|A New Calling|
|Summary:||Marsden Streem, the halfsepton arrives in the Nayland camp seeking employment. In turn he finds Ser Bruce Longbough, and tries to bargain his way into the levies.|
|Related Logs:||None, really-though it pertains to the Ironborn Invasion series.|
|The centre of the well fortified camp of House Nayland|
|9 Feb, 289AL|
The Nayland camp is quiet, but busy as usual. A deep ditch has been dug past the outside perimeter of the camp line, with a low wall of packed earth set closer in, using the dirt from the ditch. The ditch, likely, acts as a latrine in addition to whatever defensive measures it may have. There are sentries placed at regular intervals of the wall, some militia, and some Guardsmen. Deeper in the camp, things are more relaxed. After a day of training, most of the men have settled down to tell stories by the campfires, drink hot beverages, play cards and do whatever else it is that men do on campaign. They are a cheery lot, and from their equipment it looks like they're recent arrivals. Ser Bruce, not a recent arrival at all, sits near the centre of the camp, outside his tent at the firepit, drinking a cup of a steaming liquid.
If there are sentries placed about, then the strange man would be easily caught as he arrived to the camp. In fact he would have the better graces to wait by the piquet set up, as opposed to simply walking his small horse in with him. There's a request, to speak someone in charge, and the assent that he doesn't mind being searched, or his animal at all, if requested. Though once things had been determined, he would be removed of any weapon on his body, and escorted towards the main firepit in the centre of camp, and the sentry would remain by him until bade to go.
In this time, Marsden does get a look around, and despite being clad in begging brown, he doesn't seem ill at ease-though that could change in a second should the prospect dry out. Still with a look to the Sentry at his side, the diminutive man clears his throat. "Excuse me.." words clear, crisp. An Educated man. "Would you be the Captain of this camp? If so-ah. I do hate to interrupt your leisure..but I would have a word with you." Straight to the point and blunt. Perhaps not the best way to begin things.
Bruce looks over at the defrocked Septon with an arched eyebrow, letting him speak without stirring. As soon as Marsden is done, Ser Bruce puts his wooden cup down, next to his well worn steel helmet, and lets his hands fall at his side. "Aye, I'm Ser Bruce Longbough. Stonebridge Captain of the Guard, and Ser Rygar Nayland's second. Who might you be?"
"Well met, Ser." And there's a glance to the Sentry beside him for a moment, as he takes a step closer the fire, his bare hands extended in order to catch some warmth, and perhaps show his comfort in the situation or hide discomfort. A look goes to the helm and then back to the knight, as a scarred smile is stretched. "I am Marsden Streem." a name with it's own history., though whether or not it is known, seems to daunt the defrocked septon. "And I've come, Ser looking for service with a fine house, in order to bring our faith an vengeance back upon them that sought to break it with their iron price." And there is the meat of it. Still he looks back towards the knight, quietly.
Bruce doesn't seem to react upon hearing Marsden's name. His sleepy blue eyes follow the man as he moves to warm his hands, followed by a nod of dismissal at the sentry, who returns to his post. Bruce rises from his spot. "I see, Master Streem. And why, exactly, should House Nayland hire you? Spin me a tale, if you would."
Marsden turns his head briefly, before he is looking back towards Bruce. A flash of teeth as he brings his hands back. "A tale you want, Ser Bruce? That much I could wager any man would want. I could tell you of many a deed that the Bloody band did-though I know some houses are not phased by that name nor care for those of us that sell our blood and swords." Still the septon chuckles to himself. "But, during the rebellion, when I was called halfsepton- we fought at Stoney Sept, and brought blood out from our opponents. And we saw the Griffin run from us that day." One way one could put it. "But Ser. I know Nayland's strength is in her pikes. And it is pikework I am used to.."
Without waiting, Marsden presses on. "We were on the right during the battle of the Trident. Our line held the push from the loyalists and we thrust em back three times, I in the center. We had a thick push. Pike to pike, men crammed in as thick as fish. Dying an shitting themselves.." A pause for a moment. "Have you something to drink? Wine?"
"I've no knowledge of the Bloody Band. But I /was/ at Stoney Sept. Where I won my spurs, but you'll not find me ahorse very much, and certainly not in battle." Bruce says to Marsden, observing him with a critical eye. He looks back at what appears to be his tent, nodding. "Aye. Come inside with me, then, if you will."
