(122-06-23) Fireside Diplomacy
Fireside Diplomacy
Summary: Tellur brings Lord Carolis to meet Tybalt who has word of the raiders. (Scene takes place more than a month earlier).
Date: Date of play (23/06/122)
Related: Related Logs http://gobmush.wikidot.com/plot:something-is-rotten-at-winterfell

Tybalt is camping in the woods near the castle, living rough.

And Tellur has told his Lord that a man with information - Tybalt - wishes to speak to him. To judge his…worth as a Northern Lord as well. The information involves slavery, capture, and death. Tellur has said little else, concerned as he is with working out how on earth to either avoid or run into Lord Eddard's older brother. Nobles are _dangerous_.

Tybalt has made a little campsite by the stream where he cooked the pheasant he shared with Tellur. The extremely grubby man is currently trying to fish with a long willow frond and a bit of string. At least he is possessed of hook and worm as well.

Tellur has come down on horseback - while his injuries are healing well, he is a little weary. He has with him a side of salted pork, and some carrots, since both items will keep well. He also has the young Lord Stark, with his fresh face and bright smile.

Tybalt is wary, putting aside his rod, but not drawing axe or long knife. He eyes the Stark with a stony faced sceptasism. It is Tellur he addresses, "Can he fight? He looks a little… bookish." His voice is a deep gravelly rumble and his accent far enough North as to leave which side of the wall it is from an open question, though there is some other language softening the accent's edges, and his common is slow, as if he struggles to remember words. He is rather pungent, clearly having trusted the rain to do his bathing for him, likely for months.

"Better than I can," Tellur says, simply and honestly. Right now he does not have his beasts with him - save for the horse. H can smell Tybalt, and he tosses him the bag with the food.

Carolis doesn't come quite so fresh-faced and smiling brightly. He's a different man in the North He's a Lord of House Stark. He's Heir to Winterfell. The cold, hard nature of the North flows through him, and he is a winter wind come to life. Bookish? Maybe by reputation. Maybe by a softer visage than most of his kin. But he's dressed in the armor his brother gave him, harmed with the fine sword his brother entrusted him to receive. He glances to Tellur, then to Tybalt. "Who is this?" he asks the former.

Tybalt catches the bag, turquoise blue eyes flick over Lord Carolis. There is an arrogant tilt to his chin and something leonine in his long nose and expression. "Armour's fancy enough for a Stark." He stets the food handily to his little fire pit and moves closer, something sinuous and threatening about his movements, though his hands stay away from his weapons. There is a warrior stillness about him and the air of a man who can strike hard and fast. The long scar on his face is well healed, but missing teeth in the back on that side, give some of his utterances a slight hiss.

Tellur is probably the worst person in the world for introductions, but he gives it a good attempt - Lords get their queries answered first "This is Tybalt, a freeman escaped from slavers," he tells Carolis "He has been tracking the raiders, as he's not fond of their ilk. He can probably tell where they will strike next." Understatement. It is a Tellur thing. "Tybalt, meet Lord Carolis of the Starks, and my cousin, some times removed." There is little facial similarity behind them, aside from a bad case of 'Stark bones' in both. Tellur's hair is getting quite orange from Southern sun exposure.

Carolis's brows are the giveaway. The way they turn a smooth, handsome face foreboding when they knit. He and Tellur do indeed have similarities. Should one know the face of Cregan, however, one can't help but see the relation. They've got the same black hair, the searingly cold blue eyes, and a similar bearing. "It has not yet seen a lot of battle," Carolis said, of his armor. "But that just means it thirsts for it all the more. He steps forward into the fireside proper. "Tybalt," he said. We've shared enemies if not shared friends. Tell me what you can of the raiders and I will return the kindness by driving them back to Skagos like the worthless dogs they are."

