|A Wonderful Day For a Picnic|
|Summary:||Lady Rosanna Groves throws a picnic! It goes a little sour.|
|Date:||June 1, 2012|
|Related Logs:||Umm things.|
|Worn Road — Terrick's Roost|
|This is a dirt road that leads away from Terrick's Roost towards Stonebridge, it passes over several low wooden bridges. (It is a day's walk to reach Stonebridge from TR.)|
|June 1, 289|
The weather has cooperated beautifully with Lady Rosanna Groves' plans: the sun is shining, the air warm but not uncomfortably so, and the sky is bright with lazy, fluffy clouds dotting the blue. The spread of the picnic is similarly attractive, the blankets rolled out and set artfully by the various handmaidens in attendance. The handful of guards in attendance keep a sort of vague perimeter, giving the ladies their space to snack on their crustless cucumber sandwiches or — whatever is the equivalent in Westeros. It is some classy shit, yo.
And Rosanna is just a little resplendent in her position as host. Having stolen the idea shamelessly from the now-ruined Danae, she treats it as absolutely her own project, chatting and laughing with the various noble ladies. She's dressed in a light gown of delicately-embroidered spring green. The color is lighter than her house's, but it's lovely in the sunlight and against her complexion.
As if to make a mark against the expected fashion of a picnic, Roslyn's dress is actually something she has not worn yet. It is a dress of so dark blue as to be almost improper, darker than sapphire but not quite black. She moves first for the Lady Groves, greeting, "My lady, you have quite the gathering here."
A miserable looking Saffron Banefort is in attendance. Where Rosanna is in lovely green and Roslyn in dark blue, she is in the most horrendous shade of red. Certainly, if her hair had been golden and her skin not quite so porcelain, it wouldn't have been that bad. However, the velvet's hue clashes with… well… everything. There is no way in the Hells that Saffron would ever willingly wear such a terrible, terrible dress which suggests there was some threat against her life that was made, or something like that. She has tried her best to make the most of it, but it is truly no hope. Maybe no one will notice…
One of those attendants lingers near the Lady Lucienne Terrick, having replaced her customary dragon pin of the Vances with touches of purple to represent the Terricks this day. Despite her regular helter-skelter position as Ser Inigo Vance's retainer, Sofya is a plays the roll of the handmaiden unfalteringly as she remains at her temporary Lady's side. Close, but never stifling and never too far to fetch for whatever needs she may have.
There may have been some question on the matter of whether or not Anais was going to show up to the picnic after her return to the Roost. If so, it's answered now, for here she is, dressed in a simple, high-waisted gown of pale gold linen embroidered in deep purple, her hair braided into a crown around her head. And, perhaps out of pity, she lingers near Saffron, absently fingering the sleeve of her cousin's gown. "Honestly, Saf, why?" she murmurs with a sympathetic arch of her brow.
Tia is still in mourning, for another month or so. She's wearing dark grey though, rather than black. Flint colours, with just a touch of lighter colours as she starts to work towards the end of that period. She's got a maid and her guard has joined those at the periphery, keeping an eye on things. Tia watches as Roslyn approaches Rosanna and just waits her turn, so as not to have everyone rush in on the hostess all at once.
We all know what colour Lucienne is wearing. Her dress is mostly silk, layer upon layer of it, embroidered with the rich purple of House Terrick upon the hems. She's not too far from Roslyn and Rosanna, and leans in to whisper something quietly to her borrowed retainer: she'd like some more iced tea, please.
"Oh, Lady Roslyn," Rosanna says with bright warmth, patting the bit of blanket next to her where she sits in a graceful billowing of skirts. "It's so wonderful to see you. I've missed our talks while I've been home in Kingsgrove." She does flit a quick glance in Saffron's direction to look a little pitying about that dress. Poor Saffron. She has a chilled drink of her own that she sips at.
Though the morning was a bit traumatized by suitors, unspilled inkpots, and an ill handmaiden, Muirenn has managed to get everything settled so that she and her retinue arrive in good order. Accompanied by her Septa and Mistress Dania, it seems that her normal handmaiden is not with them. Despite the loss, the tall girl seems inordinately cheerful though she continues to wear black, relieved by pearl chemise. As she arrives, her eyes search the gathering until she finds the Lady Rosanna. Skirting this group and that with a smile, she reaches the blanket upon which the young Groves maiden perches.
"A gift from Lord Walden Frey… it would be an insult not to wear it," Saffron says in an automated response, though she glances over to Anais in a touch of desperation. Many threats have been made against the dress already today — mud, ink, fire. And still, there it is, in its perfect horror. "Do you think the ground will open up and swallow me soon?" She has been given a cup of tea herself, though she has not taken a single sip.
