(122-06-04) Oi, Vegetables
Oi, Vegetables
Summary: A crowd at the pillories makes for an unlikely trio from various ends of the continent to come together in Oldtown Square.
Date: 04/06/2015
Related: None

Oldtown Square - Oldtown

This is a small cobblestone market square, packed with people from all walks of life in Oldtown. Food vendors offer sizzling, toothsome-smelling dishes, and peddlers offering every sort of thing one can possibly buy with coin line the cobbled walkways, with carpets, weapons, wines, scrolls, armor, cloth, tools, cookware, and myriads of cheap trinkets sure to please.

There is a general babble of voices and chatter as the city folk try to negotiate with the sharp street vendors of Oldtown, and the occasional scuffle as the City Watch snatch up pickpockets and cutpurses from the crowd.

There are some worn stone benches here and there, and grassy swards for the smallfolk to gather upon. In the center of the square stand a set of four heavy wooden pillories, where wrongdoers are frequently held fast for public punishment.

Oldtown Square is well and crowded by the middle of the day, as it always is. It seems all the more overbearing for the heat bearing down on the crowd, sweat dripping as much as sizzling food. The common jostle and push is elevated by the excitement of segments of smallfolk who continually surge this way and that, unintentionally or otherwise trying to cause a stir, drawing all the more attention on the pair of men locked by heads and hands in two of the pillories. Whatever their trespasses, it certainly seems personal for some of the crowd, while others are simply taking the opportunity to rid their stands of rotten produce by way of chucking it at the criminals' unfortunate — or deserving — heads. Among the crowd, but not exactly a part of the rest, is Viola, the woman's dark-haired head down as she attempts to navigate through with a large woven basket.

The heat doesn't matter much to a Dornishman, in fact this specimen relishes in the weather. It gives him an excuse to wear wide golden pants and a white shirt kept in check with a mauve sash around the waist. He wears his black hair open, allowing it to fall into his eyes, which perhaps shields him from the sun a little. Right now he's having an argument with a vegetable seller. Raised voices and hands thrown up into the hair make it appear a matter of life and death.

Pushing his way through the gathered crowd, Nechtan happens by the Dornishman as the argument gets heated, the oversized barbarian's attention drawn away from the pillory by sheer noseyness. The big man, clad in little more than a kneelength linen shirt and a swordbelt, his trews threadbare homespun, looms nearby, a grin forming on his scarred face as he watches.

Viola may keep her head down, but she's no withering— well, violet— and starts to quietly bully her way through the noisy crowd with tactically placed elbow jabs and the occasional push of her sturdy shoulder. She covers the cloth over her basket a few times, away from thieving hands. She catches a half-clear line of sight toward the nearby vegetable stand and makes for it, rolling her eyes to herself to see the seller already engaged in argument with a Dornishman, as if the Square needed more drama today. Not a perfect path; angling to be the next in line, it's the big scarred barbarian the no-nonsense servant of the Tyrells tries to shoulder right past.

Words between the Dornishman and the vegetable seller get more colourful, something about children either dying from rotten turnips or starving because of fist-fisted heartless customers. If there's an audience building, Elyas is not aware of it. Finally a price is being agreed on and the seller hands over a basket of small white turnips. The really hot sort. In exchange he gets a few coins. Are they finally done? Oh no, Elyas' gaze falls upon a stack of cauliflower. "How much for these?" he asks, and waiting customers inwardly groan.

The big lug barely moves, or rather, he doesn't move at all until he looks down at the woman pushing past him. Nechtan grins broadly at her, taking a half step back to let her past with a rumbled, "My apologies," in his weird northman pidgin-common, "They are more entertaining than the rotten vegetables." In fact, Nechtan is probably the only folk in the crowd that grins wider at the continuing haggling, endlessly entertained by it.

It's only the northman's odd accent that draws Viola's gaze up to give him the time of day at all. She looks from him to the haggling as she regrettably comes to a halt. "Quite say I envy you your ability to see the humour," she tells Nechtan wryly, her voice a more typical smallfolk blend, touched some by the Riverlands more than anywhere local. "All I see's a hotheaded Dornishman wasting everybody else's time."

Just then, a fleet-footed child in rags flies by, fingers set on thieving some of those very vegetables from that very stand and run for the pillories.

"OI!", the vegetable seller shouts, noticing the kid, hoping against hope that someone else will stop the urchin, since he can't really leave his stall and his waiting customers. "Ah, forget it.", Elyas decides just then, having lost interest in the cauliflower. "I'll be back tomorrow…" He turns to leave, which brings up against the hulking northerner and his present companion.

"Life is but a series of jokes played on us by the gods," Nechtan replies with a rumbled chuckle, "I see two people having fun with a necessity of this place." he adds, nodding to the woman. Then, the hulk bursts into laughter, great barks of it as the urchin makes their move, the grinning man letting the child pass and stepping in the way in a casual fashion, as if to hinder pursuit. "You are very entertaining!" he says to the Dornishman.

