Protection Stone

Title: Protection Stone
Time Period: March 22, 135 A.E
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Jorn Wartooth gives young Cas some advice.

With winter nearly over and spring close at hand, the days are getting warmer, dews instead of frosts in the morning, and the street markets are able to remain open later and later. This is one of those later hours.

The sun's dipping in the sky now, casting long shadows, and beginning to cool the night air, but there's still a few stalls holding home-made goods for trade. One young man stands in front of a sparce booth with various small items, including, what he seems to be spending much of his time looking at, little chunks of colored rocks wrapped in wiring to make a pendant.

Cas looks less dirty than the last time the bear saw him, clean shaven and with his dark hair wild by the wind, and his clothes seem to be among his nicest. Topped with a pale blue scarf around his neck. That couldn't possibly keep out much of the cold.

The later hours are when Jorn is often sent to do what he cannot during the middle of the day; otherwise he takes a shine to conducting most of his personal business at this hour. Jorn takes his time in leaving the relative shadow of one of the stalls at the less family-oriented part of the market, parting a curtain out from behind it, and lifting himself out onto the square. A look around gives him a litter of vaguely familiar faces, and perhaps one or two as friendly.

"Close your mouth." Was it hanging open? The northman's voice is suddenly too nearby- in fact, just behind Cas' shoulder. Jorn can be quiet when he wants to be. Or needs to be.

If it wasn't closed before, it definitely isn't when Cas spins around, mouth opening for a surprised yelp, hands even going up as if to defend himself. Or— well— the most he could have probably done doing what he did is block a roll aimed at his head. "Sir Wartooth!" he says, voice startled and surprised. "H— hey," the English man says in his distinct accent.

"I— I didn't hear you at all." From the sounds, he is impressed, but from the way he smiles, he's happy to see him. Even if his mouth was open. "No trolls today, I hope?" he asks, the bruising and cuts of the attack before still visible. A cut on his forehead and eyebrow, and the damage to his leg and hip in the way he stands favoring the undamaged one.

Jorn lets out a somewhat wheezy little laugh, clearing his throat when it passes, and clapping a palm to one of Cas' shoulders for a moment, until it joins him at his side again.

"Good. No, no trolls today." The older man lifts his eyebrows and purses his mouth, peering over and down towards the stall he finds himself at now, and then back at Cas. "Are you doing well?" Jorn is plenty aware that mister Blackburn here likely is more fragile than he seems, at least in these terms.

The fragileness seems even more apparent by the way that slight clap, likely not intended to be hard, makes Cas move a bit and grimace. It only lasts a second, before he's smiling up at the older man. "Great— I'm great. No troll, so definitely great, but I won't be sleeping in trees for a while anymore, that's for sure."

That smile has a hint of shyness in it, as if he's genuinely worried about what this man thinks of him. Or maybe afraid one of the guards told him that the stablehand was petting him while he was unconscious in white bear form.

Jorn doesn't notice the wincing and such, or at least doesn't signal that he doesn't pay it mind, which is more likely. There could be a bit of a suspicious look directed to Cas, but perhaps it is only there if someone paranoid happens to look for it. Jorn looks like that quite a lot- it's part of the job, to bluff.

"Shopping for someone?" He finally gestures at the stall that he had distracted the young man from. "I have seen some nice stones pass through Dornie, thanks to the sailors."

"Yep," Cas immediately says in response, then after a second his mouth is open again and he backpeddles, "I mean no— I mean— I don't— It's just— I'm not really— " From the sound of his embarassed sputtering, he's not really sure what he's doing at all!

And he seems to have tensed up, where the man is touching his shoulder.

"I— I am not entirely convinced they aren't just colored pieces of leftover glass," he adds.

That attracts the attention of the trader who had been dealing with someone else until a moment ago. An middle-aged man who Jorn would know from his years in Dornie. A local, who couldn't exactly be called a miner, but certainly deals in local rocks— "No, young man, everything here is a rock from the earth, no glass. I assure you."

"Oh, I see. So it's like that, is it?" Like what? Jorn chokes down a chuckle, glancing up across the market and drawing himself away. His hands move to his hips, and he allows the trader to go onward to defend his product. Jorn nods along with him. "The highlands are thick with minerals, considering that there are bigger mountains."

"You looked lost, when I came up to you. Like these are underthings, rather than rocks." There is a good exaggeration there, but judging by the manner that Cas is showing, Jorn can surmise that he couldn't be far off, could he?

"So much for talking the price down then," Cas mutters quietly under his breath, even as he glances over with raised eyebrows at the mention of underthings. "I— it's just— I'm… I'm trying to figure out which one…" he trails off, lips pressing together in what could be a nervous frown, that still dimples his cheek. That makes the frown look similar to his smile— only less wide.

"I— I want a green one, I know that much. I just.. which one do you think is nicest. I've never really known stones." He looks up at Jorn, obviously trusting his opinion.

The green has a limited quanity, and none of them are particularly rich— most of them polished stones, rather than the clear quartz crystals (which are more a light green than the deeper polished Serpentine or bloodstone).

"I only know them enough to know which ones are good for certain things." Jorn looks sheepish himself at being asked such a thing, though if confidence is placed, he must think it rightly done. Besides- how can anyone say no to that face?