"Oh, I hope so," Anais muses to Saffron in a low tone, a flicker of mischief in her smile to the other woman. "If we're lucky, it will get both of us and the dress all at the same time. Honestly, velvet in the summer?" There's sympathy there as well, as she looks around the gathering. "Maybe we can at least find a shady spot for you that isn't…quite so warm."
On warm days such as this one dressed for the noble outing, dawning vibrant colored silks with colourful and tedious beadwork. It would allow her to feel comfortable without at all feeling too stifled due to the summer's heat, a not too uncommon fashion among the Westerlanders. The Lady Cherise was accompanied by her handmaiden, the brown haired Darra, as they made to join the other noblewomen. Sadly the boy was left under the care of her Septa.
Jocelyn arrives amidst the rest of the ladies, her dress is light pink shade. The contrast of her dark hair and blue gray eyes is very stark. Wandering among the Lady's, her companion Iulia just a step behind her. Some familiar faces are seen, and some not so much. Hearing her cousin Rosyln's name spoke she lifts her head and looks for where she might be. As she meets the eyes of the other Lady's around she inclines her head to them in greeting.
"Maybe if I'm lucky the sun will cause it to burst into flames," Saffron says reproachfully. Finally, she takes a sip of the tea as she starts to look over those present. When her eyes fall on Cherise, she offers the fellow Westerlander her best smile — there's even dimples! When the somewhat familiar face of Jocelyn crosses her glance, she returns the dip of her chin in greeting.
Rosanna laughs with well-humored warmth at the various ladies beginning to surround her. "Honestly, everyone ought to just sit and be comfortable," she encourages them. Lady Roslyn sits on the blanket nearby. "Lady Tiaryn," she greets next, smiling welcomingly. "I'm so glad you could come."
Tia returns any and all greetings with a nod of her head or a smile. As she approaches Rosanna, she smiles. "Such a good idea this is. So nice of you to go to all the care and trouble of arranging it, Lady Rosanna." She might know who had the original idea, but even so, she simply smiles and gives Rosanna the credit for the effort and thought put into things. "And I do thin you're right. We should all sit and be comfortable."
Lucienne recieves her tea, and tilts a look up from her spot as Muirenn and her retainers pass by. "My Lady Muirenn," she greets warmly, clearly in good spirits today. "There's a spot just here, if you'd care to sit?" She sips from her cup daintily and offers Sofya an approving nod. Good job.
"If they can make themselves," Roslyn murmurs softly, though her tone holds sympathy where she traces a look back to Saffron again. "How her maid could not have told her—." She smiles in greeting to Tiaryn, adding a quiet, "My lady."
"We can always hope," Anais says cheerfully to Saffron, donning her smile like armor and reaching out to link her arm with Saffron's. "Into the fray," she murmurs in her cousin's ear. "And pray you're suitably armed and armored." And with those quiet words, she starts toward the group of ladies centered around Rosanna. "Lady Rosanna," she greets the other woman as she approaches, smile warm. "This is beautiful. As it should be, given the hostess."
A natural smile had been on display for the ladies, "This is so very thoughtful of you Lady Rosanna," Cherise compliments as she sinks onto the blanket and tucking both slippered feet against her rear. It's a curious gaze over the gathered women, particularly over the suffering Banefort, over hearing the gift she dawns comes from a Frey. "Hopefully not while it is still upon you Lady Saffron."
"Please, this is so casual an affair, just Muirenn." The girl grins at Lucienne and pauses on her way to greet Rosanna. "It's proper that I should go greet the Lady Rosanna first." Glancing at her elderly Septa, she murmurs with a smile "Please, why don't you seat yourself. You can see about getting our things settled and getting us some tea." Deftly, she allows the other woman to feel useful and yet get off her feet in the heat. She gives Luci a wink as she turns and reaches Rosanna, "My Lady! What a glorious idea! I think such excursions as this should become an institution." A dip of her chin in greeting as she sinks briefly to her knees for she is painfully cognizant of her height and doesn't wish the other woman to look up.
Better late than never, but sometimes Cordelya takes a little bit of putting together these days. She's in a brand new gown, made to accommodate her growing belly and no longer really in existence waist. It's a mix of deep purples and royal blues with Flint-Gray lace as accents along the sleeves, the empire waist and the hems. The main of the gown is that dark purple, but the blue underskirt almost seems to show off the little bump of her belly, instead of hide it, especially as it parts right below her breasts instead of at a natural waist line. She walks up with two of her maids, but gently dismisses them to go relax with the others as she waits her turn to greet the Lady Rosanna.
