Page 223: A Musical Interlude on Harlaw Isle
A Musical Interlude on Harlaw Isle
Summary: Ser Harlyn Haigh provides a cheerful tune for a not-cheerful place.
Date: 23/02/2012
Related Logs: The invasion of the Iron Isles logs
Hardwicke Harlyn Jarod Martyn 
Harlaw Isle — Wilderness
Army camp.
Sat Feb 25, 289

Harlyn is wandering around the camp with his hands clasped behind his back and a bag slung somewhat awkwardly over his shoulder. He's whistling in a nervous, tuneless way and alternately glancing skyward and glancing at whatever tent is closest. He's wearing part of his maile, which looks rather cleane as armors go.

Jarod is also armed and armored, for his part, though a trip to the polisher probably wouldn't hurt it. He's just striding out of the section of the camp the Terrick men have planted themselves in. His path has the look of crossing with Harlyn's, as it happens, and he pauses a beat. He doesn't greet the other knight but rather stops, and frowns thoughtfully, listening to his tune. Trying to place it. And failing, judging by his expression.

"Give it up," Hardwicke says from a perch nearby on the edge of their camp, sliding a cloth down the length of his blade in his lap. "It's never an actual song. Drove me crazy when he squired for me."

Harlyn half-turns at that, and even this sudden of a motion leaves his bag nearly falling off his shoulder. He shrugs it back up just in time. "Now, now," he says, canted thus. "Just because you don't /know/ it hardly means it isn't real."

Making his way out of his tent in the Mallister part of the camp, Martyn makes his way out into the camp. Armored as well, like most people probably are out here, he reaches where the others are just in time to hear Harlyn's words, and stops, looking to the others a bit carefully for now.

Jarod chuckles some at the exchange between Hardwicke and Harlyn. "What song was that, then, Ser? Ser Hardwicke is correct, I couldn't place it." Noting Martyn, he offers the Mallister knight a respectful inclination of his head.

"You whistle nonsense," Hardwicke says in a low grumble as he polishes down the length of the blade. His gaze fetches over to Martyn upon his approach, and her jerks his nod in greeting.

"I'm whistling 'Sunshine on the Creek Bed,' I'll have you know," Harlyn says, finishing his turn (and shrugging that bag up again). "It's a bit obscure, I'll grant."

"Sunshine on…" Martyn begins, after returning the nods with a polite one of his own. "I have not heard that one before, so it must be more than just a bit obscure."

"Chipper," Jarod says wryly of the tune, easy grin crooking on his face. "I'd ask you to sing a few bars, but it's likely not suitable for our present environment. You squired under Ser Hardwicke, then?" He looks between Harlyn and the elder knight, still grinning some. "What was that like?"

Hardwicke snorts quietly. "Not like you weren't alive," he says in a dry voice to Jarod.

"It's a bit of a - Haigh family theme. One of the, yes, chipper! ones." Harlyn flashes a smile between Martyn and Jarod, then proceeds to focus more firmly on Jarod. "Ser Hardwicke is a very dutiful man. He taught me everything he knew, and then saved my life." Now, isn't that all serious.

Martyn is unable to hold back a grin as he hears that, "Ah, that would explain it, then." Listening to the talk for now, moving to find himself a more comfortable position now.

"The Chipper Haighs? Never heard that as a wider descriptor of your kinfolk, I must say," Jarod says. "You should have it worked into the coat-of-arms somehow." Though he doesn't jest at the bit about Hardwicke saving lives and all, just nodding. "He's a fine knight, Ser Haigh. My lord father's been lucky to have him in his service so long and well." He looks to Martyn. "Out of curiosity, Ser, where'd you squire? Shapes a man, even years after it's done."

Hardwicke arches an eyebrow at all the talk of himself, but doesn't comment at this point. He does glance over at Martyn following Jarod's question, watching him for his answer.

"Aron in particular is quite cheerful. Or, at least, he has a cheerful capacity," Harlyn says, sliding the bag off his shoulder and dropping it next to his leg. Then, he too looks toward Martyn for the answer.

Martyn smiles a little as he listens to the others, before he hears Jarod's question. The smile widens a bit, as he waits a few more moments before replying. "It truly does," he replies to the part about it shaping a man. "It was in Fairmarket. I was Ser Mychal Paege's squire there."

"I know your brother Ser Aron little, though he seems a fine warrior," Jarod says of the other Haigh. "And, aye, strikes me that he'd be an interesting man to drink with, if in a cheerful capacity." To Martyn he nods, with some interest. "I've an acquaintance in Fairmarket, though I've only visited it once, and stayed not long."

"Seems very — enthusiastic," Hardwicke says a bit dryly on the subject of Aron. "But I know him little, too."

"Oh, yes. He is very enthusiastic. The soul of enthusiasm. I must balance his happy influence against Hardwicke's more, ah, sober one." Harlyn nudges the bag with his toe. "You should certainly drink with him, ser," to Jarod."

Smiling a bit as he listens to the others, Martyn keeps quiet again now, looking between the others for a few moments, then out into the camp, expression a bit thoughtful for the moment.

"Perhaps there's ale in the cellars of the Grey Gardens keep we can all partake in," Jarod says, not a little hint of impatience in his voice. The Rivers is eager for castle-fighting. He offers Hardwicke a quirk of his grin. "Nothing wrong with a little enthusiasm, Ser Blayne. On occasion."

