Coming on towards sunset, with a not unpleasant breeze blowing, the street that runs past your rooms in the Maelwydd manor is largely empty as decent folk are preparing for their dinners, or otherwise occupied. The view is not one that could afford the sea—the First’s Palace has stolen that luxury almost entirely—but the manses and occasional monuments are pretty enough to look at from a balcony if one were so inclined. Perhaps one shouldn’t be, however, not when the quiet is broken by a shout. The voice is familiar, though slightly slurred as if from drink or perhaps some wound to the mouth.
“I FORBID IT! Do you hear?! I won’t allow it!”
Comfortably seated near to the door which leads out onto the balcony, perhaps to enjoy the last of the daylight through the large windows, Angharad suddenly drops the book that she was reading as the shouting reaches her ears, that voice easily recognized. A moment or two passes, then the aforementioned door is flung open as if by a sudden, strong wind.
“FORBID WHAT?!” she yells as she storms out onto the balcony, her hands grasping the railing as she leans forward. “There’s not a bloody thing you can forbid that has the slightest to do with me, you damned bastard. So just GO AWAY!!”
“Don’t play your damned games with me! I won’t allow—I forbid that bloody decrepit man to be ... to be listed in the flaming, BLOODY BOOKS!” Disheveled, clearly somewhat drunk, Valtrin shakes his fist at you as if to threaten. It’s quite a silly, impotent gesture. At least he’s not so drunk to speak the wrong name, or to say too much about what the matter is—no one seems to be listening, at the moment, but who knows what will happen if the altercation goes on much longer. “You and Richara can go to the Pit of Doom, for all I bloody care! But you’re NOT going to insult me like THAT! Sink your claws into some other blithering idiot!”
A momentary pause, almost as if your words don’t quite make sense to her, as if she doesn’t yet know of the proposal. Which, of course, she don’t. But instead of making her irrational, the anger seems to sharpen her mind, and soon enough two and two are put together. “You ... you PIG!! You have NO BLOODY RIGHT to forbid ANYTHING!!” Removing one hand from the railing, it might seem as if Angharad is about to shake her fist at you in return. Unfortunately for you, however, the gesture she makes is anything but impotent; all of a sudden a strong, unnatural gust of wind slams into you, forcing you back against the wall and pinning you against it. “I do whatever I damned well please, and if it insults you, all the better! You’re the flaming king of idiots!”
A grunt, first of surprise and then of pain as he’s pressed hard against the stone wall, and Valtrin snarls as he strains to break the invisible, insubstantial bonds that hold him. “You ... you bitch! You’ve no right! You LIE to me, you bloody HIDE things from me, and now you flaming INSULT me?! You should thank the bloody Creator I can’t get ahold of you right now—I did NOTHING, NOTHING to deserve the ill-use you’ve heaped upon ME!” Raging, coming near to incoherent with that anger, Valtrin’s words come with almost no rhyme or reason, anger, self-centered curses, and perhaps just a hint of something darker, closer to truth, in the midst of them.
“BLOODY HELL! SHUT UP!” Perhaps it would be a good idea not to get her more angry; it seems those bonds about you, whether on purpose or not, tighten proportionally as Angharad’s temper deteriorates. “I don’t EVER want to see your damned face again! You’ve made it flaming clear you want nothing to do with this, and that’s FINE! But don’t you dare to come here and make any bloody demands, because you’ve given up the right to do so!” Made careless by anger from the start, surely she would not be out here with the illusion forgotten otherwise, that all too distinctive hair unhidden, and as you go on the situation hardly improves. “And you know what, you damned bastard? I am going to have him named the father, no matter what you say or do, and I WISH it was true too!”
