11.08.3013: Donation to Charity
Summary: Brienne makes Bey an offer. Can he refuse?
Date: 05 October 2013
Related: Nothing Alike and Making A Splash
Balius Brienne Chiron Lorelei 

The Mott Taphouse
The taphouse is burrowed out from the heart of one of the various elder trees that surround the Heartwood. It is dark, warm, and inviting no matter the time of day. There are not a lot of hard corners, and it feels as though the walls blend in with the ceilings that curve high above. The interior wood has been stained a honey gold, which is offset by the rosewood bar and tables. There are a couple of circular windows that have been carved from the tree trunk, though the glass is stained a soft green to continue to maintain a particular atmosphere no matter the time of day. Scattered throughout the room are tables of various size and chair arrangement, and the aforementioned bar runs along the left-hand wall.
November 08, 3013

Saturday evening in the Taphouse, a bustling, rowdy crowd fills the booths and tables within. A live band is in the corner, though the music serves as background more than the central focus. The rain outside patters at a steady beat.
The youngest Quellton is leaning against the bar, ale in hand. Wearing a green tunic, there's a satchel over his shoulder as he seems to be in good spirits, searching for an empty booth.

Brienne was here for most of the evening. Only.. when her brother had walked out on her, she'd gone out and tried to find him, having been gone such a short while, the barkeep had held her place for her, fresh drink being slid into place even as she walks in through the door. The next to oldest Arboren looks weary, tired and suspiciously pink rimmed about her eyes. Approaching the bar, she sits down heavily. "Thanks," she tells the person waiting on the bar. This time, she doesn't wallow in self pity. Instead, she nods to the Quellton. "Good evening."

With a grin and nod Brienne's way, Balius responds. "Good evening." There's a look in his own exhausted eyes that seems to connect for the moment. "Long day?" He offers, still smiling before taking a deep swig of his ale, fingers absentmindedly tapping along to the beat as he considers Brienne for a moment.

"It keeps getting even longer," Brienne admits with a quiet voice and a faint tilt to her lips in a half smile. "Yours?" Reaching for her ale, she wraps both hands around it as if she could draw strength from it by simply holding on.

To Balius, the ale may as well be water to a man that's wandered the desert. "That does seem to be the way they work sometimes. But the Taphouse is always home to ease such, I've found." Another grin as he seems to relax somewhat on the bar. "And mine…well, let's just say the runaway horse this morning was the easy part of my day." He chuckles slightly, pieces of hay still visible in his hair and boots.

There's a wince at the confession. "Ouch. Sounds like a rough day." Finally, Brie moves one hand from her ale and lifts it with the other, taking a long drink. This is certainly not her usual hangout so probably even though it's smack in the middle of the Arboren territory, she's not as recognizable as some of her siblings. She mostly keeps to herself. So, she offers.. "Brienne Arboren. Sounds like we've shared a similarly bad day." Her lips hitch a little further, curving a little more.

<FS3> Balius rolls Etiquette: Good Success.

Noting the noble's name, Balius will offer a polite bow, which seems like an incredibly awkward and unpracticed gesture from the Quellton. "I think that's something I could toast to, m'Lady. To days gone to hell, and to the drinks that bring us back!" He raises his tankard with an excited smile.

"Oh, please don't worry about bowing to me. I'm about as informal as they come." Brienne reassures. Lifting her ale in a return gesture though, she nods wearily. "I'll have to drink to that. Please call me Brie. Or Brienne. Not Lady." Lifting the drink, she takes a long swallow.

Downing his ale eagerly, there's probably barely a sip left. "Well, Brie. I'm Balius Quellton. Call me Bey. Mind if I ask why the long face?" Balius seems genuinely interested as he leans forward a bit to hear better from the noise in the background. His green eyes show some concern as well, even as his barefeet lightly tap to the rhythm.

"It's nice meeting you, Bey." One of her faults is Brie is honest, if sometimes brutally so. "My family is broken." Yeah.. Lifting a single shoulder in a half shrug, she offers no further observation or excuse. "What about you? And your horse?"

