(122-12-31) An Exchange of Favours
An Exchange of Favours
Summary: Desmond tracks down Bryn to request a favour, and promises one in return.
Date: 12/31/122
Related: http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:121-02-14-a-knight-accused

There are few things more out of place than a half-giant Northman in a library. Scribes are settled into their desks, with dozens of smallfolk coming to them to request letters written, documents sealed. Some merchants are browsing the ink, the books, the maps. Desmond Snow, however, has asked a scribe to go and find young Bryn Flowers. In the meanwhile, he simply looms.

It takes just a few minutes, before Bryn comes running down from the courtyard. He slows as he nears Desmond, smiling up to the man, "Hello."

Desmond crouches down, bringing himself a little closer to Bryn's level, a huge smile crossing his face. "Why, Bryn Flowers. Hello." He offers the boy his hand, quite solemnly. "I've come to beg a favor from you."

Bryn grips the offered hand, and then says, "Do you need something looked up? That's the usual favour people ask me for." He says it cheerfully, still. He's not one to be annoyed by such requests. Instead, he seems happy to help.

Desmond nods his head quickly, and gestures for Bryn to follow him over to a quieter corner. Crouching down again in relative privacy, he says "Bran the Builder built the Hightower, yes? I've come to believe that, maybe, Umbers came south with him. Maybe some were buried beneath it." He looks intently at Bryn. "But I need to make certain."

Bryn follows Desmond to the corner, listening. He nods quickly, and says, "We found a lot of evidence of the First Men in the catacombs. So it makes sense. I can ask Maester Leandro, he's the expert on the catacombs."

Desmond nods his head. "Leandro sent me to you," he says pleasantly. "You may be one of the only people he actually respects, Bryn." He smiles at the boy. "But if you can get his help — I certainly couldn't — it would make things easier."

Bryn blinks, then shakes his head. "If he sent you to me, then either he doesn't know offhand, or he wants to make me figure it out. So, I'll do it. If they were here, and there is any evidence left, I'll find it." He says this with total, optimistic confidence.

Desmond smiles at Bryn, his own features appreciative of the boy's confidence. "I know you will," he says. "But don't go talking about this, eh? If I can even get down there, it'll require discretion." He laughs. "I ain't good at discretion."

Bryn nods quickly again, and says, "I promise, I'll keep it quiet. As quiet as I can, anyway. I might need to ask help in finding the right books, but they usually don't ask why."

Desmond nods his head toward the young man. He crouches in silence for a few moments, gazing at Bryn. "You're eager to help me, lad." He smiles. "But you never named your price." A pause. "It's good that you wish to help. But your time is valuable, and I've little coin. So what would you have of me?"

Bryn looks a little surprised, it hadn't even occurred to him to ask for anything. He considers a minute, and then says, "I don't know. I don't really need anything. Except to find my dad, or who he is anyway. But I don't know if anybody knows, and that's a lot from one favour."

Desmond chuckles softly and nods. "I doubt anyone knows," he agrees gently. "But I can ask around. And in the meanwhile, I'll owe you a favor. This one — it may win me back my father. It seems fair that I try to do something for you in turn." He considers for a moment. "I doubt Daevon knows. Have you asked Rhaegor?"

Bryn nods again, and smiles bit, "Thanks." Then he shakes his head, "No, but I think Prince Dhraegon did. I know he asked around, and I know whoever it was was in King's Landing. I was born here in Oldtown, but my mom lived there when she got pregnant. I almost asked the king, when I was talking to him, if he knew, but I was too scared. Someone must know. I have the name Flowers, so I was acknowledged. I know what mom got some money and help. But she never told me who from."

Desmond scratches at the scar on his cheek and nods. He studies Bryn kindly, reaching out to touch the boy's shoulders. "We bastards must always stick together," he says gently. "I know my father, but he threw me out. You do not know yours, but he helped you. It's complicated, being a bastard. It'll never get less complicated." He studies Bryn for a moment. "But it'll be better for you, maybe, to know."

Bryn nods emphatically in agreement as Desmond says bastards should stick together. "If I could help you get your father back, I will." He nods again, and says, "I think I've been lucky. I think Targaryens care more about the Blood than the name. Everyone I've ever met has treated me like family. I know it's a lot harder for other bastards."

Desmond shrugs his shoulders. "I think you're right about the Targaryens, but it's never easy. Hasn't been for you, either. Daevon won't tell me anything about you, Bryn. That tells me a bit." He pats the boy's shoulder lightly. "And you haven't got to, either." He grins. "I understand."

Bryn shrugs, and says, "It isn't a secret. My mom owned a tavern, I helped to run it until Jason Tarly killed her. I won't call him 'Ser', ever," he comments, frowning. "He's not Knight. Not a proper one." He then goes on, "Then I was on my own until Aeron Targaryen started teaching me to fight, so I could be a Knight. But then the Citadel found me. I think I'd make a better Maester than Knight."

Desmond considers Bryn for a long moment. "Jason Tarley." He smiles, a chilly little smile. "I'll remember that name, my lad. I promise I shall." He looks down at the ground for a moment. "I'm sorry about your mother," he says, gently. "I was taken from mine." The huge man swallows. "I think you're going to be a fantastic Maester, mate. But is there a rule against a Maester knowing how to swing a sword? Surely, that's one of the chains. Skill at arms?"

Bryn shakes his head, "No rule against it. I asked when I first started, because I wasn't sure then. There is no oath until I finish my chain, anyway. There just isn't much time for training. And I'm not allowed to have blades with the other novices and acolytes can see."

Desmond nods his head, considering for awhile. "Well, if there's anything I can do. Maybe show you a few of the tricks I picked up across the Narrow Sea. Maybe show you how I beat Prince Rhaegor." He smiles over at the child, then begins to straighten. "And you're still coming with me for the pirates, mate. I need you. But for right now, I got to be going."

Bryn nods and smiles, "Thanks. That'd be good." Then he nods quickly and says, "I'll help, when you need me. I promise. And I'll find anything I can on the Umbers coming here, too."

Desmond reaches down and squeezes Bryn's shoulder, smiling. "I know, mate. Come and see me on the Tourney Grounds any time. And we'll have some fun, eh?"

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