|A Day At Camp|
|Summary:||Lord Aleister is visiting Lady Serica tending to the levies when Ser Harold pops in.|
|Related Logs:||The Stonebridge issue.|
|The expanse of landscape here was (and in parts still is) breathtakingly beautiful. Lush grass fed by the nearby waters of the rivers and smaller streams, while further to the west, the meadows fade into the shade of dense forest. It has been disrupted, though, by the construction begun some months ago that continues still, turning a pastoral landscape into a budding noble seat. Irrigation ditches are complete, a lumber mill buzzes with activity, and a new fence encloses housing and a village that is now well underway. Most prominent is a motte and bailey, which is newly finished and protected by a moat and a drawbridge that is lowered from a small gatehouse.|
|Sat Aug 18, 289|
A sharp laugh escapes past Aleister's lips as he gives a slight bow of his head to Serica, "I suppose I would not, Aunt. But still, to have such a lesson learned with battle just around the corner, is an unfortunate thing." A touch of humor laces the words and they end with that smile once more returning to his lips. Shifting a bit more, his attention flits to that of Meryk, offering the man another nod before he's looking back to Serica, "The land is ripe for such a thing, Aunt, so if you can find a place that risks no damage from the men, then you are welcome to plant such a thing."
At the moment, Serica, Aleister, her maid and one of the levy men are within a tent filled with supplies, with Serica quite obviously treating an injury, though minor in nature, "I will not turn away the skill of a healer, my Lady, simply because she is not a man. I fear that in the coming days, we will have need of all those with the abilities that you command."
"Better to learn it before a battle, than after one when the Stranger comes to collect," his aunt replied, for all that still hearing such a title from his lips filled her with an entirely too amused sense of mirth. "Do you know, when I expected to have a nephew…I'd imagined somewhat…," a look at him then, one that sweeps from head to toe without anything deeper. Just the implication that smaller and still prone to wanting sweeties. With a bemused little shake of her head, the woman's hands bury in her apron, clearing away the remains of the balm that was on her fingers. "I shall look then," in regards to the land, "And if my niece is inclined to have a hand in it, such a thing would be welcome." But Seri is at least aware that her penchant for playing in the dirt isn't shared by all.
"I was never one for politics, Nephew. Nor charming banter or the masses. Still, what skill is mine, I offer freely and if you've any others here, who show interest in learning, I can teach them out to wrap the basics." She offers, before her expression turned more serious yet. "Have you any healers then to march, should it turn war in truth instead of speculation?"
Ser Harold did his utmost best to ensure that the natural accumulation of injuries that came with a constant drill routine remained light. There was no point in pushing the peasentry so hard that half the army was left in a limping condition. At the same time, there were always going to be small accidents when spears and clubs were handled, or even just while marching back and forth in relativly compact formations, where just one spear dropping at the wrong time might poke out an eye. There was a reasurrance, then, in having someone with proper skills at hand, rather than the cleaver teams that generally took care of injured smallfolk too insignificent to call attention to proper maesters or professionals. Harold was the kind of man who liked seeing his men taken care of. Even if they were part-time and useless levies.
He moved towards the tent at an unhurried pace, chewing ground with all the time in the world. As if he hadn't just five mintues ago roared at a bunch of levies to run like their mother in laws had just caught them sleeping with the neighbor's sheep, and called them several worse things in the process. His old man-at-arms, now Serica's guard, recieved a nod of familiar respect, and recieved a deeper one in return. A jerk of the man's thumb told his master that his wife was inside, and so without hesitation the tall knight stepped in.
"Oh, I can not dispute such a thing, my Aunt, though I would rather them learn it before a battle and have time to adequately heal, rather then risk an injury that hinders them when they are needed. But, not all things happen as we wish them too," comes Aleister's immediate reply and at her mention of having expected something else from a nephew, there's a slight laugh and another incline of his head, "I know well what you mean, my Lady> But, alas, I am what what you are stuck with, I'm afraid." The smile warms a touch and then fades as he gives another bob of his head, "I will see those that have skill in healing seek you out. They are few, I am afraid, but we will see more. My Lord Keegan will see a Maester sent our way, when the time comes, to aid my men and his, as well."
Catching the movement from the corner of his eyes, Aleister's attention shifts to the opened flap of the tent and as Harold steps within, there's a slight incline of his head towards the older Knight, "Ahh, good day, Uncle."