“Wha—Oh, you slattern! I should have KNOWN,” Valtrin shouts aloud, half-shocked, all the more enraged. “Light, but that I escape you—bloody slut! Trollop!” Whatever else he says is drowned out in his struggles, fruitlessly trying to escape those invisible bonds of air that press him tightly against the wall, leaving his breath short. And then he focuses entirely on that struggle, straining hatefully against it. For an instance he pauses, as if noticing something approaching, out of your sight—but that just seems to redouble his efforts, and to start a new stream of invective
Having arrived at just the right moment to stop Richara from sending a group of guardsmen to ... escort Valtrin away—and these do follow along, if at some distance behind him—and to persuade her to let him deal with the situation instead, Tarjei lengthens his strides as the vicious cursing reaches his ears, hurrying up lest he get there too late to for ... well, for it to get really ugly. “Light! What ... are you both crazy?” he calls out as he approaches and notices that, somehow, Valtrin is pinned against the wall. Turning quickly towards the balcony, he glares at Angharad and gestures firmly towards the door. “Get yourself inside, now. What are you thinking of, coming outside looking like that? I’ll deal with ... deal with this idiot.”
Before she can get started yelling at Tarjei as well, the implications of his words sink in and, realizing the risk, Angharad backs away from the railing and eventually the balcony, retreating into her rooms once again. Not until, however, she’s given a Valtrin a black look indeed.
With the restraints suddenly fallen away, Valtrin’s last effort sends him falling to the ground painfully, a leg scraping along the stones that cobble the street. That leg of the breeches is torn, the skin torn so that some blood flows—more to match the broken lip he sports, though the blood there has clotted and dried. Snarling more oaths, Valtrin picks himself up slowly, too drunk to banish pain by force of will, or perhaps too angry. “Light curse you, Tarjei! What business is it of yours, what the fuck I do?! Do you KNOW what she ... she plans?! I forbid it!”
Extending a hand to help you up, at least if you should choose to accept it, Tarjei sighs. “I had to tell her something to get her to leave, she was risking too much like that. Now ... wont you come with me? You look like you could use a drink or two—Light knows I could at least—and then you can tell me what’s up if the place is private enough.” He’s quite calm now, knowing anger would not work, but there’s still just a hint of firmness to his voice.
Pulling his hand away the moment he’s on his feet, Valtrin snarls as he gives an unsuccessful effort at cleaning himself up, dusting and tugging furiously here and there, cursing his skinned leg. “Bloody flaming—cursed channeling! Bloody, flaming hell ...” Almost seeming to run out of steam, the next few curses aren’t particularly original. In fact, they’re downright repetitive. But then he snarls and begins to move away—limping slightly—“Fine, a drink. Bloody hell.”
Once you’re finally seated in a somewhat quiet, reasonable private corner of some slightly less than fancy inn, a bottle of wine and a pair of glasses set down on the table by a barmaid then sent off with the discreet suggestion that you’d appreciate being left alone, Tarjei lets out a deep sigh as if he had been holding his breath for quite a while. He doesn’t, however, move from there to immediately questioning you, but instead he opens the bottle and pours both glasses full, pushing the second one towards you. Clearly leaving it up to you to initiate the conversation.
Nearly draining the glass in one swallow, Valtrin sets it down so hard that the little amount of wine that remains is almost sloshed out. His face is hard, his dark eyes all the darker for the anger within him. From time to time on the journey here, Valtrin would mouth some brief curses, usually at Angharad, sometimes at Porlenz. After another string of them now, he snarls, “Damn them. Damn them both. Damn all three—all bloody four of them! Do you know what they’re doing?! No doubt Richara has—bloody, flaming ashes!”
Pushing the bottle over to your side of the table, seeing that you’ll need it soon enough, Tarjei sighs again, then nods. “I know. Richara spoke to me earlier, just after Porlenz left.” Pausing, no doubt considering carefully how to reply, he too drinks deeply from his glass before he finally goes on. “Valtrin ... no matter what Angharad no doubt said—I heard some of what she was shouting, but not all—they’re not considering this to spite you. And yes, considering, Valtrin. It wasn’t decided, in fact, Angharad didn’t even know yet.” Sighing yet another time, and taking another hefty swallow of wine, he adds: “Although, after this I fear it is as good as decided. She can be as contrary as you are.”
“That bloody lying bastard! He said—damn it,” Valtrin snarls, raking a hand through his mane of hair, seeming all the fiercer for it. He drains the last of the wine in his glass, and snatches the bottle to refill it even as he goes on his tirade. “He barged into my bloody rooms, chased of Lorilie and Renette, and then punched me! You see my lip?! If he were a man, he’d at least give me a fucking warning, but oh no—a cheap swing. And THEN he has the bloody damned audacity to lecture to me!”
