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Everything posted by Bannon

  1. "A pleasure, Dr Carver." The young man with an old gaze said by way of introduction as he offered Willow his hand, glacial green eyes meeting hers unwaveringly. Bannon gave no indication that he'd seen anything amiss, dissembling with the ease of experience. Of course, it helped that he'd been half-expecting to see something odd anyway. "I've been loosely briefed on your role in the field and your areas of expertise." he told the blonde woman as she took the offered hand. "It's nice to meet the young lady who'll be patching us up." Willow Carver. He'd been surprised when Jake had told him of her emergence as a talented Psiad. Of course, after that news it was hardly a surprise that the Director of the Argonauts had wanted Carver on the team. He grabbed a tray along with Truth and Willow as the line moved forward, taking a few pieces of fruit and a cup of tea for himself. A few surprised glances from some longer-serving Argonaut personnel who recognised the sleek white hair started a low buzz in the background, but Bannon and his two companions were only abstractly aware of this as they collected their food. intent on their conversation. "So have you two worked in the field together before?" Bannon asked with professional curiousity. "I ask partly because the current field team roster is a little larger than in my day, and I was wondering if anything has come up that has required the entire lot of you to go, and how that worked out logistically."
  2. "I'll bear it in mind." Bannon returned with a dry tone and a slight smile as he straightened up again. "Speaking of which..." he gestured at the papers files in Truth's arms. "Where were you headed before I inadvertently delayed you?" "Just down to the cafeteria. The paperwork is my light reading." Truth answered, feeling a minor sense of disorientation at the casually authoritative manner displayed by a man who looked like a college sophomore, but was in truth at least as old as her parents would be. How old are you? she wondered as she talked, her eyes examining him for signs of age. Other than his manner and the way he held himself, there was no clue. On impulse she added "Want to catch up over lunch?" For a moment Bannon was going to refuse. He wasn't really looking to socialise right now, and had been avoiding the cafeteria because meeting old faces (and imagining other faces that should be there but weren't) would be a certainty. But this was little Truth, practically a god-daughter once upon a time, a serious-eyed little girl grown up into a serious-eyed woman who would be part of his team. "Sure." he said with a nod, gesturing towards the elevator. "I could use a bite to eat." He pushed the call button and glanced at her. "I was glad to hear from Jake that you joined the Argonauts." he said quietly. "How are you getting on with it?"
  3. "No quantum in these old bones. This is plain and simple good living habits." Unfazed by Truth's directness, Bannon lips twisted in a wry smile as he released her hand from his own warm clasp. "Thirteen herbs and spices in my bath, along with finest tobacco and best Armagnac to keep my insides nicely preserved." He took a step to her side as a couple of lab assistants came down the corridor. He still smelled faintly of expensive cologne and equally pricey cigarettes, Truth noted as she peered at him searchingly. Bannon met her gaze evenly. "The real ingredient is virgin's blood." he told her conversationally, eliciting strange looks from the two assistants. "The herbs and spices go in it, you see. Then I sit back, relax, light up a Sobranie and have a drink." "I see-" Truth started to say, then Bannon snapped his fingers and knocked the heel of his palm against the side of his head. "I forgot the moose skin!" he exclaimed, causing the lab assistants to jump as they entered the elevator. The doors closed on their staring faces. "The moose skin." Truth said levelly. It wasn't precisely a question. "Yes." Bannon asserted. "I have to wrap myself in it after the bath, while I'm good and tanked on brandy. Then I chant." He made a sad face at her. "I can't tell you the chant, I'm afraid." He leaned a little closer, a mock-conspiratorial gesture, and stage-whispered. "It's a secret."
