(122-05-10) Meanwhile at an Inn North of the Fever River
Log Title
Summary: Two vignettes on the Kingsroad.
Date: Date of play (DD/MM/122)
Related: http://gobmush.wikidot.com/plot:something-is-rotten-at-winterfell
Players:
Tellur..Genevra..Malcolm..

Further north they ride, bast small groups and even a larger one of armed men going to fight at one coast or another, for Lord Stark, or the Karstaks, or the Boltons, or King Carolis. Malcolm keeps his sword sharp and his mouth closed as much as possible when they are dealing with the locals. When they are observed he is in bodyguard mode, as he would be for any of his Starks around strangers. I private, he is Mal as he normally is. They have come upon a post Inn around time to stop riding for the night.

Tellur glances up, his shoulders a little sore. While he, like Malcolm, rides frequently, it has been a while since he has carried such a load on his back - his weapons, his bows, the other elements, his cloaks and food and so forth behind him on the horse. He is mostly inclined to attempt to break up fights, but is not willing to risk the lives of Dog or Fiona to do so. As the sun sets, Tellur groans softly, spotting the inn "Gods, I need a hot meal and ale, Mal."

Malcolm grins, "A private room and a bed with hopefully clean straw and no bugs. Fresh food cooked by other hands than ours…." Motley's hooves wend towards the stable, ears perking up.

"Definitely a private room with two beds with clean straw," Tellur is wary, as always, of getting caught. Still, he halloos the horse-boy and then dickers a little, finding that there are apparently 'very good, sir' rooms upstairs. The man gestures to his dogs, which has the stable boy look a little cautious. He can bargain almost in trade tongue, Tellur can, but it is not something that often comes out. Lots of surprises…the inside of the post-inn is warm, with fresh herbs strewn on the floor. There are a few people here and there, some messengers, but mostly folk who are on the way towards or back from a market.

Malcolm stands behind Tellur, looking dangerous and exotic as he dickers, keeping his own mouth shut. He is happy enough for good stew and dark bread and a bit of ale. There is much talk amoung the travellers. Warnings about trouble on the East coast: burned villages and taken captives.. There is talk of trouble on the roads between those following Lord Cregan and those following Lord carolis, talk of outlaws, and fighting in the West and a great muster at Cerwyn, Karhold, and the Bolton siege of the Glovers. A singer tunes up a lute in hopes of coin for his supper.

Tellur settles down for a large cup of ale, and the stew has pieces of sweetened turnip in it, reasonably pleasant. He breaks his bread, offering Malcolm another heel of it as he listens, and then he says to his knight "Have you heard what is happening in the East? I think I've been out of the loop - I'm aware of the NOrthron issue but…" He curls a lip at talk of the Boltons.

Malcolm dips his bread and munches it, "Aye. They are getting raided. We had ravens about it. They hit the Karstarks first. We had a messanger though, and they've gone nearly as far South as the Neck. Some say men of Ib, some say Skags and they've been taking the dead as well as live captives." He catches tellur's look at the mention of Boltons and drops his voice, "Lord Cregan's gone to help the Boltons against the Glovers. I've not the politics of it, but it seems Glovers may have been behind the Wildling trouble early spring."

"Taking the dead?" Tellur says uneasily "…are they ransoming for proper burials?" He shudders, and he then has another swig of his ale, and he adds "Have there been very many survivors? I suppose it would be a long way out of our way to go and try and find out what is happening…" A shake of his head "What do you think about it?"

Malcolm shakes his head, face utterly grim, "No ransom. Fisher folk have gone missing from boats too. When they hit a village, they take all they can fit on the boats and burn the rest. The survivors are mostly those got away to hide earlier in the attacks. There's a group of Karstark men left wounded after a raid in the south east. I've not heard more besides Cat's raven I fear. You are the stark, here. Go east to see about the raiders or west to try to turn the army?"

