(123-10-11) The Seventh Order
The Seventh Order
Summary: The Tooth and Nail plays host to a cold reunion after a group of infamous sellswords rolls into town.
Date: Oct 10-11, 2016
Related: None
Players:
Desmond..Elyas..Camillo..

Tooth and Nail - Oldtown

This squalid winesink never closes — somebody broke the front door, probably with an ax, years ago. It doesn't latch, and it'd not even a complete door. Bad weather can leak in through its broken edges. There are a few battered tables, and stools and benches or just empty barrels to sit on. The furniture, such as it is, doesn't match and is probably mostly stolen. It doesn't last long in here. The place has a dirt floor strewn with straw and rushes. They don't appear to have been changed for decades and they emit a dank smell.

The drink is cheap, the food cheaper, and the whores may be cheapest of all.

For a penny one can sleep, or do any other thing, on the second floor. It's drier up there. However, it is all one room and there are neither beds nor a limit to how many 'guests' are sold lodging there each night.


One might expect the Tooth and Nail to be dead at this early in the day. One would be wrong. Most of the patrons don't presently have a sense of night or day, and the dismal lack of light only lends to hours upon hours of drunken stupor. The only marker of time is the light coming in from the perpetually broken door, but most of the hunched-over backs are turned to it.

One of the patrons eschews the mould. For a start, she's a woman who isn't selling ale or flesh, and she's sat with the back of her chair shoved to the wall, next to a passed out, flace-to-the-floor hulk of a man, so that she can see all corners of the winesink at all times. Her clothes are dark and greasy and made for riding and travel; her hair straw-coloured and limp, what can be seen of it beneath the brim of her steel kettle helmet. She's been doing nothing but chewing on sourleaf for hours, and the bar maids are taking wide berths around her while they half-heartedly scrub tables.

Among the somewhat regular patrons is a scruffy Dornishman, clad only in cheap linen pants and a fairly dirty white shirt, belted at the waist. Classic sailors' garb. Only the boots look a bit too good for the rest of the outfit. The young Dornishman may or may not have had a parcel with him when he entered which is now gone. He's leaning against the bar, enjoying a cheap but strong beverage by himself while his eyes rest on the shapely posterior of one of the barmaids.

Desmond Snow is a regular here at the Tooth and Nail — well, it's Ser Desmond Snow now. This is where he comes to forget that — to feel like the plain mercenary he once was. The huge Northman is lugging his famed longsword at his hip, as always, but he's not dressed in heavy armor — a leather vest, leather breeches, hobnailed boots. He walks in and pauses, glancing from one area of the bar to another. His gaze sharply deviates back to the woman and her massive companion, and stays there as he walks toward the bar.

The silent woman tips her head back just enough to see Desmond; not far enough that the shadow from her helm vacates her eyes. Lackadaisically, she forces a potent glob of sourleaf spit through her teeth onto the floor and shoves the passed out man at her side with the heel of her boot.

"Fuckthestranger," the lump mumbles.

The barmaid that swishes purposefully by Elyas pauses behind the bar in front of Desmond. "I wouldn't look too hard that way, I were you, ser," she says in a spooked voice. She inadvertently does exactly what she told him not to and quickly bows her head. "I'd pray, rather. The lot of them give me the shivers."

Elyas is near enough to place a hand on the barmaid's shapely behind, at least until she moves away. Overhearing her words, he also looks towards the strange woman and her companion, then his eyes trail over Desmond before finally returning to the barmaid who's a darn sight prettier anyway.

"Me too, beauty. And I know them." Desmond keeps staring at the woman and the giant, so he misses that grope, but he does feel Elyas glance his way. He glances over, just briefly losing eye contact with the sourleaf-chewing woman. "That there," he continues in a grim voice, "Isn't a woman. That's an animal. Plain and simple." He lays his hand down on the hilt of his overlarge longsword.

The barmaid begins polishing the bar — even though it has long since the ability to shine — and halts when she notices Desmond's hand on the hilt of his longsword. "We don't want any trouble," she says uncertainly. "They're payin' customers, them, even though they chill the bones. Is it true then," she leans in toward the Northman, glancing aside as far as Elyas and back … as well as up at the ceiling, where slumberers lie beyond. "They're what sellswords came down through the Westerlands? The Dancing Men?"

