Episode 2: A Friend to Hide
Lord and Lady Tuttle have traveled to The Arbor to hold court with the Redwynes. Shell Island seems to be at peace after four years of running battles with bandits. These kind of days don’t come without strings, and one of those strings has just landed on Shell Island. This string also presents a quandary that might endanger the good fortunes of House Tuttle and create more enemies on the mainland – enemies that the Tuttles cannot afford to make. Maera has been left in charge of the house. Will she make the right decisions?
The Nymph of the Mists has come to Shell Island Port bearing a cargo more explosive than a volcano. Tomas Merryweather, escaping a small situation in Oldtown, has come to Shell Island to ask his cousion, Lord Tuttle for some sanctuary. A bit drunk and maybe somewhat overly friendly, he meets up with Simon, who is in port for a break from his patrols around the island while Lord and Lady Tuttle as well as Ser Kelvan Cuy and most of the Tuttle’s ships are at The Arbor concluding some business.
Wine, whores and more wine. At the port Tomas suggests that he and Simon go to the local whorehouse for a little bit of recreation. Or at least a little more wine. Thomas seems a little bit off maybe a little bit too drunk to partake of the delights that the Shell Island bordello can offer.
Simon is successful in adverting Tomas’ attentions, gather a couple horses and go on to Tannenhall. Tomas offers some incidental entertainment on the horse ride up there. He did admit that he had been in trouble in Old Town and simply needs to lie low at Shell Island to allow the trouble to pass.
Audience with the Lady of the house. At Tannenhall, Tomas is cleaned up for a dinner and an audience with Maera who is now the lady of the house and the stead of Lord and Lady Tuttle. He is dutifully escorted to his room by Dylan Fyr who looks upon him in disgust and with contempt. Once in his room Thomas promptly passes out for a few hours. When he awakes, Tomas has sobered up a little bit but is still rather rough about house etiquette. Escorted by Dylan, he makes way to the banquet hall.
Suspicions that Merryweather isn’t telling the whole truth. Once seated, Tomas starts eating the meal and avoids any mention of the subject why he’s there. Using one of Meridora’s herbal concoctions, Elyana secretly insures that Tomas’s love of wine has been halted for the moment so he can talk with a sober mind. The evening wears on with more food and song, and still no word of why Tomas is there. Finally, enough is enough, and Maera starts in on her questioning of why Tomas was truly there. Tomas admitted to having been in some trouble in old town. She presses the point, sensing that Tomas isn’t telling the whole truth. He admits that he was in a duel in Old Town and that the duel went badly with a young member of the Blackbar family, who provoked it. He did say that he and his opponent did walk away from the dual. But that was all he was willing to give. His charm prevented Maera from pressing the point any further, to her frustration.
Gracious sanctuary given. Maera grants Thomas sanctuary on shell island, but not without many reservations and worries befitting a young lady in the station of a Lord.
Black and White sails at dawn. On the next dawn, three ships are sighted a few miles out from the port. They carry the sail of the house not well known to the Tuttles – a white sail with a black bar across it. The alarm is raised important and Simon is woken up. Boarding his ship, the Blue Lion, he shells out to meet them. Although not violent, the encounter is very brusk. A dark-haired man, calling himself Dorion Blackbar hails Simon’s ship and Simon does the same. Blackbar demands an audience with Lord Tuttle. Simon tells him that Lord Tuttle isn’t on the island right now that his sister will take an audience with him, and only his ship can come to port. Blackbar readily agrees, so the Jolly Reaper sails in with the Blue Lion, while the Sea Vine and the Green Bounty take sail around the island. Simon assigns the Wave Rider to shadow the ships.
