(120-11-23) Dumb Aurochs
Dumb Aurochs
Summary: A butcher loses control of a couple thousand pounds of meat on the hoof, with disasterous results.
Date: 23/11/2013
Related: None

Hightower Square

A broad, cobblestoned square, ringed by grand buildings hewn from stone. A massive fountain, also hewn from the same strong grey stone, stands in its center. It is wrought in the form of the Hightower in miniature. A tiny flame burns at its peak, and crystal waters pour from its base, pouring down the stony pedestal into the mirror-smooth pond below.

Stone benches offer places to sit, vendors cry their many wares, merchants ply their trade, and all around one can see the finely-dressed Oldtown wealthy meandering about. There is a pleasant smell of cooking food in the air, tingeing the ever-present smell of the salt sea, and a hint of perfumes and spices.

To the West, the Hightower street leads away. To the South, the archway to the Beacon Boulevard rises. The cobblestone market square is quite clean and fresh, with nary a sign of any beggars, street rats, or grimy peddlers hawking stolen goods. The buildings here are in pristine condition.
CONTENTS: Bryn(P) Kelinyx(P)
Watch House <WH>
Hightower Street <HS>
Beacon Boulevard <BB>

Bryn grins and says, "Brilliant." He reaches forward to pick up a piece of the bread, taking a big, hungry bite. He and Keli are mostly hidden in a shrub near the edge of the square, a board with bread and butter near them.

Reyna comes from the Street.
Reyna has arrived.

Keli dabs a fingertip in some of the butter, slurps it clean, then peeks back outside. She, hiding with Bryn in the brambles but overlooking the milling people, asks of him "What got you out and about, all the carts? I heard there was a man selling nothing but a cart full of ram's horns and hooves. I think I heard it, too, did you?" Poor Keli must be a bit hyper tonight.

Eonn can be seen coming down Hightower Street on his big white mare. Well, maybe — if you're in a position to look that way, at least. He's hard to miss.

Bryn wrinkles his nose, "Why would anybody sell those? Who'd buy it? Pretty dumb trader, if he is," he comments. He takes another big bite of bread. After swallowing enough he can manage to speak again, he says, "But yep, the traders is why I came out. Lots of people with money."

Kelinyx shrugs. "Idunno. Maybe somewhere a bunch of people have goats who lost their horns and need extra?" She smiles and cranes her neck, peeking out of the top of the bush. A certain white mare is spotted, and Keli squints, then ducks down again. "Hey, the cat man is back, do we want to bug him?"

Coming down the street on foot, Reyna wears a black dress and riding boots, with a belt cinched about her waist supporting a sword. A pair of footmen wearing tabards emblazoned with the House Lothston sigil (a black bat on a yellow background) follow the red-haired Lady as she nears the Square. The young woman wears a hint of a frown upon her face as she moves dark eyes scanning the crowds.

Bryn thinks about that, and then nods quickly with a grin, "Alright." He doesn't move immediately, though, finishing off his bread first, but once he's stuffed that last bite in his mouth he moves to crawl out from under the shrub.

Eonn doesn't seem in any hurry. His horse is tall with a long stride, but they are definitely ambling.

Maera comes from the street.
Maera has arrived.

Arn comes from the street.
Arn has arrived.

From down Beacon Boulevard there comes the sound of a somewhat distant ruckus. Or a fracas. Something loud. And a bit odd, because it contains some disparate elements — screaming, swearing, crashing, laughing.

Arn hears the sounds of a disturbance and like any proper watch commander he moves towards it. He puts his hand on the pommel of his sword but does not yet draw it as he moves towards the sounds.

Bryn slips out from under a shrub, glancing back to Keli, who had been hiding there with him and some food, but then starting towards Eonn, who's riding through the square. He only makes it a few steps, however, blinking as he looks towards the sound of the ruckus.

Eonn is on his big white mare, taking her out for her afternoon exercise, and he's barely reached the square from Hightower Street. Still, he looks towards the sounds.

Maera rides a chestnut colored gelding into the square at a leisurely trot from Hightower street. As she nears the transition from street to square the sounds begin. "Woah" She pulls lightly on the reigns to slow the horse, and gives the street next over a squint.

There is not much need to go through that arch to Beacon to investigate the sound. In fact, it might be impossible, because people begin pouring in from that direction, running and yelling. Some of them are pushing barrows — street-vendors come all the way up from Oldtown Square.

Arn attempts to fight his way upsteream against the tide of the crowds, hif he is able he will try to stop one of the vendors to ass a simple question, "What is the cause of all this?"