  4. A short while earlier... Golden South American sunlight played over the leaves outside the windows as a youthful man in an off-white lightweight jacket and pants sat in a comfortable chair, listening to an older man talk while a beautiful woman, with folded arms that looked as though they were rusty cast-offs from a robot endoskeleton, stood and watched him carefully. "...and that's pretty much the rundown on the team." Jake Stefakowski said expansively, a touch of the South in the clipped military precision of his tone as he leaned back in his chair and looked over at Bannon. Leaning up against the bookcase by the windows Lee smiled crookedly at him and added "Of course, you'll find the details in their dossiers." "If I decided to come back." the white-haired young man said a touch sharply, narrowing his eyes at Machine Girl, who merely shrugged and nodded, smirking. "Sure. If." she assented, not at all fazed by his apparent ambivalence or the frosty look in his pale green eyes. Bannon didn't press it: Lee knew him too well to be taken in. She and Jake had got Bannon to come in and sit down for the pitch, and that meant he was already 90% in the bag. Bannon looked over at Jake. "It seems to me that you've gotten quite the line-up, Jake. It's a good team... On paper." He allowed. Stefakowski leaned forwards, grey eyes sparkling in the sunlight as he smiled too. "They're a great team off-paper, Bannon. Diverse, pros in their fields, and they've got the hunger." Jake sipped at his bourbon and pointed at the young-looking man across from him. "But they need an experienced team lead in the field. Lee can't be in two places at once..." Jake looked over at Lee and raised a mock-suspicious eyebrow. "At least, not so's I can catch her doing it." Machine Girl just shrugged once more. "If I could, I'd never let on to you, Jakey. You'd have me doing paperwork and running field ops while talking to the Big Boys, all while you relaxed in the Bahamas." She deadpanned, causing even the dour Bannon to smile as Stefakowski chuckled and turned back to him. "Anyway, after her..." Bannon raised a hand to cut him off and nodded. "I know." he said. Jake nodded and looked at him inquisitively. "So what's the answer, Bannon? You've been cooped up in your hermitage for years now. You've got to be going a little stir-crazy." Jake set his glass down and set his hand palm-down on the files arranged neatly in the centre of his desk. "This team needs you, Prometheus needs you, and to be perfectly frank my boy, me and Lee need you." Jake's voice dropped a note, becoming softer. "I'm not getting any younger, Jason." That hit it's mark. Bannon winced internally as he looked at the hand on the stack of folders. It was tanned, still strong, bearing a few minor scars from a lifetime of adventure. Some of those scars had come from pulling his ass out of the fire, Bannon knew. Old eyes in a young face looked up to meet Jake's gaze. "Okay, Jake." he said quietly, his expression sombre. "Alright. I'll do this." Lee and Jake shared a triumphant look as Bannon stood, tossing back the last of his own drink and setting the glass down before giving Stefakowski a wry, one-sided smile. "But only if you promise to hang around another 10 years or so." Jake chuckled. "No promises, but I'll make sure I get regular checkups and take my vitamins." he deadpanned back, his eyes sparkling as he stood and offered Bannon a hand. "Welcome back, Dr Bannon." he said formally. Lee came around and gave Bannon a (restrained) slap on the back. "Nice to have you back, Jason." she grinned before giving him a comradely hug. "Yeah, yeah." Bannon answered back, trying to balance the warm feeling of being back in the saddle with the cold dread that something terrible would happen again because of it. He wanted a smoke, but more than that he needed some time to think. "I'm going to take a wander around, see what's new, settle in. That alright?" "No problem." Jake exchanged another look with Lee. "We'll start making arrangements. Your old quarters are already set up. Whenever you're ready we can bring whatever possessions you want or need from your home." Bannon smiled very faintly and nodded before turning and going over to the door. "Thanks Jake, you're a class act as always. See you both later." * * * *He'd been lost in his own thoughts and memories of the past as he'd wandered the hallways of the facility. Here was the briefing room where Thierry had shown off his hand-held 'flame wand' and nearly set fire to the place. There was the rec room where Jonas and Virginia had played table-tennis for 34 hours straight, both novas deciding that neither would leave until there was a clear two-game lead to one of them. They had had to stop when a mission came down, though. Taking the elevator up a floor, intending to wander through the labs and see if some of the old cultivation tanks he'd established for strange flora were still around. That had been some of his best technical design work, aided by several of the best minds in the Prometheans. A woman passed him, head down over her papers as he exited the elevator. There was something vaguely familiar about her, but the distracted Bannon didn't spare it any more thought than absently remarking to himself that she was probably one of the lab analysts. The ding of the elevator door being halted was followed by a half-surprised, half curious calling of his name. "Bannon?" The young man, by all appearances perhaps barely out of his teens, stopped and turned to look at her curiously. For Truth, there was no doubt at all. The snowy hair and the pale green eyes were identical, as were the handsome features, to those in her memories from twenty-plus years ago. But that was impossible, wasn't it? For Bannon, there was a moment of disorientation before his keen brain supplied the details. The woman was familiar. Her eyes and hair were the same shade, the hair perhaps a little lighter. Of course! Jake had told him during the briefing that she'd been part of the Argonauts for three years now. But names and faces rarely match up when the span of years are taken into account. The face and figure were those of a woman, not the girl he'd known. A girl without parents, whose parents had been friends... "Truth Montenegro, as I live and breath." Bannon blinked and smiled slightly, turning fully around and stepping back to the elevator. "Sorry for not recognising you right away." he apologised as he offered her a hand. "Jake told me you were here, of course, but I've not had a chance to put faces to names." A wry smile twisted his lips. "And you've grown since we last met."
