Hall and we all heard it." The other Marshmen nod agreement.

Tellur throws his hands up "Aye, and _I_ say it's all a loud of cow-dung. If you're so eager to spill blood, go to the Wall - never follow a man who isn't _there_. You've no idea who else is spitting foolery to try to 'help' situations along! I'm going to Winterfell myself, and I'm going to find out what is going on, by the Weirwood, and Gods help your families if you continue this! For as sure as spring melts come, when ye've got cousins fighting cousins, _someone_ is going to get the bright idea of torching all the grain storage and winter provisions. No - this stupidity stops! Wolves live in packs, ye big idiots! We don't savage one another!"

A Flatlander perks up, "Lord Carolis is massing his army at Castle Cerwyn! It's where we are headed to join the fight. All hail the King in the North!" The other two echo, "All Hail the King in the north!" It is at this point that the Marshmen fall on them again and the fighting resumes.

Tellur stares at them, and then he says after a moment to Malcolm "…should we just kill _all_ of them? I'm sure Lord Carolis and Lord Cregan would prefer that."

Malcolm looks at him, "They are loyal Northmen, if foolish ones….."

Tellur says "…can…can we maybe just shoot two of them, in the leg? It's educational, Mal. It's what my mother would want." He regards the lot with irritation.

Malcolm sighs, "It's that or start cracking heads. They are your people Tellur. My arm is yours to command." His lip is twitching as he tries to hide his amusement.

Tellur scratches his head, and whistles, sharply, bringing Grace up, and the pack, and then he says to Malcolm "Let's try not to kill any of them, Mal. Remember, during long winters, you need to keep your food alive as long as possible." And, against his better judgement, he kicks his horse up and launches himself - and his dogs - towards the group. Intending to grab one by the scruff and haul him off "Hiyah!" Tellur aims for whoever looks the toughest, frankly.

Malcolm eyes Tellur at the implied cannibalism, but shrugs and rides towards the lead Local with intent to let pommel knob meet bone head.

Tellur spends 1 luck points on Oh no you don't!.

It helps to be lucky, frankly, as this is a foolish move. And Tellur is - the gelding is sure-footed, but as Tellur reaches out, he nearly grabs the man's blade with bare hands. Jerking his hand back, he goes for the collar instead and he has the lead Marshman. Tellur rides straight through and tosses the man to the ground, uncaring of broken bones. "GRACE! GUARD!" he yells, putting his pack there "MAL?"

Malcolm nearly runs down several idiots by accident, since Motley responds much as he would in a joust, Ser Malcolm thumps the lead Local with admirable control using his pommel, just enough to daze before tossing him over his pommel and thundering on.

The other four are so busy trying not to get trampled that they spring apart.

Tellur wheels around, with the dogs snarling behind him, Dog himself padding back to Tellur's side. The Master of Hounds snarls "What'll it be boys? Sense drubbed into your heads, or being ridden into the ground? I may be a Bastard, but I'm a Stark, Gods damn your eyes, I'm not going to stand by while Northons kill each other for no good reason!"

Malcolm holds up his great sword all menacingly and gives his best war face in support of tellur. The men at arms look at each other and attempt to slink away, the Marshmen into the woods, the Locals towards the wheat.

Oh shit. It worked. Tellur tries to hide the shock. NEVER MIND, TELLUR. He just looks angry, his expression serious. Then he finally allows his shoulders to sag, and he kicks his heels into his gelding "Well, if it's that bad here," he says to Malcolm, and adds "Good girls - and boys." The beasts and Malcolm, who he gives a grin to.

Malcolm gives Tellur a wicked grin, but stays focused on the immediate emergency, "What do we do with the prisoners, Tellur?"

Tellur eyes them, one from either side, and then he says to Malcolm "I don't feel like dragging their sorry asses to Winterfell while all of this mess is going on. You two! Either of you have any broken bones, injuries?"

The Marshman has a gash on his arm, but murmurs, "No, My Lord." The Local gives a dazed sounding moan when he tries to shake his head. Ser Malcolm sighs at having his race with tellur ruined. "We could drop mine the next village, I imagine…."

"Shame," Tellur growls at the Marshman, but then he nods to Ser Malcolm "We can't let him just die," he says agreeably "We'll have to race later - I have a feeling your courser would catch me over the long term." He thumps his gelding fondly in the withers, and then says to the Marshman "Good lad. Go get someone to give you some wine for that, eh? Malcolm, your destrier's the larger, do you mind carrying the other?"

Malcolm nods, "Motley's used to the weight of the jousting armour. He can handle a little extra weight for the next few miles." He clops on over to Tellur, "I love when you get your stark up…."

Tellur slides down off his own horse. Dog is growling low, but puts up with his half-self behaving strangely. Tellur helps Malcolm get the local up onto Motley, and he says "The very next village, we're dropping them off a new idiot. God, imagine if these fools get around to raiding each other's stock, Mal. They're going to get children and women killed."

Malcolm gives a warm belly laugh at the 'new idiot' crack, but sobers quickly at the thought of raids. He says firmly, "That sort of thing leaves long scars. Best this be settled quickly before more lives are lost."

The ride is likely not the most comfortable for the injured man, and Tellur is irritated - he was comfortably showing off before! But an hour or so later and they come up towards the first houses. Tellur glances over his shoulder at Malcolm and says "Do you know this place? You've been everywhere."

Malcolm squints at it, "I think I road through it on my trip to Winterfell, but I didn't stop as they lack a post horse stable…."

"Close enough!" Tellur declares, and he makes his way towards the well in the center of the town, before assisting the injured man down "I like to think that, as a Northron, that you're able to handle unusual situations," he says to the man "So. Here you go! Splash some water on your face, beg a local healer to help you, wash some dishes so they feed you…whatever you want!"

The man looks rather shamefaced, "Yes, My Lord." Mal is watching all of this with a bemused fascination.

Tellur adds, in a low hiss "And for the love of God, remember that Lord Carolis and Lord Cregan are _good_ men who won't betray the North." That said, he rolls his shoulders and shakes himself, clip clopping out of the village "Ser Malcolm?" he says to the man "…I hate politics."

Malcolm clops along beside him companionable, "And yet, you handled that beautifully. Lord Carolis would be proud." He sighs, "It's going to be a long ride north, isn't it?"

"Lord Carolis must be very upset," Tellur predicts "Imagine his reaction to all of this! Yes, it's going to be very, very long."

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