There's an immediate frown from Balius, as if that somehow hits a little too close to home. "Family…yeah." He grunts momentarily, eying the ale in his tankard thoughtfully. "Blood is a funny, complicated thing." He shrugs. Maybe it's the ale, maybe it's Brie's honesty, but he follows and expounds upon his vague statements. "My family is breaking…and our stables seem to be the ironic parallel to the whole thing."

Ouch. Seeing the immediate frown, Brienne guesses something is up. When he explains, her own frown echoes his. "The stables?" It piques her interest and anything to take her mind off the complicated mess that makes up her blood relatives, is a welcome distraction. "Tell me about it," she invites.

"Arion Oaks…it's way out in the forest…" Balius nods. "And finances are just tough is all." He seems sheepish for a moment. "My brother is doing great stuff. He's a squire now. And my sister is…" Well, Bey doesn't even know how to approach that. "She's finding her own path, but then Ma and Da are gonna be left alone to manage everything. It's just a mess." He sips off the rest of his ale and motions for another one. "I didn't mean to just dump all that on ya, Brie. Victarion's my own horse, and he just bolted this morning as if he was spooked of his own shadow…never seen anythin quite like it from him."

"Whenever you think you got it bad, you always find someone else who has it worse." Brie is, at first, unaware she had spoken the words aloud. When she realizes it, she flushes pink. "I'm sorry. I don't mean.. I mean." She is terrible with words. Suddenly, she blurts out.. "Do you have a charity or anything you do out there? Helping less fortunate kids? Anything?"

There's a tilt of the Quellton's head, his reaction more perplexed than anything else. There's a bit on Balius' mind, as he might know why one of the Arboren siblings is broken. But his respect for the other ones allows him to hold his tongue at the insult from Brienne's lips. "All people have their own struggles, Brie. I daresay it'll all work out…as for charities? I've been using my makeshift med skills lately to help out. If all goes to plan, I'll start Academ in the spring for pre-med."

Still, Brie hadn't mean insult and she feels as if she'd come across that way. "I'm sorry, Bey. Pre-med you say?" Taking a deep breath, she forges on. "What do you plan on doing once you're a doctor?" Surely this is going somewhere, isn't it? Or is she just another weird Arboren?

Saturday night at the Taphouse, a live group is playing quietly in one corner of the crowded establishment. The rain outside falls in steady pat-pat as the autumnal breeze produces a bit of a chill. "Well…it's complicated. I've been able to serve as a combat medic on a handful of occasions…but I really want to study epidemiology eventually. But they say it's ten years before ya reach that point. What do you do, Brie?" Besides Lady stuff…though Bey isn't sure what Arboren lady stuff consists of really.

The way Brienne awaits the answer is almost comical, hanging on the words. Though the length of time is understandable, she half smiles, half smirks. "So, this Academ. You're interested in going there?" It's pricey, probably. Her ale is still in her hand, resting on the bar, but it's forgotten for now. So are her worries about her own woes. For now. "I've got a personal question. Mind if I ask it?"

It's been a busy week for Chiron, and as such he's not been out as much as he'd like. Having some time off finally, and a few good talks with his sister he decided the best thing to do is go to Mott's Taphouse. They walk in, Chiron leading the way, the way he walks and positions himself is very protective of her tonight, at least, more so then usual. He scans the area, spotting Balius with the Arboren noble, Brienne. "Bey is sitting with someone, did you want to go sit with him? or go somewhere else?" He asks her.

Lorelei's arms are wrapped around herself, when Chir said go out, she didn't think he meant the Tap House. She's dressed in a simple Arboren dress, hair pulled back in a simple braid. She'll looks small, like she's trying to hide behind Chiron, "I…I don't care. Whatever you want, is fine." Even her voice is timid.

Having not seen his siblings yet, Bey will continue is his conversation with Brie. "It's certainly worth more than a stablehand makes, yeah." He grins though. "I've gotten some scholarships, and I got accepted, so big hurdles are mostly crossed." He seems perplexed and yet amused by Brienne's shifting moods, trying to ascertain their cause, he asks. "Are you a student as well?"