  5. Personal Information: Identity: Bannon Occupation: Hermit; Argonauts Field Team Leader Legal Status: Non-person. There is no reference in any government or law-enforcement database to anyone of his description called 'Bannon'. He was, to all appearances, never born. Marital Status: Single, to the best of anyone's knowledge. Known Relatives: None Nature: Cynic Allegiance(s): His field team; the Argonauts; Project Prometheus; Aeon. In that order. Physical Traits: Weight: 160lbs Height: 6' exactly. Apparent age: Late teens, early twenties. Gender: Male Ethnic Background: Caucasian. Nationality: Unknown Eye Color: Green Hair Color: Snow white Handedness: Left Appearance: Tall, lean and extremely handsome. He carries himself with ease and poise, though his attractiveness is somewhat marred by the fact he rarely smiles, and when he does it's never because he's happy. Amused, maybe, but not happy. He tends to dress well, if not fashionably, though comfort is usually his primary concern. His long hair is usually combed back from his forehead and gathered at the nape of his neck in a ponytail. Powers, Skills, and Personality: Known Powers: Verified: Exceptionally strong and skilled cryokinetic. He has enough control to cryogenically preserve living beings with no lasting harm to the subject. It is rumored that his other powers include being 'frightfully mysterious' and 'cutting guns in half with the power of his mind'. Wiser heads amongst the Argonaut new recruits should probably disregard these tales. Though maybe not... Abilities/Special Skills: Known to be an exceptional linguist and world-class scientist, dealing mainly in the biological and chemical fields. Personality: Cynical, world-weary, and bitter. Socially hard to deal with: in a word, prickly. If he seems upbeat, it's usually ironic amusement because the world turns out to be exactly as he predicts. His manner, the look in his eyes, and the way he reacts to things betray his true age. Rarely without a cigarette in his mouth. In the field he is a professional. When he has something to say he generally speaks with quiet authority and doesn't suffer fools, gladly or otherwise. For the last seven years he has been in seclusion, only rarely seen around the Argonaut's compound and, sometimes, drinking with Lee at the nearby town. Background: Unknown. All that is known around the Argonaut's HQ is rumor: that Bannon knew Jake Stefokowski when -he- was a young man. That they are friends, as are Bannon and Lee. Stefokowski and Lee are also the only two Prometheus personnel that have been to Bannon's home, which is somewhere near Argonauts HQ. Apparently. He was also a field team leader for the Argonauts for a long time up until 7 years ago. Something happened, but if any staff know anything, they're not talking. Those that don't know have, of course, come up with all sorts of rumors. Character Ties: None.
  6. So can I gain access to that Heroic Quality if I set my Identity background so that my assumed name is Jaunt?
  7. 'nother quick question for you, Cent - Are you using the optional Languages rules from the Trin PG Linguistics write-up? Or are you keeping it as 1 language family per dot?