Bryn's eyes pop open wide, and he quickly dives back for the cover of the shrub he left just a few moments before, retaking his hiding place in the face of the surging crowd.

Eonn just stops his mare and sits there on the animal, watching the influx of people from the south.

Maera lifts herself slightly in her stirrups to get a better look at what is going on.

There's another crash, and another chorus of screams and shouts. It becomes obvious now what's happened, because it's charging up the street. It's an aurochs. A great big bull aurochs, probably six and a half feet tall at its muscular shoulder, black with cream coloured around its mouth and in a stripe down it's spine, and it's pushing a pottery-vendor's wagon sideways along the street with its enormous horns. Much to the distress of the small donkey that's still harnessed to the wagon, emitting panicked brays. So's the vendor, who's holding on to the side of the thing to avoid getting run over by it.

Pots and cups and plates spill from the wagon, shattering on the cobbles. Those in front of this catastrophe are bolting into what buildings are open, or running ahead, shrieking or shouting warnings. Many of those fortunate enough to be behind it are laughing their anti-social heads off.

Bryn, of course, can't see much hidden under a shrub, but with people scrambling to get out of the way he does manage a glimpse of the charging animal. Eyes wide, he pulls back even further under the cover of the shrubbery.

Arn sees the bull and mutters a quick obsenity and then moves towards it. He makes a loud bellowing sound trying to draw it's attention, while he also scans the area for a sturdy structue that could hold the beast.

Maera pulls back slightly on the gelding's reigns to stay out of the path of the charging bull. She bites her bottom lip, as if trying to make a decision. The decision is made, and the bow is slung from her back to her hands. "I was planning to hunt anyways." She declares as she takes an arrow from her quiver. Loading the bow, she leans slightly in her saddle to draw the string back, and waits for a clear shot.

The wagon has had its wheels scraping sideways along the cobbles, and now it hits one that's a little too high and it tips onto its' side, crushing the unfortunate proprietor, who screams. So does the donkey. The aurochs keeps pushing it, probably dragging the poor man along the stones, but he's hidden from view for now. The enormous bull has a knife sticking from the bulky muscle of its neck, and now, running up the street after it, comes a new figure — a big man, the sort of fellow who's got three inches of fat over a hugely muscular frame. He's bloodied — one of the butchers from The Shambles down off Oldtown Square, and he's carrying a sledge hammer and wearing a leather apron. And nothing else, which isn't all that unusual for /inside/ the abattoirs.

There doesn't really seem to be any place to capture the raging animal, at least, not without destroying somebody's house, or enclosing it in a space that's already dense with people.

<FS3> Eonn rolls Alertness: Failure.

<FS3> Maera rolls Archery: Amazing Success.

Arn mutters another oath, "Merde." He then notices the slaughterer and motions for the man to hurry. He then stops trying to draw the bulls attention.

Rampaging animal? Or suddenly overturned trader cart? Bryn starts to move forward, then stops, as if stuck between his fear of the animal and the chance for finding something valuable. The latter wins out and he dashes from the shrub to start making his way over quickly to where the cart overturned.

The aurochs lifts its head, nearly turning the cart over again on its horns, but it drops back down on the vendor instead. The animal isn't made to jump, but it rises up as if to simply climb over the cart.

The screams of man and donkey change the situation from slightly comedic to dire. It only worsens when the big beast makes to climb over the cart. As unfortunate as the situation is, there is one silver lining; Maera now has a clear shot. She doesn't hesitate to release the arrow, which flies straight and true, and buries itself deep into the beast's eye.

The vendor has left a broad, ugly streak of blood on the cobbles, as well as ten thousand some shards of pottery, glittering in the evening light with their bright multi-coloured glazes. Not everything broke, but the few pieces that do lie whole on the cobbles look odd, miraculous.

The running butcher is met by more laughter when he passes people and they get a view of his bare behind as he charges down the street, waving his sledge-hammer.

The aurochs gives a weird bellow in response to that arrow sinking deep into its brown eye. The sound it voices stops suddenly with a little grunt and the beast collapses, twitching, half on top of the wagon.

Bryn quickly runs in, looking around disappointedly as he sees nothing but pottery. Sure, there's some intact pieces, but he's tiny, carrying pots away without being noticed by guards isn't much of an option. The blood and gore of the dead merchant doesn't seem to phase him in the slightest.

Probably the merchant's purse is on the merchant's person. Which is under the wagon, spread out more than it really ought to be. There's a hand sticking out, at least. The donkey is still alive, shrieking.

<FS3> Maera rolls Command: Good Success.

