(1866-12-09) Where There's Ale
Where There's Ale..
Summary: Esyld encounters a Tracano. Without violence!
Date: 1866/12/09
Related: None - prior to the Sunsreach Bareknuckle Event
Broderick  Esyld  

The Golden Dragon Inn, Sunsreach
The Golden Dragon Inn is a sprawling and airy establishment with shutters instead of a wall facing the street to let cool air in during Sunsreach's scorching summers. Inside the common room it is shady and cool, with a scattering of circular tables about the center of the room, a heavy wooden bar to one side, and the scintillating smells of the kitchen wafting through a door to the right. The back of the establishments are given over to private tables, most often used by the 'quality', those with fat purses or noble names. Past these tables are the doors to private dining rooms where one can entertain in privacy. The true focus of the common room however is the stage where bards, singers, storytellers and even actors can be found preforming most nights to the amusement of the patrons. Past the stage is the wooden steps to the upper level sleeping chambers, which vary from closet sized rooms with a straw pallet and a chamber pot to more lavish bedrooms befitting guests of quality.
9th Decembre, 1866

It's not all that long until the next tournement event, and there's a good crowd in the inn getting an ale in first, or filling a wineskin to take with them. Local and foreign alike crowd the bar and the common rooma t the front is too busy for the bard who's trying to preform to be heard over the crowd. Sat near the back, in the area reserved for those of higher breeding, Broderick has managed to find a little bit more peace and quiet, although perhaps quiet is only a relative term. As his wine (watered) runs low he seeks to attract the attention of a barman, but the crowd makes it difficult enough that he gives up and stands himself, heading for the clearest section of bar he can see.

Where there's ale, there are Foxes. Regardless of whether it's the good Couvieri stuff or the Rivanan equivalent, apparently! One portion of the busy clientele today, occupying one end of the bar, is made up of the mercenaries; most easily distinguishable (if not recognisable, here) by the ebon tabards they wear, adorned with the animal of their company's naming. One amongst them, however, is more simply attired. Esyld, in the midst of the bantering group, wears only a plain overshirt of creamy linen, falling to mid-thigh atop aged and worn leggings of brown leather. And the almost mandatory, world-weary boots, laced high.

Grinning at something uttered by one of her comrades, the young woman is turning, with a few tankards in each hand, from the bar just as Broderick makes his bid for the parting gap.. and an ill-timed jolt to the elbow has the drinks sloshing dangerously. Either instinct or sheer bad luck has her correcting the seemingly imminent disaster.. and a decent spill dashes onto the hem of her tunic. Well, better her than the noble, right? Shaking a wayward lock of dark hair out of her face, she raises eyes of an eerie, unnatural blue to regard the man and offer an apology. These things happen, especially in such establishments, but it's always nice to be nice. "Beg pardon.."

Broderick doesn't spot the elbow, but he does see the emergency corrective manovuer and replies with a quick grunt that can hopefully be interpreted as 'don't worry about it.' The fox motif he recogonises, not so much the individuals, for good or ill, but it's enough though to elicit a slightly longer reply once he's noted it. "Enjoying the southern winter?" he asks, it's small talk definitley, but he does at least skip the 'here for the tourny' bit, given that that much is pretty obvious, "and the beer?"

Taking a further sidestep, unapologetically budging one of her fellows out of the way, the Captain clears Broderick's path to the bar and simultaneously grants him some shelter from at least one side. Time enough to procure a drink. One or two of the Foxes eye him, a swift down-up glance taking his measure as they're handed their drinks, then leave Esyld to her smalltalk, returning to their own lechery and laughter. "Indeed, m'Lord." The formality is a safe bet. "It's not overly cold, by our standards, of course." Freed now of the burden of ale-carrying, she straightens her posture and ventures a polite half-smile. "And beer is beer… we're not the fussiest of customers."

Not the type - or the station - to offer out a graceful hand in introduction, the mercenary instead inclines a slight bow toward the man, apparently electing to make herself known whether he's interested or not. "Captain Draven, of the Black Foxes." She doesn't bother to tack on the l'Saigner ties. Anyone who's seen members of that family no doubt already noted the livery of their sometime bodyguards anyway.