The helmeted woman hasn't budged but to continue to press her heel into her companion. He snores and rolls out of the way. He has a black-and-silver beard and an arm wider than both of the silent woman's legs put together. Arm, singular.

Elyas shakes his head at what's going on in front of him. "I'll be back later, sweetie.", he tells the barmaid and slips out of the crummy tavern into the daylight.

"Oh, aye. They're the fuckin' Dancing Men alright." Desmond's voice is loud enough to carry. "A finer body of monsters I've never met." He hawks and spits on the floor, glancing aside at the barmaid. "But don't worry, lovely. Ain't gonna be no trouble. Maeve and Hatchet there, they don't like to fight when a man can see them coming." He waves suddenly, mock-friendly, to Maeve. "Hello, Maeve. How's the crabs?"

The barmaid appears a bit sad to see Elyas go. Groping and all, familiar sights are more welcome than the lot of sellswords that have recently rolled in. It's far from unusual for dangerous elements to take over the Tooth and Nail - in fact, it's the norm - but every now and then, there are guests so vile even the most jaded barmaids tremble. She watches Desmond with a sigh. Is she going to have to mop up blood?

The man on the floor has come to his senses; whether by his companion's heel or Desmond's greeting, he lumbers to his feet. The so-called Hatchet is tall, but not as tall as the Snow Giant; he's wider across, his belly taut behind his belt. He's so bleary-eyed he hasn't quite locked onto Desmond. He grabs the nearest table for support and the whole thing shakes, sending another man's ale straight off the edge. Ale-less, the man complains; the armless man hefts a battle axe from the floor and that put a quick end to complaints.

Truly seeing Desmond, then, his furry brow lowers sternly; a deep, half-awake growl forms in his thick throat. He takes a step. Without taking her eyes — frightfully pale pits in her face in the shadow of the helm — off of Desmond, she stands and calmly shoves a hand onto Hatchet's chest to stay him as though he were a misbehaving dog in need of a reminder on his manners. They've a twisted view of manners, given that the next thing she does is spit hatefully at Desmond's feet. Her teeth are slick with masticated blood red sourleaf.

Desmond absently rattles his sword in its sheath, loosening it for the moment when he must eventually whip it free. "Hello, Hatchet. How you been, big man?" He's still smiling, but he shifts forward, getting between the barmaid and the pair of mercenaries. And then his smile vanishes. "You get on out of here while I allow it," he says softly. "Or I'll take Hatchet's other hand and I'll break you just like you enjoy breakin' others, Maeve. Slow. 'Til you're my friend instead." He's just talking, just filling air. Waiting for the blood to start. "And tell the others that Ser Desmond Snow says hello."

The woman takes in a harsh sniff of air and snorts contemptuously, but doesn't break her reputation as Silent Maeve for Ser Desmond Snow.

Hatchet, on the other hand — pun intended… "Ser Desmond is it," he rumbles, deep-voiced and a slow-talker. His breath stinks of stale ale and travels far. "Wearing his big britches… too good for his old friends… well— " He slaps the flat of his axe on his own chest. "Do you own this shithole, Snowdrop? We're paying customers." Maeve is eyeing her companion sideways, her gaze rather inscrutable.

Desmond smiles easily as he watches Hatchet, apparently delighted by the chubby-strong man's question. "I was always too good for you, lickspittle. Go. Tell your friends I'm here. This is my city. And I'm banishing you." His gaze flits aside to Maeve. "You're the smart one. Walk out. Never come back." He shakes his left hand absently, loosening it up. "Or we could do this here and now. I forget, Hatchet. What was the name'a your friend I killed?"

Maeve grinds her jaw, chewing her sourleaf just that much harsher. Perhaps imagining it's Desmond being crushed between her teeth.

There always were the rumours that she was a cannibal. It's probably because of the blood red sourleaf.

Probably.

"You remember," growls Hatchet, raising his axe. "'N' you don't say his name."

