"It's a good test," he said as he returned to his work "and you're right: ye talk way too much."
Adrian pouted slightly, and went off to find something else to do. Vitruvius handed him a broom on his way back to Agethar’s side. “Alright, so you’ve passed that test. There’s still a few hours left before we close for the day, and you’ll be paid for as long as you’ve worked. We’ll keep you on this for today, and see if you’re ready to learn something else tomorrow. If you can’t stand the heat or our ways, then don’t worry about coming back. Plenty of younger lads in this city who’re less fed or strong than you.”
"But if you really want to know. I'm alright, mom's alright. I'm planning on leaving town soon." Arryn said, reaching for his foot. "That guy's coin purse was enough to get me a ride to the nearest town or inn. So I could make money playing my violin-strings, rather than picking locks or climbing over rooftops."
Salonya glanced at the guards around them, and at the southron prisoner beside them. “You sure you want to be admitting you’ve committed countless crimes right here?” She asked, frowning.
In response, the lancer whose socks Arryn had stolen led a few of his comrades in a round of chortling. One horse archer, his bow slung over his shoulder, smirked at the pickpocket from behind a wax tablet. Apparently he had been taking notes.
A few moments later, the Guardians drew to a stop and began to open the front of their formation. The horses and riders had been obstructing their prisoners’ and Salonya’s view, but now the three could see the unmistakable, imposing sight of the old Baron’s keep before them. While it was made of the same mud bricks as most of the buildings in the city, it was clear that this building was being kept in the best repair. This struck Arryn and Salonya as odd, as they knew that no noble had lived in it since before they were born.
As if on cue, a squad of armored soldiers approached the trio on foot. While they wore the same grey gambesons as the Guardians, Salonya would have heard of them and Arryn would be nervous to be this close to them and their deadly halberds. These were known as the Triarii, the toughest veteran infantry the Veitshire Guard had to offer. Their greathelms obscured their eyes from the trio, and their menacing silence was intimidating. One of them approached Alfonso, saluting by thumping his offhand to his chestplate. “Welcome back, sir. What have we here?”
Pointing to each in turn, Capulet answered, “Two suspects, one witness. The short one picked that archer’s pocket, archer pulled a knife on him, they might have been fighting over the girl’s affections, and the short one might be Fleetfoot. We’ve got the details we know written down, but we can offer statements if you think the judge’ll need ‘em. We’d just be coming back from patrol right about now, anyway.”
The halberdier nodded, then motioned to his comrades who took the ropes holding Arryn and El Aurens. “Standard procedure, then. We’ll put them in separate rooms to keep them from starting round two. You can secure your horses and file your reports as usual, sir. The magistrate’s not busy now, so we’ll be able to tell you quickly if you’re needed.
With that, the Guardians rode off toward the stables while the Triarii led Arryn and El Aurens toward a hall within the keep, not too far from the wide, double doors that undoubtedly led to the courtroom. Their officer politely asked Salonya to follow him, and she was led to a room on the opposite end of the hallway. All three of them entered separate rooms to find plain, solid walls and a table with two opposing chairs. Arryn and El Aurens were seated in the far chairs in their rooms, facing the door as they heard it being locked from the outside. Aside from the torchlight creeping under the doors and through the barred openings in the doors, they were in total darkness. Salonya, on the other hand, was offered a cushioned seat closest to her door, which remained open. A brazier on either side kept the room warm and bright, and a servant even brought her a goblet of clean, fresh water. The guard remained outside, but he seemed more concerned with keeping anyone from barging in on her than keeping her from escaping. He had even removed his helmet to smile and assure her that someone would take her statement shortly before taking his post.
After a few moments, Salonya heard the guard snap to attention, turning to see a short, olive-skinned, clean-shaven man approaching. He also wore armor and a grey gambeson, but he was armed with a scimitar and two pugio-style daggers, and wore a steel round shield on his back. For Salonya, though, he bared a half-smile instead of steel, refilling her goblet with a pitcher in his hand before filling another cup for himself. He took the seat facing Salonya, his piercing blue eyes never leaving hers, even when another guard pressed a wax tablet into his hand. After a moment of silence, the man looked down at his tablet for scarcely a second, then looked back up at her. “Well, Miss Scato, we’re glad you can offer some...perspective...on this little scuffle. I am Behnam Capulet, your interim sheriff. My youngest brother claims the two suspects were already acquainted with you?”
“Someone doesn’t like playing a hero, huh?” Percula thought aloud… louder than she meant to.
Fortunately for her, the two knights did not hear her outburst over the bustle of the crowd. Marcus did, however, though he stopped himself from turning around abruptly. He had started to look in the direction of her voice, though, until he noticed Sir Telos quizzically following his gaze.
The party soon reached the ironworks, with a sizable, if somewhat plain manor placed between it and the city wall. More guards patrolled the grounds and a few crossbowmen had set up an awning and some chairs on the roof. A large window on the ground floor was boarded over, as if it had been broken recently. In front of the same window, an old woman in a faded blue gown tended to some flowers in a wooden planter. A couple of guards with tower shields and spears stood to either side, trying not to look bored and to stay out of the woman’s way. As the party drew closer, they could hear the woman muttering to herself in Southron. Neitha could barely make out the Parsanshan words for “stubborn,” “paranoid,” “son,” and “nuisance” among them.
Marcus dismounted slowly, removing his helmet and nodding to the guards as he approached the woman. They returned the gesture, and the lady turned to see who was approaching. Her silver hair and slight stoop showed that she was well along in years, but her dark eyes still shone with the inner strength of a mother who had raised warriors. She could easily be mistaken for a high priestess or a stately queen. Her presence was almost intimidating. Marcus bowed his head before her, saying softly and respectfully, “Hello, mother.”
The matron beamed a smile of pure joy, dropping her trowel and wiping the soil off her hands before stretching her arms out to welcome the Inquisitor’s approach. She embraced her son, tears of joy running down her face as she alternated between Common and Parsansharian, “My dear Marcus, <my noble son>, my pride and joy!” She drew back to wipe her eyes with her sleeve, a proud, motherly grin on her lips as she remarked, “Still so handsome in the black iron! Just like at your induction as an Agent…” she ruffled his hair as she continued, “but with a few more white hairs than you had as a boy. Is that wisdom or stress you’re showing, son?”
Capulet’s cheeks flushed slightly as he retorted, “There’s no right answer to that, is there, mother?” The two knights from the Guardians chuckled at each other, only to be silenced by an icy glare from Mrs. Capulet. She then noticed the other riders, raising an eyebrow incredulously in the same manner Marcus did. “Are these friends of yours, Marcus?” With a smile and a sweeping gesture, he answered, “Indeed they are, mother. These are Lady Neitha of Kemhet; Master Caiden Voros, of the Venatori; Master Kye Vakurseth of Parsanshar, and none other than Sir Thomas Drake, of Illikon.”
Marcus’ mother offered the traditional Southron greeting, an open hand clasped to the chest, then extended with a slight bow. “I am Pegah, wife to Petruchio Capulet. As friends of my second son, I am honored to welcome you to our home. May it also be a home to you, for as long as you choose to stay.”
Edited by Lord_Capulet, 11 November 2015 - 09:59 PM.