  8. The four men circled their opponent, stripped to the waist and the day's heat causing them to perspire freely. Well, not only the day's heat. The one they faced was likewise stripped to the waist, the massive corded muscles of his hirsute torso moving under the skin as he moved in a half-crouch, trying to keep as many of the men in his field of vision as possible. Around the combatants, the other soldiers of the Princess's household guard laid bets and urged on their fellows. It wasn't that Bannon was unpopular, but there was an overwhelming urge among the guards to see the giant brought low, just once. Once wasn't too much to ask, was it? Three men had nearly done for him two days ago, so now he was up to fighting a group of four. The rules of the contest were simple: a circle fifteen feet across had been marked in rope on the packed earth. If a man left the circle, he was out. If he was knocked out, he was out. If he was pinned, shoulders to the floor, for a three-count he was out. It was fundamentally the same as normal bareknuckle circle rules, except more friendly. No gouging, knees to the groin, or biting was permitted. Nor was trying to do deliberate serious harm to an opponent. The men inched closer, one then another stepping forward, trying to bait the huge man into committing himself. Bannon waited, sable eyes watchful under the thick brow, then abruptly gave a huge bellowing roar and charged. One of his opponents was a step behind the others, a weak point in the circle. The man flinched back as the giant rushed him, massive forearms raised across his chest. Bannon hit him at full charge, catapulting the poor guard out of the circle with a thump and a groan, then whirled and crouched, dropping one knee into the ground as the other three men rushed him. They fell over him, kicking, elbowing and punching, trying to bear the behemoth back. Bannon endured the blows stoically, weathering the initial assault as though his body was a fortress under siege before reaching out and grabbing the ankles of the rightmost assailant. With another bellow he rose like a leviathan from the waves, yanking the burly man from his feet and spinning him into his fellows. One of the others went down, the other staggered backwards. The man being wielded like a club could do little except flail aimlessly with his arms as Bannon took advantage of the break in his opponents attack to step backwards, spin, and toss him out of the circle also. Without pausing, he turned back as the man still standing charged, the other rolling to his feet. The guard attacking him tried to emulate Bannon's opening move, raising his arms in preparation for the collision. The half-giant planted his feet and braced. The charging guard's impact elicited a double-grunt, one from each man, but Bannon did not budge more than an inch. The other man rebounded, catching his footing only to receive a thunderous left hook that spun him from his feet. Before he could finish falling, Bannon's right hand grabbed the back of his neck and propelled him out of the circle on the heels of his fellows. The final man tackled Bannon around the legs... or rather, around one leg, trying desperately to topple the giant who, fists on hips, grinned down at him through the trimmed black beard. Spitting in disgust, the last opponent threw up his arms and stepped out of the circle with a rueful grin. The watching crowd groaned good-humoredly. "Pay up, lads." Bannon said with a gusty laugh as he took a jack of ale from an offering hand and drank it down. He belched resoundingly. "Four in, four out. Now cough up the copper." The giant held out a shovel-sized hand, ignoring the faint pain of his split lip and bruised face and body in the warm glow of his victory as the guards gathered round, clapping him on the back and dropping their wagers into his hand.
  9. He nodded agreement. "A joust is all about teaching knights to stay on their horses during a charge. After the charge, if the enemy don't break, the knight's who can't handle his sword and shield right is hip-deep in the shit." "I'll bet on you in the archery, though. Least I could do, and besides, you might win me some money." He grinned at her. "And I'll be spending the next couple of weeks training, just to make sure I don't embarrass any of my friends who do bet on me. I'll be damned and dead if some lordling is going to put me down at the first clash of steel."
  10. So lost had he been in his brooding that Bannorn had not a chance of hearing the light-footed girl before she plunked down onto the step next to him. Even as his head swung round to regard her, he noted absently that she kept her scarred side away from him... again. She had proved reluctant to put herself in situations where he could look upon it, he realised. If they were together, she always sat or stood so that her scars were facing away from his casual view. Despite his fears, and despite his musing on Galiana's behaviour, the giant man smiled at her, infected by her exuberance. "Aye, I'll be enterin' the melee." He rumbled amiably. "And ye? Will ye be wagerin' on me?" The smile became a grin as he nudged the girl gently with a huge elbow.
  11. Bannon sat on the steps overlooking the rear gardens, one hand running a whetstone over the heavy steel blades of his double-headed greataxe. He'd been up before breakfast that day and had decided to practice in the yard for awhile. Life had been different these last few days, different and enjoyable, but Bannon was getting restless. The news of the tourney that the servants had been whispering of this morning was welcome news indeed. The joust was something he had only a passing interest in watching, and no interest in taking part in. But the melee, now... Bannon wondered how he would do. He knew he was big and strong, for certain. He also practiced hard, training for hours every day in the yard. The captain of the Princess Nymeria's guards was impressed with his skill for one so young. But there was a hidden truth that Bannon had not revealed to his hosts, a secret that niggled and bit at his conscience. Simply put, Bannon had never seen battle before. Oh, fist-fights and brawls, to be sure. But not real battle, with steel against steel. He felt nervous. Not afraid for himself, but nervous of doing poorly. He guarded that secret the way other young men might guard the knowledge of inexperience with women which Bannon, perversely enough, felt no shame about. It wasn't as though women would throw themselves at someone his size. Oh, doubtless some were curious about the 'big man', but curiousity only went so far. Not that Bannon blamed them for that, either. So it was that his thoughts were heavy that morning, his eyes brooding as he stared out over the yard, the steely rustle of stone on blade his only company.
