(123-07-04) Roadside Ramblings
Roadside Ramblings
Summary: In which Ser Rayford seeks out a guide, and Rory knows one.
Date: Date of play (07/04/2016)
Related: None

Roseroad The Reach
Mon Jul 04, 123 ((Mon Jul 04 15:15:12 2016))
It is a summer day. The weather is warm and clear.

The Roseroad is a wide and well-travelled route, spanning a great distance. It stretches Northeast away from Oldtown, leading through meadows and light woods, and in the distance, the rocky hills that are the mild Westernmost edge of the Uplands. Keep going long enough and you will reach Highgarden, where you might continue all the way to King's Landing, or diverge to take the Ocean Road to Lannisport.

The Beacon Gate represents the Southern terminus of the road. It is Oldtown's largest city gate, made of grand white stone, and lit with torches day and night. It arches over the road, and while the enormous iron-banded wooden gates are almost always open, the gate is also always guarded, with murder-holes in the arch above.

Livestock and other foodstuffs entering the city often go a little further South, to where the Roseroad and the Tower Road meet in a wide hard-packed flat area just outside the Farmer's Gate.

Near to Oldtown the countryside is spread with farms and vineyards, and smallfolk and their livestock can fill the fields during the days. As one travels further from the city the farms become fewer, and clump together into little villages.

"Don't know about any o' that, Percy," remarks a ginger archer leaning back in a chair that's posted up near a fence. He's currently speaking to a fellow forest guide.

"Deer've been scarce lately. Somethin's got 'em spooked. Boars are still a'plenty, though. Could probably make a fair coin sellin' 'em to nobles," he continues.

"Aye, but that's nae my game. Dinnae carry a spear," Percy answers.

"Get up close, then! Make a friend! I got real close to a pig, once. Real buddy buddy. Few months later, you were born!" Rory exclaims before raising a dirty fingernail to his mouth and chewing at it, a grin resting on his lips.

The younger Percy just rolls in eyes and flashes an obscene hand gesture to the ginger, tugging his bow over his shoulder and turning to make his way down the Roseroad.

Comes now from the Oldtown gates a man dressed all in black, from his sturdy trousers to a linen shirt, the light doublet he wears and the travel-worn boots on his feet. Both of his thumbs are tucked into a black baldric, bearing a sword in a black scabbard. Even the spurs on his boots have been lacquered black, though those have begun to chip so that metal shows through beneath. His hair and eyes complete the picture, so dark as to appear almost black themselves. He whistles as he strolls, unhurried, down the Roseroad.

At the sound of insults being traded near the fence, his eyes twinkle with merriment, and his steps wend that way. The whistling fades to silence, and in truth the ears of all involved might be the better off for that, before he speaks. "I know where a man might sell venison, or boar, if he had a bit," he claims, by way of greeting. "A fine butcher, indeed, and honest."

"Now that's a man with proper dress sense," Rory says of the approaching Raymond. "You pick a color that looks good, and you stick with it." He is, in fact wearing all green, aside from the accents of brown leather strewn about his person. A hand reaches out to grab his bow, but it's a non-threatening gesture, as he's only looking to rest his palm atop the thing.

"Venison and boar are for the palettes of a richer man than me," Rory says before adding, "A fine roast bird'll do me. A lighter meal for a summer's day. On colder nights, I eat a beggar."

Rayford nods his head, a single deep drop of the chin, which pose he holds for a moment in agreement. "See? 'N so you might make a profit, if you did have a deer to sell. Sell the deer, buy the bird and a bottle, and maybe a piece of fun besides," he suggests with a shrug of his shoulders. "No nevermind to me, what a man does with his coin, is it?" His steps slow to a stop within a conversational district, dark eyes dropping to the bow before finding Rory's face again. "By that bow, and your presence here, I'll warrant you know a Master Rory, or mayhaps are him." His tone of voice turns the words into a question, though he adds at the end, "And if you've a mind t' dodge the question, then I'm sure as sure you're him. A grin slowly spreads to show his teeth, making the jest obvious: "And you've no call t' worry, as I'm not with the watch."

"Aye," Rory responds, "I'm Rory. And I didn't do it," he remarks, subtly denying his involvement in everything ever. He sniffs a bit and looks the man over. "Whaddya want? I've no coin and I'm a terribly lay, so if that's your game, you'd best play it elsewhere." He clicks he teeth and jerks a thumb off down the road in the direction of Percy.

"I'll bear him in mind," Rayford continues the joke, squinting as he looks down the road, "Though I don't reckon I'd get rich off of that one either." A laugh now, full-throated, and he shakes his head. "No, friend, I'm no whore, though it might be as I'm pretty enough, and I thank you for sayin' so. What I want? Might be I want a guide as can be trusted, or a nod in the direction of one, for work that's occasional but longish in the execution."

Rory sniffs and leans forward, the front legs of the chair dropping down to the ground. "Aye, well you've found one. Where do you need to go? Best knowledge of The Reach outside the citadel in here," he taps his temple, eyes squinting as he looks up to the man.

Rayford shakes his head, one hand coming free of his baldric to lay flat against his chest. "Me? Nowhere. I need to send men North, time to time, under guard 'n with a guide to get 'em where they're goin'. No, I know the road well enough, but I hope to live out the rest of my days in the fair 'n sunny Reach." That free hand drops soon enough back to hang from his baldric by the thumb, alongside its match, his posture relaxed. "And so you can see my difficulty. It's a long journey, and one as will need making every few months, but it needs a man as I can trust."

