|A Horse of A Different Colour|
|Summary:||Tiaryn runs into her relatives and provides a little information about Tall Oaks, before she discovers that there is something special about the horse she escaped on.|
|Related Logs:||Survivor's Guilt|
|The surrounding terrain has several small gullies and streams that feed into the waterfront area just adjacent to the town square, the sails of the boats visible over the tops of the buildings. The square is floored in the same heavy stone that the east docks and castle are constructed of while the buildings are a mix of the stone, wood, and mortar. There are quite a few fish vendors with their fragrant catches for sale among groups of tables which tend to be busy most of the time.|
|Saturday, January 7th, 289|
Tiaryn is not able to go too far, it's true, but she does need to start moving, to help her healing. She has not asked for a guard, not wanting to distract anyone from the preparations that are currently under way. She is all in favour of smashing the Ironborn to smithereens, so that even makes sense. She has moved just a step or two beyond the stone walk, no further, in case she needs to retreat. And at the moment, she is standing there, a hand on the nearest solid support, just looking out at the town square.
It's the final day before leaving and there's something of a restlessness to the Young Lord. Anders takes the wandered path with one man at arms.. and slows when he espies the Camden lady. Waving off his man he approaches alone. "My lady."
Tia's watching things, and while she is in pain, she is still more or less alert. Enough that Anders' approach doesn't startle her. She is still not up to a curtsey, but she does incline her head respectfully. "My Lord Flint," she says first. Then she raises her head to give him a long look. "I wish you much success in all the upcoming battles. Please do your best to come back alive."
The sentiment from this lady is particularly poignant and Anders takes it in the spirit offered. Inclining his head in acknowledgement, he grimaces a smile. "I will do everything in my power to be certain of that, my lady." Beat. "It's good to see you out. Reports are that you are healing well."
Tia is not surprised that he is getting reports, though it does bring a small brief smile to her face. "I believe that to be the case. Corrie took very good care of me," she says. She takes a breath at this point, her blue eyes showing her determination for just a moment before she veils them. Ow. Even deep breaths remind her of the healing wounds at the moment. "Thank you for your concern on my behalf." For so she takes his comment on the reports - that he cares enough to ask.
"There are several reasons for the concern, including our family ties," Anders begins, "And that's a big one. The others you must be aware of as well. Camdens are no fools.. and their heads aren't empty." Unlike other families?
Well. Perhaps their heads are now empty? That macabre black humour is such that Tia doesn't speak it, fearing it will only mark her as crazy or lost in her grief. She sighs, after a moment. "I think - if my niece Liliana is still alive at the Roost, she is now the Lady of the House," she says slowly. "I am very much afraid that nobody else has survived the - destruction - of Tall Oaks."
This is where it starts getting delicate. "Liliana.." Anders repeats in order to memorize the name. "Okay." He approaches to stand beside his goodcousin, hands moving behind him. "I have to ask, and I will start gently. How many were there?" He's not asking for a full recounting.
No. He's not. He might still get more details than he wants. "We had some warning they were coming, there were a lot. I think when we made our attempt to escape, they had our keep surrounded with small camps, and there were well over fifty, perhaps seventy five?" Tia pauses a moment, her eyes darkening, before she adds, "And we are fairly certain they left some to guard their boats." That many reavers at poor Tall Oaks, which had nowhere near those numbers. It does make one wonder why they even bothered.
At least they had warning, which is both a blessing and a curse. Anders nods, listening carefully. "How many of you tried to escape?" There was no one with her but maybe they'd missed survivors in their lack of desire to engage without intel?
A moment or two, as Tiaryn has to struggle to get to this part. She manages, though her voice is monotone, the only way she can do it. "We had ten horses, so ten of us rode. I know that Seryl fell, I was close enough to see that. And Ser Baylor - Lady Elinor's man. Oh - Lady Elinor Banefort was visiting us, and she did not try to escape, choosing to stay and fight." She stops there, so that she can fight off the tears, her free hand reaching up to wipe at her eyes.