“Considering what he’d just been told, can you blame him?” Tarjei asks, coming close to sounding just a little exasperated with you. “Light, when I was told my first thought was to do the same. Not so much for what it did to Angharad, but for the poor child’s sake.” Another sigh, and upon that more wine; you wont be the only one drunk when you’re done, that seems clear enough. “Its not easy to find someone who is blameless in this whole damned mess, but that poor thing certainly must be. Be as angry as you want to be with Angharad and Richara for lying, and Porlenz for getting involved today, but don’t get in the way of what they plan to do because it has nothing to do with you.”
A rather rude expression is your reward for your good sense, and Valtrin takes another large swallow of wine, gagging briefly on it. His eyes water, and he rubs at them as he curses, “Blood and ashes! Does it matter what the—pah. You’re just on their bloody side, whatever the hell you say.” He takes another long swallow of wine, again gagging—drinking it far, far too quickly, in too great a quantity, can do that to a man already a little drunk and not at all rational at the moment. “Blood and ashes! It’s bloody ridiculous for them to—for them to consider that—!”
Draining his glass, and pouring himself some more from the rapidly emptying bottle, Tarjei then asks, “Why, Valtrin? Why is it ridiculous?” He’s mostly (save for a flicker of annoyance in his eyes) ignoring your accusations since reasoning with you isn’t much of an option in any case. “If you’d like to explain it to me, I’ll be happy to listen. Perhaps there’s something I haven’t been told?” Reasonable enough a request. Perhaps a little too reasonable even.
Another rude expression follows, and Valtrin drains his glass, only to take the bottle and pour more of the dark red wine. “Explain? Explain?! Are you daft, Tarjei? Isn’t it bloody well obvious? My own bloody, flaming idiot of a father, claiming—Flaming ashes! I won’t explain it, if you’re too stupid to see it! It’s bloody LAUGHABLE!” A few eyes turn to the relatively private table, and no doubt a few ears are piqued by the shouting and general goings on. “Hell,” Valtrin adds, just as he lifts his overly-full glass to his lips, “Hell if it isn’t more reasonable for you to be in the damned book.”
He hadn’t expected that, and for a moment just stares at you. “Me? Valtrin, don’t be stupid. I am her uncle, how would that look?” Shaking his head, Tarjei follows that with another drink from his glass, although one rather more moderate than yours. “Granted, if she decided to stay in hiding, her name can’t go in there at first either. But what if that changes later on? Would you have the poor child not even having one of his real parents listed? Especially since it makes a good deal of sense for Porlenz to be listed now that you aren’t an option.” A momentary pause, then he goes on to explain: “If the child is a son, he will be Porlenz heir. Unless, of course, you have any plans to get married and fathering a few legitimate children?”
The look Valtrin gives you, though black and unpleasant, suggests that for an instant that suggestion finds a place where it comes under serious consideration ... but that madness passes, and he shakes his head. “If you won’t be helpful, Tarjei, keep to the drinking and leave me some peace and quiet.” Another long swallow from his glass—as if to set an example—and then Valtrin falls ... to brooding, more or less. He scowls at the table, as if to bore his way through it with his very eyes.
“What do you want me to do, Valtrin?” Tarjei asks as he reaches for the bottle to pour himself at least some more wine. “If I can help you, I will. As long as you don’t ask me to make the situation worse for the child.” Sighing, he leans heavily against the back of his chair. “It can’t be helped that it wont be legitimate, but perhaps it will do some good that there’s at least a father listed, even if its an apparent lie. At least I’ve always thought so myself. Then again, I’ve always known it for a lie, so perhaps that makes a difference. Light only knows what Angharad will say.”
A long last swallow of wine, and then Valtrin makes it plain that he’s leaving. “I don’t care, Tarjei. Blood and ashes—all I want is to be left alone. _And_ not bloody toyed with. I’m their flaming favorite target, and I am TIRED of it! Tell them that, and you’ll be helping me!” And standing thus, wincing a little at his abused leg, Valtrin gives the briefest of nods as he mutters, “Goodbye.”