"Well, that ain't me, lad," Rory says, standing up from his chair and scratching liberally at his groin. "Percy might serve you well, though. North-born, he is. His mom came down here to whore for the maesters. Lovely woman." A look to the sky, "May she rest in peace."

"I'm far too fond of the Reach," he remarks, reaching over to tap two fingers again the man's chest, saying, "Like yourself, aye? Not one for colds."

"Aye," the black-clad knight admits with another dip of his head, still grinning gamely. "I've had my fill of the cold, 'n then some more. From here I'll take warm sun, fine wine, and well-made women; the Reach has the finest of each, I find." His eyes drift back down the road, squinting in earnest this time, as though he may yet see Percy. "North-born, now there's a fine thing," he allows. "But can he be trusted? If I gave him coin, might he disappear with it, do you reckon? Not bein' truly from Oldtown, it could be as he has little tyin' him here."

"He's smallfolk like me, aye, so he's liable enough to take your money and run. But you seem a scary sort. Not to be trifled with, wearin' black an' all," Rory remarks, looking the man over for a moment before he stands up, letting his bow fall back against the fence. A look down the road, "But he's a fine kid. His whore mother raised him right. Big set o' balls on him two." Rory holds his hands up, a grapefruit spaced hole between them to demonstrate his point.

Rayford shrugs, not to deny the possibility of his being dangerous, though he has the sort of grin as might make some doubt it despite the sword and spurs. Clearly, he's a man who prefers laughter over violence, at the very least. "Always been fond of whores," he muses, "And I daresay I've known a whoreson or several as I trusted. Comes with the black, see? Though it's clearly my best color, it's an obligation I wear." He's turned to face down the road, now, so he finds Rory out of the corner of his eye as he admits, "I'm a brother of the Night's Watch."

"I don't know what that is," Rory says, flatly, chewing once again on a dirty fingernail, eyes looking further down the Roseroad.

Rayford answers first with a clear and genuine laugh, of the sort that invites company. "You're my sort of man, Rory," he says, turning to clap the archer on his shoulder. "I don't suppose it matters what that is, if we're bein' honest," he admits, "Exceptin' that it's a way t' avoid the noose, if you or yourse ever find it loomin', so remember my name: Ser Rayford, of the Night's Watch. Right?"

Rory eyes the hand and squints at the man it belongs to, spitting on the ground between them. "Aye. Ser Rayford of the Night's Watch. And I'm Rory. Just Rory." He pauses and asks, "Now, you weren't by chance lookin' to buy a fellow an ale, eh?" He gestures to the coinpurse on his belt and says, "Time are tight, you understand."

"I might do, though it runs against my nature," Ser Rayford answers with a chuckle. "If'n folk were to hear, then they might think I were the buyin' sort, and times are tight enough for me as well, aren't they?" Still, he reaches into a pouch to produce a single silver coin (and if it's one shaved at the edges, then it's still more than enough to purchase an ale), offering it to the guide. "So I'll buy it from here, if it's all the same to you, so's folk don't see. And I'll thank you, as well, for mentioning me to Percy when next you see him?"

"Truly in line for septhood, Ser Rayford," Rory says, swiping the coin from the man's hand and looking it over. "And aye, I'll be given Percy your name, for sure. He's been gettin' stir-crazy. Young lad like that shouldn't be sticking in one place for too long, you understand."

Rayford feigns horror at the mention of the Sept, raising his hand to ward off such a fate. "No, I've enough of the Seven in my life. I don't need 'em for roommates," he laughs, shaking his head. "No, I reckon the road's a fine life for a young man, and I'll thank you for bringin' Percy t' my attention. Might be as he will, too. I won't make 'im rich, but I'll keep 'im busy, and pay 'im fair."

"Aye. That's all a man can ask for, born of such lowly stature, eh?" Rory says, raising his eyebrows and tucking the coin away. "A fair wage and a roof over your head. No crowns for our like. Just poxy whores." Rory smiles at the mention of poxy whores.

"Oh, no, friend. Climb," Rayford presses with good-natured enthusiasm. "I were lowborn myself, and now," he says with a shake of one lifted foot that sets his spurs to jingling, "I'm knighted, sworn to serve an ancient order, and aspire to whores who've only lice, and not the pox."

"Why climb when you can wallow, ey?" Rory says, waggling his eyebrows. "Never been knightly, myself. Can't joust or anything like the sort. But I can shoot an arrow and skin a deer with the best of 'em. A fair life it's earned me."

Rayford's shoulders rise and fall in a companionable shrug, his thumbs finding that spot in his baldric once again. "If you find an easy life, stay with it, I always say," he muses. "Or I'll always say from now, because it seems sensible advice. I reckon, Master Rory, I might now find my way back to the side of a certain young lady I plan to owe silver by night's end. If you'll excuse me?"

"Seven be with you, Septon Rayford," Rory says making vaguely religious, vaguely obscene hand gestures. "I've got some business to attend to myself, you understand," he says, leaning over to pick up his bow and hang it across himself. "Lunch is runnin' around in those woods and I intend a quail with my drink." He offers a wave and turns to make his way down the road, fingers looped into his bowstring.

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