Another voice rises from midway down the stairs. They didn't even creak, not once. His voice is grating and syrupy at once; sickly sweet, undulating like a snake. "Are you Lord Hightower now, you can order people out of the fine, ancient city of Oldtown? Oh good! Oh good, a celebration must be in order." Silent footsteps carry him the rest of the way down. He's dressed in fine riding leathers with a tattered red cape with dyed feathers sewn about the shoulders. It's a wonder no one sees him coming-so the stories about Vermillion, the Red Bard, go. He looks straight past Desmond at Hatchet and Maeve and swiftly draws his sword. "Shall I sing the bastard a song?"

Maeve brings her fingers to her mouth. She whistles, sharp, shrill, and short.

A flicker of surprise as the Red Bard emerges. "Gang's all here, innit?" Desmond draws his sword now, casting a glance around at the other toughs and mercenaries in the Tooth and Nail. "Listen up, lads. These here? These're the worst. Rapists. Child-killers. Torturers. These are the things that make us hated. They ruin our name." He takes a step backward toward the bar, so that at least none of the Dancing Men can come at him from behind. "You know me. Snow Giant. Beat Vhaegor Targaryen. Knighted by the King. And I'm askin' you lads.. Do right." Otherwise, Desmond may well die alone.

Most of the others in the tavern barely stir. A few groan at Desmond and go back to either drowning their problems, or sleeping in a puddle from last night. A few of them might join the worst sellswords, if they were asked (which they're not). But a few — a few men are better. A few men rise to consider standing at the side of the Snow Giant who was knighted by their King.

"Whoever dies, it's on you," states Vermillion. His voice is slightly sing-song. Mocking. But there's a hint of solemnity beneath. He leaps from the foot of the stairs, winding 'round tables and chairs, his fanciful cape a'whirl like a hero character in a mummer's play. As Desmond knows, however, his blade is real, and held with practiced aim when he comes in to swipe at the northern knight's sword hand. At once, coordinated, Hatchet stomps toward him with a hefty swing of his axe toward his midsection, as though Desmond were a tree he means to chop down.

Maeve stays exactly where she is.

Desmond Snow stands alone as the two men close in on him; his back is to the bar, there's no room for him to maneuver. But he shows no fear. No — instead, the Snow Giant attacks. As Vermillion closes in, Desmond's heavy longsword is suddenly there, snapping the other man's weapon out wide. And he steps through the pair, pivoting around to catch Hatchet's battleaxe and deflect it into a table. It wedges there, just for a moment, while the huge man yanks it free. Meanwhile, Desmond drives Giantsblade into Hatchet's side, just below his ribs, and rips it out again. There is blood. And viscera, too.

The overgrown muscles in Hatchet's arm tense and ripple as the blade slides in and out of him. He roars like an animal. The syllables of rage and literal gut-wrenching pain form a shout: "Bastard!" He can't clutch at his wound without dropping his axe and that, he won't do. All of his blinding white rage is thrust into another swing of his axe at the expense of his organs.

Vermillion is not the small and elegant man the rumours — and, in fact, bard's songs — make him out to be; he's built like a toughened soldier, but he's as quick on his feet as a dancer. To that part of the tale, there's truth. He takes the cast off of his blade in stride. You've improved, bastard! More's the pity." He makes as good as a circle as he can around the other side of Desmond — opposite his bleeding companion — and swipes in toward the Snow Giant's flank, hopping back just as quick.

Silent Maeve has begun creeping along the wall, closer to the door… and more figures have begun to spill from the upper floor. Most are not memorable; they could be any cruel-eyed, half toothless mercenaries… but for the fact that they follow a fearsome man from across the Narrow Sea. He has no hair. Where his eyebrows should be are a series of metal bars and half his face is covered in slaver's tattoos. He looks as though he could break a person in half with his bare hands, but carries a slew of daggers on his person just in case. Murzik Dose, the second-in-charge of the Seventh Order, and one of their most prized butchers.

More and more men flooding into the main floor of the tavern. And no one has leapt to Desmond's defense, not yet. But Desmond is holding his own. "I am a bastard," he grits out as he sidesteps Hatchet's blow. "But you're dyin' slowly, y'cunt." His blade sweeps out sideways, somehow catching Vermillion's and turning it aside as he begins to maneuver backward, back toward the bar. His eyes are on that man Murzik, and the smile on his face has faded to deadly focus. He cuts at Vermillion, but the other man deflects his blade. And now he roars, loud enough to echo into the streets. “SNOW GIANT! Rally to me!

