(122-09-16) Of Fishmongers and Cocklemen
Of Fishmongers and Cocklemen
Summary: Ser Gwayne meets his future Goodbrother and spots something fishy going on with the Hightower food deliveries.
Date: Date of play (16/09/122)
Related: http://gobmush.wikidot.com/plot:citadel-and-sept

It's a curse, it really is. Coming up to meal time, and once again the Commander of the Town Watch is called away from his food, but more importantly, his ALE. The sun is just beginning to truly set, with shadows already beginning to rise. As a result, those who are tasked with lighting sconces are at work, providing light for when evening rises. The residual heat of the day is hardly considered in his relative haste to join a Sergeant of Watch back to the smaller watch tower. At the same time, his mount is being brought around with which to hasten his journey across Oldtown.

A covered cart with Targaryen arms is pulling up, pulled by oxen instead of horses. The guards recognize it and a quick check of the occupant has it through. There are two Targaryen house honor guards. Behind the cart is a man dressed as a gardener with a wheel barrow, who is waved through on the word of the honor guard. The wheel barrow contents are lumpy and covered with canvass. Several feet behind are a collection of venders with back baskets and two with carts, arriving with various provisions for the tower. The Hightower guards give these significantly more scrutiny.

Targaryen arms. The younger Lord Hightower pauses, watching the inspection of the goods brought, ready to move through and fully expecting those around him to make way (obviously!). It's that wheelbarrow, however, that gains Gwayne's attention, but he'll only step in to inquire of the guards do not.

Perhaps it's the need to do their duty more diligently in the presence of Gwayne, or perhaps the guards are truly just 'that good'. Not good enough, however.

The gardener is hailed by Gwayne, the Lord and Knight now changing direction, much to the dismay of the Sergeant that attends him. "One moment," sounds a formal 'challenge'. "What have you for the 'Tower?" A glance is spared for the Honour Guard, but little more.

The gardener looks rather distressed and glances at the cart for rescue. He pulls off his cap and gives a bow. "Beggin' yer pardon, Me Lord, these are the summer Isles hummers the Prince ordered special after the… the dragon incident. We got the more common replacements in ages ago, but these birds is especially pretty, plus a nice breeding pair of songbirds the Prince liked the sound of. We was just going to take them up so His grace could release them himself. His grace don't like the Lady to see the cages. He likes to make it look like them birds just spring up natural like for her. A small, nondescript man in the nondescript clothes of a gentleman companion of modest means emerges from the cart, and comes to the Gardener looking man's rescue. The Prince himself peers between the curtains, one nearly colourless pale violet eye visible.

The hightower guards are being thorough with the carts and baskets of the others, searching each thoroughly lest someone or something be hidden below the top level.

Gwayne nods slowly at the explanation and seems satisfied with the answer. "I see," comes soon after. "Then by all means, deliver them." The gentleman of modest means is noticed, but the gardener needn't have feared (overmuch).

The sergeant of the Watch is trying not to be too impatient as he's now mounted and the Lord Ser isn't yet, but it's getting almost too much for him -not- to speak. "My Lord, if I may remind you-"

"You may not, Sergeant," is returned, and he glances back over his shoulder where the deliveries are to go. "Ride and I'll be there shortly." His tones brook no argument, as if there would be, and the Sergeant rides off, leaving the groom, the saddled but as of yet unused steed standing and waiting.

Seeing the Birdman needs no assistance, he goes to help his Prince down from the cart. The Prince is huge, in a soft, elderly sort of way, with fine snowy hair down to his calves, two slender braids on each side of his head pulling the hair away from his face, which is stretched into a big goofy child. The man might be as tall as his kinsmen Ser Maelys or the infamous Ser Quillian, but his movements and expression would better suit a child of seven. His bass voice is a little querulous, "Are the birds all right, Flox?" The Nondescript man, nods and says in reassuring tones, "The are, Your Grace."

It is at this moment that the guard having a sad poke in a basket of prawns calls out, "Oi! What's this then?"

There's no need for Gwayne to get involved and defend the guards as they do their sworn duty to the 'Tower. The Lord Ser recognizes the man and inclines his head in greeting, but makes no apologies. "Your Grace," he begins, "Surely you would allow the guards to do their duty to us, yes?" Okay, so it is something of a defense after all.

A low whistle is given to get the groom's attention followed by a brief wave of his hand. Gwayne's horse is to be put back into the stables and will be called for later.

Dhraegon opens his eyes wide and nods vigorously, "We wouldn't want anymore thefts of Maesters breaking in to fondle the finials." He says this as if it makes sense and does not sound vaguely obscene.

