(123-10-14) Local Lap Sitting Customs
Local Lap Sitting Customs
Summary: …can be confusing, especially when you are new to Oldtown.
Date: 2016/10/14 (OOC Date)
Related: Happens right after: Have you Ever Seen a Gold Fish?

Quill and Tankard - Hightower And Citadel

This is the common room of the Quill and Tankard, that famous Oldtown Inn that has never closed in five hundred years. The building is a noble old half-timber structure with plastered stone between the enormous old black beams. It sits on a small rock of an island at the edge of the Honeywine River, and is accessed by a little footbridge, or by water-taxi.

Rivermen and seamen, smiths and singers, priests and princes, Lords and sellswords, travelers both noble and small, and the novices and acolytes of the Citadel - all come for a taste of the fearsomely strong apple cider that makes this inn so beloved by Oldtown's people. There is a pleasant buzz of chatter, cups and tankards being filled and refilled, and general laughter.

The fire in the hearth allows for a merry glow and a comfortable warmth from Oldtown's breezy, misty cobblestone streets. Benches and tables offer places to sit, and there is a deliciously toothsome smell in the air of food from the back.

Within the uncomfortable atmosphere of the bustling crowds of the exquisite establishment is a rather strange mix of colours that don't fit within the rest of the Oldtown's fashion. Eight individuals dressed in thick yet maneuverable chainmail, plate-mails and occasionally comfortable but firm leather… Such men all bear hand-painted crests of a black-shaded plowman with a piece of equipment upon a brown field - representing their House, which hasn't been seen much in the local parts of Westeros. The hand-picked knights of Darry formed a rather eye-catching wall of human bodies which shapes a semi-circle around a table that faces it's back against a wall of the Inn at which resides a rather unique individual… His hair is slicked to the side as it's painted in charcoal-shades, his eyes are vibrant emerald which stare upon the dark-wood table that drains it of any charmingness. Their body is covered with luxurious silks painted in gold and deep black which don't seem local (any knowledge of Braavos exports makes it clear it's originated from such region) all meanwhile his hips boast a symmetrical leather sheath that holds a incredibly well-forged sword that seems to be somewhat tinted into an angle which is barely noticable… Regardless, the male who's identity can only be presumed to be connected to House Darry remains at the table which is clearly over-sized for his own company of - no one, as his loneliness is contrasted with his lack of any warm expressions upon his face.

Seated at a central table, Brace downs the last of a pint, thunking it heavily on the table at he sets it down. Even slouched in his chair, the rough-looking man's considerable height stands out, aided by the notable bulk of his form. A traveling pack is slung over the back of his chair, and a large axe rests on the table, its blade contained in a leather sheath.

The smells of cooking meat waft from the kitchen, announcing the approach of the lunch hour. Brace perks up, inhaling deeply through his nose. "Ahh, that smells good!" He bellows cheerfully, peering about for a wench to refill his cup and bring him something to gnaw upon.

Late! She is late to her shift! This may explain the slight rush of the young woman that appears after entering through the Quill's backdoor, apron of some off-white cotton slung swiftly about her form to take over from a slightly annoyed looking tavern wench. At least Iris does smell clean and lovely, her dark brown hair is worn in an orderly braid, and her blue eyes alight with a barmaid's glee to serve and carry heavy jugs of ale or cider here and there. Noting the large gathering, this rather petite young woman approaches and asks, perhaps with surprising lack of fear or even respect in front of so much arrayed martial strength on display. "What will ye be havin'?" Intending to see to Lorcan first, before continuing to Brace's table.

Emmeline scampers to the mid-point of the footbridge and pauses to gaze into the Honeywine River surrounding the Quill and Tankard's little island. With a smile, she glances to make sure Ser Brynden follows her still, having led him through half the city. She waits until he joins her to lead him on and into the tavern.
Inside, the size of Lorcan's retinue makes the young barmaid pause. Catching Iris tending to them, Emmeline hopes she might catch her bright yet still shy smile of greeting. She turns back to Brynden. "Wherever you wish to sit, ser. And- and you would like a tankard of ale, yes? Remember. On me," she says with an insistent nod.
A well trained barmaid, the cheerful bellow commands her attention at once. With an apologetic curtsy to Brynden, she heads to Brace's table. "I can get you another. And something to eat?" she suggests, offering the enormous man a little smile.