Demands at the port, and men going to the Inn. The Blue Lion does not dock at the port, while the Jolly Reaper takes to port. The Blue Lion joins the Wave Rider shadowing the Blackbar ships that are out to sea. Simon comes in by rowboat. Before Simon arrives at the port though, Dorion Blackbar is already raising a little bit of hay with the locals. He demands horses and amenities for a Lord. Once Simon is able to join up with Dorion Blackbar, he is met with Blackbar’s demands of an audience and of justice. He accuses the Tuttles of hiding Thomas Merryweather and he wants to them to turn him over immediately. Also embarking from the Jolly Reaper is Danil Blackbar, Dorion’s brother, and Estep Trant, the Blackbars maester who has in tow a young man, Tobin Tallhart, a student maester from the North. Simon gathers horses for the entourage and has them escorted up to Tannenhall. All except for Danil Blackbar, who stays behind and goes to the inn along with several of the Jolly Reaper’s crew members.
Rough audience with Dorian Blackbar. Once in Tannenhall, Dorion Blackbar lets his disdain of the Tuttles run free, calling them traitors and cowards. He demands Tomas Merryweather immediately and demands food for his entourage, treating the totals with contempt. Maera admits that Tomas Merryweather is in the house under Tuttle protection. She says is willing to hear both sides of the story in the interest of justice. Dylan fetches Tomas from the room that he is being held in. Maera allows Tomas tell the story first. Tomas relates to story of the duel and how Davis Blackbar provoked a fight with him in an inn old town. The young Blackbar challenged him to a duel. Merryweather had no choice but to accept. While they were outside getting ready for the duel the young black bar pulled a dagger in attempt to stab Merryweather before the duel even started. This prompted Thomas pulled his weapon and defend himself.
Dorian Blackbar roared at this story, and loudly demanded that Tobin Tallhart tell his side of the story, which would indeed convict Thomas Merryweather. Black bar was obviously intimidating the young man. But Tobin told his side of the story which included Thomas striking first before the duel that even started excluding any mention of a dagger. She currently Elyana had a house servant fetch me a door from the vineyards. She had an idea that Miradora could create a potion to loosen Blackbar’s bowels and lessen his influence over the young maester.
Maera demands that she talk with the young maester alone to ask him some questions. The Blackbar maester, Estep Trant objects to this and asks that the Tuttle simply turn Merryweather over, but is argued down handily by Maera. The the young maester amended his story that Davis Blackbar had pulled the dagger and was intent on killing Merryweather.
Maera judges that Davis Blackbar was at fault after bringing in Dorian Blackbar, who roars his dismay and stomps toward the door.
Toe to toe with Dylan Fyr. Stomping outside, Blackbar bruskly steps past Dylan, bumping him in the process, words are exchanged, and Blackbar’s sword comes out. Dylan challenges Blackbar to a fight, but in the exchange is talked down by Gareth and Maera. Dorian Blackbar is offended, takes his entourage back to the port.
Danil Blackbar provokes Simon. While Maera was holding her own in Tannenhall, Simon was going toe to toe with Danil Blackbar at the Dolphin and Whale. Blackbar throws his best at Simon, hoping to see some steel and something that would cause blood to be shed. Simon held his patience, in the midst of the rowdy crew of the Jolly Reaper. A few well aimed insults involving Lord and Lady Tuttle, and Simon comes to his end, but not in the way that Danil Blackbar had hoped. After being told to get an ale by the Blackbar brother, Simon complies, but instead of serving it — he soaks him in the drink. It wasn’t the response the younger Blackbar had expected. Humiliated, Danil stomps out of the inn just in time to catch his brother coming in from Tannenhall.
Rough night on the Jolly Reaper. In a dark mood the Blackbars board their ship, and on their heels is Elyana with a gift of a small cask of wine. Later, they and their officers soak their miseries in the sweet drink, only to discover the last twist of the Tuttle knife.
Dorian and Danil Blackbar return to Bandallon to ask for more forces to teach House Tuttle a lesson. The Tuttles denied the Blackbars what they feel is justice for their brother Davis. Even their own witness sided with Merryweather. To add to the humiliation, Dylan, mouthed off to him, and Elyana gave them a cask of wined they felt that was tainted. They have told the Redwynes that they will be sailing the Redwyne Straits to look for Tuttle ships. A couple of minor skirmishes have broken out between Tuttle and Blackbar warships, with minor damage on either side.
The problem is escalating, and the Blackbars want their justice by force of arms.