"Bloodstone is powerful, and that one there may be malachite, in that copper setting?" The former is common enough, though there are few pieces done with copper settings. "I think that it depends on what kind of person you are shopping for." What kind of woman, Jorn thinks he means, but to assume is to make an Ass out of You and Me.

Cas can make an ass out of himself more than enough for anyone, probably. And the way he tilts his head to the side and looks at the stones may not be helping. And there's that blue scarf that looks totally out of place, that he adjusts with his other hand.

A hand that is half covered by a red glove with the fingers cut out so his fingers are bare. Also doesn't blend well, that.

"I don't know what any of the stones are… good for. Are any of them… protective?"

Green and protective are rather tight lines, and what ends up there is just what Cas has been looking at already. Jorn watches him for a moment or two, waiting for an answer that never comes, to a question he didn't actually ask. His hands hook behind his back.

"Something with bloodstone, then." Jorn chews on his words as he says them, and it comes out while he is looking over the young man again. The look turns to one of silent consideration, brow deepening on his forehead and his upcoming inquiry presented in a forward manner. Jorn Wartooth cannot help as he was asked, otherwise. "Is it for a woman, or a man?"

Lips press together at it the mention of bloodstone and Cas, for a moment, directs his eyes across at the male trader, who immediately points out the best. A fancy wrapped one, that will probably require a little bartering on Cas' part.

"Too bad it wasn't the malachite— it was… greener," he says quietly, before looking over at Jorn with surprised eyes. "Uh— for a— woman." There's something evasive about his answer, though.

Hands drip into his pockets and he pulls out stamped strips that he earned doing work at the Rowntree stables. Three are laid down.

"Two more strips," the trader says, looking down at the strips with the stamps.

Reaching back into his pocket, he pulls out one— and then digs back in again… and adds a freshly picked apple, that looks ripe and bug-free to add on top.

"Very well," the trader says, leaving Cas to smile happily and pick up the pendant.

Jorn somehow does not laugh at this one- the evasiveness alone is humorous, to boot. "Ah." He sounds ambivilent, as if the question is a common one. Maybe. Maybe not. Probably not. The stranger thing being that he had nothing to blink about. He smiles thinly when the trader accepts the apple, turning blue eyes to inspect the piece itself.

"It is quite lovely. I take it green is her favorite?" The northman half-turns from the stall, apparent business concluded there. He remains, however, simply for the sake of the conversation he has been in.

"I— yes, green," Cas says, proud as a rooster with his new aquisition, even if he lost the snack he was saving for later. And a couple days of work worth of labor strips no doubt. "Like blues and reds meself, but not buying for me."

The small pendant is put into the same place he'd pulled out the various forms of payments. His coat looks as if it could hold a few things, especially with the interior pockets he keeps pulling things out of.

"Though I suppose I could still use a little protection— huh? Few days ago I woke up from a nap with a troll breathing on me!" Despite the words, he's smiling again, almost excited-like.

"Perhaps you do, in fact. Hopefully not enough that you'll need bloodstone armor." Jorn is not certain what to think of the smiling. Is it because of the girl, or the troll? He purses his lips again. "Do you have something planned? You look excited." Picking up on signals from mister Blackburn is as easy as stealing pie from anyone that isn't Mairi. Poor kid looks like he would be terrible at card games. Something to keep in mind for later.

For a second, Cas looks like he's about to answer, mouth opening, sound starting to come out. But then he stops and closes his mouth, as if reconsidering his words. No, likely not a good card player. Could be the mood. When he speaks, he even sounds as if he's trying to lie, or downplay. "Nothing planned, no. I just— "

He starts to back away from the booth, to make room for others he would no doubt say, limping a little, too. But he doesn't finish what he was saying.

And a moment later he tosses out a, "Do you think the trolls will come back?"

Jorn doesn't pry, stepping away with Cas, hands still behind the small of his back. Though he is interested, the interest lies unseen below his expression, which is the usual spacey, mildly dour one. At the question, he gives a great shrug.

"They don't usually come so close to town. I hope no more follow the first, or we will have a problem. The big aggressive ones, like those-" Implying that there are different kinds of trolls, apparently. "-tend to be territorial if they find a place they like. But at the same time, they usually stay in wider spaces, like the mountains. The largest I have ever seen, lived in the mainland mountains. Kept to themselves, so we avoided confrontation entirely."

"Brillant! I don't want to think what would happen if another set came that close to town again— I'm just glad no one got hurt worse than they did," Cas says, making gestures as he talks, and continuing to limp away, while still facing Jorn more or less.

"I should— uh— get going now— before it starts getting dark." He motions one direction, then looks at it and shakes his head. Maybe that direction isn't the one he needed to go. "Thank you for the help. With the… Pendant."

"Of course." Jorn's levelness in tandem with Cas' flitting movements makes them look an odd pair, for sure. Discounting the obvious physical differences. "Keep your eyes and ears open, hm?" And don't fall asleep in trees near bridges. "I hope that your special lady likes her gift." Jorn gives him a small smile then, and from the way it creases his cheeks back, it is not fake. He remains where he is, content to let Blackburn hobble off without him.