Brynden nods as he follows Emmeline inside, offering her another brief smile. Moving to find a seat, he nods, "Ale would be quite good now," he replies, with a smile, before he watches the people moving around the room. Nods are offered to those he might know from before.

Eerie and disturbing silence hovers amongst the surrounding of the Darrishmen and the space behind them - while their overly-protective positions intercept the approach of the female while a single mutter of, "Milord." - attracts the silent male's attention before his gem-shaded eyes drift towards his companions of the expedition, staring above their husky shoulders before they'd land upon the barmaid's face, "Most certainly let her pass, I haven't made any enemies so far." Without any further distraction, the men ahead of Iris'es path shift to create a comfortable entrance while the silence is broken the minute the male's lips part once more, "Well met, have a seat - indeed and gladly inform me what's your need of my attention?". What became clear is that the nobleman had little of opportunity to hear her over the roaring and clashing voices of the attendants of the distuinguished location all meanwhile his lips curl into a warm smile which is a fair juxtaposition of his blank expression and lack of any emotions upon his desolute eyes.

Brace beams vibrantly at Emmeline, giving an exaggerated nod of his head. "I'll try your famous cider, pretty girl. And bring me meat. Lots of meat. I've traveled long and I need food." Seeing Brynden searching for a place to sit, he extend a leg to push out a chair across from him. "Sit!" He grins at the man, clueless as to whom he is inviting to his table. "Keep me company and share my meat."

"Oh! There you are!", Iris exclaims a bit breathlessly, when Emmeline enters. Had she noticed the absence? Probably not. After all, Emmeline was still quite new at the Quill. A relieved smile is offered to the other barmaid, when she moves to take care of the large knight's wishes in regards to food and drink. Her own attention, however, returns to the bastion-esque table of Ser Lorcan and his armed men. "Ser? M'lord?", Iris inquires, lifting a brow, as she shifts in her stance, rearranging her dress in a manner that emphasises the shapely physique that can occasionally attract attention. The arrival of Brynden is noted as well, a warm smile given to the Hightower, along with the hint of a curtsey. Blue eyes sweep back to Lorcan and widen, when Iris beholds the corridor that is being made for her.

She swallows. Then approaches.

"A… seat, M'lord?", Iris echoes, amusement and astonishment at his question fighting to get the upper hand. "I work here. I was asking whether you'd be in need of a drink. Ser." She does not sit down. Not yet. After all there is a task to see to.

Emmeline nods, returning Brace's vibrant cheer with a sunshine smile. "Of course! Right away," she says, bobbing in a quick curtsy. She glances to Brynden as Brace invites him to join, and offers an encouraging smile. Such cheerful company might do him good. But with but a second's pause, she scampers off to fetch her patron's orders. Only as she reaches the back of the tavern and busies herself with pouring the cider does she peak with a hint of caution over at Iris and the Darrishmen.

Brynden pauses, before he moves over to Brace's table at that invite. "I fear you'll have to do the most of the cheerfulness, though," he replies, a bit lightly, shaking his head momentarily. "Travelled long, you say? From where?"

Lorcan slowly seals his lips as his glance remains upon the figure ahead of him before his body relaxes alongside a relieving exhale, "Very well then, I'm a stranger to your cuisine, feel free to voice your own opinion in terms of such offer, 'lady'." - the tone of his voice significantly morphs at the end, noting a sense of informality and a hint of generosity in his voice. A faint noise of the male's throat clearing emits, "If I am to be sincere, I find no amusement in giving you another heap of work to complete, consider me a non-demanding customer, hm?" At this, his body leans into the seat as his eyes flicker with brief series of blinks while the Darrishman's gaze drifts around the surrounding, intaking new figures, voices and stares which halts upon the sight of the other barmaid glancing towards their direction, his lips upholding a warm smile that emphasises with faint dimples, nodding his head in a haste.

"North!" Brace announces loudly to Brynden. "Well…not North…not THE North. Just north. So, why aren't you cheeful? Somebody piss in your morning milk? Wait, I know. A woman. It's always a woman, isn't it?" His heavy brow lifts above his bright blue eyes, so full of inquisitiveness.

