Late Night Accident

A late night accident leads to an interesting opportunity for the young Kavanagh heir.
Sort Date: no date set
Location: Dunland - Creatrach
Description: It was a progression of events that led to an eight year old being out in the yard in the middle of the night, standing over a dog crying in misery with an arrow stuck in it's side. To his credit, Aeden appears suitably horrified.

First, he had woken up from a nightmare.. a horrible dream about riots of men busting down doors and demanding retribution. Given that this event has happened twice in his recent history, it's not such a strange thing for a child to conjure up in slumber. After laying for a while, curled up in his blankets and drenched in sweat, the boy finally calmed down and decided he was thirsty. It was preferrable to going back to sleep. He climbed out of his bed and slipped by the sleeping Kavanagh men to go find a drink of water.

While standing in the kitchen and sipping his drink, Aeden's eyes fell onto a bow and a bundle of arrows that was laying with a pile of hunting gear by the back door, with the owner nowhere to be found. (Not that he looked.) Opportunity being what it is, the heir of Kavanagh simply -had- to grab a cloak and go outside to try out the tool. What better time than the middle of the night when most of the men are sleeping? No one to bother, no one to yell at him.

What Aeden didn't anticipate was that the painted tarp tossed over a pile of hay to serve as an archery target just -might- have an occupant that was looking for warmth from the winter night air. That's what led to a loud yipe and now quick a ruckus of whining from a dog that's having a very bad night.

[Olmys(#32384)] "What in the bloody name of . . ." the voice comes not from the doors of the main keep, but from the darkened and seeming closed alehouse. When the door of the Grizzly opens a very large figure, unrecognizable in the darkness, steps into the doorway and then into the courtyard.

"What's going on over?" the figure demands and begins to move towards the sound of the yelping dog and the small figure standing over it, his long strides eating up the distance quickly.

Strangely for one coming from an alehouse at this hour there is no smell of drink upon the man. He looks at the dog and then the boy and then to the bow. It takes no more than this for the Ceann de Bear to figure out what has happened. "Your grandfather know you are out praticing archery at this hour, lad?" he asks.

"Shhh! Shh.. Stop dog!" Aeden is saying in a tone of quiet urgency, waving his hands uselessly at the crying animal. There's a faint drizzle of rain and everything in the courtyard is covered in a wet layer of precipitation. He freezes when the unfamiliar voice calls out, turning to look around sharply. When it's the new Ceann that he recognizes approaching, the youth's jaw drops open. "I.. " He abruptly remembers a poignant lesson from Gabhran, closes his mouth again and swiftly shakes his head.

[Olmys(#32384)] Gregoir frowns slightly as the boy grows silent, but then offers a small smile. "Well, then we'll keep our secret, aye?" he asks with a wink. He then glances down towards the dog and the frown returns once more.

"We're gonna have to pull the arrow," he says. "Luckily its in the hip and not the belly." He kneels down onto the cold muddy ground and pulls off the red and black plaid sash that crosses his chest and holds it out to the boy. "When I pull the arrow, press that against the wound, aye?"

Aeden takes the sash, but has an expression of confusion on his face. "Shouldn't.. uhh.." He glances around, then looks back at the Ceann. "Can it even walk again? We should cut it's throat." The boy says in a wary tone, backing up a step from the new leader of the clan. He's still gripping the bow in one hand. The arrows are laying on the ground a dozen yards away.

[Olmys(#32384)] Gregoir gives a slight shake of his head. "My grandfather took an arrow in the hip," he replies. "Several of them actually, and he lives. Has a limp, but he lives. This one doesn't seem to have sunk in to deep. Luckily it's only a target arrows, not one of the broadheads, so should be alright."

He takes a deep breath then and wraps his fingers tightly around the shaft of the arrow. "Alright lad, on three then." He takes a deep breath to prepare himself. "One. Two. Three." With a quick jerk he pulls the arrow from the animal's hip and the dog lets out loud yelp."