"I will." And with that bit of knowledge Marsden moves closer to the knight, and on towards the tent. He would wait for the knight to enter first, before he would follow. "We were a small band of sell swords to tell the truth. Before the war, we were used as outriders and more times than naught, chosen to drive off pissant bandits from smaller holdfasts. Not too much coin there, but there was in the war." That he will be honest about. Ser Owsley Croft was our leader..Well before he became a respectable knight. I believe he serves somewhere in the Reach if you wish for credentials.." the halfsepton remarks before looking over to the knight. an easy smile rising on his lips. "We were taken in by Bolton for the war. Why bleed your own men when you can put Riverlander bastards in front of your own pike?" a chuckle there. "I've done house to house fightin' an open ground as was in the Trident..I can handle what you throw at me.." as if that was the worry. "And, I can do rites in a pinch for the fallen, if need be."
Bruce's short, efficient steps take him into his tent. The tent itself is well provisioned but not luxurious by any stretch. He's two beds, one for him and one for his squire, presumably. There's a chest, a dummy with armour on it and some bags. "So, then, you said you were called Halfsepton, other than being an experienced soldier, by your own account?" He reaches into his chest to pull a wooden flagon out, along with two cups. He pours the red liquid into each cup, arranged on a table.
For his part, Marsden keeps keen eyes upon the proceedings going on with the cups. Eyes flicking over to the chest and bags, before he is looking back, his attention sparked back up by Bruce, or perhaps the wine that was poured. He does offer his own hand out back to the knight for whenever the cup is offered. "Aye, I am called that, among other things. I will not lie. If you were to ask after my name-that is the likely call you would hear." A pause for a moment, as he wets his lips with his tongue. A quick, and nervous habit. "So you would get two for the price of one. A bargain if I am to be believed." and like that the easy smile is back into place and confidence secured.
Bruce hands Marsden the plain wooden cup. That's one thing to be noted about the knight's person and possessions, at least those present. Everything has a plain, utilitarian look to it, from his mail shirt to the sword scabbard and helmet. He's no rings or glitter. "Well, I'm not sure that Ser Rygar would approve of a levy captain. We've already got Serjeants and such, and their Corporals, signallers, and so on. And Captains. Him and I. But, I'm sure he would approve of a chaplain. That the chaplain chooses to fight in the line, encourage the men there, lead by example and make sure they don't waver or act too hasty… in essence, that he act as an officer, while not officially titled so, is not relevant." There is a pause - Bruce is plainly assessing Marsden. "So why should I choose you?"
"A chaplain, I would take. And I am sure it would serve to frighten the ironbastards enough. to see a priest calling for the hells to be opened upon them-the fear I may take them from the dead watery god.." A sniff and a grin before a nod of his head. "Thank you." Marsden offers with a slight salute, but he doesn't drink just yet. "Why me?" And now a sip taken of his host's wine. "I'm not that expensive- and after the war, I can easily return back and serve as a septon to your small folk.. " a pause for a moment. "Because I am that damned good with my Halberd, and if I die, you lose nothing. I come with my own gear and armor." and then he looks back towards the knight. "And I, like you don't care for the wealth."
A beat as he lets that sit there. "I have my reasons in fighting, and wanting to go take the fight to them. But, I will not need any jewels or finery as payment or even recognition. If I am allowed to loot the dead ironer I am fine-" a pause as he drains more wine. "Because, when it's time to piss and run, I'll hold. The warrior has gifted me in my spear work- And I just bloody hate the ironborn." And then he looks down for a moment. "I could go on, and if you have no use of me afterwards. Or even over there. I am expendable- and I don't shy from it."
Bruce motions with his head at Marsden. "Of course you can loot, it's every man's perogative. I will reserve my decision until after I see you fight, perhaps. But, tentatively, you are.. an asset. What gear do you bring, Master Streem?"
"Of course." As for his gear there's a nod. "I have a short blade for when the push breaks. My Halberd, and my own whetstone.." though small as it is. "I have my own coat of mail, and a helm. Boots. My own clothes." a chuckle there. 'I'd need food, but I have a wineskin and some provisions..Not much. A small horse and that I can sell here if need be- the bloody things just carts m'things around." said with a rub of his nose. "No shield, I don't bother with em." a look back to Bruce for a moment. "And I have the Scriptures down-" And down goes the rest of his wine. "Would you require more, Ser?"