Viola lifts her brows in humour, even agreeing with Nechtan, at least at the first part of his statement. She watches the kid zip past; she makes some effort to pursue, but between the awkward basket she hefts and the northman so fully in the way, she gives up bothering within a matter of seconds. She does crane her neck about to watch the thief run, though, disapproving with a click of her tongue and tsk under her breath. "Good for nothing brat. I'd have a heart for a child stealing to eat, but I can see 'im running off toward the pillories. Wasteful." She moves toward the vegetable stand, but now that Elyas has stepped away, it's been swarmed upon by customers, and so she's forced to stand and wait in the heat.

Elyas however just glares at Nechtan. "I'm not the local circus.", he responds gruffly and with a fairly obvious Dornish accent. He doesn't care much for the child or the customers now jostling for the seller's attention, but he seems rather intrigued by the big guy from the north. "New in town, huh?" The woman, alas, gets ignored for now.

"Such a sour tongue on a fair-faced woman," Nechtan says to Viola with a shake of his head and then turns his attention to Elyas. "No, you are Dornish!" says the smart-arsed barbarian, his grin near splitting his face in two, "I am new enough to not be bored by it." he adds, chuckling. "If you'll give me a moment-" he adds, not bothering to wait for an answer as he steps forward and uses his bulk to push through the crowd to the stand, suddenly all glowers and threateningly bared teeth at the unfortunate smallfolk, "Fair-face was next!" he instructs them, waving Viola up.

Viola edges toward the stand — how can she not, after that. Glancing from side to side at the other customers on her way, she does step with some reluctance, however, not wanting to cause a fuss. "Well well," she commends Nechtan, albeit with a sharp humour, "gentlemen do come in all shapes and sizes." She gives a grateful word to the vegetable seller and makes short work of picking out the right goods.

Elyas snorts at that act of chivalry and watches Viola hurry forward to the front of the queue. "Well, well, who knew the northrons could be so charming. Think you stand a chance with her?", he asks of Nechtan without bothering to lower his voice.

Whatever Nechtan was going to say in reply is lost in the laughter that rolls out of him at Elyas' question, "I neither know nor care, my friend-from-Dorne," he says, slapping his knee as he walks back over, "It has been a moon or three since my cock was wet, but it has gone longer before." he adds, with no notion of decorum whatsoever. Still all glee and grinning, the big man chuckles, "Though if that is all it takes for the women of this place to spread their knees, I am obviously behind."

The woman at the stand does not seem fazed in the slightest, going about her business and exchanging coin for vegetables. "Not very bloody likely," she says, sharp but cheerful, as she tucks away in her basket, already filled with goods. "Where would they find the time, with jobs and reputations to keep. Unless mayhaps if you head for the Shambles." She vacates the vegetable stand, freeing it for the other eager customers, turbs about and settles the basket firmly back on her hip, workmanlike, smiling.

"I did not think they'd be easy, which is why I admired your courage in trying.", Elyas points out to Necthan with a rather smooth smile. "Perhaps she'd appreciate you carrying her heavy basket home, though? I'm all for helping sweet love to flourish - us Dornish are born romantics."

"With another chuckle and an audible "Ha!", Nechtan shakes his head, "I am all courage and I would offer, but she has jobs and a reputation to care for and I doubt her man would look kindly upon me following her like a hound." He strokes a mitt through his beard, grinning, "As she says, I need only go to the Shambles for a tumble, lacked I the coin to visit the 'Bard," he adds, chuckling and looking over at the pillory, "Though I am low on coin.."

Viola smirks at Elyas — knowingly, it would seem, for who hasn't heard all the stories about Dornish love and "romance" — but draws her brows together and says, "Oh, that would look a sight, wouldn't it, marching up to Garden Isle with the likes of you," she agrees with Nechtan, all in her unfazed humour, "no, I'll keep carrying my own basket as I always have done." A cabbage flies impressively over their heads to the pillories. It misses, but the crowd up front cheers all the same. "I heard they were got for stealing." Catching a glimpse of the thieving urchin in the crowd, she adds in a mumble, "some irony."

"Garden Isle, huh. You work for the Tyrells then?", Elyas realizes, smirking slightly. "People get done for stealing every day, Ma'am… but how else would they survive… plenty people low on coin.", he adds, turning his attention back to Nechtan. "And how do you propose to earn coin? You probably won't get paid for being pretty."

"Aye, there is doubtful patience for waifs and strays like I," grins the northman, "I had wondered what was so bad to warrant this yet not foul enough fer outlawry. They still have their hands.." he adds, trailing off as the dornishman speaks to him. Nechtan's reply is to laugh again, "I may not be beautiful, dornishman, but I can sing as well as any songbird in the early morn," says the man, "which is a fine thing for a shield-companion to do." he adds.