Aeden watches with a strange facination as he ponders the comparison. "It's just a dog, though.. Not a person.. uh.. Ceann." He comments, tossing the bow to the dirt and bunching up the colored sash in his hands. After the arrow is yanked free the child only stares at the blood welling up in the puncture hole, unmoving.

[Olmys(#32384)] Gregoir nods towards the wound a bit impatiently, but when the boy doesn't move to place the clothe over the wound he takes it and places it over the wound himself. He presses the clothe down with one hand to staunch the wound, the other holding the dog tightly as it tries to wriggle away.

"Well," he says. "When I was a lad about your age, my father died and I was sent to live with my grandfather. I was all alone except for a hound that I was given." He smiles slightly in rememberance. "That dog was my best friend for many years. So I suppose I have a bit of soft spot when it comes to dogs."

The boy jumps when Gregoir takes the cloth back from him, startled from his distraction. He glances back towards the keep again, but only briefly. Aeden is quiet for a long time, his face growing depressed. "I don't think that my grandpa would let me have a dog."

He reaches down to pick up the arrow, turning to study the head in the light. "It didn't break.. that means it can be used again, right?"

[Olmys(#32384)] Gregoir now begins to wrap the sash under the dog and up over the wound again and again and then ties it tightly into a makeshift bandage. "That's gonna have to do for the nonce," he says eyeing his work a moment.

"Well you got one now, lad," Gregoir says turning back to Aeden. "It's gonna be awhile before he's healed and someone's gonna need to care for him. Think you're up to the task"

"Me? No. I can't do it." Aeden swiftly shakes his hand. "My grandpa would be angry if he found out what happened. I don't think I should." He twists the arrow in his hands nervously, eyes jetting to the keep again. "Someone else should.." He says as he looks back at the Ceann with the same wariness in his gaze. The boy has learned over the last few weeks that staying out of Gabhran's notice in any way that he can is by far the easiest way to get by.

[Olmys(#32384)] Gregoir chuckles softly. "Aye, lad, ye can," he replies. "If the old grump gives you any trouble over it we'll tell him that t'was I who injured the dog and you offered to take care of it for me, aye?" he gives the boy another sly wink. "If that doesn't work," he adds. "Well then I'll tell that it's my wish for you to care for the animal. He may not like it, but he'll let you have it then."

He brushes a lock of copper hair from his eyes and then looks to the boy in thought for a moment. "You know I've been thinking I could I use a lad of your age to run messages and errands for me," he says. "Think you might be interested in such a position, lad? Would mean you'd have to stay here at the Keep when your grandfather heads back to his hold, but you'd have your dog here at least to keep you company."

Aeden looks down at the dog again with consideration, not answering one way or the other as he shifts uncomfortably. "I don't know." He toys with the arrow further, picking at the fletching.

At the offer of staying in Creatrach the child frowns and thinks the offer over carefully. "Running messages is servant work. I'm supposed to be Fian. And my mama wouldn't like it if I stayed here. She would be sad." He says, then asks in an uncertain tone. "Breveg.. he's a man that's here with Fian Ranich.. He said that a Fian should never be alone?"

[Olmys(#32384)] Gregoir hides the smile that comes to his face, by turning back to the dog as if looking over the bandage once more. "Do you know what it is to be a Fian, lad?" he asks once smile leaves and he turns back to the boy. "Know how to lead men in times of peace as well as in times of war?"

"It can't be all that different when there's peace or war. You tell them what to do, and they do it. There's always someone to fight. The Wulf.. or the Stag.. or the Forgoil. If there's no one to fight, you can train." Aeden leans down to pick up the bow again and carefully concentrates as he sets the arrow against the string. "If you want your army to be the best, you would need to train them everyday."