"I'm the Master of Hounds, Mal, you outrank me - I'm a Bastard," Tellur says uneasily "But it's clear to me that the Maester is behind most of the problems here." He frowns, and then he wipes out the last of his stew with a piece of bread "How many days would it take to get into the place the raiders are? Much as I hate to say it, we have an advantage no one else does - I have eyes that can find anyone."

Malcolm shakes his head, "But I'm not of the North. I've ridden the Kingsroad once to Winterfell and back…. I'll need to ask the Innkeep, but it's a crossroad, so odds are we follow the road East it'll get us to the Coast eventually."

the Inn door opens and three men step in, cloaked, despite the fair weather and season. One of them attempts to bargain for a room, but the Innkeep shakes his head, and points at Tellur and Ser Malcolm. "They took the last private room. It's the common room, the stables, or naught." The men glare like they are seriously considering a throat cutting to get that room.

"Or I could send…Snow," says Tellur after a moment "It's a pity poor Maegwyn is gone. I could have trusted her to go nearly anywhere at the smallest request. Ask the Innkeep - if it's more than a few weeks, it's too far out of our way, and I think Cat himself will want to know about the whole thing." He does not want to leave his Lord any longer than he must. Malcolm can see it on his face "I just don't know what to do." And then the two men are arriving, and Tellur narrows his eyes right back at them, inhaling with a few deep sniffs.

Malcolm looks as if he's about to say something reassuring, but then there are angry men, so he quietly makes a number of knives appear beneath the table.

The leader of the three growls in an accent that sounds not quite right, "We need your room."

Tellur has his mind rather firmly on the pleasures of a decent bed "Why?" he says, tapping his empty mug on the table top.

The accent is Northern, but subtly exaggerated, and not possible to place to a region within it. He's got fairly good teeth though, only one obviously missing, and not all that crooked. "It's been a long ride and we need the quiet. not that it's your business."

"Same here, friend," Tellur tells the man "So I and my friend will be keeping the room. If it's any consolation, we'll be gone at daybreak tomorrow, for we've a lot of distance to cover." Those are the teeth of someone who does not eat too many sweets - or two little meat. Tellur frowns at them somewhat.

The man leans close, "We've ridden far and will ride further still. I'm going to avenge my brother. Do not stand in my way." His scent is pure aggression and cold fury.

"Sounds like a hard ride - what is your House? Or if you have no House, what is the name of your family?" asks Tellur. Under the table, he is reaching for his long knife. The dogs are all in the stables, alas.

Malcolm holds his own knives ready, sitting quiet and grim faced, but with the deliberately relaxed posture that often proceeds sudden violence with him.

The man snarls, "And who are you to be asking my business?"

Tellur considers, but after a moment, he says "I am Tellur Snow, the Master of Hounds of Winterfell."

The man's eyes narrow, but after and internal struggle, he spits out, "Fine!" And goes back to the Inn keep for more arguing.

Only Malcolm can feel Tellur's leg shake under the table, because above it, there is no sign of anything. He frankly is not sure _what_ side the man is on, but he does not want to destabilise the whole affair any more. He glances at Malcolm, and says to him "Perhaps it _is_ time for us to get some rest - we've an early morning."

Malcolm makes the knives disappear again and gives Tellur's leg a squeeze, and nods, "Best we make an early start. It can't be that far to the Coast, can it?" He lingers to watch the men in case they go for Tellur's back.

"I don't think so. I'll see if I can find out tonight," Tellur notes to Malcolm, and once he has ducked outside to use a privy - with Malcolm, because he is not a fool - he goes up the stairs to find the room "I'm going to get Dog up from the stables here, he's a little wary of so many people. And he's good ears if. We need them."

Malcolm watches his back until it's his turn, trusting Tellur to watch his. "The more ears the better. I liked not the look of them." At least the room is clean, if very small and plain, and one can bar the door and window.