  12. "No." Bannon shrugged, dipping his bread in the gravy before taking another large bite. "All I've seen of the world is what's between Bronzegate and here. Went to Storm's End once a few months past at a market day for a bareknuckle tourney. Won myself some silver. And that's about all I've travelled." He grinned cheerfully. "It's not all I want to travel, though. I want to see the Free Cities, and the Wall in the north, and Dorne too, someday." His sable-brown eyes grew distant. "There's a lot of sights to see that I'll never spy out being tied to an anvil night and day."
  13. He took the step beside Galiana, his back turned mostly to the wall opposite hers so he could eat facing her, a bent knee providing a resting place for his plate as he ate no more delicately than she. As he sucked gravy off his fingers he shrugged in answer to her question. "No great secret there. Bronzegate's my birthplace, in the Stormlands." He took a huge bite of bread, white teeth flashing. "'m a smith by trade, though my grandfather taught me to swing a waraxe as well as a hammer. There's no call for two smiths in Bronzegate, and I don't fancy toiling at a forge forever, so I decided to make my own way." He studied what was visible of her face. "So what's your tale, miss?"
  14. A plate in each hand, Bannon wandered around the corner into the yards, pausing to watch as Galiana drew and released arrows with deadly intentness at the targets. He regarded the girl in man's garb, wondering how he'd missed some of the cues. Well, he had been busy at the time, but still... "You shoot well, 'young master'." the bearlike rumble of his voice echoed of the walls surrounding the archery yard as he detached himself from the wall and moved towards her, offering a plate of bread and stewed meat in rich gravy. "I asked where you were and a couple of the guards said you were here shooting. Thought you could do with a meal."
  15. Bannon dropped his bundle onto the bed and frowned at it. The small bedchamber they had given him was certainly finer than any he had slept in before, but the bed was, as predicted, too small. He'd be sleeping on blankets on the floor again. "Bugger." he swore softly, then grinned at himself in the polished metal mirror above the washstand. "Stop complaining, Bannon the Bastard, and clean your hairy self up." Long weeks on the road through hill and forest hadn't done much for his appearance. His hair and beard were matted and tangled, and the bear fur cloak around his shoulders was greasy. It was a wonder the ladies had even taken to him, looking and... he sniffed... and yes, smelling the way he did. Ahh, well, that was in the open air. He'd better take care of this now before he stank up Princess Nymeria's mansion. He stripped off his cloak, his leather gauntlets, and his huge ring-mail jerkin and dropped them onto the bed, scratching absently under the thick woollen tunic he wore for travelling. He was engaged in pulling the itchy, dirty tunic off when there was a knock at the door and a maid peeked in, blue eyes widening and a squeak escaping her lips as she saw the huge guest in the process of disrobing. Bannon turned towards the sound and the girl froze, staring as if hypnotised at the huge, corded muscles of his arms and torso before a slight cough from Bannon resounded through the room. "Ohmigosh-I'm-so-sorry-Messer!" she blurted before closing the door again. Bannon blinked as the maid, her blush audible in the faint breathlessness of her voice, said through the door "I've been sent to tell you the bathhouse is towards the back of the house, near the kitchens." She started and leapt away as the door opened behind her back. Bannon stood there, his spare travelling tunic pulled on. The maid stared at him. She'd heard that a giant warrior had come back from the keep with the Princess, had poohed and thought that it was simply a very tall man. Seeing him, all the old stories of man-eating giants came back on memories of her grandmother's voice. Resisting the urge to look up into Bannon's face, the maid took heart that the Princess Nymeria, as good and kind a mistress as could be found, certainly wouldn't introduce into the house anyone who'd eat, say, a chambermaid. Emboldened by this thought, and by the fact he hadn't roared, growled or broken anything yet, she looked up. Bannon was smiling at her. She blushed a little, more from embarrassment than anything else. "Dreadful sorry about that-" she began, but Bannon shrugged and cut her off. "No offence taken, lass. I'm used to being gawked at." he said easily. "Could I ask you to see to my travelling gear being laundered while I go and wash the rest of me?" The maid nodded and bobbed a curtsey. "No, no need for that. Between us, I'm just Bannon, lass. How're you called?" She glanced up at him, growing a little bolder and studying his features. He had a prizefighter's face, that's what her father would say. All solid planes and heavy brows, forbidding as a granite keep. His smile, though, was handsome enough to make a woman look twice. Or at least, it would be if he'd tidy himself up some. "Mae is how I'm called." she told him, tilting one hip unconsciously as she