Tia moves a bit away from Rosanna, allowing everyone else to give their greetings. She takes a moment to smile at Cherise, moving to sit somewhere sort of between Cherise and Anais and Saffron, Bethy coming along with her, making sure she's seated comfortably, her harp is nearby and she has a nice refreshing glass of iced tea, before she herself moves off to join the rest of those dismissed by the nobility for a bit of time. She glances up as Corrie arrives, a big smile crossing her face.
At least Saffron can bask in the sympathy, though it is not something she readily enjoys. "I am," she reassures her cousin and trails after her. As Anais greets Rosanna, she smiles to the Groves Lady. At the comment from Cherise, she actually laughs. "Only if the sun is gracious enough to spare me, Lady Cherise," she returns as she steps forward to take a seat with the rest of the ladies. The velvet is awkward, but she makes due until she is resting solidly on the ground.
"Oh, I think they absolutely should," Rosanna agrees with Muirenn with a laugh as the Mallister lady settles next to her on the blankets. "When there's still such glorious weather to take advantage of, how could we not? We're all situated so close, and yet we seem to see so little of each other." She turns her smile to Anais next, and then to Cherise. "Thank you, both of you," she says with airy graciousness. "I'm just glad so many ladies accepted my invitation. It is no party without attendees, hm?"
Anais flickers a smile to Rosanna, and then Cordelya is arriving. "Oh, Corrie!" she exclaims, smile flashing broader as she moves toward the other woman, reaching her hands out. "I'd heard you were at the tournament, but I seemed to always miss you. And look at you!" Her smile spreads further still at the sight of that bump. "Oh, I'm so pleased for you."
"If you will excuse me," Roslyn says to any lady nearby, finding her feet again to excuse herself with a curtsy. She seems to only be about fetching a refreshment of her own, however.
Cordelya turns her head, smiling wide first to Tiaryn, happy to see her good cousin here so she will not be quite alone. She leans over and gives Tia's arm a warm squeeze, "I hope I am not too late. A bit of to-do getting into the new dress…" She murmurs to her cousin, and then she looks up as she hears Annie's voice. That makes her smile even more. It's been so long since she's seen the woman. She bows her head tenderly to her, "Anais, it's very… very good to see you. I must apologize for having been scare as of late… With blessings do come trials." She lets a hand rest protectively over that small belly, "I've not been myself. But hopefully all of that is passed. How are you doing?" She leans over for a quick peck to the woman's cheek.
Lucienne is content to sit and wait for her turn to speak with the hostess, sipping demurely on her iced tea and passing low, idle comments to Sofya on the brilliance of the embroidery on so-and-so's gown, or how lovely someone else's hair looks. Sorry Saffron, you are not amongst the compliments. As a lull appears around Rosanna, she prompts her handmaiden to retrieve a small wrapped package, and rather than get up, simply lifts her voice from her spot close by to offer, "My lady Rosanna, you've outdone yourself today. Please, accept this token of my appreciation?"
"It is a wonderful idea, Lady Rosanna… my own minder was quite displeased that she couldn't partake in our gossipy ways though," Saffron says in earnest, settling in and taking another drink of her tea. Her gaze moves over to Corrie at her cousin's words, and her eyes fall on the bump with her own growing smile. She has settled upon one of those delicate sandwiches, holding it gingerly between her fingers. She gently nibbles on the sandwich, looking up toward the other ladies. At the sight of the gift, she perks up curiously.
"Precisely." Muirenn replies. Looking around she says "I look forward to many more." Her eyes are drawn again to Saffron's dress and her brow furrows at that absolutely horrid garment that resisted all attempts at destruction. Looking back to Rosanna her expression relaxes and she says, "I am going to go sit by Lady Lucienne, but you must come by when you are able or visit us at The Roost. I look forward to getting to know you." And though the words seem like general patter, the young Mallister's expression and tone are one of utmost sincerity.
"I can't imagine you had your own life to be busy with," Anais laughs teasingly to Cordelya, looking genuinely fond of the other woman. "I'm just glad you could visit with us here." As to herself…Her smile slips crooked, and there's the faintest flicker of something more sober in her eyes before she laughs once more, rueful. "Ah, well. You know me, Corrie. I'm utterly disgraced, having diplomacied myself into an embarrassing little corner. I suppose we all stumble through a few of our first steps, though, don't we?"
"Oh, Lady Lucienne, you're too kind," Rosanna says, accepting the gift from the Terrick and opening it the wrapping delicately. She looks over to Saffron with laughing eyes. "Well, we shall have to make sure we enjoy quite a lot of gossip about the men while they're gone, hm?" And to Muirenn, she smiles as well. "Of course, Lady Muirenn. I would love to visit the Roost again soon. Perhaps on my way back to Stonebridge with my brother we shall stop for a few days."