The aurochs, dead, no longer seems a rampaging menace. It's got long, thick, curled eyelashes, soft and feminine and deeply marred by the blood leaking out from the arrow's shaft it its eye. The cream coloured hair around its mouth and down its spine has a clean, soft shine to it.

Arn shakes his head at the destruction then looks over to the butcher and demands, "Did this beast escape from you?" He does not sound happy.

Maera quickly slings her bow onto her back, and slides off of her gelding to approach the gory scene. She points to a bystandard and begins to bark out orders, "You! Go fetch a maester! He may yet live." She then yells out, "And the rest of you…get this thing moved off of him!" Commands issued, she moves forward to help move the wagon off of the mangled and probably dead man and his still screaming donkey.

The butcher stops running when he sees the beast go down, but he walks up to it and pulls the knife from its neck, "Yes, damn him," he tells Arn, irritably. Then he slashes the animal's throat, spilling blood all over the wagon. It flows freely for a moment, but is quickly sluggish.

The shouted-at bystander looks startled at Maera, bug-eyed, and then runs off.

Bryn looks up to Maera as she approaches, and then back to the cart. Quickly he moves in to help. He's not strong, buthe can offer a little help. And, of course, this puts him in the perfect place to sneak a quick check for the merchant's purse as the merchant is uncovered.

<FS3> Arn rolls Healing: Good Success.

Arn looks to the butcher, "Good then with luck you will be owing this vendor some coin." He then heads over to the wounded man and once the beast is moves he starts ot tend ot the man after some tense moments as he trys to revive the man he stands up shaking his head, "He is dead."

<FS3> Maera rolls Alertness: Success.

The butcher grunts and turns away, walking back the way he came and giving Arn a less than delightful view when he does so.

Once the man is uncovered and found to be dead, Maera moves to draw Longclaw from it's sheath and slice the donkey's thoat, as the beast is undoubtably suffering. The Valyrian steel glides through the animal's neck as if it were butter.

The donkey is silenced. Some members of the crowd have much the same idea as Bryn, and snatch up the unbroken pieces of pottery before abandoning the scene.

The merchant's purse is half under his twisted form, more at his chest than his waist, and blood-soaked, but within Bryn's reach.

<FS3> Bryn rolls Pickpocket: Good Success.

<FS3> Eonn rolls Alertness: Great Success.

<FS3> Arn rolls Alertness: Good Success.

Bryn has gotten pretty bloody just by helping to lift the wagon. So, he assumes a little extra won't be noticed, and while everybody's distracted trying to get the wagon off, his tiny hand snaps out to pick up the purse and slip it under his tunic.

A number of people mill about, trying to push the enormous animal off the cart. The cart itself doesn't appear to be really salvagable, but people are trying to run off with bits of it.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Bryn=Pickpocket Vs Arn=Alertness
< Bryn: Good Success Arn: Good Success
< Net Result: Bryn wins - Marginal Victory

Maera kneels down to wipe her sword with a discarded piece of cloth and sheathes it. With a little shake of her head, she turns to retrieve her horse.

Eonn stays mounted on his, out of the way and watching. He smiles a sly little smile at Bryn, probably unnoticed by the boy.

Arn notices Brynn and gives him a bit of a sharp eye but does not press the issue, instead he says to the crowd, "Move along nothing more ot see here." he then tells one of the other urchins sure to be about, "Go fetch a couple members of the watch, if you are quick there will be coin in it."

Bribes. They work. The urchins run towards the watch house, on the other side of the square. So do a few adults who overheard.

Maera grabs her gelding by the bridle and strokes the velvety part of it's nose just above the nostrils. She doesn't mount as the smell of blood has the mount on edge.

Somebody else grabs the other side of Maera's horse's bridle at just about the same moment, and tries to tug the animal away in the dispersing crowd.

Bryn quickly scrambles back from the body as Arn calls for everybody to move along. He wrinkles his nose as he looks down at himself, bloody from both the merchant and the spilled blood of the animals. Dirt he's fine with, but blood is a different matter entirely apparently.

Arn smiles and pays out the bribes to the first three that seem to earn it. He then gives instuctions to the watchmen, "Alright make sure no more of the wares are stoeln and that half of the meat from the bull goes to the family, that will keep them from joining the baggars on the street at least for a bit, the rest of the meat will enter our larder."

Maera bellows out, "Let go. NOW." Her grip tightens on the bridle.

The butcher returns, walking up the street leading an ox. The domestic beast is like a caricature of the aurochs, smaller, less cleanly made.

The watchmen quickly begin to fufil the orders given, first off they prevent further theft of the any unbroken pottery, well at least but those who are not watchmen, it is doubtful any will find it's way ot the vendors family. Meat might but it will likely be the worst cuts.