"Actually, no. I'm not a student." Just now remembering the previous question from him. "I'm a knight. Squired with the Valen. Being such, I enjoy the odd joust tournament." Brienne offers, but not elaborating yet. Not yet. "So, scholarships. Accepted. What's stopping you now? And are you sure you don't help homeless children or something out at your stables? Or the less fortunate or something, to teach them how to ride?" She also hasn't seen the newest arrivals.

Chiron furrows his brow some, but looks concerned as he turns to face his sister. "This is about you, Sparrow. What do you want?" Chiron says, placing an arm around her comfortingly. He looks back over to Balius, and then scans the room again.

Lorelei flinches slightly, her eyes darting around. "I…We can say hi…" She's not really answering him, but not saying hi could cause more stress. She give him a nervous smile and the start walking towards Bey and the noble.

There's a nod as Balius connects some dots, he smiles. "You were at the Tourney - the joust!" There's a look of respect on his face as he sips from his tankard of ale and processes the rest of her statement. "My family helps out where we can…always, but there's no fancy charity of anything. As for the Academ, all I need is the remaining funding and -" And there's Lorelei and Chiron walking towards him. There's a flash of a grimace then a forced smile. "Loree, Chi…this is Lady Sir Brienne Arboren…or Brie for short." He nods to the noble.

Torn. So clearly torn, Brienne studies him. Why was this so difficult? "Yes, I was at the tourney, Bey." Using the name he had offered her to use. Still deciding how to approach what she has to say, she notices him speaking to the others, hearing the introductions. A smiling nod goes to Chiron, but her green hues study Lorelei a little longer. Then there's dawning recognition and it's not what would usually be expected. "I saw you here the other day, with that.." thinking, thinking.. snapping her fingers. "Hollolas Lord. Right." Offering a friendly nod to her now too. "Pleasure meeting you."

"Bey, Sir Lady Brienne." Chiron says, giving the lady a slight bow. "Congratulations on the tournament. I was there watching, you performed quite well." He is quiet as she speaks to Lorelei, and winces slightly when she mentions Ephraim. He places another comforting arm around his sister, but doesn't say anything… yet.

Lorelei doesn't quite hide the slight stumble when Bey covers up the grimace. Her voice is soft, "Hi Bey….we're not interrupting , are we?" She'll blink looking back at the noble with a soft smile, until he's mentioned. Loree's eyes go down, "I..uh-yes."Her hand s go together in front of her, fingers locking on each other, even as Chiron puts a protective arm around her.

There'd been a few rumblings, but Balius had been spending his nights on the Ring lately, choosing to do his chores and leave the stables on a daily basis. Now that something had been confirmed as a stumbling block betwixt Lorelei and Ephraim, part of Balius relaxes, though it's not clear to anyone else why that may be. "Not interrupting at all guys. Feel free to join us, if you like. Brie was just asking if we helped out with any charities?" There's a perplexed tone in his voice at his own statement, but, really, Bey just feels quite overwhelmed by the situation. He takes a large gulp out of his mug.

When the bow is offered, Brie shakes her head, "That's alright. I'm not so formal.." Not always. But the nod of acknowledgement is automatic when she's bowed to. "Thank you," unable to hide the pride in her voice, but still, second place. Which brought her directly back to.. Bey. And her dilemma. Except the sister looks so troubled. "Are you alright?" Despite her attempt to keep her distance, the concern touches her eyes. Her voice. Charities. Right. Dragging her gaze back to Bey. "I want to ask you something else. Kind of personal. May I?"

"Every noble says that." Chiron chuckles. "Still, you are nobility. It's right to address you as such. You've been doing well I hope?" He asks the Arboren knight. He looks down at his sister, giving her a look that seems to ask if she wanted to say, or if he should say something.

