Fashionably Late Arrival
Not everyone is on time for the gathering at Creatrach. Some people have further to travel through dangerous terrain, some suffered setbacks from weather. Some don't have a readily obvious excuse. Ranich certainly isn't far away, and the land between Creatrach and the small farming village isn't overly hostile. Ciaran is simply late. It's early evening and the sun is just beginning to set when a group of half a dozen men arrive at the gates of the keep, all looking road weary from traveling.
The Fian pulls back the hood of his travel cloak and approaches the guards to announce himself and his companions, the wooden stave he carries held casually at his side. Once they gain entrance Ciaran looks around the courtyard with a frown at the heavy crowding. "Not going to find anyplace to sleep.." He mutters to no one in particular.
[Brev(#30997)] Amongst those accompanying the Ranich' Fian walks a tall, slender young man with dark curling hair and a worn and muddy dun cloak that hangs limply around him in the dearth of wind. At the muttered words he regards the other man levelly, frowning slightly. "/You/ have the right to a place in the hall, Fian." The words are softly spoken yet clear. "The rest of us will find somewhere. I've endured worse. At least up against the buildings there's a little warmth." He lets his gaze travel round the busy courtyard, noting the groupings.
Ciaran let's his gaze drift to the hall, his dark brows drawing together. "Somehow I doubt that will be much more comfortable.." He murmurs. He then asks more directly of Brev. "You were here. Have things changed at all? Does the mood seem any different?"
[Brev(#30997)] The young man in the dun cloak, Breveg, hesitates before giving answer to that. "Less crowded. More boisterous, perhaps. It is no easy thing to have so many folk together in a situation where old grievances may air." His gaze fixes on one particular knot of men, and he murmurs quietly, "Last I remember, Ullan's men did not company readily with those of Maythen. One would wonder if they have found common cause."
Ciaran nods quietly, still standing and looking around slowly. He asks in a quieter tone. "What were you doing here before you came to Ranich?" The question seems more casual in nature, as if he isn't try to pry so much as get a better feel for the situation he's walking into.
[Olmys(#32384)] There are many men situated within the courtyard, stationed by the various Fianni to keep watch upon the gates and inform them of the arrivals. Cameron of Kavanagh and Kenzie of Mailduin are the first to spot the arrival of Ciaran and entourage come through the gates, and quickly they disappear into the main keep itself to pass the news on to those within.
[Brev(#30997)] "Passing through," comes the abstracted answer, for Breveg's gaze is fixed briefly on the Keep's gates. A man emerges from the ale tent, swaying and rather white about the mouth, and Breveg sidesteps neatly to allow him passage. A wise decision, for the fellow manages to make the gates before nature takes its course rather than vomiting over the new arrivals.
After watching for a moment, a disgusted grimace on his features, he volunteers a little more information. "I had journeyed a way ... from the north. There was someone ... she's safe with her family now." The words end in a sigh, and his gaze is seemingly fixed on his own hands.
Ciaran brushes some black locks of hair from his eyes, his gaze catching the men that peel away from the gates to head for the keep. Then he looks back to Breveg. "Well. Let's go. The rest can stay out here and find a place to set up." He shoulders off his pack to pass to the large man with the spear, then gestures for Brev to follow and he begins working his way through the crowd. He's not sure if guards are allowed into the keep, but he's willing to find out.
[Olmys(#32384)] Standing immediately within the foyer of the Keep is, Fian Ruaidhri Mailduin accompanied by a score of sons and grandsons. Though well into the winter of his years, the Mailduin still clings tenaciously to life, and is rumored to be looking for a new wife.
His aged eyes turn towards the doors and those who enter. "Decided to show up after all did ya?"
[Brev(#30997)] Breveg hesitates, glancing at his own pack, then deposits it a little reluctantly at the feet of one of the other men. As he passes the large man with the spear, he murmurs, "If you try your luck in the ale tent, watch out for the big fellow with the red beard. I've heard men say he is a very sore loser." Dutifully he follows the Fian, keeping a wary eye on those they pass as he does, and his knife hand never strays far from his side.
To the contemptuous greeting that awaits them he responds with a respectful nod and blank features, letting Ciaran form his own explanation.
Ciaran looks around the foyer first, then lets his gaze settle onto the old man. He offers Ruaidhri a cool smile. "Aye. The harvest was at risk of being lost to frost. Good evening, Fian Mailduin." He studies the brood of relatives that the man has accompanying him, a brow lifting curiously.
"Preparing to move in?"
[Olmys(#32384)] Ruaidhri glances back towards his kin and gives a snort of contempt. "The oldest of my brood and their sons," he replies. "They follow me everywhere waiting for me to die, afraid they might miss out on some inheritance should they not be there, heh."
He turns back towards Ciaran. "You've missed nothing as yet, all the young hotheads be arguing amongst each other over which of them should be Ceann. Gabharn an I have kept out of things so far, since not a one of them has the sense Kiern gave a mule."
"Who holds the most favor? Is there a vote planned?" Is Ciaran already anxious to be done with all of this, though he only just arrived? "Who's running things?" He pulls off his cloak while he asks the questions, shaking it out once before tossing it over his shoulder.
[Olmys(#32384)] "They all still be trying to decide who should be put forth for a vote," Ruaidhri replies. "At the moment Diarmad seems to have a bit of support, but not enough to put him on the high seat. Mailduin won't back him though," he continues as he motions towards his kin. "And there be enough Mailduin's for that to mean something, heh."
He scratches at his iron grey beard and then towards the main hall. "As for who's running things? Everyone's following Kavanagh's lead for the moment."
[Brev(#30997)] Breveg reaches out to take the cloak, and occupies himself in folding it neatly as he listens quietly to the words of the two Fianni. He eyes Ruaidhri's bevy of followers, perhaps marking out those near his own age. At the mention of Kavanagh one brow lifts slightly that is all.
Ciaran soaks in the information, nodding quietly and glancing towards the main hall. He glances over in surprise when Brev takes his cloak, but turns his gaze back to older Fian. "Kavanagh makes sense, since Brodie is his son. Last I heard they were still searching out his body." He looks at all the men that are with Ruaidhri when the man talks about numbers, but doesn't comment on the unspoken implication. "Perhaps I will get settled in before I venture to the hall."
[Olmys(#32384)] "Heh," Ruaidhri replies. "Wouldn't be mentioning Brodie to Gabharn if you see him," he continues. "Kavanagh don't be too pleased with his son, and be wanting to remove the Kavanagh from him as well as his head, I'm thinkin'."
He gives Ciaran a nod then. "I'll see you at table, then," he says as he turns to back to his kin.
"I'm heading to the courtyard now. Come along you might get lucky and I'll choke on a meat pie."
[Brev(#30997)] Breveg has been listening attentively. Like a good retainer, he ventures neither comment nor query regarding the conversation instead he asks simply, "Shall I ask about quarters, Fian? And were you wanting your cloak, or should I put it with your things?"
Ciaran throws Ruaidhri a grin, "Thanks for the advice. I'll leave the topic for others to broach." He nods when the older man prepares to leave, "Later, aye." The younger Fian turns back to regard Brev. "I can take it. Can you go find Cailean and ask him to come meet me here?" The older man with the spear that's been by Ciaran's side the most is the one he refers to.
[Brev(#30997)] Breveg dips his head briefly in a nod. "Of course, Fian." He hands back the cloak and then turns to go - although he does wait until Ruadhri is well clear first.