|A Knight Chastened|
|Summary:||Kamron Mallister is called before the court of Lord Patrek Mallister in Seagard to explain his actions on Harlaw and Pyke.|
|Related Logs:||Two Men Enter and The Kraken's Last Stand|
|The Great Hall - Seagard|
|The court of Lord Patrek Mallister|
|16 April, 289 A.L.|
The court in Seagard is not especially bustling this morning, and the throne room holds the young Lord of Seagard, in mourning black with his sash of Mallister colors and his father's sword at his hip, settled in the seat for which the room is named. In attendance is a herald, the house seneschal, Seagard's maester, a scribe who is jotting down a record of the proceedings as they occur, Patrek's lady mother and a smattering of Mallisters and kin. Patrek is nodding a little to whatever has just been said, before leaning over to speak quietly with the seneschal who takes a moment to consider before offering his answer in an equally soft murmur.
Kamron is in mourning, as is appropriate for a member of House Mallister—even a third cousin once removed of the new Lord. He has shaved for the meeting with his Lord and young Master, and his appearance before court. He meant to be one of the first present, to show that he is not shirking, but at least one or two people have arrived to state their cases before him. And so he is presents himself now, still moving a little gingerly and with his left arm tucked close to his body.
There are a couple glances over at the door as Kamron enters, and Patrek stands up from the throne to offer the Ser a cousin a nod. "Welcome, Ser Kamron, thank you for attending. I should like to address you on the issues of your comportment during the campaign on the Iron Isles. I have heard from Lord Martyn, and confirmed with others, both you actions on Harlaw and Pyke, though I ask first if there is anything you should like to say, or wish for me to hear, from your own mouth, in regards to either."
Kamron bows when addressed, wincing just a little as he straightens up again. He actually draws out a couple of sheaves of paper, "Thank you, My Lord. I took the opportunity to write down a brief version of the campaign as I saw it." A faint grin touches one corner of his lips, gone again shortly there-after, "I had time and little interest in sleep." One hand gestures up toward his chest, "It might be useful, My Lord, to hear from one of the three people who was conscious on the bridge at the end of the combat that took place there. And then, hopefully, I can regale you with the tale of the fall of the Rusted Prince, assuming that's what you're interested about on Pyke, My Lord—although drinking with the Good King Robert was a highlight as well."
"I'm sure it was," Patrek agrees with a faint smile, "but you are correct in thinking I hold more interest in hearing the battle than the deserved revelry that came after." His gaze dips a little towards the papers Kamron holds. "Please. Speak as you wish."
Kamron steps forward to hand the papers over to the maester, then steps back to stand before the dais holding the throne. Sobering fully and clasping his hands behind his back, the knight pauses for a moment, settling into the mood of the bridge again, "The fight on the bridge was brutal, My Lord. Ser Martyn couldn't penetrate The Harlaw's plate, but the reaver was having no such problems. Ser Martyn stood like a rock, but even the Rock bows before the sea eventually. He fell, and did not move besides to breathe." Kamron keeps his voice even, not a born orator, but serious about his subject matter. "As Ser Martyn's second, I saw that he was defenseless and defeated. I told The Harlaw as much. He refused the listen, and moved to cut off Ser Martyn's head while he lie insensate and helpless. So I brought my shield between the blow and Ser Martyn's neck, and then moved to drag him out of the combat. Although both The Harlaw and his second attacked me, I did not draw my weapon, and drew Ser Martyn back to our lines, which were by then under attack by the reavers that sortied out of the Gardens."
Patrek listens, quiet and interested, nodding a little as each point in mentioned. "I see," is all the young Mallister Lord offers at first. "Is there anything more you should like me to know about this event." He glances at the maester who, after accepting the papers, begins to quietly peruse through them.