"Well I shall that they are mended and whole as I can make them, with less risk to be hindered. Of that you have my word," where the weight of that promise came with a bow of her head to see it so. For all that his laughter had her following sincerety with a grin. "So you are, Nephew, so you are. And no chance I'd wager for you to come one day begging to sneak away and be taught to fish." Countered with a mock sigh. "Alas, I shall simply have to wait for that son of yours to grow a little taller and spoil him instead," she smiled.
The warmth of it stayed with her too, when he offered to send others her way and spoke of Keegan sending a Maester. "That is good to here. In the meantime, I suppose the least I can do is see that he finds himself not lacking for supply; despite what I would wager that Lord Keegan shall send with him," mused, before her husband's tall frame filled the tent flap. "Ah, and there is the fiend responsible for my efforts. Come to apologize for ensuring that your poor wife is worked to the bone? Our Nephew here was just saying how he was going to have a word with you for it…," she teased, lips much like her eyes dancing with mirth.
"Harold met Aleister's welcome with a like one, before his eyes flashed in Serica's direction. "Ah. I confess completely," he said with a show of contrition, one hand lifted up infront of his chest, palm out in the sign of peace and surrender. "I am both instigator and the bearer of ultimate responsibility fory our present circumstances. Alas, I'm far too prideful a man to ever be caught apologizing. So you'll merely have to make do with this," and the other hand swung around, carrying a little wicket basked covered with a small cloth napkin.
"Some fruit, a bit of fresh nutty bread with honey center. My poor squire was forced to run the whole way from the keep with it, but then.." he shrugged dismissivly, and glanced in Aleister's direction for support: "Is not a squire's whole life purpose to be run ragged until he drops exhaustd into dreamless sleep each night? I declare it is."
"And so, my Aunt, you have my thanks," is what Aleister murmers initially, before continuing with, "Alas, I fear I will not come running, to tug on the side of your skirts and ask to be taught to fish. Perhaps, though, you might convince my good wife to allow Aerick to do such a thing, before I spirit him away to begin his training." There's a quick flash of a grin and when she gives Harold a 'hard time', that ends with a tease directed towards him, there's a quick laugh and a slight shake of his head, "Consider yourself spoken to, Uncle. Keep up the good work."
Eyes flit between the two, a grni now resting upon his lips as he offers, "You coming bearing gifts, Uncle. A wise man, you are." Now, he takes a step back and then there's another laugh, even as he gives a slight incline of his head once more, "To serve and to serve some more. That is the duty of a squire and when they are finally Knighted, they will thank us for such a thing." It's then that one of Aleister's couriers peeks his head into the tent to offer a quick, "M'Lord." It's enough to grab his attention and with a slight nod towards the courier, he's then looking to Harold and Serica, "Excuse me for but a moment."
"Oh for shame," Seri mock-scolds Aleister, "I had expected something much sterner, I see where your loyalties lay," for all that it's light-hearted and given as the tease its meant to be as her eyes move to linger on her husband. "He doesn't look scolded at all. But my nose…," that she can smell anything beyond sweat and blood and packed earth, is a neat trick but the sweets rise higher than the sours.
"Forgiven," she intones to Harold, "But only because I think I smell plums." Over mint and bearfat. "Let me just, scrub my hands." Which had her stepping towards the basin to do just that. Not one wit of sympathy in her for the Squire, still nursing an old grudge for his behavior towards Roddy. Though when Aleister speaks again, Seri dips her head while a smile, "But of course." There's food. She won't be going far.
Ser Harold snorted at Aleister's 'admonishment', before making an agreeable motion that indicated he should of course take care of the business that had reared its head. While his nephew was preoccupied, and his wife washed her hands, the charlton knight gazed around the interior of the medica. Occasionally his eyes would linger at some impliment, or jar, or glass, though none of it made much sense to him. He prefered to be drunken stupid out of his mind the few times he had to lie down onto a cutter's table. Thankfully he'd left so far each time with all his limbs intact.
"I ventured a guess that if you were anything like me, once work piles up it's difficult to remember that the body needs its fuel. A good time for a busynose of a husband to step in and make offerings." He sniffed a little in the air, then added: "Though perhaps the meal itself best taken outside?" Not that a camp air was generally -fresh-, but you know. Fresher, when there were no tent walls to block the breeze.
"Amazing, forget me when I'm in a room, but remember me when I'm near, is that how it works? Why Harry, I hope that your fidelity is not so easily forgotten," she teased and it was a tease wasn't it? There was humor in her eyes? No one said Serica's humor didn't come without the occasional barb. "However, to appease your senses, I will take it outside." Though no one could question that she didn't keep the tent in a constant state of tidy, to help keep down the possiblity of someone's cut becoming infected and turning sour to rot. "Know you a place well enough away that the foot traffic won't be dusting my meal?"