There's a certain level of familiarity that must be attained in touching a lady, even in consolation. It's not that he doesn't feel her pain, sympathize, but… "The Young Lord." now identified. "Lady Elinor Banefort," is repeated. "And Loed Camden thought her safer in the keep." A statement and question all in one.
That gets a shake of her head. "No, but Lady Elinor chose to stay. I think - truthfully, with the number of Ironborn surrounding us, Sarojyn was fairly certain that we were none of us going to make it out alive," she admits. "But taking the horses and running while the others created a distraction was the only chance that could result in perhaps some of us escaping. Aside from me, we had Alyse and Seryl, Wren and Ava, Ailith - they are my middle brother Mikah's wife and children, a guard, two knights, and one of Lady Elinor's maids, taking her spot, as she would not come. Ser Baylor saved my life, as he made it through to the other side of the siege and turned back just in time to shoot at the reaver who - "
"But it was the best chance rather than remaining inside…" Anders lets his voice trail off. He's certain that there were no survivors. Now he reaches to touch the lady's arm briefly- a pressure to keep her in the here and now. "When we found you, you'd been riding for some time. And your horse made it hard to get to you." Anders smirks, "Little war horse would't let us close."
Blink. Little war horse … Tia jerks briefly at Anders' touch, and then winces. Stupid reaction that. It works though, bringing her back to the present moment. Her brow furrows, and she says, "Little war horse? But - " She has to think a bit more, not that she wants to go back there, but her recollection is a little muzzy. "I got pulled off my horse and it ran. I ended up with just grabbing one that was near and had no rider." Though of course, that does mean that someone fell in order for there to be such a horse. "I - is he in the stables? I think maybe I should see which horse it is." Though of course, she's sure that will only confirm that someone else she loves has been killed by the ironborn.
"Well, he's not big enough to be a real war horse. He just fought like one." Anders chuckles and nods towards the stables. "He's in the stables. His only injuries were that his legs were cut up from the underbrush and was dehydrated. He's fine and all know he's yours." Pressing his lips together in a thin line, Anders steps back. "Go to the stables. I think you both could use the visit."
Tiaryn, while it might not be right, or proper, needs to have a moment of contact, and she does actually reach a hand to Anders, Young Lord or not. He's Corrie's husband, and he's Tia's goodcousin, and well, she is hurting. And there's no maid to stop her, so nyah. "I think I will do that, thank you, goodcousin." She pauses a moment, glancing around, and then starts slowly towards where she thinks the stables should be.
Anders takes it and gives her hand a squeeze. "You have a home with us and are always welcome, Tiaryn." Familiar for family. "I'll send Corrie when I see her." Dropping her hand, Anders goes in a different direction. Preparations..
|The public stables of Stonebridge are quite large and even have a distinct area for visiting nobility to store their steeds while visiting Crane's Crossing. Saddles are stored within an interior building and out of the elements where services are offered for everything from repair to shining. Feed is supplied as well to make sure that the charges are well cared-for.|
|Saturday, January 7th, 289|
Tia walked slowly away from Anders, cause there's not much else she could do, given she's not walking very quickly as yet. Into the stables where she found someone and asked them to show her where her horse is. It took a few minutes to explain who she was, and that the horse would be a small brown type brought in by the Flints. But eventually the stablehand gets it, and leads her over to where the intelligent gelding is standing. His ears start to pin back, as he spies folks coming near, and the stable hand mutters something about a devilhorse. Tia stops cold, staring. Blink. Blink. Stare.
With the camp being broken and the men getting ready to ride, there's really not that much for those who've been ordered to stay behind to do down on the outskirts. Having polished Anders' armour, sharpened his sword, saddled his horse and generally done everything required in preparation for his knight's departure, Einar is now taking time to have his own horse stabled within the town itself. The stablehnad he'd spoken to had eyed him a little oddly after he'd said he needed a stall, but had found him one none the less and that is where the lad now stands, grooming his horse thrroughly as a distraction technique. If he doesn't see the force ride off, maybe it won't hurt so much.