Tybalt, alas, had never met a Stark of any kind before White Harbor. Turquoise blue eyes stand out incongruously against the dirt, the only bit of him that isn't some shade of brown or beige. His smile is sudden and very, very bitter. "That's the rub, isn't it? Where are the Starks and their fancy armour when Skagios is being raided? What care the Lords of Winterfell when the Smallfolk starve on Skagos in Winter?" The vehemence is real and raw in this next, "I _hate_ pirates_, but are Boltons and Starks any better? Taxes and Tithes and nothing but insults in return." He spits into the fire. He's not a particularly tall man, but his shoulders and chest are wide and heavily muscled.

Tellur says in his impolitic way "Usually trying to stop some other part of the North being raided. It's a large place, Tybalt. But if you'd like to ask to see the Cat's scars from the last lot of raiders he went out to fight, he might oblige." He _does_ get on with Tybalt. Sort of. But apparently he has only one allegiance "As for Boltons, I don't care a fig, I'm not for them."

"Says the man to a Stark who has come to help him," Carolis said with a humorless twist of his lips. He folds his arms over his chest. He's a tall man. He doesn't seem it until he's up close. He doesn't look angry, at least. Though with Stark brows, who can tell? His tone is mild though. "The last time Winterfell pressed taxes upon Skagos, we received the head of the tax man. The Skagoi are the ones raiding the coastline, endangering the lives of people who prefer to pay in gold and fealty for the pleasure of Winterfell and her bannermen coming to their aid. That's actually what I'm doing here, you see. Rallying an army to kill pirates and raiders while my brother comes to the assistance of his bannermen." He paused, then added, "Those would be the ones who don't send us the heads of our tax men. Now, if you want me to come liberate the people of Skagos from its oppressive Lords who are clearly not caring for them properly?" He shrugs a shoulder. "We could talk. After saving the coastal peoples."

Tybalt shows Tellur his teeth in a way that is nothing like a smile. He shakes his head no to Lord Carolis, "I did not come asking for help. I came offering it. Mostly because I don't like raiders and pirates and i liked the look of your man here. It cost me effort and my scarce coin to bring you this information, which I didn't have to do. I could have sailed away." He has to look up, but if anything, that makes his body language all the more aggressive rather than cowed. "What happens to the women folk, and the children and the old when you strike off the heads of the men and burn their ships? What happens when the men of Ib or Lys or Myr come raiding the coasts for slaves with the men and boats gone?" he stares Lord Carolis boldly in the eyes, "Will your ships be looking out for such, or will you let them all be dragged away in chains, the innocent with the guilty? What happens when Winter comes?" He spits again, just missing Lord Carolis boot, "I don't want you over throwing any one on Skagos. What I want is your _word_ before a Weirwood tree that the ones had nothing to do with the raiding and the families of the raiders who took no part won't starve without their fishing boats, or be slaughtered, or carried off in chains while your eyes look elsewhere, the north being _such a big place._"

That is a long speech. Carolis can see Tellur's eyes glazing a little, though they sharpen at 'like the look of' - he knows Tybalt thinks he is half wildling. Then again, Tybalt is mostly right. Tellur tells him "You're angry enough to draw arrows for words, but you've aimed them at the wrong man. Save those for someone who's done the wrongs you think of - this one wants to stop the raiding. You want to stop the raiding. That's all." He scratches behind one ear "Killing innocents and leaving folks hungry makes those left go raiding, so _that_ doesn't make sense to do. Simple."

"Liberate," Carolis corrected, though there was no idealism in his tone. Call it a sardonic jest. His gaze tracks the spit, but he makes nothing of the insult. "I am heir to Winterfell, Tybalt, not its ruling hand, and I pray to all the gods that never changes. I can no more make promises on its behalf than I can fly." He was unmoving save for the sway of flames reflected in his eyes. "Do you realize what you're asking, even if I could promise it? To overlook our bannermen and supporters who stand by us in need so that we can send resources none of us can spare all the way to Skagos? To overlook the survival of their own women and children when Winter comes in favor of minding the families of the men who killed their fathers? I gives me no joy to see suffering, of smallfolk in particular and women and children most of all. But you ask me to swear on my brother's behalf that he will care for Skagos foremost before his own sworn men." Carolis glanced down at his boots just to have something else to look at as his voice dropped. "I will pay you the coin you spent to get here and then some. It is the least I can do and it is my honor to do it. I will fight these raiders because it is the North's women and children they are dooming with the loss of their men. I will not go out of my way to add insult to injury, but neither will I pull blows at the risk of harming my own men. When those Skagoi chose to become raiders, they knew the risks. They were willing to slate their wives and children for it. Were it in my power I would save them all, but were I to put food and gold in their hands, would it feed them? Or the next band of raiders?"