"Never quite forgetting," her husband corrected mildly as he offered her his arm, "merely absent." He seemed to have minimal interesting in pursuing that particular topic right now, though, for he gave it the short end of his attentions, and turned instead on the prospect of a meal.
"Thank you. I don't think I'll ever quite be comfortable inside of a healer's tent," he admitted with a casual shrug. Not that he would avoid them.. mostly. Just that he rarely pursued that smell of medicine, or the sounds of screams and moans that often filled its interior. No. But to see his wife, he'd come, if not stay.
Aye. There's a stump a little ways, and I dare say at present most of the levies make a point out of not coming near me and risk having additional duties pointed out. So we'll be safe from interruption."
"Mmm," the noncommital reply was offered in reply to his correction, a measure of the lightness fading now that there wasn't anyone else around to act as a buffer between them. It left her somewhat…less at ease, though not completely. There was still some contentment to her, she was still smiling at least, her lips hadn't gone entirely thin.
"No, I don't suppose you would, would you," her eyes found the scar on his neck, "For all that they've kept you with us." His wife let it go. "The stump sounds pleasant," she let the topic drift instead. "As does the distance, though I wonder that you aren't taking too much time away from your duties." After all, he hadn't had time to spare when she /had/ stayed in her room, either. Any. In fact.
"Hah! Well, it takes more than a bit of effort to see this old ox brought down," Ser Harold declared with a wry shine in his eye. "Regardless of the quality of cutters at disposal." He absently rubbed his neck, even if he hadn't actually caught the gaze she put against that nasty line of old scar tissue hiding half beneath his beard, half beneath his mailed coif at the present. "Well, I suppose that's unkind of me to say. Honestly I tend to do my best to be dead drunk by the time I land on the table, ready to be stitched or burned back together again."
If she eventually took his arm, he'd give hers a light and content pat, before leading her out of the tent and into the bustling armed camp. The direction he was taking was a slight hump in the landscape, then the a dip behind it, keeping the old tree stump out of sight from the camp in general, though it was still quite close by.
A sideways glance in her direction as he was reminded of the load of duties awaiting him. "Ah. It's easy to be lured into the assumption that only you can fix every little problem that comes around. Delegating. I just have to remember to do it."
Serica barked a snort of laughter in response to that, wry humor about her eyes, "So then, our marriage was to be compared to being thrown down on the cutters table. This does help explain the state of you." But at least that didn't come with the hateful edge she generally had, as if enough time had finally passed that she felt as if she were able to poke a tease at the memory without poking for a fight at the same time.
Her arm did touch on his though; fingers resting just above the curve of his knuckles in a light pat in return as she let him escort her away, off towards the edge with some measure of quiet. Though both Roddy and Vesta remained behind and either could offer direction to Aleister er he returned. "Of course, the trick with delegating is that…for all that you can, I would wager you never shake the sensation that you could be doing it better than the man you're telling too."
"Aye." A serious answer to her laughing comparason, though he mellowed it out by wearing his own smile, a small and bemused one, both for the fact she was laughing and for the fact she could mention their catastrophic 'courtship' without turning a chill shoulder. Harold didn't let the word hang in the air very long, either, concious of the fact that long silences were generally best to allow to forment only when they followed on something lighter.
"Hah. I'll admit I keep catching myself wondering if they're doing what they aught to be doing. I just tell myself that: There's only so much damage they can do in a short hour. A risk worth running for a bit of pleasent company, I'd say."
Indeed. Fermenting silences in the wake of serious topics brew thoughts unkindly in the woman; make that humor turn cold and the words turn bitter. So gentle is that which is given where its not made to last. "I know the feeling. It's always easier to think that we know and can do a thing better, for all that Vesta can measure a draught and bind a wrap, I tend to fret that she'll forgo a proper scrubbing or miss something that I could more easily spot myself." Perhaps, and only perhaps, she was coming to realize that they weren't so very different, not at the core, though they both worked towards different ends. His to kill and hers to mend.
"Still…I'm glad you stepped away. And the company is…surprisingly pleasant." For all that the stump was low to the ground, a place to sit and have your feet even with the ground. Wise of the lumberjack who took it. Easier to have the roots pulled way later too, once the camps had cleared, to give wake to more even ground, fallow and good for planting in the future.