The Value of Drunken Rambling

The Value of Drunken Rambling
Summary: Gauvain, Jaren and Myrana find out information from guards who have been liberally indulgent during and after the dinner.
Date: 19/10/1329
Related: Happens right after: Dinner at the Fortress
Gauvain Jaren Myrana Claire 

TP Room 2
Oct 19, 1329

Dinner has been served and consumed, and over the course of an hour or two the band of men has dispersed. Some moving to attend to their usual duties, others lingering to converse with the guests and shirk said duties as long as they're able. Some time after the crowd has thinned, and more importantly Sir Robard and his chief lieutenants have retired from the field (so to speak), Sir Jaren gently pulls Mistress Myrana aside, and murmurs quietly to her:

"If one of your assistants could just happen to find one lingering cask of brandy, Mistress D'Armaz, I suspect now might be a most opportune time for it to make an appearance."

There are only a handful of men left now, trying to coax Claire's armsmen, or even Sir Gauvain or Jaren into a game of dice they seem to be engrossed in.

Gauvain does not look very pleased. As a matter of fact he looks as if he wants to be stabbing people with that Bastard Sword of his. He taps fingers idly on the table in frustration, and when one of Robard's guardsman comes up to approach the Big Knight about a dice game, the look that Gauvain gives him drives the man off before a word has even been spoken. He looks to jaren and says very calmly, "Why. Are. We. Not. Handling. This?"

Myrana looks up from the lemon tart she'd been taking a bite of, dark eyes innocent. "If the ruffians left any," she demurrs noncomittally. Popping the rest of the tart into her mouth, she steps away and passes out of sight through the gap of the hall doors. All of her men were killed, and her maid is seventy, so she slips off, presumably to her quarters, alone while the men are all engrossed with dice.

Claire may be the image of polite but enduring boredom, unable to fully extract herself from the conversation immediately. But eventually? She cites a polite excuse between her and the maid who has endured alongside her, slipping out of the main hall with a matter of fact air to her movements. The Sollinger guards? They may be relaxed to a point, but even they are capable of drinking - to a degree. Not to excess, like some of those around them. But they have a duty to perform.

"We serve at the Prince's pleasure, and he seems to have some manner of plan in mind." Jaren replies to Gauvain when he's sure that none of Robard's men are within earshot. "Beyond that, we are ill-equipped to handle the entire complement of the fort should they decide their loyalty lies more with the commander they know than the Queen they don't." He smiles, perhaps more openly than he has since Gauvain re-encountered him, but it is, for a brief moment, more predatory than pleasant, "But on that score, I do have a bit of a plan."

Gauvain taps his fingers on the table and nods to Jaren. Giving Jaren a nod he gestures with a hand toward the ohter Knight. "Very good. What is the plan? And why did we send Mistress Myrana out in THIS place by herself?"

Soon, Myrana reappears, carrying in her arms a little cask of dark wood with char marks on the banding. The thin gold discs she wears hanging from her ears wink in the low light of the hall as she carries it toward where Samwell's two knights stand together, limping noticably but not letting even a twinge of pain show on her features.

"Fate smiles on us," she says, offering it toward Gauvain. "Here."

"That would be why." Jaren notes towards Gauvain, the smile growing more reserved, though a glimmer of mirth does cross his eyes before he speaks in what may be the first full-out jest Gauvain's heard from him in years:

"Don't get excited. It's not for us. Though I'll not begrudge you a finger or two before we start."

Jaren looks to Myrana and smiles gratefully, "The Kingdom thanks you for your valiant sacrifice." The humor fades though, and he reaches over and briefly touches Myrana's forearm, "But more seriously, -I- thank you. This should make things easier." He looks towards the men at dice, and gestures for Gauvain's benefit, "Time to top them off and see what spills over."

Taking a deep breath, Gauvain nods. Takes the bottle, takes a decent sized swig off it, and then hands it over to Jaren. "Right. Let's do this." He nods and saunters over to the dicing men, deciding to let Jaren do the talking. Since ya know. Gauvain is all… Stabby.

Myrana's smile falters— but then it returns, having simply flickered off for a moment as her eyes clouded briefly over with hidden thoughts. "Of course," she says, folding her arms loosely about herself. "It's nothing; I only wish to repay our host's… /gracious hospitality/ toward myself and mine."

Honeyed tongue? Definitely. But her blue eyes are steely before she turns to the gambling men. Stepping to an opening in the circle, she lets the edge of her skirts brush against someone's leg where he's crouching, her hand on her hip above where Claire stitched her up.

Jaren tilts a brow as Myrana moves over towards the men, murmuring "Brave woman." He looks to Gauvain, nods once, and then heads over in that direction, bringing the bottle along with him.

"Well men…it looks like fortune smiles upon you. It seems we've found a bottle of some fine spirits, and it'd be a shame to let it go to waste."