It's a man dressed in dull whites who's got Maera's horse, and he doesn't let go. Instead he tries to kick her in the knee.

<FS3> rolls 4: Good Success.
<FS3> Maera rolls Reaction: Failure.

Maera is busted in the knee hard. She lets out a sharp hiss through grit teeth and her grip loosens on the bridle before she decides to let go. She gives her knee a quick rub before drawing her sword and moving to hobble around the front of the horse.

Butchering a giant bull in the street is hard enough for a butcher, much less watchmen who don't ordinarily do such a job. They've barely begun to organize the undertaking before the butcher proper arrives, with his ox. He moves to chains it to the dead auroch's hind leg, prepatory to dragging the carcass away.

The man in white is trying to pull Maera's horse into a trot so the both of them might run off, when he sees Longclaw. He drops the bridle.

<FS3> Maera rolls Alertness: Failure.

Arn starts to move toward the butcher but then is distracted by the suffle over the horse, well crimes against a noble have ot take priority. He then starts to moves after the man in white.

Maera does not pursue the would-be horse thief. Instead, she begins to do a half-run, half-limp towards her horse, which is still trotting.

Bryn watches for a few moments, looking towards Maera and her attacker. But, he's staying well clear of any danger. After a bit, he turns and runs off, slipping through the crowds to head down towards the river, to find somewhere to wash off the blood probably.

The man in white starts to run, darting towards the city gates. Eonn spurs his big white mare into a lumbering trot, heading in the same direction.

<FS3> Eonn rolls Equestrianism: Success.

Arn notices Eonn heading after the theif and leave that job ot the sell sword instead he goes over to the butcher for some theivery of his own. He clears his throat, "Occrding ot law since you lost posssession of the animal and it was killed in the square it becomes property of the King, though as the highest officer of His Magesty present, I cna arrange for it to bbe sold back to you." He smiles, and truth be told does not have that extensive knowledge of the law.

"It's not my fault the damn thing run off," says the Butcher, "An' 'snot my fault that feller got in th' way, neither!" He continues to harness the beast to the living ox.

Maera catches up with her horse after hobbling after the thing for several feet. At this point the Lady Mormont's shoulders are tensed with anger, and rage alone propels her onto the back of her steed. She reaches for her bow, but decides against shooting the man down, and leaves it on her back. And then she hears the Butcher's mouth, and her eyes narrow dangerously. She wheels her horse around to face the man, and takes her bow from her back. As she notches an arrow she yells out, "You leave that fucking corpse there or I'll bury an arrow into your eye!"

<FS3> Eonn rolls Swordsmanship: Success.

Eonn, on is big mare, simply rides down the man in white as the guy runs for the gates, and gives him a crack in the back of the head with the flat of his bastard sword.

Arn looks at the butcher, "No one is speaking of fault, and well it has been a long day for all perhaps we can come to some beneficial aragngement that cna leave us all feeling less share we say put out by events?" He says, "After all my men hasve had to work up an appitite due tto this occurance."

The butcher stops at the sound of Maera's voice. He stares at her.

Arn backs away fro mthe corpse as well not sure what the Lady Mormont has in mind but defering for the moment.

Maera stares back at the butcher, rage shining in her eyes. "Because of your negligence a man is dead, and others have lost countless coin in damanges. You are lucky I am not your leige, for I would see you pay dearly for this." There is a pause before she decides, "You will receive no benefit from your folly. Instead, you shall leave the carcass, /and/ you shall leave your ox. It will be delivered to the poor man who your stupidity killed's family."

There's a moment where the butcher seems to rally, in response to that mention of his ox. And then a cool wind kicks up from the sea, coming up Beacon Boulevard and across the open back of the man's leather apron, and whatever curse was on his lips dies there. It's hard to stand up to an angry noblewoman when you're naked. Especially when there are a bunch of watchmen around. And people staring at your bare arse and whispering among themselves. The big man had gone white with anger, but now he goes pink.

Arn smiles over to Maera, "Well it looks like you have matters well in hand." he then starts to heads over to the watchmen giving them some final instructions before heading out, "I have a meeting I must attend to but it seems the panic has passed."

Eonn leaves the attempted horse-thief lying face down on the pavement.

The butcher says, "M'lady. Please. I need me ox t' hang th' meat. S'not me fault." A heartbeat later and a skinny woman wearing a patterned homespun scarf on her head comes up and says, "It broke my cart, too, m'lady."