"You're not the horse I started off with," Tia says, though she already had that clue from Anders. Even though the horse's ears are back, she steps forward, ignoring the stablehand's warning. It takes a few moments, but only a few. She knows that horse, all too well. "Gethin?" she asks, incredulity in her voice. And as it is a familiar voice, the horse's ears suddenly perk forward as the gelding suddenly whickers. The stablehand's brows shoot up, and he looks at Tia with a whole 'nother expression on his face. She's ignoring him now though. "Gethin, it is you," she says, moving to where she can reach her hand to the horse, who promptly nuzzles into her hand.
Having been up all night with the said preperations (it's not as if he has to be in a fit state to ride after all), the young Flint is looking forward to finishing this last task before going to bed. He's nearly done too when a familiar voice distracts his attention. He stops to listen for a moment and is about to dismiss it as a sympton of how tired he is, when he hears it again. He can't really see much by just looking around so he sets the brush he's been using down, gives Rae a quick rub on the nose and then slips out of the stall to see if it really is his goodsister that he's just heard.
Tia's eyes close as Gethin nuzzles her hand, moving closer. she's still outside the horse's stall, given she's injured, but she moves to give the horse a bit of a hug, as much as she safely can anyway. And as it really sinks in that it /is/ Gethin she's managed to get hold of, the tears start to fall again. "Oh gods," she manages, letting the pain surface and the tears flow freely now. She hasn't heard Einar at all, and the stablehand went back to his work once he realized that the horse wasn't going to kill her, leaving her alone - so she thinks - with Dafydd's horse.
Well now, this is awkward. Pausing for a moment to dip his hands into a conveniently located water bucket to get the worst of the muck off he glances around to see if he can spot the maid that Anders had said he'd sorted. Apparently not. Maybe that was just wishful thinking on his part. Keeping a respectable number of feet away he clears his throat, not particularly loudly, but hopefully enough so that it'll be heard. He doesn't say anything yet though, wanting to give Tia time to compose herself once she's realised she's not along, before going quite so far as converation.
OH. That Maid? She's sleeping. Tia didn't wake her. Ahem. She did get the conversation with Anders she wanted to have, and that's good, and now, well now she's here crying over a horse. Which at least seems to be patient and not mind. And who recognizes her besides. She does hear the throat clearing, as gentle as it is, and that gets her head up swiftly, glancing to see who is there. When she recognizes Einar, her breath whooshes out, and then she says, "Ow," in a sort of teary-eyed half pained way. "Einar, do you know - this horse? This is-was - Dafydd's horse, Gethin that he raised from a foal. He had given it to someone, not so long before the Ironborn came." Swallow. "I guess this means that she must have - been there." Stunned, sad, and altogether beside herself.
Einar does indeed know the horse and so he nods once at the question. "It's the horse you were riiding when we found you," he offers quietly, reasuringly. He listens to the back history in polite silence, taking the time to visually make an apprasal of his goodsister's physical condition. He frowns slightly in concern, but is loathe to break protocal unless it's an emergency. Thankfully, to save the day, the stablehand approaches again, having business in another of the nearby stalls, and he's quickly dispatched to go fetch the maid, or Lady Cordelya, whichever he happens to be able to find first. Turning back to Tia he's caught again, between the urge to offer comfort and support, against the social pressure to wait. Still, he's summonded help now so there's nothing for it really. He does take a step or two closer though, no contact, but hopefully enough to provide at least some reassurance. "Dafydd was your brother?" he asks, despirately trying to remember back to Connell's wedding.
"It - Yes. Dafydd was my brother. The one closest in age to me," Tia says. She rubs her one hand at her cheeks, and Gethin nuzzles at her shoulder. "I - Gethin was not with us at Tall Oaks." That's a certainty. She frowns though as he sends the stablehand off to get the maid. "She was sleeping - I'm sure she should get some sleep. No point waking her up because I can't sleep," she protests. Though she does note as he comes closer, but stops, that the younger man seems to be somewhat uncertain. Her brow furrows briefly, as she tries to figure out what he is thinking. "It just - reminds me that Dafydd is gone. And - I guess since Gethin is here, that means that Kathryna must be too." She's not quite sure how she feels about that truthfully.
