Ser Meryn steps up to the dais upon which Lord Roote’s mighty weirwood chair sits. He steps behind it and you hear a metallic scrape as he retrieves the Lord’s arms and armor. Lord Roote glances back to you. “You have nothing to fear, Quinton. I find that when people’s throats are being slashed, it’s best to don some armor. I apprehend that the miller’s blood was very fresh—therefore I do not suspect you in this crime.”
Just then, you hear a shout from beyond the door. The voice seems familiar, yet strangely out of place at first, until you register the words. Ser Timon is the Leyburn bailiff and uncle to Lord Ethan. He spends most of his time in Reedtown, whereas your garrison is typically encamped at Templestone. You know him about as well as any Leyburn officer, though his reputation is more storied than most—he’s a dogged lawman, unyielding in his commitment to justice. But why send you and Ferret separately, when you could have traveled here with Ser Timon?
Lord Roote squints his eyes in confusion. After a moment’s thought, he calls out a response. “Let your men hold the steps, Ser. You may enter.” Ser Meryn takes his side, holding a long shirt of chainmail. “Ser Meryn, have them sound a trumpet blast above in honor of Ser Timon.” Ser Meryn drapes the mail over a chairback, hands the hammer to Lord Roote, and walks to the edge of the stairs. “Up in the tower! A single blast!” Lord Roote takes the hammer—a one-handed length of steel with an end wrought in the likeness of a rearing horse, the four hooves splayed in a claw-like head—and slides the leather-wrapped shaft down beneath his belt.
OOC: Where are Quinton’s weapons and armor? I assume he’s wearing his leather at least. I ask so that I can get a sense of how threatened Lord Roote might feel, with four Leyburn soldiers and Timon in attendance.
Lord Quincy Roote’s voice calls from within for you to enter. The tower-hall is gloomy and dark, lit only by the slivers of twilight admitted by the arrow-slits and the warm glow of a torch framing the doorway that stands at the top of the internal stairs.
You’ve been in this hall perhaps three times before. The first was just after Redgrass Field, when the hall was filled by the bloodied and battered knights of Ser Fredemure Tully’s war council. It was there that Tully pledged to seek lands and titles for Gareth in return for you leading your freeriders to pacify House Strickland. House Roote offered up provisions and horses, but did not take part. In the end, the Stricklands had no resistance left to give. They had already looted their own holdings and made for the Narrow Sea. The second was some seven or eight years ago, for Robar Roote’s wedding to Vanessa Darry (she died in the Spring). The third was perhaps two years past, to negotiate trade rights: Lord Roote agreed to close his docks to ships bearing bolts of cloth, in return for Ser Gareth limiting the number of inns in Reedtown.
As your eyes adjust to the dimness, the room comes into relief. A dark carpet flows the length of the hall, bisecting four brazier-bearing pedestals, and ending at a raised stone dais upon which sits a mighty chair carved of white weirwood. To the side is a small table, strewn with coin and surrounded by a few chairs.
Ser Gerold Whent steps forward to greet you. He’s a well-built man with a stern face and the same spiky white hair that he’s had for the last ten years. Today he wears a black and yellow tabard with his signature white bat sewn abreast, as well as a suit of mail beneath. A mace hangs from his belt.
Lord Roote is standing by the table, busily tucking an ornate warhammer into his belt. He appears as you remember him, as if he’s slowly melting down a little shorter and wider every time you see him. Lord Quincy has always been the bookish type, ever since he tried to forge a chain in Oldtown. But his companions are puzzling. There are two of them—boys, really. One has the look of a clueless peasant, clad in roughspuns and in need of a barber, but the other wears the livery of a Leyburn man-at-arms. When he turns to face you, you recognize him. This one squired Ser Vlad.
In the back of the hall is a broad-shouldered, long-haired knight with a star on his chest. He too is armed and armored, but you don’t recognize him or his sigil.
After you’ve clasped arms with Ser Gerold, Lord Roote speaks. “Ser Timon. I did not realize you were coming. Otherwise I might have prepared a more hospitable welcome. Something tells me this is visit has a flavor of urgency.”
Up above, you hear a trumpet blast out. A welcome or a warning?
OOC: I’ll leave it to you to decide the exact details of what Timon knows already of Quinton. Quinton is young and shy, but also skilled in certain things, including archery and assistant-quartermastering. I imagine Timon has more than a passing knowledge of the more noteworthy men of the garrison. Quinton’s background of previously serving in the Raven’s Teeth seems like something Timon would not forget if he has previously learned it, but I’m not sure he has.