Ordinarily, when shouts and sounds of violence issue forth from the Tooth and Nail, people take it as a cue to try again later. Such is not Camillo's way. Not today, anyway. Not on screams of snow giants. Camillo darts into the building, knife already in hand.

Vermillion smiles all the while, as though he's having just a lovely time. Even while Hatchet slowly crumbles to the floor on a growing pool of his own blood. "Must you bellow like that. Don't you know some people are trying to sleep!" He skitters back around a chair, kicking it so that it slides toward the roaring Snow Giant, so as to clutter his space further while he attempts to leap upon the bar behind which the barmaids hide.

Murzik Dose leads the others onto the main floor of the winesink, his meaty jaw clenched. Presently, he's as silent as Silent Maeve. He raises a long, curving dagger to the back of one of Ser Desmond's tentative helpers — and thrusts it down as casually as swatting a fly.

Camillo is in the way. He finds himself alongside the woman in the steel kettle helmet. She tips her head up to eye the knife-wielding man and looks at him from between strands of limp straw hair. Her eyes are pale, so pale the blue seems to bleed into the white, and utterly without emotion. She sneers at him with blood red teeth that stink of sourleaf, holds up her own knife, and slowly shakes her head. She doesn't need to speak to get her meaning across. Move along.

Desmond whirls as Vermillion leaps up onto the bar and slashes, cutting Giantsblade into the man's calf and yanking it free. And then he's moving away from the man, out of range, as two other mercenaries close on Vermillion and attempt to occupy him.

Desmond is going right for Murzik, who's just killed a gray-haired, tough-looking mercenary. That spurs another mercenary to attack, slashing at Murzik's bicep and slicing deep. A good, solid, cut. "Murzik!" roars Desmond, forgetting Hatchet entirely. "Come and die!"

He hasn't seen Camillo — he can't focus enough on the room at large, not in this fight. "You and me, y'fuckin' butcher!"

"He's my friend," Camillo murmurs to the silent woman, to see whether that changes her expression or her body language. If not, a glance darted round the room to see where the openings are. And it looks like Murzik is the most distracted.

Vermillion deftly dances across the bartop, avoiding the blades and clutches of the patrons-at-arms until the cut to his calf can't be ignored. He hops behind it, keeping them at bay from behind the barricade it creates.

Murzik Dose is angry; then again, his face seems incapable of any other expression. He seems to take the considerable wound to his arm like little more than a passing irritation. His cold stare at Desmond, inching him forward — meeting his focus — puts him further in the path of one of the knight's compatriots. He shoves the man aside and stabs the dagger — still warm with blood - toward the side of his head. The patron is smaller and quicker than him, however, and ducks completely out of harm's way, putting him at a better angle to strike— but the unnamed members of the Seventh Order swarm in around the tattooed figure, flanking him, continuing to do so as the man attempts to barrel through every gods-damned pesky obstacle toward Desmond.

Camillo isn't going where Silent Maeve wanted. Out. He's right there. Still in the way. That just won't do. She spits sideways, and she strikes.

So he wants to charge right at Desmond? Perfectly acceptable to the tough Northern knight. Desmond seems to be charging into the horde of mercenaries with the same wild ferocity, but at the last moment — at the last moment, he reveals a trick that he learned through five years of Braavosi duels. Desmond pivots to the side with an eerie grace, coming up into a perfect halt, and rams Giantsblade right at Murzik's face — he's allowing the other giant's momentum to carry him right into the weapon, and he's not even in the same place he was a moment ago — a nameless sword slides past where his gut had been.

But this shift of position lets him see Camillo and Maeve and, even as Maeve begins to strike, he roars out "Camillo, DUCK!" It's too late to stop the man from being struck, as he sees. But perhaps the warning will cause his friend to evade the knife heading right for his gut. And then all is chaos again, and Desmond is whirling to fend off another attack.

Silent Maeve strikes even faster than Camillo had anticipated, his distraction with the other combatants costing him blood. He twists to throw an arm up and protect his throat on Desmond's warning, but Mave gashes the outside of his arm badly, from bicep to elbow, ripping the fabric of his green shirt. Still, Camillo is not the type to quit a fight at first blood. He twists for a new stab.