[Olmys(#32384)] Gregoir doesn't bother to hide the smile this time. "Oh, aye," he admits. "That's part of it, but a very small part of it. Do you know how to keep track of a hold's incomes? Or how much of each harvest you should put aside for emergencies? How to determine how much you should collect from your small-folk without them having to without? What about judging disputes between yourself and other Fianni? Familiar enough with the laws of the clan to handle those are ya?"

"I would get someone else to do all the counting work so that I could work on training and warring. The farmers take care of the harvest.. and.. the other Fianni, well... I wouldn't let them boss me around. I'm going to be the strongest warrior in Bear Clan. They'll be afraid of me so there won't be any disputes." Aeden speaks in a matter-of-fact fashion, more relaxed now that the Ceann hasn't yelled at him or chased him off. He points the arrow at the target again, but doesn't draw back on the string. "I bet I could conquer the Wulf, too."

[Olmys(#32384)] Gregoir gives a nod. "Well that's a plan, alright, lad," he says. "Though with your grandfather staying home now instead of going to the Wulf, will be a few years before you are a Fian outright. I think that the old grump may have a plan that's a bit different than your own."

He scratches lightly at the boyish fuzz on his chin. "So, I guess the question is, do you be wantin' to learn the things I mentioned from in the Kavanagh hold? Or do you be wantin' to learn them here from myself?"

[Brev(#30997)] Another figure slips out of the Grizzly and heads toward the Keep, pulling his dun cloak up over his head as the drizzle hits. From this distance it could be anybody there is a jaunty spring in his step, however, and a snatch of off-key whistling indicates the fellow is in a good mood.

The whistling cuts off abruptly at the sound of a whimper, and the man moves toward the training area, hand on knife and concern in his amber eyes. At the sight of the little tableau he hesitates, then murmurs uncertainly, "Ceann?" After all, now he's been seen it would be impolite to leave without a greeting, would it not?

"It won't matter what my grandpa plans, because he won't be around forever. When he dies I'll be Fian and I can do what I want." There's dead certainty in Aeden's voice on that account, though his gaze does stray down to the dog again. "If I stayed here, could I learn to fight?" He asks, weighing his options.

When another approaches the youth turns to look, squinting through the drizzle to try and see who it is. Could be one of the Kavanagh men, possibly Cameron. None of them would dare be angry at him for talking to the Ceann though, other than Gabhran. At least, so he assumes.

[Olmys(#32384)] Instead of smiling this time, Gregoir laughs. "Can you learn to fight?" he asks. "Oh aye, lad. Some of the best fighters in the clan are here in Creatrach, the guards, ye ken. They'll teach all the weapons of the Bear clan, mayhap some of the Wulf and Stag as well." He gives a shrug then. "It's up to you, lad, I'll not force you to stay if you'd rather go, but the dog . . . that you will do. Need to learn to take responsibilty for your actions. Something more than a few of our Fianni could use lessons in."

He turns then to the approaching figure, but doesn't rise up from the dog's side. "Aye," he replies to the questioning greeting. "Had a bit of an accident with the bow," he says then to the figure as he tries to make out their identity in the darkness. "Lad was good enough to come help out."

[Brev(#30997)] The newcomer lets the hood of his cloak fall back as he squints into the dark, revealing a face more than half-hidden by dark curls - but those are identity enough. It is Breveg. He stares mutely at the pair for a moment, then queries softly, "Someone's hurt? I will assist as I may - or fetch a healer?" The questioning note rises in his voice again, for both man and boy look well enough.

Aeden recognizes Breveg and a guarded expression comes over his features. He sidles back to stand behind the Ceann, watching Brev closely. "Just the dog.. it's.." He trails off rather quickly, glancing at Gregoir as it occurs to him that he's speaking out of turn again.

The boy lowers the bow and arrow to his side again, chewing on his lower lip. He's wet from the rain and has obviously been outside for a little while, despite the late hour.

[Olmys(#32384)] Gregoir gives a quick nod of agreement to Aeden's words. "Aye," he replies. "Just the hound here, pulled the arrow and bandaged the wound up best we could. Though doubt he'll be running anytime soon, if ever." He strokes the dog, who still softly whimpers.