Kamron frowns in thought for a moment, then gives a little, self-depreciating grin, "I wish I had thought about it at the time, but I'm glad that I did what I did, even if it costs me the respect of some. Another Mallister lost to the reavers, it would have been difficult to hold any of us back, even if they both died in honorable, single combat." He shakes his head, "That's not an excuse though, My Lord. And despite the opinions of some, My Lord, I don't believe that my actions need an excuse. I feel that I used my judgment and made my best choice as a knight and as Ser Martyn's second."
There is another small nod, though Patrek's carefully composed expression makes it unclear whether said nod offers approval or simply understanding. "Thank you, Ser, for your candor and recounting. Should you like to share, now, your battle in taking The Bloody Keep of the Pyke?"
That invitation provides a welcome relief, even if there's no real signal on what Lord Mallister feels of Kamron's actions. And so his shoulders relax just a little, and he lets a bit of a grin gather at one corner of his lips, "That, My Lord, is a much more entertaining, and less controversial, subject." Settling back on his heels, even his voice relaxes somewhat, "The Crownlanders and Stormlords had broken through the breach, and the Westermen and Reach-knights had pressed into the Bloody Keep but been driven back by the Pretender Princes and Ser Harras Harlaw. Lord Stark led the Northmen and our Rivermen into the Keep." There's a moment's smile again, and he adds, "Well, Lord Stark commanded the attack. Some of the more… ferocious… Northmen led the charge." His hands unclasp, and he makes a swooping low gesture with one and a direct, sharp gesture with the other, "The Frey-aligned houses went down to clear a lower level, while we took the direct route. We ran right into a line of Greyjoy reavers, with the Rusted Prince and Ser Harras behind the lines to inspire them. We took a few spears, one of them bound my shield, so I dropped it, and we crashed into them, buckled their line, and the nobles came into us. I called out to Rodrik Greyjoy, and he came to meet me."
It's clear Kamron holds the interest of all those in the room, as he regales them with the adventures of the Pyke. Patrek is still quiet, though he draws in a soft breath as Rodrik Greyjoy 'appears' and charges towards Kamron. Or did, rather.
Kamron continues, "Sers Gedeon and Jarod tried their blades against Ser Harras' in turn, while Ser Martyn, Ser Kittridge, Ser Rowan, and all of our guards and levies kept the reavers off us." He shakes his head slowly, "Whatever else he may have been, Lord, Rodrik Greyjoy was a very strong man. His first blow slammed bruises into my chest from my breastplate, and he didn't even draw blood with it." The Talon Point man shakes his head, rubbing at his chest, "We traded blows, and I got first blood, getting under him and denting in his breastplate." As he speaks, he crouches slightly, miming a two-handed swing from his lower-right to upper left. "He banged in my own breastplate then, and I got his head with the back-spike of my axe…" He grunts a bit, "Things get a bit blurry there. All I can remember is trying to make sure that he died, not me. He got me real good in the shoulder," he gestures up to his left shoulder with his right hand, and then down to his stomach, "And slipped his blade under my breastplate once. I even hammered him down once, but he came right back."
"He should have to have been mighty," Lord Patrek agrees with a small nod, "to have felled Lord Jason as he did."He listens as Kamron speaks on, following the other man's movements and the arc of the tale. "How was he defeated at last, ser?" the boy queries.
Kamron nods his head at Patrek's response, "He was by far the most skilled fighter I have ever faced." He gestures up to his left shoulder again, "Eventually, he caught me with a downward strike, knocked me to one knee and bent in my spaulder. I couldn't raise my shoulder. Thankfully, Ser Keelin, Ser Kittridge, Ser Martyn, and another one or two came piling in. Distracted him long enough for the Half-Septon, Brother Marsden to get me back up and mobile to join the fight. I hit him at least one more time, several others did the same, and Ser Kittridge borrowed a tactic from Ser Jarod and tackled him. By the time he hit the ground, he was dead. Only the Stranger knows who struck the final blow."