**

It is morning in a post Inn in the flatish country North of the Fever River. Things have been very disturbed in the North, lots of armed men riding or marching in and out of Winterfell at first mostly headed West towards Glover lands and the Bolton seige there. In the last month or so, some have been going East towards the Karstark Coast and further south. The roads were full of armed men too, travelling North, or to one of the Coasts, and there have been scuffles too, which the Stark house guards tried to keep a young girl from seeing, just as they only speak of outlaws and raiders and traitors in whispers. Lord Cregan Stark is said to be with the Stark forces in the West. His younger brother and heir is said to be on the road, though he called for a detachment Winterfell archers to head East to some hill fort no one had heard of to defend it. There is much talk of it being safer in the South, and since last july, Stark children have been quietly moved to manses South of the neck whenever possible. The Maester of Winterfell, a kindly old man and tutor to the Starks, has been insisting such was not necessary, that Winterfell was the safest place in the world for a stark, but quietly, one by one Starks and Snows have gone, leaving Genevra and Lord stark's youngest brother as the last.

In any case, a peculiar knight with striped hair and beard is finishing his porridge. He was in Winterfell a fortnight last May and early June, known to be Lord Carolis' bodyguard. At Winterfell, he rather specialized in flirting with stern old ladies and talking to the Maester until late in the evening. He's very exotic and Southron, but apparently Lord Stark and Lord Carolis trust him.

Genevra has been hassling her gaurds the whole trip. Trying to sneak off and explore whenever they stopped long enough to look around and then getting hauled back by the scruff of her neck. She looks like a little boy minus the long hair a soft features and she is currently being escorted down the stairs into the tavern. Her group traveling only a bit behind Lord Carolis's but arrived just last night. She walks into the room and spots Malcolm. She rememebrs him from Winterfell but never had the chance to speak with him. She tries to head over that way but a gaurd tries to herd her out the door. "No. I want breakfast first. Honestly you think you can travel long distance without breakfast? Your stomach will be growling before midday and you will want to stop. Best we eat now and save the rations for when they are needed." Sound logic from a child and the gaurds eyes each other in deliberation. Yes they want to eat…but there is also the chance that Genevra will get up to something while they do it. Genevra look like she knows this and has it all planned out which doesn't help matters. The group stands there a moment Genevra staring down her gaurds and the gaurds not really sure what to do with her.

Malcolm has a Stormcoast lilt, lower gentry at best and very rural. he eyes the guard livery and the Starkish child. It is the men he adresses, "It's a rough road, and there's sporadic fighting along it. Best to fill your bellies while you can." He gives the guards a meaningful look and then points with his chin at three rough looking men paying up in preparation for leaving. Casually, he makes a letter with Lord Carolis' seal on it appear and disappear back into his leathers once he's sure they've seen it. Then he turns a charming and crooked child on the young Stark, "You've a familiar look about you."

The gaurds get the hint and settle at a table to order some food before they leave. Thier charge inches over to Malcolm with a curious look in her grey eyes. She offers him a bright smile as she comes over to his table. "Thank you…I was worried they wouldn't listen. I mean they act like I'm some kind of troublemaker…" She gives him a grin that so mischievious its literally proof. "I'm Genevra Stark and you…I think I've seen you before. With Lord Carolis? Can I sit with you?" She glances back at at her gaurds only for one to come up behind her and hand her a bowl of something that looks like porriage. Then the gaurd is heading off and Genevra takes this oppurtunity to join Malcolm at his table.

Malcolm winks, "Well, you wouldn't be a Stark if you weren't, would you." He shakes his head, "Lord Carolis was in the South the only time I was at Winterfell. I do love your hot springs though. I admit, it was a difficult thing, imagining Winterfell in Winter and being so far from the sea, but I the hot springs help…. So which are you then? And what sort of adventure are you having? Tellur Snow and I had to thump some heads to get this far." He talks to her in the tone he might use for an adult and an equal. Tellur Snow is a stark bastard, son of a lesser Stark cousin. He was a sort of stable boy and assistant to the Maester with the ravens. He was once gored night to death by a boar. He's also been recently raised to Master of Beasts for House Stark.

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