The guard with the prawn basket pulls out a small rock pick and a coil of hemp rope. "What's this then." The fishmonger looks terrified, "Nothing! Er, I mean, I don't know how that got in there!" The other delivery folk start sidling away from the suspicious shrimp salesman.

Was that a joke? Gwayne tries not to smile, but he can't help it and the edges of his mouth curl upward. "Not without permission from my Lord Brother, anyway. And proper payment."

The moment the guard finds something that shouldn't be, the smile dims and Gwayne is all business once again. "What's there- Who packed your basket then?" He's not quite willing to believe any story quite yet. The 'terrified' fishmonger could be afraid because he truly doesn't know or because he was caught. That is yet to be determined. "Where were you told this would go?"

Dhraegon's expression is earnest, "Oh, your brother does not allow strangers to fondle the finials for love nor money. Flox is trying hard to keep a straight face and mostly managing it. The bird man keeps his head down, and pretends not to hear. Prince Dhraegon continues, "The nice one I mean. I do not know what Elric thinks, except about cakes."

The cowering fishmonger says, "They was going to the kitchens! I was paid to carry the basket!" The two carters can't abandon their horses. The foot venders though… They are looking to be as far away as they can get without irritating the guards and are trying hard to pretend they've never seen that man before in their lives.

"There are other currencies other than love and money," so says the rich bachelor. "One simply has to be creative." Gwayne doesn't really bother continuing that line, however, as the fishmonger begins to tremble, giving his information.

The younger knight considers the words and steps back, looking to the guards. "Let him through." Next, he looks around to the others and cautions, "Say nothing in this matter.

Dhraegon nods wisely and says with firmness, "Cakes, but I do not think he is that keen for them either." His bird man is already trundling inside with the cages. Getting them up to the lower gardens is likely to be no fun.

The other venders look confused, but bow acquiescence. the Fishmonger grabs his pick and ropeless prawns and scurries for the kitchens.

What's the best way to see what the intentions are but to allow things to go through, but watched? At least in the younger Ser's mind, anyway. He's not concerned about the birds, but more for the prawns, and, well… the pick and hemp rope. Turning about, Gwayne is ready to head back into the 'Tower behind the fishmonger, a whispered command given to one of the guards. It's not meant to be overheard at least by those making the deliveries, anyway. "Watch him and make note as to who speaks to him." See? He's trying to give the 'monger the benefit of the doubt! Mostly. "And to whom he speaks." Mostly.

"Your Grace?" is offered, both in question and in offerance to perhaps precede him back into the 'Tower, if in fact, that's where he's headed.

Dhraegon's expression is empty and his mouth slightly open, like a puppet with no hand to animate it. Flox's sharp eyes seem to miss nothing, but his hand is on his Master's arm to steer him inside. When Dhraegon is addressed he looses that "nobody home look" in exchange for a goofy grin, "Would you like to see my birds? I thought now would be a good time for a bit of restocking with My Beloved Daffodil off sipping cider with her former husband's kin!" He comes along docilely enough.

The Fishmonger delivers his prawns and leaves as quickly as he can get away with. The cook points where the basket goes as happens with the other deliveries then gives orders for various staff to do various things with the supplies. The other venders avoid the fishmonger, but say nothing. The sharp eyed guard notices the Cockleman looking disappointed.

There's a long moment when Gwayne simply stares at the Prince before he exhales in a sigh. This is the man to whom his Lady Sister is betrothed? Something to ask her about when she returns from her trip. (One thing of many!) "I am afraid I have to decline your offer, Your Grace," the Lord Ser begins, "'Tower and town calls for my attention, and while I have good men in place, a guiding hand is always useful." And he'll start with 'Tower.

Gwayne's next words are for those involved, "Follow the paths." To whom, then, does the cockleman speak? And so forth? He'll expect a report!

"If you'll excuse me."

Dhraegon nods, looking disapointed, then attempt to grab the knight in a surprise bear hug.

The Cockleman sheds enters the Bawdy bard's nastier side, hires a girl and a room and doesn't emerge…. At least not looking like the cockleman.

Gwayne tries to keep himself from getting bear-hugged, but not without a touch of due respect. He does, at the very least, offer a quick bow before stepping backwards and leaving. He'll definitely be missing dinner this evening.

The Prince is not a warrior by any measure and a man like Gwayne can evade him. His face falls at the rebuff, but Flox is soon distracting him with garden talk and by the time they reach the stairs his disapointment is forgotten and he is giggling happily.

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