regarded him. "'Ere, are you a for-real giant?" Bannon chuckled, a rumble of thunder. "If I am, I promise I won't be carrying off women into the woods with me, so don't fear." he winked. Mae blushed a little, but laughed. "Go on with you, Messer Bannon, or I'll think you a rogue." she flapped a hand at him. "Can't have that, now." he grinned, and stepped out into the passage, ducking slightly to get through the doorway. Mae pointed down the corridor. "Bathhouse is that way. There's linen towels and soap on the shelves as you go in, and there's already lots of hot water in there for you." She looked at him a little more critically. "You could do with combing that beard, you know. It makes you look like you were dragged through a hedge backwards. I'll leave some shears and a comb in your room." "My thanks." he nodded, then strode off down the passageway. Mae watched him go speculatively, then shook her head, her thoughts her own. * * * * * * * An hour had passed. Bannon had scrubbed himself clean from head to toe then soaked in the largest tub in the bathhouse until the water had started to get cold. Returning to his room, he sat in front of the mirror and combed his hair and beard, wincing as he tugged out the many tangles in both. His beard had definitely grown like wild brush in the last two months. He grunted. The hair on his face had been the last hair to arrive, but when it had come it had arrived with a vengeance. He set himself to trimming it back, shaping the beard as his grandfather had taught him. On the road, it hadn't mattered. But here... well, if noble ladies were to adopt him into their houses, he should at least not disgrace them with his appearance. Finishing to his satisfaction, he tied his long hair back with a leather thong and stood, sweeping up the beard trimmings and dumping them into the chamberpot. Then he dressed in his best clothing, clothing he'd had specially made from his winnings in the last bareknuckle tourney he'd taken part in. A white linen shirt with a rich brown leather vest over it. Fine brown woollen trousers, the same rich mahogany as his vest, tucked into long black boots of soft but hard-wearing leather that he'd waited a month for the cobbler to make. He examined himself in the mirror again. Much better. The black of his travelling garb, he fur cloak and armour darkened his eyes, giving him a more forbidding, dangerous air. The browns, on the other hand, lightened his eyes, and his hair being tied back softened the default brooding mien of his face. A faint growl came from his stomach, and Bannon decided to have a wander around, maybe find some food. Leaving his room, he wandered in the direction of the kitchens.
  16. Bannon caught the gaze of Allyria Dayne and returned it inscrutably. He was used to men and women gawking or sizing him up (for one type of contest or the other), but the steady appraisal from those mismatched eyes was unusual. Dayne. A relative of Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning. Has to be. No wonder she went all stiff when Lord Barristan Selmy was around. "Tourney blades sounds good to me, Milady Allyria. And a lochaber or a bardiche will serve me fine." Bannon looked up at the mansion as they approached it, then stood by as the old man with the Maester's chain imparted the various news. He leaned on his axe and waited, as silently and patiently as an oak, for the Princess to determine what was to be his part.
  17. Bannon gently took Lady Allyria's hand in his with a smile, nodding at her whispered advice. "I shall bear that in mind, ladyship. My thanks for your concern." Cocking his great head to one side as he listened to the princess, the others could see a grin both jovial and ferocious cross his face. "I'd be happy and honored to swear my axe to a good House." he declared, then laughed, the sound like thunder. "And I'll rise to any contest of arms your ladyship sets before me." He winked good-naturedly at the guards. "Perhaps barehanded might be a kinder type of contest, if ladyship does not mind?"
  18. "No patron, no sponsor, and naught but what I carry on my back and in my heart to call my own, ladyship." Bannon told her cheerfully. He took slow strides to keep pace with the princess, walking to the right of the ladies and their immediate retinue. He glanced over his shoulder meaningfully at the keep. "And if the good lordling wishes to come and find me to deliver a thrashing, he'd best bring enough ointment for his own fat arse." he said with a grim smile on his face as he turned back to them. He blinked as it sank home that his language might not be appropriate for the company, then flushed a little. "Uhm... Your pardon, ladyships. Just a manner of speaking."
  19. Bannon blinked, mildly astonished and humbled (not a familiar feeling) by Nymeria's words. A full smile broke out on his face, making it lose it's normally forbidding air and revealing his youth somewhat. "Your ladyship has no need to apologise for the likes of him." he said quietly. "But I'd be honored to accept your offer regardless." He glanced at the Red Keep ruefully. "I think today isn't the right day to join the gold cloaks with that lordling around."