"Quite an ending for such a man," Patrek murmurs, studying his clasped hands for a moment before returning his gaze to the court at large and then Kamron most specifically. "Ser, for those actions which you describe on the Pyke, I commend you. I have had this telling confirmed, and i know your words to be true. Your courage and your determination made it possible for this house, and her allies, to bring down a great warrior and the man who slew Lord Jason. A fitting and just end for Rodrik Greyjoy's deeds. You have shown the great things of which you are capable." Here, the young lord pauses, regarding Kamron somberly. Though it has not been spoken, yet, it is almost palpable that a 'but…' is coming.
Kamron shrugs a little helplessly at the compliments, "I wanted him too, My Lord." The silent but silences him, and he squares up his shoulders, clasping his hands behind his back again. He may have lashed back out at the Naylands who chastened him, but this is his liege lord, and his cousin.
And now it is verbalized. "But," Patrek says with a soft sigh, "I am distressed to hear that you view your choices at the bridge on Harlaw with equal pride, ser. Lord Martyn could have called a yield, and if he had, if the Harlaw had refused to honor it, your actions would have been just. But, no yield was called, and your dragging Lord Martyn off the field of single combat was a betrayal to your obligation as his second." The boy swallows, tipping up his chin before he continues. "I do not say these words lightly, and I am glad as anybody to see my cousin safely returned home, but we cannot only follow honor when it please us or when it lets us gain rather than suffer loss. You are a Mallister, Ser Kamron, and a man capable of brave and mighty deeds, as your actions at the Pyke have shown. As such, I hold you to a high standard. A difficult but necessary standard. We cannot forget the words of our house. We must hold ourselves above the rest in word and deed, even should it cause suffering. Even should it lead to death. That my father fell in combat, I mourn him. But I know he should have rather wished to fall honorably than to be spared dishonorably. That was his expectation of himself, of me, of the men who served him, and now, in his stead, it must be my expectation as well. I hope, Ser Kamron, you will take these words to heart and remember them when next you are faced with such a choice."
Kamron listens without comment, his features paling without each word. His jaw clenches at one point, 'only follow honor when it please us.' His mouth works once, twice, and then stills again. There is another long break, and finally he knight merely says, "As you say, My Lord." He has to clench his jaw down again, before he continues perhaps a little more flatly, "I am a Mallister, and hold my honor tight, My Lord. I will try to consider other viewpoints on my honor as well going forward."
Patrek exhales softly and nods, "Good," he returns, standing as tall and straight as the dais and his adolescent height allows, "I am satisfied to hear it. You are dismissed, Ser Kamron, though should you wish to remain for the rest of the day's court, you are welcome, of course."
Kamron does not relax so easily this time. Instead, he bows stiffly-from the wound still nagging his stomach rather than the emotion he is suppressing-and straightens again, "Actually, My Lord, I had hoped to travel to Terrick's Roost to assist in the rebuilding there, if you will allow it. It seems that they may have a need for strong arms and backs alike, My Lord, and I can still provide those."
"Very well," Seagard's lord replies with a small nod, "I give you leave to go, if that is your desire, and I wish you safe and easy travels from here to there. The ships intended for Terrick's Roost have already sailed. You will have to set yourself out on land or wait for the next boat in that direction."
Kamron manages a tight little smile at that, "Three will enjoy getting to actually ride somewhere that isn't all rocks, I'm sure, My Lord. And I rather doubt that any bandits who attempt to waylay me will enjoy the experience. Even in my present condition, I should be able to deal with most any broken men who might be scattered through the Camden and Terrick lands."
"Choose a few men at arms to accompany you," Patrek advises, returning Kamron's tight smile with a small one. "I cannot doubt your prowess, but I think a knight returning home from war and recovering from the injuries he received there has earned better than a solitary trek. And bandits, in enough number, could overcome even the best of warriors." Having so said his piece and offering Ser Kamron a final nod, he looks back to the others seated in court, his hand lifting in his father's gesture to indicate the next should stand and speak their request.