Broderick is in Tracano green, so the other foxes, and indeed Esyld herself, should have little difficulty placing him as a local. If he notes their attention he doenst show it as he orders another flagon of wine (still watered) and waits for it to be prepared. "Finest ale in the edge," he remarks, although his tone suggests that that's the kind of thing one says to visitors in these parts for there's no hint of being a particular point of pride for him. Inclining his head to the bow he answers a-like once she's done, "Broderick Tracano. Knight of St Paulus. Well met captain. Are you planning to compete later?"

Somewhere between common and highborn, Esyld is less easily cowed by titles. Usually. Besides, she's likely spilled more than one drink over Tristan in days gone by. Still, she has the good manners and grace to behave with suitable respect to a Tracano while she's in Sunsreach. Rough around the edges, perhaps.. stupid? No. With a nod and a sound of agreement to his 'well met', the woman chuckles obligingly, with a glance toward the barkeep and the drinks he's pouring. "I shall take your word for it, m'Lord, until I have been far enough afield myself to have a ranking order. And yes, indeed.." Esyld pauses, taking a quick sip of her ale, mostly to reduce the froth atop, "..I intend to compete today. Assuming I'm not too far in my cups." That said, she now takes a lengthier pull from her tankard. Yum. "You've quite the formidable reputation yourself, m'Lord, within the tourney circuit."

"I shall watch you as you leave then, and place my coin relative to how straight a line you can weave," Broderick replies, tone light. "I, regretably, will be in the stands for this one." Theres a slight raising of an eyebrow as she comments on his tourney reputation, and he takes a moment to try and decifer if she's serious, or merely trying to flatter him. "The circuit must have a long memeory then," he notes, deciding to give her the benefit of the doubt for now, "for I've missed the last dozen or so, and can not claim to have made a particualrly impressive start int his." yes, being the first to yield in the melee is a sore point, that much is obvious, but it's not as if it isn't public knowledge. "Still, there is yet the duels and joust to come, so perhaps something can be salvaged."

Laughing a moment, a pleasant sound from low in her throat, the Captain relaxes a touch, not seeming to take the slightest offence to Broderick's humor. She notes the flicker of uncertainty, though, and offers a fleeting grin, a simple flash of her teeth, as her mirth subsides. "The murmuring within the crowd carried your name. That's enough to tell me when a knight is memorable. Oh, the fancies come and go.. but if they remember your name and clamour to see.. well." The rest is left unsaid. Because no, she's not the sort for needless flattery. Being the sister of an equally proud knight, Esyld also knows better than to bring up the matter of his yielding.. she simply dismisses that point with the quirk of one brow over the rim of her tankard, taking another sip. "I must admit, I've always enjoyed watching the jousting, m'Lord. But then, given the nature of my position, perhaps that is not so surprising." Fair point.. a t'Maren upbringing and now the cavalry. Maybe she just likes the pretty ponies.

Tossing enough coin onto the bar to cover his flagon as it arrives, Broderick does not immediately move to pick it up and hea back to his table, instead choosing to mull over her words a moment or two. "Perhaps there were some there who witnessed the melee after the l'Saigner wedding but weeks back, I fared better then," or perhaps it was his old commrades in arms from the civil war, or one of them at least, given he fought for both overthe years it lasted. "The joust is a better spectacle no doubt," he continues with a slow nod, "although I it plays to much to showmanship at times as a result. A melee on hourseback would be far more rewarding personally, but I am not an Official of he Circuit."

"Ahh, but how many would dare to enter and risk a dent to pretty armor or a bruise to a manly jawline, m'Lord?" Esyld grins broadly, in evident agreement but plainly having given the matter thought before now. "Alas, the 'spectacle' is what draws the crowds, these days.. and fewer and fewer of those in the lists have truly seen battle, in my opinion." The woman shrugs lightly. "Not that it matters, I suppose, in the grand scheme of things. It remains a time to rejoice and forge new bonds, across greater gulfs."