"A stranger to my… what?" Iris raises both of her brows now, giving the lord one of her innocent looks. Maybe she is taking his remark in another way than intended, or so such ignorance seems to encourage false assumptions in this young barmaid of dark hair. "Umm…", mumbled as a faint rosiness claims her cheeks, gaze becoming a little unsteady, and hands fidgeting with each other, as would become a smallfolk girl when confronted with such a lord of standing - and retinue! "Oh!", some realization belatedly sinks in, and Iris exhales. "You should drink, ser. We have the finest cider of all Oldtown. Or… ale. Perhaps?" She does not seem to be in a hurry. Taking even a half step towards Lorcan, that will bring some of her clean flowery scent to his attention.

Emmeline returns to the tavern floor soon with two tankards. On her way, she happens to notice Lorcan's dimpled smile of warmth. Hesitation slows her steps, eyes flitting to Iris. But with shy respect, she returns the smile with a nod.
Arriving at the center table, her bright smile returns. "An ale for you, ser." She sets down Brynden's ale first. And having handed Brace his cider, she clasps her hands behind her back. "I checked with the cook. We have some wild turkey that I can bring out with fresh-baked bread. But, if you don't mind waiting a bit, there's a pork roast that's aaaalmost done on the fire. You'd get the first cut, still sizzling."

"North, who could have guessed, hmmm?" Brynden replies. After all, most of Westeros is north from here. He shrugs a little as he hears the question, eyes narrowing a little bit. "Ever had one of those moments when you thought you already had lost something, then finds you weren't really prepared?" It's said with a shrug, before he smiles to Emmeline as she places the ale in front of him. "Thank you," he replies to her. Waiting a whole three seconds before he takes a sip of the drink.

The Lord's gaze fairly smoothly shifts from Emmeline before returning upon Iris, "I presume you have fine apples here, very well - let's try some of your 'fine' cider." Strangely enough, his lips remain parted as he glances over the female's expression, noting down her blush which provides him with a reaction, "I hope you're not uncomfortable over there?" With no further comment, the male upheld a stare upon the barmaid while his body firmly yet gently rested against his own seat as his body sunk into the material, the men rallied around the table simply standing with great patience while some stares fell upon the table of the newcomers however - they all remained silent.

Brace's eyes widen at the mention of pork roast. "I want pork roast," he says firmly, his tone suggesting that this is a matter of utmost importance. He takes the cider with a grateful smile to Emmeline, tossing back a heavy quaff of the sweet liquid with a satisfied sigh. Turning his attention back to Brynden, he nods solemnly. "I think I know what you mean. One time, I lost a boot. Just one of them. I had to walk around with an old shirt wrapped around my foot. Turns out the boot just got kicked behind an old chest. So…um…what did you lose?"

"I am very comfortable, M'lord," assures the barmaid standing before Lorcan. And indeed, the smile blossoming on her comely features may indeed suggest as much. The remark and compliment of apples should deepen the blush, yet it does not, strangely enough. "I'll get you some cider then, ser.", Iris announces, turns and braves the corridor of his armed retinue. Hips sway, and her gait is not too hurried.

Emmeline laughs with impish delight as she tempts Brace with the pork roast. She nods. "Yes. Right away." But before scampering off to the kitchens, she glances to Brynden with a slight tilt of her head, looking for some sign that he might be hungry as well. Her clear gaze flits to Brace, catching a bit of his story and his question on loss. But, a good little barmaid, she doesn't linger long and soon scampers off to bear her customer's wishes to the kitchen.

Letting out a sigh, Brynden shakes his head a little. "Nevermind," he replies to Brace, shrugging a little. And taking another sip of his ale. Because ale is good. Ale is medicine.

Manners and fair upbringing radiate from the male as his focus is little to nothing towards the manner of the barmaid's walking. Instead, his glance falls upon the table with the company of two men that are assumingly awaiting for their meals until it's disturbed by distinctively loud steps throughout the Inn as a male dressed in brown and black, covered with the same militarized equipment lead towards the semi-circle - shuffling emits as the Darrishmen create yet another breach in the wall that provides an outcome of a knight standing before their liege, "Milord?". Voices dim out, fading into whispers which continue to emit from the direction of the strangers to the Oldtown, abruptly ending as the knight leans back, giving a brief nod ahead before turning, walking past the guardsmen as he seems to exit past the bustling crowds. At that point, the second hole amongst the line of men is quickly patched as the men shuffle once more, yet the entrance provided for the employee of the Inn is yet reserved for her.

