(124-10-03) The False Brother Discovered
The False Brother Discovered
Summary: Lord Carolis and the Guards of Winterfell hunt a false Crow
Date: 10/3/17
Related: http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:124-05-24-which-crow-is-which

This continues exactly from where the previous log left off.


Carolis watches the three recruits, and he inclines his head to them, but he'll never understand their decision. Celibacy? For life? "As long as they're not giving you too much trouble," Carolis says. "Let me go check on those provisions." He smiles thinly, inclines his head, and heads off to find a guard and ask after their search.'

A lad in his late teens eyes Carolis from under a long fringe of dark hair in a way that suggests celibacy may not be the first thing on his mind. The other two are a sudden man of middle age, strong built and half bald, and a slip of a lad staring about wide eyed. Their Black Brother guide murmurs something quiet in a warning tone to each of the three in turn, then says louder, best we wash up after all this travel."

The lad in his late teens gets a small, subtle smile from Carolis. What a waste, sending him to the Wall. "Of course," Carolis says, and he gestures toward a servant. Old Lin, who Carolis has known since he was a boy. Someone he trusts. "Lin here can show you the way." And keep an eye on them. Just in case. "We'll break bread soon."

The dark haired lad blushes and ducks his head, embarrassed to be caught looking. The Black brother helps herd his charges in Lin's wake. Guards do arrive swiftly with a wirey lad with a North Hills accent and the clothes of a herder. "He was in the Wintertown, bartering for apples." He looks about sixteen and is clearly both angry and terrified, S'no crime to barter for apples to be sent to my Ma, even though I am soon to have no kin! I've not made my vows yet and them were fine apples!"

Carolis regards the youth with an arched brow. "This is our infiltrator?" he asks. "I had assumed something far more sinister was afoot than bartering for apples." He glances to each guard. Then he addresses the angry youth. "What's your story, then? If you've committed no crime, then you've nothing to worry about." He folds his arms and draws himself up to his full height.

The youth is sullen, "We've too many mouths to feed, so my brothers and I drew straws. I lost, and when the man came I agreed to serve on the Wall. It's not a crime any more'n bartering for apples! It's not fair I be treated this way for doing my duty!"

"Tell me about the other three," Carolis says. Then, to another of Winterfell's men, he says, "See to his family. I'll not have my people starve when we can save them." Whether or not the lad behaves, Lord Carolis won't put his family on trial for it.

The lad gives directions to a hill holding, still wary. Then he scratches at his tunic seams, thinking. "The Black Brother was from Shadow Tower and… funny. He had lots of good stories about life in the watch. Jolly times in the great Hall and adventures on ranging, and weird things they saw North of the wall, that sort of thing. I don't really much want to go, but he made it sound not so bad. The other men were quieter and already in the cart when I got in with my bundle. I got the impression they might have been out Glover way, but they barely said anything at all."

Carolis's nose wrinkles every so slightly at the mention of Glover. "Hmm," he says. "And you've nothing else to do with them?" He watches the youth, his gaze steady as a falcon's, those blue eyes piercing and unwavering. "You're just caught up in this, is that what you're saying?" He looks for tells to see if the youth lies. Sidelong glances, refusal to make eye contact…

The lad shakes his head, no, "Well we've shared meals and a cart for more than a week, but beyond that, no." His gaze is deferential as fits a smallfolk herder confronted by the heir of his liege, but there is nothing furtive about him and he has a Hillman's pride.

Carolis takes a moment to consider, stroking his chin. Then he nods and tells the guard holding him, "Take him to the others who are washing up. I'll be breaking bread with them soon. This one's just a lost fledgling who fell into the wrong nest." To the youth, he says, "Your family won't starve this winter."

The lad looks so heartbreakingly Hopeful as he gazes at his Overlord for a long moment, and then bows deeply in a way rare for Hillfolk, 'Thank you My Lord. It means a lot to me." His bafflement at discovering himself amoung the other flock is rather extreme, having formed little idea of what exactly he was being questioned about. It is around this time that a lot of commotion is heard from the Winterfell kitchens and more guards are running that way swords out. The indignant bellow of the Head Cook can be faintly heard even at at this distance.

"Another lovely day in Winterfell," Carolis muses as he heads toward the commotion. That's the job, he realizes as he makes his way along. When disaster strikes, his crazy ass hauls toward it, not away. No wonder nobles go mad, if they're not there already. He's got his hand on his sword, just in case anyone breaks through the line of guards. Someone upset the Head Cook. He'll be hearing about this for weeks.