"The lad here is gonna take care of him until he's healed," he adds. He turns towards Aeden then. "Aren't ya, lad?"

[Brev(#30997)] At Aeden's words Breveg drops to his knees beside the dog, letting it sniff at his hand and then reaching out to touch its heaving flank. "Poor beast's shivering," he remarks, and then demands tightly, "Where was the arrow?" scowling across at Gregoir as he does. He seems oddly concerned over a mere hound.

Belately aware of Aeden's bow, he murmurs over his shoulder, "Still wanting to go hunting, boy? It'll have to be soon, the Fian wants to leave for Ranich."

"I have to ask my grandpa.." Aeden murmurs in response to Gregoir's question, his gaze moving away from the Ceann self-consciously. The whimpering animal brings another guilty expression across the boy's face, until Brev brings up hunting. He looks over at the man in surprise, immediately brightening. "Really?? You'd take me?!" He exclaims, his high-pitched voice loud in the quiet courtyard." Dog? Arrow? What dog?

[Olmys(#32384)] "I'll talk to your grandfather," Gregoir says simply. "You'll take care of the hound, lad. You said you're to be a Fian and part of that is takin' orders from your Ceann. I'm making the care of this hound your responsibility and I'll be checking on you to make sure that you're doin' right by it."

He turns then to Breveg. "Arrow took him in the hip," he says as he to pets the hound sympatheticly. "Aye," he says in response to the comment about the shivering. "I'll find a place in the keep where it can warm up."

Gently he lifts the hound then and slowly rises to his feet holding the shivering animal close to his chest. "Let me know when this hunting trip is to take place," he says then. "I've been wanting to get out, myself."

Once more he turns to Aeden. "I'll find you in the morn and help you get started on caring for your charge here," he says. "Till then you two have a good evening." Then turning he speaks soft words of comfort to the dog as he begins to head for the keep.

[Brev(#30997)] At Gregoir's clarification Breveg lets out a soft sigh. "Hip's not so bad. I've seen worse," and for a moment his gaze is distant. By the time he recalls it, Gregoir is standing to leave. "Goodnight, Ceann," he calls as he, too, straightens up.

Looking across at Aeden, he remarks drily, "Aren't you the lucky lad to have a Ceann interested in your welfare. Sounds like you'll have exalted company on your little trip."

Aeden grows somber again at the instruction from the Ceann, nodding. He still looks apprehensive when his grandfather is mentioned but doesn't have much room to argue. As Gregoir leaves, the young Kavanagh looks back to Brev and grins. "I like him." He states, sharing his opinion openly. "Can we hunt with spears?"

[Brev(#30997)] Breveg's lips twitch at the youngster's grin. "That's good. It is always well to like one's Ceann," he remarks gravely. At the other question he frowns. "Not the bow?" He indicates the weapon in the child's hands, but then continues before Aeden can answer, "Based on tonight's work, I would hazard that spear might be more appropriate. Though I doubt you'll get close enough to take down a deer, that requires patience."

"Spear is better anyway. Maybe we could look for boar.. or a bear! Yeah! We should hunt a bear." It's the middle of the night and Aeden is not even remotely tired now as Brev gets him more excited about the promised trip. "We could get really long spears, and someone could scare it out of it's den and if we're waiting for it, it wouldn't have a chance!"

[Brev(#30997)] Breveg snorts. "You really think that, do you?" He eyes the boy coolly, then remarks, "If it's a Bear you wish to take down, then you're on your own. I've seen a grizzly kill a man with a single blow. I didn't stick around to become the next course for its breakfast, either." His lips curl. "Besides," he adds as an afterthought, "it would be unlucky. Clan symbol and all that ..."

Aeden hmph's quietly, considering that response. "Well, I thought that if we killed a bear, we could skin it and then I could have a bear skin cloak. I could wear it when I'm Fian. It would need to be a brown bear. Then it would match my hair and beard when I'm older." He lifts his free hand to pat his burst of brown hair on his head in illustration. "And I could keep the spear that I killed it with, and tell everyone the story."