Lorelei forces a smile, and it's obvious she's forcing it, "I'm fine, my lady. I…uh, help with The Notice Project some, but nothing though the Stables." She'll glance first to Bey, picking up on his mood shift, but not entirely sure what it's about and then to Chiron. She'll shrug softly, she's already in the lion's den, how much worse could it get? Looking at the bar, "I think I'm going to get an ale.." She's trying to catch the barkeeps eye.

Maybe he's just buzzed, but Bey nods and smiles pleasantly to both siblings before answering Brienne's request. "Please, Brie, ask away." He's sipping from his mug as he makes a brief aside to Chiron. "Feels like ages since I've seen ya bro!" His eyes look to Loree with a quick sadness, but he makes no move towards his sister.

"I am well, yes. Thank you." Brie holds tighter to her drink. This has been the oddest day so far, of her entire life. Catching the forced smile, she opts not to question the woman further, not exactly sure what it was she had said to bring that reaction. Charities? More hesitant than ever, she avoids that wounded look from Lorelei, not sure exactly how to take it. She wasn't exactly the nurturing type, herself. Clearing her throat, she tries again. "Now, don't take this the wrong way, but like I said, I was in that tournament recently. I lost in the final round to Sir Nikomachos Sauveur from Cindravale." Not exactly sure they knew the rules, as it were, to a joust. "Since I lost, I have to pay a ransom to Sir Niko. To keep my armor, my horse." Her pride. "In lieu of the ransom, he has asked I donate it to a charity." Lifting her free hand, the one not holding the ale, she shakes her head. "Now, I'm not calling you a charity or anything." Hurriedly inputting that. "But I'd like to pay what I owe, to you, to help you with your studies at the Academ. Would you honor me and accept?"

Chiron attempts to get the barkeeps attention, when doing so he orders two ales; one for him and one for his sister. He's not saying much, more interested in what his brother has to say, especially with Lorelei and himself also offering to help him pay for the academ.

Lorelei keeps her eyes lowered, so she doesn't seem to notice the worried look from Bey, and is internally wincing more at his greeting to Chiron. She's given the ale, the barkeep giving her a pitying look. Seems like everyone knows what happened with Ephraim. Her cheeks color, but then her head snaps up, eyes wide looking between the noble and her brother.

Balius shifts uncomfortably in his stool. This was definitely an odd evening. Armor? "My lady - Brie…" He corrects himself, confused for the moment. "…thank you." He's buzzed and is slowly learning to accept help when and where he can get it. There's more worried looks to his siblings as he smiles back to Brie. "That'd be great, actually. What kind of armor is it?"

Ohhh the misunderstanding. "I mean.. um." Still feeling a little uneasy, or just.. odd. "Not my armor, actually. The ransom. The money. I'd like to give it to you, to help you, instead of paying it to some random charity to line the pockets of the directors."

Balius blinks and then leans in with a huge bear hug. "Brie, that's freakin Awesome!" A squeeze and release as he looks on her with gratitude and pride. "Just know…it's not gonna be wasted. I'm gonna help people." He looks slightly uncomfortable again, as if he has another question.

Surprised at the hug, Brienne just sits there at first before she lifts her arms and hugs him back in return. "I'll have it sent to you.. where? And I know it won't be wasted, and I look forward to you helping people. It'll be great." His look has her offering an encouraging nod. "Ask anything you want. Amount? Ten thousand dollars, if that's what you were wondering."

Nodding to her, Bey smiles some more. "You don't even know what this means…" He looks like he's just set down a heavy load as he sits up and is more excited. "And I think you can just wire it to the Academ directly…" His face flushes red as he sips more ale, part of him pondering the intricacies of the situation.

Uncomfortable playing the hero in any setting, Brie blushes almost as red as he is. "I'll do that then, make sure it's all paid up for you. And.. Bey? If you need anything just let me know, we're friends, right?" New friends, but friends all the same.

Balius gives Brie an affirmative shoulder pat. "I should think so! My skills aren't the best, but I've had my share of serving as a medic in combat. So….ya know…" Statement is left hanging as he grins a little goofily and looks back to his siblings.

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