Brace's brow furrows in disappointment as Brynden ends that particular conversation. But he soon finds his smile again, particularly when Iris walks by. His gaze is not quite so polite as Lorcan's, momentarily entranced by those swaying hips. Only after she has passed does his mind return to his tablemate, and he leans forward toward Brynden, extending one brawny arm across the table with an open hand. "I'm Brace."

Given the rather unhurried pace of Iris the barmaid, it is surprising that it does not take her long to return with a mug of cider. No, a jug and a mug. Now, if that is not considerate? She smiles as she once again steps through the armed escort of Lorcan, until she finally stands before him again. "There ye go," she smiles, as she pours him a mug and hands it to the lord, setting the heavy jug down then on the table. She remains where she is for a moment, as if unsure what to do.

As the other man's gaze goes to Iris as she passes, so does Brynden's. Watching her carefully for a few moments, he looks back to Brace as the man leans forward. Shaking the offered hand, he offers a brief smile. "Brynden. A pleasure to meet you."

Lorcan certainly smiles towards the humble care of the female as his right palm shifts towards his hips until it shifts the pocket of his clothing wide open, allowing his palm to slide inside, retrieving a pouch of coin, tightly secured which is to be changed as his fingers fiddle to release the tension, swiftly removing a handful of silver stags with a hint of a golden shade as a single golden dragon lays amongst the mist - unnoticed yet reckless from the perspective of Lord Darry. A generous gift towards the female as his palm extends to present the opportunity, "Our harvest has been fine, by all means…" Upon the sight of the awkward lack of initiative, his free palm beckons around, "Once again, lady… feel free to have a seat and relax, I'm quite sure you deserve a break of your service and company is a rare commodity for myself." A tilt of his head alongside his shoulders rising before dropping emphasises on the reckless attitude to the unsocial personality the Lord seems to own, with what seems the guardsmen being his only companions so far.

Such unsocial streak might be cured, or so this barmaid seems to think, as she follows his invitation to sit - and takes a seat right in his lap. No hesitation there, as if this were the most natural thing in the world. Her nimble fingers snatch the offered bounty from his hand, the silver stags - part of which would later be imparted to the innkeep - there claimed and swiftly vanishing in her own purse. "You are hardly alone, m'lord.", Iris states, giving voice to the irony of it all, as she glances towards his guards. "A man of importance, aren't you?"

"Well met, Brynden," Brace agrees, clasping Bryndren's forearm in a powerful grip. "Say, friend. I'm new in town, and I'll be looking for work. What's your trade? Know any-…" But he doesn't finish the question, distracted again by Iris as she boldly sits in Lorcan's lap. He can't help staring. How will this play out?

Amused and surprised glances over the shoulders' of the individual guardsmen proceed to appear as the barmaid boldly decides to come in physical contact with the Lord while sitting on his lap appears to be a rather unsettling scene for them… However, it doesn't seem as harshly radical for the Lord himself, yet the choice of interaction is certainly a matter of a shock… Regardless, the Lord's body tenses significantly while one of the more careful guardsman took the responsibility of filling in the corridor that was previously formed for the female - therefore blocking most of the opportunities for any sight of the situation within the interior of the semi-circle which in turn allowed Lorcan to - slightly, relax… Without further distractions, Lorcan proceeds to clear his throat as he decides to ignore the intimate approach, "I would say, a man that lacks much knowledge of these parts, lady… I rather hold a handful of men at my side other than find myself lost and 'lone amongst a city that is barely recognised by myself…" A fairly long stare fell upon the female as the emerald eyes appeared to have contrasted in brighter shades, "I shall stop speaking reckless words - I assume so… Lord of House Darry, the Lord of Ruby Fork, Lorcan Darry… What about you, hm?"