Following another mouthful of ale - goodness, that's going down well, isn't it? - the brunette nods, then rakes back the resulting tumble of glossy dark hair from her brow. "Mm, yes. That's likely where I heard of you initially, m'Lord." Tilting her head a little askance, she regards Broderick for a moment before daring a bold question. "And would you desire to match yourself against Lord Gabriel, given the opportunity? Particularly given this may well be your last chance.."

Broderick can not help but smile just a little as he sees how quickly the ale is disappearing. See, definitely the best in the Edge. "I'd run the risk of denting my armour, or gaining a few bruises," he replies "but I suspect what migh thold me back would be the risk of injury to the horse. A beast that could compete in such an event is not one to be risked lightly." There's a slow nod in agreement at he talk of drawing the crowds in, but he doesn't respond to that specifically, prefering instead to smile knowingly, prehaps pridefully, back at her final question. "I would. Or Sir Joffrey perhaps, given his strong showings of late. Either of those, or perhaps the Lord Marshall," Thaddeus that is, "would be suitable opponants. I would be loath to miss a chance against Sir Gabriel, but I suspect that there are many who are thinking the same."

"It's the mark of a genuine competitor, I've always thought. Seeking to match against the best. Why rest on your laurels, after all." Draining the last of her mug, Esyld sidles in enough to lean across and set it down on the bartop, before returning, folding her arms now, to her previous spot. Nodding agreement again, letting her cerulean eyes wander the crowd around them for a spell, she speaks musingly and only after a pause. "If I were a knight, I would gladly risk the dents and bruises just for a chance. But you're right.. I'd think twice before placing my destrier in peril without good reason. Even if he is getting a little long in the tooth now." Returning her attention to Broderick, she smiles, almost shyly, for the fond tone that laces the following words. "He was a gift from my father. And a meaner, more foul-tempered brute you never laid eyes on. But that, in itself, has it's place when one's enemies are unfortunate enough to be underfoot, hm?"

As to the matter of showings.. "I confess, m'Lord.. my wager was on Sir Joffrey, in the free for all. Just for sport, really.. though a seasoned warrior is never to be overlooked."

"If it were truely the best, then I'd add the King to the list as well," Broderick remarks, "but I hear his tournement days are over as well. Quite the year for retirements it seems." As she describes the horse he listens, a faintly wry grin spreading across his features as he does so before he quips once she's finished, "sounds just like the Lord Marshall." Twisting to pick up the flagon he adds, "my money was on myself. Some might call it pretencious I know, but I'm not a fresh young newly knighted thing looking to make a name for themselves against the big boys and girls. I am one of the big boys nad girls, and if I doubt believe in myself enough to put coin on it, what is the point."

The Captain chuckles at the comparison between her beloved mount and the rather arrogant-seeming Lord Marshall.. not that she's ever had the pleasure, but there were certainly some mutterings in the wake of his introduction at the parade. As for the Tracano wagering upon his own name, she looks quite unperturbed. "In that case, m'Lord, it sounds more like common sense than pretension." Esyld grins slightly. "..though the bareknuckle is not exactly my forte. Now, were I to take part in the joust.. then perhaps I might part with my coin on my own back. Today? It's likely better spent on ale." At the end of the day, she's still naught but a bastard and a mercenary. Broderick can admit his confidence without fear of reproach.. she would do better to maintain her sensible modesty.

"Speaking of such.." Those vivid eyes flit toward the door of the inn as a few of the patrons begin to filter out into the daylight of the street. "I had best look to making my way." Looking back up at the nobleman before her, then properly flicking a glance floorward and bak as she bows a little once more, she adds, "It was a pleasure to make your acquaintance, m'Lord. I shall be sure to lend my applause to your efforts in the upcoming events. Oh.. do be sure to gauge the directness of my path now, won't you?" Was that a glimmer of mischief in her expression? Rather too swift to say, as in the next moment she's turning on a heel, summoning a few of her comrades with a mere glance to accompany her.. and, truth be told, there's no trace of a wobble in her stride as she makes her way to the exit.

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