"Of course you'll be fed, Master Streem." Bruce laughs, looking rather appreciative at the man's hefty list of equipment. "Aye, well then. Looks like you're well supplied. Keep the horse - horses are always useful, even if we don't fight on them. I've got two little rounceys, for me and my squire. Same thing as you, carts stuff. No, I wouldn't. Why aren't you Septon Marsden, then?"
"You could call me that, though I do not know if it would be recognized.." Marsden offers. And Ahh-there's the question he was waiting on. A slight pause and he simply nods for a moment as he hands the cup back, either to be refilled or put away as the knight sees. "I met a girl, whom I was to serve as the family's confessor." said plainly. "She confessed, among other things." And with that he offers that scarred smile again. "I earned my stripes on that one." Either indicating he had been flogged and defrocked, or simply that is what lost him his position. "Who knew that celibacy was so fucking hard?" A laugh there, though Marsden holds back to see the knight's reaction.
A more pious person, or at least, a more devoted follower of the Seven, wouldn't laugh. But Bruce does - first, he grins during the recount, then he laughs heartily. "Aye, I think I like you, Halfsepton. More like Septon and a half, if you ask me. Perhaps not suited to hearing the smallfolk confess," there's a wink, "but more than ready to pray for the men. I'm a follower of Gods old and new. But the regulations strike me as a bit… unjust. You'll fit in fine, I think."
A wave of relief and it only shows in the widening of the man's smile. his arm offered out towards Ser Bruce. "It will be good to serve such a noble house. And in the manner." A grin there, before he laughs a bit freer. "And damned fine to get back into the blood again." And with that he merely offers a sigh. "Women will be the rocks I crash on. I am no raper, Ser, but if one shows me her cunt and asks me to fuck. I will not shy from it." And ther comes the feircer grin. "A fine fit, indeed."
Bruce offers nothing but a shrug at Marsden's comment about women. "What you do is your own volition. The Iron Isles could get messy. I've heard rumour that the Riverlanders will be landing on one of the smaller islands - that is, each contingent will be landing on a different island. Pyke being last. Just a rumor. Anyways, there will be little mercy, unless they yield right away. For now, you'll train with the men. You can make yourself known tomorrow, to them, as the chaplain. Battle chaplain, eh?" He laughs.
"The Warrior's own." he offers before there's a slight nod. "I figured we would be. I would expect the Crownlanders to find the jewel of those fucking seal shitholes. But, glory goes to whom is in favor." Marsden states with a shrug. "And I look forward to the paces. If anything it will improve my rapport with the men, and show I can hump my pack with the rest of them." A nod there before he draws back. "May I make camp here, then? An do not worry about space. I do not take up much."
"Aye, you may. Hope you're clean - hygiene is a big thing in this camp. You'll find we're the most disciplined force in the Cape's army. I served with both House Blackwood and House Tully, in command positions, and I'd say the Naylands rival. As far as their levies go, the best in the Riverlands. Especially the men of Hag's Mire - though I'm the Stonebridge Captain, I've no mind saying that." Bruce downs his cup in one go, stretching. "Make yourself at home, Battle Septon." He winks.
"I shave so as not to catch lice, and I bathe. I also don't shit where I eat. No need getting sick and passing it to whom I am with. That'll kill an army quicker than King's Landing whores." And then he nods, as he moves closer to the flap if anything to peer out at the assembled camp. "I've heard tale of that. The Nylands have the levies and the foot to support their house if they go to war. Means business, and says a lot better than just pressing shit for brains small folk." He's seen thatchers go in with nothing more than a sharpened stick and hope for the best. A look back to Bruce and a grin. "It shows you know your men, and know the others. No shame in that." A chuckle and Marsden begins to step out. "Well, then Ser. I shall leave you to your night and set up my things."
"Aye. If you need anything, you know where to find me." Bruce doesn't appear to have much else to say. "Sorry for the brevity, Master Streem, but I'm tired and the day was long. We'll talk tomorrow."
"Aye, Ser we shall." Marsden concludes. "Sleep well, Ser." a wave of his hand, and he is out into the night, to see to his things, and his horse.