Sitting in his lap all comfortably, Iris looks up to meet Lorcan's gaze. As astonished as he seems to be by her choice of seat, she is not. Leaning even slightly against him, as she shifts just so. "I can't believe you'd be without friends for long, m'lord," Iris tells him with an optimistic smile, a finger of hers lifting to run playfully along the hem of his garb, on his shoulder. "Oldtown is full of people." When the introduction finally comes, Iris lowers her gaze for a moment, as if to digest the title. "I'm Iris, M'lord. Barmaid. And I play now and then at the Whimsy Theatre. If Ser Loryn has a part for me in one of his plays, that is."

Emmeline emerges from the kitchen bearing a tray of roast pork, still sizzling as promised. It looks far heavier than the slight girl ought to be able to bear, but she hefts it sturdily. "First cut! All yours," she says, setting down an enormous cut before Brace. With it comes a loaf of bread, dark and rich with grain. Grinning at Brynden, she sets down his meal - fine cuts of the same roast pork with a similar loaf. And each gets a slab of butter. "The bread came fresh just now too. Just delivered." She seems so pleased to have orchestrated the best lunch possible.
Out of the corner of her eye, Emmeline catches Iris settled in Lorcan's lap. Her eyes widen, but it should be no great shock to see a barmaid flirting with a patron. And yet, Emmeline averts her attention, returning it to Brynden and Brace. "Can I get you anything else? With the bread came pies too. Apple and peach. Two kinds."

Having almost drained his ale, Brynden pauses as the food is placed in front of them, unable to hold back a bit of a smile. "Thank you, Emmeline. I'll have to eat this before I know if I can eat anything more. But another ale would be good." Looking over to Brace as well, and then over to Iris in Lorcan's lap, unable to hold back a brief grin.

The smell of pork and the sound of Emmeline's voice pull Brace's attention away from the show at Lorcan's table. He inhales deeply, taking in the feast before him. "I haven't had a meal like this in ages. Come, sit and enjoy this with us!" Reaching for a hunk of bread with one hand, his other arm sweeps around Emmeline's waist to tug her right down to sit upon his thigh.

A twitch, a frown and a grunt come across the Lord as the situation grows further and further intimate which is followed by his body softly shifting to lean against the seat as he seems to create a comfortable position for himself, "It is merely a handful of Moons since I've arrived, 'Iris'… Time will come that I find those I need and time I have indeed… Now you mentioned Ser Loryn? We've met, I'm afraid." The emerald eyes roll briefly as he proceeds to exhale, "Strange sense of humour, that one."

Perhaps Iris thought herself perfectly shielded from the glances of others, with that half-circle of Lorcan's men playing living barrier. Or perhaps she just does not care. This may be the Quill and Tankard, but such behaviour does occur now and then. Maybe this barmaid was in a mood to test the lord's boundaries, challenged by his complicated way of speech and pointed ignorance of her obvious fortés and assets. She had admitted to be an actress, and perhaps it was that trait of all, that prompted this comely lass to challenge a lord with her charms, sitting in his lap, within his circle of protection. Her attention is on Lorcan, Lord of Darry, and so she is oblivious to another patron attempting to tug her fellow barmaid into his lap.

"Ser Loryn," Iris repeats the name with a smile, and a glint in her blue eyes. "He…" And here words trail off and she exhales. "…has married recently. A young knight and lord. But I'm glad he doesn't forget about his theatre." Or so she hopes.

Emmeline squeaks, tugged into Brace's lap. Somehow she managed not to drop her tray, holding it now by its edge. Unlike Iris, she doesn't seem nearly so at ease or confident in a patron's lap. The girl's eyes dart to her fellow barmaid for help, before she looks over at Brynden, flushing. "I- um," she stammers. She half-peeks up at Brace, and anxious not to offend, she tentatively tries to ease back off his thigh. "I should- should check for empty tankards."

Having started to eat some of his food, Brynden pauses as Brace's action, looking from the man to Emmeline then back. As the barmaid mentions checking for empty tankards, he looks over to the other man again. "We should let her do her job. Otherwise, maybe they won't give us a refill when we need one, hmmm?"