Viola nods to confirm her employment with a sort of pride in her face; the sort without boasting. "True 'nough," she tells the Dornishman. After listening to Nechtan, she laughs, a low and hearty rumble. "I'll tell you what you can do. You can open a path through the Square for me in this crowd, so I can be on my way back with these goods. The vendor gave me a deal on the vegetables." She chances a somewhat amused glance at Elyas, here — that is boasting — before returning her steady gaze up at Nechtan. "Now, the difference may not be enough to buy a whore, but…"

"A singer, huh.", Elyas realizes, "Buy you a drink for a song? I'm actually looking for all sorts of help. Do you think the Tyrells could spare a servant or four for a day?", he turns back to Viola, "I don't know how to find reliable people in this town… too few Dornish around." He grins to himself at that, amused by his own joke.

"I have an offer of drink, so a whore might be within my means!" laughs the oversized northman, chuckling as he bows his head to the woman, "My muscle and brawn is at your service, fair-face, merely guide me along and I will be your ram." Nechtan says, taking great care to put entirely the wrong spin on each word and grin wolfishly. To Elyas, the man laughs, "We will both lead the lady home, then we will go drinking and whoring and discuss our business!"

"Could they spare them and would they spare them are different matters best put to a Tyrell," Viola answers, toning down the wryness of her voice to be slightly diplomatic, especially as she looks Elyas over with a keener eye. "Apologies if I've misspoken," she says just incase, Misspoken to someone who's important enough to have servants, if not enough of them, that is. All the same, she rolls her eyes at the both of them, laughing and shaking her head. "Gods above, what have I gotten myself into," she says, taking a bold step toward the crowd to point the direction.

Elyas looks rather surprised when Nechtan lays out the plans for the day - for both of them. "I don't think she's a lady and my whoring days are past.", he tells the big man, albeit with a wistful look. Is that a little sigh escaping his lips? He wrinkles his nose a little at Viola's explanations. "Well, I'm not high and mighty enough to talk to the Tyrells themselves. Thought you'd know if there are servants sitting around twiddling theiri thumbs half the day …"

"Aye, such are the games the gods play," comments Nechtan, still all grins and good-nature as he falls into step with Viola, setting his shoulders forward and managing to provide the impression that messing with him or his is the last thing you'll do, whilst somehow retaining that open broad grin, as if daring the attempt. The man is a professional, after all. To the dornishman, the northman chuckles again, "She is a lady who holds my contract for the day," he retorts, shaking his head, "It would not do to go whoring myself and let my new friend merely watch! If we are to break bread together we should also break-.." the big man stops suddenly in his speech, frowning. "We should at least drink." he says, sheepishly.

Viola nearly snorts, not like a lady. She just shakes her head at the man from the North, a smirk cut into her mouth. "Any servant left sitting idle twiddling their thumbs won't be a servant of the Tyrells for long, I can tell you that." she answers Elyas, clearly feeling vigorous about the subject. It puts a hurry in her step — the way so expertly cleared by Nechtan — eager to strike down any such servant the second she gets back. "Should I send you our castouts?"

"I suppose you can be quite scary, Ma'am.", Elyas replies with a chuckle and shakes his head. "I don't need permanent castouts… I just need a few people to lend their hands and abilities for an… event. Help for a day.", he explains. He seems rather bemused when Nechtan calls him his new friend. "I'm buying you a drink, man, we're not becoming friends for life.", he assures him.

Pausing to shoulder an unfortunate man out of the way and glare down the poor fellow, Nechtan is nevertheless grinning when he looks back at the pair, "I am hurt that think so," he says to Elyas, laughing, "It is my most ardent wish that everyone I meet become my friends, as it is so much easier than planting an axe in them." he comments with little care. ".. Though there was that girl who liked a good haft, but she is an exception." he adds in between strongarming his way through the crowd.

A few folk object to being shoved aside, until they look behind them and see Nechtan; that more or less puts an end to any objections. "You two make an exceptional pair, friends for life in the making I think," Viola remarks in jest, as amused by herself as by any of them. "And yet here we are a nameless bunch."

"Well, my friends -", Elyas smirks as they reach then far end of the square where the crowds have thinned and Viola can be on her merry way. "Name's Elyas. And a Dornishman's friendship isn't given lightly, but when it is, it lasts for life."

"I am cried Nechtan," says the northman, having learned his lesson and stuck to giving the plain common version of his name, "I am pleased to meet you, Elyas of Dorne." he adds, grinning and looking at Viola. "Fine friends us all!"

The servant travels step or two more, turns to face the varied men, and tucks her free hand into a pocket sewn subtly into her plain uniform of a dress. She outs with a coin, which she balances on her thumbnail. It's not worth much, except to those who work hard to earn it. Viola looks like she's lived a life full of hard work and tough earning. Still, she flips it toward Nechtan, for his service. "Viola." With that and another amused — and, somehow, chastising — smirk, she heads off.

Elyas offers a deep sweeping bow to Viola, before she departs, then reaches to pat Nechtan's shoulder. Which is a bit of a stretch for the Dornishman. "Pleasure's mine, Nechtan. Now… shall we go for a drink and a song before I leave you to… other pursuits?"

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