The mercenary woman twists her body at the spine, veering out of the way of Camillo's blade; it strikes her shoulder all the same, slicing her shoulder and leaving a hole in the greasy leather of her garb. She holds up her injured side, protecting from further strikes. Of the Seventh Order thus far, all but Hatchet have remained eerily silent in the face of their wounds. Silent Maeve stays true to her name. The look in her eyes when she stares at Camillo is beyond murderous. It's barely human.

Giantsblade rams gruesomely into the cruel face of Murzik Dose. He does not have the chance to react. It enters his mouth and leaves it through his jaw. Blood stains his teeth redder than Silent Maeve's, spilling past his tattooed lips.

"Stop this. Seventh Order, on your guard." Another voice from the stairs. His voice drifts through the chaos, casting his hollow stare toward Desmond Snow. It is the dark-eyed, pale and gaunt face of their leader, known only as the Septon, wearing black robes, an abomination to the sept itself.

He's not alone. He has one of the Tooth's girl's — a waifish whore barely of an age — by the throat, held in front of him. "Let us walk out now. It was already time for us to be on our way. We have no business in here in Oldtown. Let us, or you put this girl to death. If any of you touch any of mine further, you put this girl to death. She looks outright terrified. Follow us, you…" He removes a heavy-ringed hand from the girl to gesture. " You see how it will go. Does your noble heart still hold true?"

Desmond yanks his blade loose of Murzik Dose, letting the mercenary fall or not, depending on whether the blow was fatal. He turns to face the Septon, spreading his free hand out to the side. "I told your people to walk out, Septon. They chose t'fight." He looks around at the blood and bodies everywhere. "Release the girl, old chum, and I'll give you my word as an Umber and a knight, I won't kill any more of your men. Walk away free." He considers for a few moments, glancing over toward Maeve. "But you hurt her, mate, I'll come for you and yourn."

Camillo remains on his guard, but he doesn't strike any more blows while negotiations are being carried out. He keeps his mouth shut.

Without Giantsblade wrenched through his face, it as though there is nothing holding Murzik Dose upright. He staggers backward; one wobble and momentum is drives him to the floor, hitting like thunder. He still lives; jaw hanging, a breathing nightmare.

The remainder of the Dancing Men — the Seventh Order — do not move upon any other man. Silent Maeve has a close, distrusting eye on Camillo, but as soon as the Septon spoke, she obeyed. Vermillion is frozen in a pose of dramatic defense against two of Desmond's new comrades. The nameless men have backed away from their plan to assault the knight from either side of Murzik Dose and - with incongruously polite nods of their heads — returned to the Septon. They both have hair the colour of sand and matching buoyant blue eyes, resembling one another but for their varying heights and the more handsome jaw in the shorter of the two. They could be brothers. They would look like decent folk if not for their company.

Just goes to show you can't judge someone by their looks.

The Septon has begun to laugh. It starts low in his pit of his stomach; it rises, rasping in his pasty throat as shaking, sickly amused breaths; it emerges fully rich and full-bodied, gaining in volume with each deep peal. "Your word. Your word as an Umber; how funny it is, the way the world works." He lets his laughter slowly dwindle. "You chose to fight the moment you saw our lovely Maeve here, didn't you? But she didn't lay a finger on you, did she. I can see the way it played out. You can't blame poor Hatchet for wanting to kill you, can you, the way you left? He is what he is; you can't blame a wolf for snapping at your throat when you taunt it." He takes a step, only far enough to step on the back of the fallen man stabbed by Murzik Dose, taking the girl easily along with him. Her feet don't touch the ground, her toes dragged over the body on the floor. "No, this is your mess, Snow. We only wanted a place to lay our heads for the night, and look what you've done. You know the Seventh Order does not abide by the rules of men, only the path of the Stranger, let alone the word of knights … but," he bows his head, cocked to one side, "I agree. I will let her go … when we leave through that door."

They wait.

"Alright, lads. Let the animals pass. Camillo — to me." Desmond's voice is slow and considering as he watches the Septon. He even seems to be thinking about the man's words, head tilting slightly as Giantsblade drips blood. "For what he was, I think you'll find," he replies softly. "That wound'll fester and kill him before the week's out. Slow." And then, after another beat, "You want to tell me what you meant about House Umber, Septon?"