  20. Bannon watched as the Princess rushed over to the 'boy' and the three knights became more hesitant, bowing to the royal. Bannon copied the gesture, somewhat clumsily and without dipping his head as was customary. As he straightened and the Lord decided to ignore his apology, the white-armoured Captain interceded, and the three knights were shooed away like troublesome boys. On hearing the Knight-Captain's caution, Bannon simply nodded his head politely, but said nothing. He feared no man, and had resolved not to since his twelfth birthday. He bent and picked up his bundle, hooking it over his free shoulder, and looked at Galiana in the Princess's embrace. "My thanks to you, young master." he rumbled with a faint smile visible under his beard. "That would have been an ill-omened encounter but for you."
  21. The expressions that crossed Bannon's face flickered rapidly: surprise, confusion, followed by annoyance (at having his fun interrupted), followed immediately by understanding and caution (as common sense chimed in and told him that here was a way out that wouldn't see him in a stocks or dungeon), followed lastly by a resigned expression that wasn't entirely feigned as he shouldered his axe once more, seeming to be disappointed (which he was) and a little embarrassed (which he wasn't). "Apologies, young master." he rumbled quietly, dark eyes meeting the mismatched gaze of the youth as he nodded his head in perfunctory subservience. "I misunderstood your instructions to me. I shall do better next time." Behind his practiced facade of 'lumbering oaf', Bannon was wondering who this young man was and why they had interceded. Simple good-heartedness? Or something more? He'd heard that the games of nobles and those that consorted with them were no place for a straightforward man. This boy was part of the Princess Nymeria's retinue, or at least so it seemed. Swallowing his bloodlust, he turned his eyes to Lord Bryant Harreck. "I wish no quarrel, milord. It would shame the Princess to have one of her retinue involved in a brawl. With that in mind, I..." he paused, having obvious difficulty getting the words out. He gritted his teeth slightly. "I withdraw my remark."
  22. "At your service, and as you wish, milord." The giant man turned, shrugging off his travelling bundle before bringing the axe down from his shoulders, the haft slapping into place into a palm the size of a man's head. A glint of fierce and terrible joy shone in the dark eyes as they looked into those of Lord Bryant. "Bannon is my name, and I have never known an easy lesson. Milord." The statement seemed unduly ominous as he readied the greataxe. Click to reveal.. Intimidate check to demoralise opponent 1d20=16 + 9 (Combat specialty) = 25
  23. Dark eyes studied the three knights as Bannon didn't bother to slow his steady walk across the bridge. Common sense and his place in the world dictated that he ignore the taunts. But it was something older than civilised mores and traditions that rose to the surface on silent fins. "Just showing the wares, Ser." He rumbled with an affable smile to the three as he came abreast of them. "That way, any lass that's tired of your sewing needle knows who to look for."
  24. Bannon thought over the older man's advice as he found an out of the way spot to prop himself and finish his lunch. A landsman, he wasn't sure a life at sea would suit him. Working as a protector for a whorehouse might be fine work, especially considering the fringe benefits his youthful mind was all too ready to imagine. But being a gold cloak, now... there was something. Something higher. Something that no-one could look down upon as a profession. The youth brushed pie crumbs from his armour and straightened up, taking a drink from one of the waterskins hanging from his broad shoulders. Settling the stopper back into place, he turned his dark eyes up, his gaze travelling to the edifice carved from red stone that loomed over the city. The Red Keep, the house of the Iron Throne, the center of the Seven Kingdoms. Looking up now and then to take in the sights, Bannon made his way there.
  25. Bannon moved through the crowd with an easy, unhurried pace. He did not fear pickpockets, mainly because his money purse was tucked into the neck of the thick woven tunic he wore under his armor. Any cutpurse seeking to lighten his load would need a ladder. He grinned at the thought. He stopped at a stall selling meat pies, haggling for one before resuming his steady progress. He had no goal in mind right now save to gain familiarity with the city and, perhaps, to spot any opportunity that may present itself. The large man wondered if they had bareknuckle tourneys here. He liked to fight, and it was a sure way to earn coin whilst waiting for something grander to come along. He paused now and then in his travels to chat to those not too busy, trying to figure out who needed a strong arm and keen blade, where his size and skill could be best employed.
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