Tybalt shrugs, "Over throw, liberate… I am not good with words." He sighs then, "So there really is no difference, Stark or Bolton…. I did not say before all others. All I asked was just this once, when they would be most at the mercy of raiders and Winter… that just this once those who did not do your people harm get what all the others you claim are yours get. All I asked was that the innocent not be killed with the guilty.' He glares at Lord Carolis, "Have you ever starved? Truly starved, not missed a meal or two. Have you ever wondered why they raid so often, especially in early Spring? What would you do if it were your own children starving and you are desperate?"

"That wasn't all, you said a lot of confounding things as well," Tellur tells the other man "The heart of the matter is you do not want the innocent killed - neither does he. He'll put the bannermen first for good reason - but they aren't here now. You are. So put those teeth away and look to the heart of it. You're here, he's said he'll fight the raiders, that is enough. He's not going to go back and burn any villages for revenge - and he'll bleed for those here." He shrugs, and then he says to his Lord "He's been kept in irons and made to fight in pits most of his life, Lord. I don't think he knows the politics of the past years - nor does that kind of treatment turn a man to a friendly heart. But that's my part said. He doesn't know you like I do, Car…uh. Lord Carolis." Tellur steps back.

"This is the point one of us is getting hung up on," Carolis said, politely not outright saying who might be the one. "The Skagoi are the raiders. They do us harm." He gestured vaguely eastward. "They are, even now as we speak, doing harm. Even now, they are raping, slaughtering, and eating innocent men, women, and children. In that order if they're lucky." His voice remains as calm as one discussing the weather. He starts to say more, but Tellur's words stay his tongue. One cannot accuse the Lord of not listening to those beneath him. He nods to the Snow, and he says, "I understand." He lets out a breath, and he tells Tybalt, "I will pay back what you've spent twofold. You do me a kindness, and I would not see you punished for it with the loss of your wealth. When the raiders have been driven from our land, we will speak of doing what we can to ensure the survival of their windows and orphans, but I cannot promise you it will go exactly the way you want it to." With a small, tight smile, he adds, "They rarely go the way any of us would prefer."

Tybalt is a hard man to read, all those sharp planes of his face and so little expression. He stares at Lord Carolis, thinking. Eventually he sighs, "And odds are that means nothing. That is the way of the world." He turns away to tend his fire, delibrately showing his back, "Does hard tack count as bread, do you think? See what's in the sack as far as provisions." He speaks to Lord Carolis as he would to a stable boy at an Inn, no deference or politesse.

Carolis takes no offense, or doesn't show it if he does, that Tybalt does not defer to him. His is not the honor who must be maintained. He's got the luxury of going with the flow and no one thinking much of it. The privilege of the black sheep. He goes to the sack and looks around. He finds hardtack and brings the piece to Tybalt before he takes a seat. When he's not gazing down his long nose with the shadows consuming half of him and the fire the rest, he looks rather young, to be honest. Not half so forbidding as his brother, though his features softening as he offers over the repast may have something to do with it. There is a kindness in his eyes beneath the hardness these past few months have put there by necessity. "We want the same thing," he says. "That no one innocent dies. As far as common ground to build upon starts, that isn't the worst."

Tybalt sprinkles salt on it with his dirty, dirty fingers and leaves the breaking of it and the first bite to his "guest." his own nose is rather long and he's maybe a decade older than his "guest." He grunts, "that -is- what I want."

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