But it's as though he's genuinely curious, not even angry with this man who is, without doubt, the worst of the lot. He's watching the girl, not the man, and ignoring the other Seventh Order brutes as though they don't exist. "Doesn't matter, I suppose. Y'say whatever y'like. Now. Y'have your passage out of this tavern, old chum. But if I hear about any odd li'l deaths on the roads here, if I hear about some farmer's daughter tied down and flayed and raped, if I hear about a child gone missin'.." He trails off meaningfully. "You and yourn ought to move on, Septon. Or I'll see you burnt."

Camillo bleeds from the wound the innocent and lovely Maeve has inflicted on him, mouth shut. He circles round toward Desmond in an arc wide enough to avoid turning his back on anyone with a weapon.

The Septon only smiles in a way that no one should smile. Cold. Thin lips stretched garishly across his yellowed teeth. He murmurs something to the men next to him; they move again toward Desmond slowly, this time putting their blades away. With some difficulty, they drag Hatchet — who may or may not even be alive — toward the broken door of the Tooth and Nail, leaving a wet smear all the way.

Vermillion winds around the bar to help Murzik Dose stagger to his feet. "You know, I like the new look," he comments cheerfully. Murzik is less amused — in fact, never amused. He glares threatening daggers at Desmond, reaching into his own mouth to pluck a tooth from his ravaged jaw. This, he leaves at the knight's feet before he's dragged off.

Silent Maeve backs out of the door with a glance back for any who may have gathered on the street. The Septon similarly walks backwards, watching Desmond and those he has rallied. "Stranger's blessings upon you," he rasps. The girl kicks as they pass the threshold, mistrusting; but true to his word, for what it's worth, as soon as all members of the Seventh Order have made it a dozen or so paces away from the winesink, she's dropped and goes scurrying back inside.

Desmond walks out after the mercenaries — keeping his distance, until the tiny whore is kicked to the street. And then he rushes back into the Tooth and Nail, right to Camillo's side. "Fuck, brother, I am so sorry.." And he looks it. "Lemme see your arm. Lemme see how bad it is." His longsword drips blood.

"You need to warn the Hightower," he tells Camillo quietly. "Y'need to convince them that these fuckers ain't your regular mercenaries. They're bad. Rotten right through. I know why they're here, too." He doesn't, really, but he thinks he does!

"It was my choice," Camillo says. "But I'll warn them. Tell me everything they need to know." He turns so that Desmond can get a look at his bleeding arm, carefully unsticking torn fabric from it with a finger and thumb. He holds the injured arm away from his body so blood won't run onto his trousers.

The whore high-tails it straight back up the stairs from whence she came, too rattled to even give a word to Ser Desmond. All that's left of the Dancing Men in the Tooth and Nail is memories, blood, and Hatchet's axe.

"We're going to need a Maester for this, or someone who knows their way with needle and thread. That lot — they're called the Seventh Order. Famous in certain circles up north." He hawks and spits to one side. "Six, seven years ago, just before I left for Braavos, I rode with them. For a time. It was like riding with devils. The contract was meant t'just be to drive some folk back over a border-line, but they.." He trails off, shaking his head.

"I snuck out in the night. Killed a man. Hatchet's…best mate. Mebbe lover. I was never sure." He clears his throat softly. "I been worried that the Tarlies would hire someone to find Ser Daevon, Camillo. And I promise you, if any sons of Westeros are mad enough t'kill a Targaryen prince.. it's them."

Camillo nods at the idea that his wound calls for a maester. It hurts. "Any reason to think they'll target a Hightower? Or should they just be warned of the instability, and the threat to Ser Daevon." He casts a gaze around. "Do you think there's a…rag?" Stopping the bleeding could be wise.

Without hesitation, Desmond sheathes his sword, draws his dagger, and begins slicing up his cloak. He offers the makeshift bandages over. "Better'n the rags here, mate. Don't want nothin' with shite on it." He looks regretfully at the rather nice cloak, which is now missing its hem and a jagged length of cloth elsewhere. "Miranda sewed this for me last year," he says absently. "Nah. No reason to think they'll come for the Hightowers, but if they're in the area.. I promise they're here to cause real problems. Bloody problems."