Brace washes down the bread with a gulp of cider, quickly following it with a mouthful of the roast. With pork juices staining his chin, he smiles to Brynden, nodding in cheerful agreement. As he goes in for another bear-sized bite of the roast, he pauses and glances sidelong at the pretty little barmaid on his leg. He blinks, brow furrowed in apparent confusion, as if he only just realized that she's there. "Oh…right." With an abashed chuckle, he withdraws his arm from around her middle. "Ahhh, sorry. Just got…um…the food. Distracted." He lowers his gaze to the table, a bit red-faced.

Lord Darry clearly uses such opportunity to exploit it for a way of turning the attention away from himself as his lips part once Iris silences, "I'm surely aware of that yet was that a hint of jealousy? Or are you going to blame my senses and call them faulty?" The male glances upon her with a faint smirk on his face, staring in amusement. On the other hand, one of the guardsman that stands the nearest to the table that boasts the embarrassing incident, proceeds to faintly chuckle upon the stubbornness of the grand male before what seems to be his friend - joins into the entertainment of the situation. The chuckles attract Lorcan's attention which prove the initiative that it's difficult to keep his focus - his eyes drift past gaps, staring upon the grease-stained and red-shaded face, squinting his eyes in disgust as he eagerly turns his gaze towards the female upon his lap, the sweet scent certainly a fine way to relieve him of the unpleasant sight.

"You claim to read an awful lot into a mere statement, m'lord.", the comely dark haired lass in his lap counters. Her brows lift - and then a shoulder, in a light shrug. "I was merely reporting on Ser Loryn's circumstances." Did her manner of speech switch, ever so slightly? When Lorcan seems to be distracted, she follows his gaze, brows furrowing slightly as she notes the commotion there. And even if the lord regards her more kindly, perhaps already a bit taken with her presence, this barmaid cannot sit still. "Excuse me, for a moment," she murmurs, before she lifts her generous proportions off Lorcan. "I'll be right back." Expecting the small army of the Lord Darry to part before her once again, Iris tries to walk over to where Emmeline is struggling in a lap.

Emmeline gazes back up at Brace, blinking as his heavy brow furrows with heavier confusion. Catching Iris' approach, she looks again to her with pleading eyes. But then Brace withdraws his arm from around her middle.
Released, she flutters out of Brace's lap, as pink as he, and a bit flustered. Stepping back, just out of reach, she tucks a loose wisp of hair behind her ear. The girl looks to Brynden and then to Iris with a shy smile of appreciation. She nods - she's alright.
Catching Brace's down-cast embarrassment, she blinks. Shaking her head, she says, "Oh, no, I- um. Could I bring you some apple pie? Or a slice of peach pie?" Should he look up at her, she offers him a soft, reassuring smile. He didn't seem to mean any harm.

Brynden smiles as things seems to clear up, offering a smile to Emmeline as well, before he goes back to his food again. A brief pause, as he nods to Brace, but doesn't say anything for now. That food has a strong power.

Pie? Who could resist the allure of pie? Brace glances up sheepishly. "Yeah…peach pie sounds great. Thanks." He occupies his hands with food, bread in one, pork in the other, and soon occupies his mouth with the same. Try as he might to focus on his meal, his eyes flit back to Emmeline a few times as he eats.

The Lord's body relaxes, softly resting against his seat as his eyes drift towards the situation once again, staring with interest and curiousity while his palms rose to rest upon the face of the table, exhaling deeply as his shoulders rise before dropping, shrugging to himself upon the sight of the strangers as a overall impression of Oldtown's society seems to slowly grow in his mind - whether it's accurate, he has no damn clue. Previously speaking, the guardsmen have smoothly shifted to provide a comfortable exit of the semi-circle, before patching it once more which is clearly just a routine.

A deep sigh of relief leaves the lips of one dark-haired barmaid, when she sees that the lighter-haired barmaid has managed to escape a seat she had not been eager for. "Pie." Taking up this word as a means to circle around the trap of embarrassment, Iris offers Brace a smile, and then gives a long glance to Emmeline.

Emmeline nods, smiling bright as Brace picks peach. "Perfect. That one always goes quick." Or at least, it has in the week she's been there. Dipping into a little curtsy to both men, she turns to scamper off to the kitchens. On her way, she catches Iris' long glance and nods again, smiling with reassurance. She's alright. But with that she turns and disappears into the kitchen. The Quill and Tankard is starting to fill up as the lunch hour strikes. The barmaids will have their hands full for a while.

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