He grows quiet, then asks, "How did the grizzly kill the man? Did it bite him?"

[Brev(#30997)] Breveg manages to remain silent whilst Aeden speaks. "A fine tale," he remarks drily. "But when we told Kavanagh that a bear, symbol of our clan's strength, had slain his only grandson, it wouldn't look so good, would it?"

He gives that a moment to sink in, then answers the other query with a shake of his head. "No. It took only a single swipe of its paw - like this." With sudden swiftness his right arm swings out and round, aimed for the side of Aeden's head. The motion is light, and precisely gauged - should it connect it will be little more than a tap.

"I wouldn't let a bear kill me.. " Aeden says, shaking his head. "I'd kill it, drive a spear right into it's neck." He disagrees with an enthusiastic grin, far more amiable now that the desired trip looks like it might actually happen.

It isn't until Brev gives such a dramatic show of the encounter with the bear that the child tenses up again. When the man unexpectedly swings at him Aeden's eyes widen and he scrambles back in alarm, obviously thinking that he was about to get decked. His arms are halfway halfway up in a defensive fashion when he realizes what's going on.

"Don't do that.. "

[Brev(#30997)] Breveg lets his arm drop back to his side. "Why not? You're not nearly scared enough yet." He pauses. "And you couldn't even reach its neck. Brute I saw must have been twice my height." A faintly contemptuous smile curves his lips.

"I thought you were gonna hit me.." Aeden admits with a nervous laugh, slowly unwinding again as Breveg goes on further to explain about the bear. He looks at the air above the man, trying to envision a giant bear towering over them. "They don't get that big.. I've seen bears before, they're small."

[Brev(#30997)] Breveg regards the boy levelly. "Your reflexes are good," he concedes. "Though if I'd really wanted to hit you, I would have tried a little harder."

The final remark is met by a chuckle. "Oh, they do. Ever seen a bearskin cloak? Now, if I made a cloak from your skin," he gives Aeden a lopsided smirk, "it would barely fit a dog. So, for a cloak to fit a man, how large must the donor have been?"

The boy wrinkles his nose up at the comparison, perhaps not appreciating it as much. "I guess.. as big as a deer? I don't know. Maybe a little bit bigger than you." Aeden's understanding of surface area and volume is decidedly undeveloped. "What about a wolf? Wolves are smaller than bears."

[Brev(#30997)] "Ever seen their teeth?" Breveg enquires. Then shakes his head. "If you want to seek your death, that's your affair, but don't do it when I'm supposed to be in charge of you." That warning delivered, he adds offhandedly, "Personally, I prefer easy targets. Why make life more complicated?"

Perhaps he's worried that he'll lose his opportunity if he pushes it too far. "Okay.. no bears or wolves. I'll kill one when I'm older." Aeden yawns, the late hour catching up to him now that the excitement has passed. He walks over to where the rest of the arrows are laying on the ground, picking them up, then looks back towards Brev. "We're really going to go, right?"

[Brev(#30997)] Breveg eyes the boy, amusement glinting in his eyes. "You heard the Ceann himself approve the idea. I suppose Ranich will just have to wait." Now he's surely jesting, for his lips twitch. "I'll speak to some of the Kavanagh men about it. Now, lad, shouldn't you be in bed?" He nods toward the Keep. "Come on. Else both of us will have a little explaining to do." His gaze flicks towards the Grizzly, and he coughs slightly then he motions Aeden to precede him back to the Hall.

Aeden grins again, nodding exuberantly when the Ceann is mentioned. "Yes! I hope he comes too!" The boy looks back towards the keep at the reminder of bed and lets out a sigh and a nod. He hefts up the gear he snuck and begins walking back, yawning again.

Players: Gregoir, Aeden, Brev
Located in: Dunlending