The men are already reasonably buzzed from the wine at dinner, and it doesn't take much (OK -any-) encouragement to get them imbibing a bit more. In rapid succession, their cups are partially filled with the potent brandy, as they continue at their dice. Much to Jaren's relief, they barely pay any attention to him or Gauvain. Jaren gestures subtly behind their backs for Gauvain to move over near Myra, just in case she needs to be pulled out of trouble if they get grabby, but so far there's nothing worse than a few leers in her direction. Most of them seem focused on the liquor and the money being exchanged.

"From what Lord Daylan says, this is a quiet post," Myrana is saying, watching the dice with the attention of a woman who has -read- about dice games, but is curious to actually see one. Which is true, and so it helps. When the dice fall in one man's favor her eyebrows raise, and she smiles slightly. "With the bandits so thick on the road, it must be a little frightening to travel between the hold and the village at night."

Moving over to where Myrana is as indicated by Jaren, Gauvain leans against a wall and folds his arms over his chest. He watches the gambling and listens to the words that are being spoken, simply listening as the men begin their drinking and binge.

"Oh it'sh quiet enough." One of the men near Myrana notes with slightly slurred speech, taking an indecorous swallow from his cup and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, "Ain't much to do but drink and gamble. Wait for those louts from the woods to show up with supplies." The man belches, and gets an elbow from one of his fellows, who seems to be giving him a warning look. The man shoves him off, though, "What're you on about, eh? This lady and her knightsh brought us better stuff than we've had in months from those buggers. Have another drink Bryon, yer too wound up becaush yer losin'…"

Fortunately, the men's compatriots seem to be siding with the talkative one, effectively putting the squelch to their fellows' feeble protest.

"Does that mean he has to give you his money?" Myrana asks the man who just won the roll, as if she hadn't heard that at all. "I can't remember."

Myrana looks at the loser, smiling with a twinkle in her blue eyes. "You're terrible at this."

The man who just lost the latest roll gives Myrana a surly look, "If you weren't a lot prettier than th' girlsh the mountain folk bring us, I'd…" He pauses, eyes shifting towards Jaren, who ever-so-nonchalantly shifts his hand to the pommel of his sword, and then across to Gauvain, and he swallows his word, "Beggin' yer pardon, milady…temper's runnin' away from me on acccount a' my bad luck."

Gauvain just looks. LOOKS. At the men dicing. His tattoo'd face a mask of doom and gloom and rahter bad moods. "Mountain girls." He says looking up to Jaren. The eyes say it all. He's heard enough. He looks back to the men dicing, and waits for one to head to the privy to relieve himself.

"That's alright," Myrana says indulgently. "Why don't you keep hold of this, see if it improves." she hands him the bottle and then steps back out of the circle, her skirts swishing and her long black braid swaying past her hips. "I think I'd better head back to my room. It's late."

"A sound idea, Mistress D'Armaz." Jaren notes towards her, and glances towards Gauvain, "I'm sure Sir Gauvain would be happy to escort you." Because strangling some guardsman, however deserving, in the privy is going to complicate matters more than the Prince likely desires at this point. "In fact, I think I'll join you. You men enjoy that bottle eh?" Jaren offers a smile he doesn't really mean and that doesn't really meet his eyes, but none of the men seem to notice, focused on the brandy and the game.

Jaren pulls away, glancing to Gauvain, then Myrana, before commenting to his fellow Knight, "In the absence of proper guardsmen for you, Mistress D'Armaz, I hope you will not take offense if Sir Gauvain and I take shifts at your door this evening."

Giving a sigh, Gauvain looks over to jaren to give him the look of, you are a kill joy. He nods once and says to Myrana, "I think he right. Perhaps we should continue on our way for the evening." He pushes off the wall and offers Myrana an arm.

"That's kind of you," says Myrana to Jaren with a smile. As she turns and the sweep of her skirts brushes the rushes from the hall floor behind her and her back is well and truly to the Hold's men-at-arms… a look of cold horror fights its way upward, as if she might be sick or faint or both. Her heart is pounding, and she swallows hard before she can speak again, forcing her voice to remain unconcerned and level. "Thank you, Sir." And she slips her arm through his, shaking. They bring them women! Not just murderers, but kidnappers as well. Thankful for the arm, she leans on Gauvain, murmuring something about her leg.

Jaren casts one dark glance over his shoulder towards the dicing men. He may bury it more deeply, but his fury is no less than Gauvain's. He'll have to beg the Prince's indulgence to allow himself and Gauvain to return to offer a reckoning to this place. With that, he takes up a position on the opposite side of Myrana, resting a hand on his sword hilt and taking up a dangerous saunter and a dark demeanor that sends any of the Fort's armsmen that cross their path scurrying for someplace else to be. At least they can protect -one- person for now. Protecting the rest? That will have to come later.

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