"Never said there was." Hardwicke straightens up and sheathes his blade smoothly at his hip.

"Yes. A grand idea. Break out the ale." Harlyn brings his hands together in a single, muffled clap. "Funnel that enthusiasm higher. Have any of you ever tried fighting drunk?"

Martyn is unable to hold back a chuckle at Harlyn's words, "Depends on the kind of fighting," he remarks, a bit lightly as he looks between the others. "But some ale, or some wine would be good when we take the castle," he offers with a bit of a grim smile.

"I was thinking of it more as a post-fighting sort of thing," Jarod replies to Harlyn. As for fighting drunk, "Can't say as I have. Seems like it'd be a poor idea for keeping your limbs attached. Man I squired for, Ser Vernon, told me a story once about a bloke who severed his own middle finger. Just the middle finger. Not sure how he managed it on accident, but everybody figured there was wine involved somehow."

"Fighting drunk is a good way to get yourself killed," Hardwicke says in low grouch like the fun-ruiner he is.

Harlyn looks from knight to knight, his expression all vague disappointment. "Oh. And I thought maybe it made fighting easier."

"Probably does, for the enemy," Martyn remarks a bit lightly, before he pauses at Jarod's story. "That's impressive." He offers a bit of a grin to Hardwicke, "True. At least for proper fighting. Much easier to just keep it at brawling while drunk."

"Might, though I figure it'd make surviving harder," Jarod replies to Harlyn. The Rivers is not a grouchy sort. "For brawling…aye. Seems to help with that."

Hardwicke snorts thickly at Harlyn's joke, refusing to be amused by the easy banter of the other men. "It makes men more prone to brawl, but it doesn't make them better at it."

Harlyn flicks a point toward Martyn, then Jarod, before leveling a sceptical look at Hardwicke. "Now, I think you might be outnumbered here. We might have to run a test."

"Don't say that," Martyn offers after a few moments. "This man I knew once, down in Fairmarket. While he was sober, he could barely stand up when anyone fought him, but then when he got drunk… Nobody could take more in a brawl, and still be standing." He shakes his head a little bit as he looks around. "Anyone know when we'll go to the Grey Gardens?" he finally asks.

"I don't know about that, Ser Blayne. Being more prone to it gives you more practice, which only improves," Jarod goes on. Perhaps goaded by Hardwicke's refusal to be amused. He even flashes the elder Terrick knight a cheekier version of his grin. Though he's more serious on the subject of the Grey Gardens. "Doubt it'll be long, now that we've regrouped with the whole of our army. I guess before Ser Rygar's men took this fishing village, they drove out the smallfolk. Let them run to the keep. Let them get a good idea of how best to get to it, and do a bit of scouting as they gave chase."

Hardwicke snorts once more, this noise distinctly skeptical of Martyn's claim. He refocuses on Jarod as he speaks of Rygar's men, staying silent.

"Well, then. Test we shall. Eventually." Harlyn nudges the bag one more time, straightens, and, "How long do you think it will take to be done altogether with this war?

"Probably longer than we wish," Martyn replies to Harlyn, before he nods at Jarod's words. "One can say many things about Ser Rygar, and is men, but they know their trade," he offers. Turning to look back to Harlyn again, before he shrugs, "Longer than we all hope for."

"Long, from what I've heard," Jarod replies to Harlyn. His earlier cheer fading some. "After Grey Garden there're five more castles on Harlaw Isle alone, before it can be considered properly conquered. Perhaps Good King Robert's loosed the rest of Westeros forces on the other islands, don't know if the press on those'll require Rivermen. But it still seems a long road to the Pyke." As for Ser Rygar, he shrugs. "They didn't kill the smallfolk unnecessarily. They let them run. Wasn't cruel, even if it was calculated. That's better than can be said of many of the men in this camp."

"You'd think we'd have word of it if he had," Hardwicke says with a distinct frown at the possibility of their King loosing forces on the other islands. "Then again, I suppose we hardly have any ravens trained to fly between them."

"Oh. Damn." Harlyn says, generally. "Do you think we're talking - months?"

Martyn nods a little as he hears that question, "Probably. Unless we're really, really lucky." He shrugs a bit, before he nods at Jarod's words, "Much better than many, yes," he offers.

"Hard to say. We'll see how it plays," Jarod says to Harlyn with a shrug. He knows not, and the bastard knight seems disinclined to speculate. "If you Sers'll pardon me, I should see one of the serjeants about our equipment. Hope we take the Grey Garden, and whatever ale it may hold, soon."

"I hope you didn't come across the cape expecting anything less," Hardwicke says, just a bit quiet as his gaze flickers over to Harlyn.

"Yes. Soon. Very soon." Harlyn's look of vague disappointment seems to have returned and deepened. "It'll be nice to have quarters to commandeer, at least." His expression smooths back over to mild as Hardwicke addresses him. He even tries a smile. "Oh, of course not. In for the full duration, that's myself. I just hope my family can cope financially in the meantime."

Nodding a bit slowly, Martyn looks to Jarod, "Take care," he offers, before he nods a bit in Harlyn's direction. "Lots of us hope different things will happen to our families while we're here," he offers, a bit quietly, as talk of family makes that thoughtful expression from earlier return to his face now.

Jarod inclines his head to the lot of the knights around him, then turns to stride back toward the Terrick tents.