Maera's head turns to look at the city guardsmen who are carving up the carcass, "I will be taking it's heart." That said, her head turns to stare down at the Butcher. Her brow cocks, "It's not your fault?" She crosses her arms over her chest, "And what shall the potter's children and wife do, then? Hrm? Shall they starve because it's /not your fault/?" She looks down from her horse at the woman, "Is it fixable?"

"It's shattered," says the woman, "And all my pies and cakes for the day ruined or stole."

The butcher hangs his head. "But. It's not my fault, should I starve too?" He looks at his ox. It's a good one. Nothing like the grand wild aurochs for size or grace, but still, young, strong, and well-trained. It's waiting patiently, unconcerned at the smell of the mixing blood of aurochs, donkey and man.

"It was your beast. You were responsible for it." Maera says to the butcher. She motions for the woman to come closer.

The woman does come closer, hopeful. And so another appears, this time a man in a sort of gown-like garment, not a maester's robe but not dissimilar. He says, "It tore the awning off my shop and spilled five bushels of peaches, m'lady." He tries not to meet the butcher's eye.

The butcher protests, "It weren't mine! I was just to kill it and carve it!"

Maera nods her head once to the man in the robe. "I shall see to you in a minute." She eyes turn back to the butcher, "Whose was it?"

Kelinyx comes peeking over a rooftop, too late to make it to the action, but not too late to catch some party square in the middle of a scolding. This, of course, gets only more interesting when she realizes who it was, and creeps into view (at least for the perceptive).

Eonn rides back to stand his horse a wee bit behind Maera. He says nothing, but leans to take the bridle of the lady's chestnut gelding.

The butcher says, "Dahid the jeweler sent fer the damn thing, fer his daughter's weddin' feast. I ne'er bought it, he did."

A moment later the big man adds, anxiously, "M'lady." He crosses his hands in front of his crotch, though the apron takes care of that view.

"But you were providing him with a service, were you not?" Maera shakes her head softly, "Go now. Before I change my mind and have my man go to your shop to see what else we may salvage to pay back the damages."

The butcher looks up at Eonn on the tall white mare, looks at Maera, looks at his ox. His throat works, there's a 'but, but, but' on the threshold of his voice.

Maera says in a bored, monotone voice, "You will lead my man to your shop. Or." She punctuates her words with a bland little smile, "You can choose not to, and see what happens."

The butcher turns away, showing his wide white backside. He trudges off down the street, head low, leaving his ox behind.

Maera rolls her shoulders once. "Let him go." She waits until the man is out of earshot before she leans over to speak to the man and woman, "I do not actually have jurisdiction in the city. I cannot make anyone replace your cart. I'm sorry." She reaches for the purse on her belt, and takes some coins from each. "I do this out of sympathy for you both. Do not tell anyone else, understood?"

Eonn looks at Maera, raising his eyebrows.

Slinking nearer, the big-eyed Keli seems impressed by Maera's authoritative tone and Eonn's attentive proximity. The flicker of coin seems to catch her eye, and a smile dawns on her face as she seems to at least puzzle together some of the situation, at least enough to stay out of the way until things calm a bit.

The smallfolk hold out their hands eagerly. Others are taking the broken cart apart as the watchmen hack up the dead aurochs. One of those cats that follows Eonn about darts in and runs off with a gobbet of something nasty. It's hard to say which corpse it came from. Three skinny men start to drag the donkey off, harness and all.

Maera passes coin to the two smallfolk before she pulls on the reins to back up the gelding. Wheeling it around, she turns to trot over to Eonn. "We should get out of here before more start coming to find coin." She looks over to the guardsmen to yell out, "Where is my heart?"

They start. The man who was busy pulling guts out of the beast hurries up, moving to cut the thing out and then present Maera with the big, bleeding aurochs heart.

Kelinyx darts and dashes, crawls or ducks or scurries as needed to get somewhere=ish behind Eonn, ready to nonchalantly pick up in his wake, not unlike the cats that follow. Well, provided that horse doesn't break into a full run, at least.

Maera nods her head to Eonn with a little smirk, as if to say, 'You get to carry it!'.

Eonn doesn't seem all that pleased about it, but he doesn't hesitate either. He urges his horse forward a few steps to take the heart from the watchman.

When the heart is handed off to Eonn, Maera lightly taps her heels against the gelding's flanks to move it towards Hightower street.

Eonn glances back to the man he clobbered with the flat of his sword. He's getting up, rubbing his head.

Maera doesn't look back. Once she gets past the tight crowds in the square she urges her horse onwards.

Eonn just smiles a bit and turns his mare. He nods to Kelinyx and leans to offer her his hand. The one without the heart in it.

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