Camillo looks sorry about the loss of the cloak. "I wish you'd cut up my shirt instead," he says quietly, but the rags are now rags, so he reaches to take one to press against his arm. And then find a seat. "Problems," he repeats. "I understand."

"I hope you do, brother. I wish I'd managed to kill that smilin' creature of a Septon." Desmond sits down beside Camillo, then grabs a passing barmaid. "We need a Maester here. For any wounded who fought with me, startin' with this one." A jerk of his thumb to Camillo. "I'll pay. Somehow." A beat passes. "Camillo, these people are the reason I ran t'Braavos. They're bad. The things they did.." He trails off absently. "Y'know I'm a hard man." A look at all the blood in the room can vouch for that. "…But they scare me."

"I can get you a poison for your blade," Camillo says softly, looking up to Daevon. "And even assassins must sleep sometime. And eat. If we know where they bed and feed, they could die before they know why."

"Poison, aye. And men. This won't be easy. The Seventh Order're cunning bastards. They'll hide themselves well if they think we might come for them." He winces briefly. "Which I made certain they do." Desmond squints over at Camillo for a moment. "I appreciate you trustin' me, brother. If I'm right and they're after Daevon, they'll be tryin' to track where he's gone. Maybe they'll think that wherever I am, he must be."

"How many men?" Camillo asks. He shakes his head a little. "Good men don't take hostages that way. I believe what you say. But you'll have to stay away from Ser Daevon. Possibly we can figure a way to get him warning, but it can't be through you."

"Daevon'll be fine for now. He's.. occupied elsewhere." Not Desmond's secret to reveal, though he looks uncomfortable keeping it from Camillo. "I'm not sure how many men they've got, the Order. Looked to be quite a few. We'll need to match them, at least. Even if we do somehow manage to take them in ambush."

He grimaces. "Worst part of these bastards is that they are good. True soldiers, if y'can call what they do soldierin', which I don't. And they're not cowards. Not like other bands of bandits — they've never backed off from blood."

Camillo doesn't look hurt in the least by not being told Daevon's location. "Quite a few," he repeats, not pleased to hear it, "And good." He looks thoughtful. "The one who spoke, is he the leader of all of them?"

"Septon? Aye. And he rules tightly. There's no lack of discipline amongst their crew — he makes an example of them that are slow to learn who's the boss." Desmond sighs, rubbing at his jaw. "They seemed surprised to see me. Or theyd've all been waitin'."

"Then he should die first," Camillo concludes immediately, nodding once. "Even if it would not disband them, like as not it would divide them unless there is a clear chain of command. So."

"I guarantee, he's sayin' the same about me right now. Mebbe I'll get my chance to kill'm fair. Save us hunting him down." Desmond seems disquieted by something, his head tipped to one side. "We shouldn't send out scouts. Not until you've convinced the Hightowers this is real. And even then, don't ever send 'em out in ones or twos."

"Don't kill an assassin fair; they won't return the favor," Camillo counsels. "I'll tell the Hightowers. And instead of scouts, we'll just see what ears and eyes we can open who are already in one place or another."

The winesink is gradually being put back in order, now that it's simmered back down to the usual level of scum. The barmaid Desmond spoke to before the altercation brings him a tall mug of ale (apparently there isn't enough watered down booze to go around for Camillo or the other fighters). The maester is a taller order, but the absence of the second barmaid must mean she's at least trying to track one down.

Desmond accepts the ale with a smile up at the barmaid. Apparently, she isn't too angry at the man who helped to bloody up her fresh sawdust. A nice change — getting free things for his violence. "They'll surprise you like that, this lot. They like seein' the faces when they die. Oh, they'll slit throats too. Especially your friend Maeve. But the Septon? He's.. hard to describe. Soldier? Assassin? I ain't sure. Animal. He's like a big hunting cat."

"Everyone has a weakness," Camillo says. "A love, a food they are partial to, a road they prefer, a place they do not know. That is the first thing to discover."

"I'll ask around some old friends." Desmond nods around the tavern. "But nobody ever did know much about him. Part of his legend." He exhales tiredly, then drains his ale and pushes upright. "You wait here for that Maester," he says, laying a coin-purse before Camillo. "I'm going to make certain they've left town."

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