A guard have one of the other "recruits" by the scruff, others are trying to tie the large man's wrists while dodging rolling pin and flailing arms. The cook is furious, "…Fat fingers in my meat pie and none to clean neither from the smell of him! Strangers think they can come in my kitchen they have another think coming, Wintertown or no!"

"Of course," Carolis tells the cook. "It's terrible. We'll make sure they pay." Always stay on the cook's good side. It's a basic rule of survival. When the two are drawn forth, Carolis regards them wearily. "Out with it," he says. "Who are you really and what are you doing in Wintertown, causing trouble and giving grief to our cook?"

The Cook is not best pleased, but Carolis' promise does get him to lower the rolling pin. The big man is extremely sullen, though the guards to manage to tie him without his cooperation. He eyes the Heir of Winterfell sideways, "Hungry's all." His accent fits with him being from out Glover way, though the callous pattern better fit a man at arms than the farmer he's dressed as.

Carolis's brows uptick slightly. No, he doesn't buy it. And his companion, the younger one, Carolis examines him as well. "We feed prisoners," he says. "A hot meal, even. Cook, I've found the dogs we'll throw those pies to." He gestures for the guard who has tied the larger man to take him away. He can't wait to tell Cregan he's got a present for him. "Find the other," he instructs. No one in or out until he's found." His gaze settles upon the younger. "Well? What've you to say for yourself?"

The younger, who was found sniffing about the kegs ready to be rolled into the great hall shrinks into himself, "Just looking." He too is plausibly from out Glover way, but his accent is a little higher born than maybe he is pretending. Which might explain how laconic they are being.

Carolis gestures to have him sent off with the big guy. "That's what has me concerned," he says. Once the two are on their way to the dungeon (or as he likes to think of it, 'Cregan's Problem'), he peers around. "Where are you," he murmurs, looking for some sign of the hold out. If they can just catch the bugger, things can get going again.

The Jolly, wiry, supposed Ranger turned Recruiter is nowhere near the kitchens, and has had about an hour from saying goodbye until Carolis discovers him, what with questionings and distractions. He was not in either Cregan's nor lord Carolis' room. He had clearly been in the old Maester's room, though he was not there when it was checked. Instead, Carolis finds him in the rookery, hands still tying a note to a Raven's leg.

"Ha!" Carolis cries as he throws open the door. He lunges with his sword, seeking not to wound the man but slap away his hand from sending the note. The man leaps back in time not to be struck, but it does put paid to him sending the note. Carolis keeps the sword trained on him. "Keep your hands where I can see them," he says, "or I'll skewer you like a suckling pig."

The man raises his hands, the raven not much liking any of this and prone to squawking and nipping, flapping her wings for freedom. The man's smile is wry and he gives a 'You caught me shrug' as the wind catches the note he has released.

Carolis snaps the note out of the air with his free hand, his sword still leveled at the man. "Guards," he calls. There's nothing desperate in his voice, but rather tired. This man has wasted his time and is possibly part of some plot that has plagued him all his life, if he was so interested in what the old Maester had going on. "Why?" he demands.

Guards are prompt. The Jolly Rangers smiles sadly, "I was on the lam, wasn't I, after your brother harrowed the Shadow Tower after them that let the Wildlings through. I needed to by my place across the sea and they are not kind to them that fail."

The note is in the Old Maester's hand and looks suspiciously like troop numbers and dispositions for Winterfell.

"Arrest him," Carolis tells the guards. "It wasn't a war my brother started," he informs the man. "Merely one he finished. Without you, though, he never would've been able to prove himself capable of holding Winterfell's seat." Carolis smile thinly and inclines his head in sardonic thanks.

The Man nods, accepting his fate, "You and your Brother were finer men than they counted on and you won fair and square. All I ask is you take my head clean and not torture me first."

"We're lords of Winterfell," Carolis tells him. Then he nods for the guards to take him away. With the three conspirators locked up, he can take a moment to give the note a closer look. Then he tucks it into his doublet and settles the raven. Then he heads back down to Wintertown to let the guard know they can open it up again.

Those trapped on the wrong sie of the gate, whichever that is grumble a bit and go about their business. The steward inquires of Lord Carolis, "Is the entertainment still on for the evening, and is the timber promised the one Brother to go to the Other?"

Carolis watches the grinding wheel of Winterton begin to groan and turn again. "Yes," he says. "We just had a setback in who we're entertaining." He laughs it off, that traitors among them nearly got away with sending out intel that could've found Winterfell weak at a crucial moment. "In fact, let's get things set up. I'm going to break bread with some Brothers as promised, and then we'll sing and dance until there are blisters on our feet an frogs in our throats."

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