Einar can picture the Camden party from the wedding and nods as the horses' previous owner is identified amongst them. The other name though he can't place so he just nods gently at her mention. Clasping his hands safely behind his back he does glance briefly over his shoulder to the dorrway but then turns back and answers Tia softly, "I'm sure she will find it no trouble," after all, not to put too fine a point on it it's what she's paid for. "You shouldn't be alone Tia, not here, not in these circumstance." Not ever really, but he's prepared to believe that thare might be some exceptions to that. "Either your maid, or Corrie will be able to help you, give you any assisstance you require." If this were the Finger then he'd have no hesitation in offering a calming hand on her shoulder, or whatever else she might need, but it isn't, it's Stonebrige in the middle of a war muster. Much as he wants to.
At least the horse is giving her comfort and taking some too from her presence, it seems. "I just - honestly, I don't know what I need. I don't know why I'm still alive, while they're not. I don't know what to do any more or - " A breath, and then she says, "I'm sorry. It's not your fault. You shouldn't have to listen to any of this." She takes a shuddering breath, trying to hide her wince, and then she says, "The maid, what's her name?"
"Adara," Einar supplies with a faint smile. "You're alive becuase the Gods will it so. They have a purpose for you and here you are." He doesn't specifiy which gods, knowing her to be a follower of the old religion, but for all he knows it could well be both sets. "It maybe that your Gods wanted a witness to tell what was done to the weirwood. It maybe that the Seven wanted blessed your ride so that Tall Oak's story could be told and the Ironmen brought to justice." He takes a deep breath and then starts again, quieter this time, "I'm not a Priest, the Gods do not talk to me to tell me their reasonings, but I can see their hand in this and it should be celebrated. Life should always be celebrated."
"Adara," Tia says, with a nod of her head. She pets the side of Gethin's neck, as she can now. "Thank you." She might remember it this time. She listens to Einar's attempt to answer the question she's unable to answer, and then she makes a face at him. "I suppose it could be any of those things, but it hurts, Einar. It hurts." And she dissolves into tears again, never mind that he's there to witness it. He's her goodbrother, and she trusts him.
Einar remembers well enoug how it felt to lose his brother, but can't really imagine how that must scale up when it has to include you're entirely family, home and people. It seems though that his time for stalling has run out and he has to pick, do the decent thing, or do the proper thing. He can't just stand there and watch though and it takes him all of a second to realise that before he steps closer again, resting one hand on her shoulder. Leaning in a little he says, only just above a whisper, "I know it hurts Tia, I know, but time will make the hurt less. Come, let us go find Corrie shall we, let Adara have her sleep."
Tia moves forward to rest her head against Einar's shoulder. Yes it's going to get wet, as she cries all over it, but she doesn't care. And she's not moving to go find Corrie, leaving Einar somewhat holding the … woman. If they are seen, it may well cause a scandal, and she doesn't care right now. After a few moments of scalding sobbing tears, Tia pulls back to look at Einar with a tear stained face, and sniffles. "I am sorry, Einar. I shouldn't borrow your shoulder like this. I - I can find Corrie, you needn't worry."
In for a penny, in for a pound, and at this point, anyone trying to cry scandal might just get a punch in the teeth. Einar gives Tia as mush time as she needs to collect herself. His shoulder wasn't doing anything else at the time after all. "It's okay," he says, his voice still quiet and gentle. "Say good morning to Gethin while I finish up with Rae. It'll only take me a minute" by which he means he'll leave a coin for the stablehand to finish up for him, "and then we'll go find Corrie together." He's not about to let her go wondering off on her own after all. Not in any circumstances, particularly these ones.