Tea, not wine. The only mark of disappointment is hinted by the loft of her dark blonde brows as Darra comes to serve her lady a glass. "Indeed, there is something to said when women can enjoy one another's company peacefully without carelessly tossing daggered tongues or fists into the air." She comments to the group before looking to the Flint's arrival. She smiles, drinks and drinks a little more.
Having seen Roslyn get up and move the refreshment able, Jocelyn too moves in that direction. But then manners step in and she approaches the host of the picnic and smiles sweetly to Rosanna, "Lady Rosanna. What a find idea you had for picnicking for us all to enjoy. Any excuse to enjoy the outdoors in a leisurely way as this is most enjoyable. Thank you having invited me."
The words out of Anais' mouth about diplomacy draw an arch of Corrie's thin brown brow, her expression curious and a bit worried. "You must tell me about this little issue some time, probably when not so many are about, but I would be ever happy to lend and ear, you know that." Corrie gives her arm one last squeeze and then lets her fingertips fall free to look around to a few others. Cherise is given a warm smile and a bow of her head, but the Lady Flint seems somewhat hesitant to break in on conversations that are already happening. Is it possible Corrie's a bit shy? Especially around a group of Ladies whom she only knows perhaps half. Saffron, however, is looked upon as the woman smiles in her direction. Corrie returns the smile, "Lady…" SHe offers warmly.
Saffron smiles at Corrie with full dimples in action. "Saffron Banefort, of the Banefort. Anais here is my cousin. Would you care to sit with us?" She inquires as she gestures to a bit of free blanket near Tiaryn. She has drained her cup, though she does not move immediately to refill it. Instead, she holds it gingerly between her palms.
Septa Day stands a bit apart, chatting quietly with a few of the other handmaids and servants she's become acquainted with in attending Rosanna at various functions. She watches her now-grown charge, very much the charming and self-possessed lady, with a faint smile. Affection, pride… perhaps a hint of melancholy, as any mother bird would feel to see her fledgling leave the nest.
As Rosanna unwraps, she will reveal a little drawstring bag containing some of the tea pearls Lucienne is so famous for enjoying, and a fancy little vial that a quick sniff will reveal to be some sort of sweet alcohol. "It's nothing extravagant," warns Luci, with a plain little shrug, "But I thought you'd enjoy it, my lady. And thankyou ever so much for your invitation."
Tia grins at Corrie, and then shakes her head. "Not late, no. Just in time, as most of us have really just arrived." She goes quiet then to let the others chat, as she simply enjoys the sun and the chance to watch how they all interact for a moment. A sip of tea and she glances over towards Anais and Saffron, then back to Cherise. The gift from Lucienne of course catches attention, and Tia watches for a moment there, curious. Then back to Corrie. "Yes, do sit with us," she says, with a smile. "And keep me out of trouble."
Drifting back from her own lady's elbow, having seen the gift successfully delivered, Sofya moves to stand near Day and snags pair of iced teas. Smiling warmly, she offers one to the Septa with a quiet, "Here."
"Oh, it's nothing that serious," Anais waves a hand to Cordelya, taking the other woman's hand to bring her over to Saffron. "Saffron, this is Lady Cordelya Flint. She was with us at the Roost just after the siege for a bit, and is a dear friend. Corrie, my cousin Saffron. Saffron, have you met Lady Tiaryn yet?" she adds, moving to settle down on the blankets once more as her handmaid, Nina, brings over a cup of chilled juice.
A fluid movement sees Muirenn rising from her spot beside Rosanna and turning to move back towards her Septa. A wide smile to all her acquaintances, the girl sighs happily as she spots Cordelya. A less graceful motion sees her plopping casually down beside her near-cousin. "Very lovely Lady Lucienne." A glass of some cool tea is given her by the Septa as Dania settles beside them, the newly vinted handmaiden quiet for now. From where it was tucked in the band of silk girding her waist, a fan is withdrawn. "Lady Cordelya looks so sweet. Babies are just everything that is happy."
Sitting! Sitting sounds just wonderful. And maybe some of that cool tea. Corrie is all too eager to get off her feet and she nods happily towards Saffron, "It's a pleasure to meet you, Lady Banefort. Anais… well… she is a good friend who I have missed dearly in my illness. I hope I can rectify that now that I am in a better state." She smiles wide, reaching a hand over to exchange a warm, polite press of fingers. She nods to Tia then again, "Oh yes… I will sit and no doubt be planted all afternoon, but first I would be ill mannered not to greet the hostess. Ladies, do keep me a chair, I will return!"
And with that, Cordelya gently moves a bit to the side, working her way through the crowd as smoothly as possible, one hand still protectively over her little belly. Crowds most certainly make her wary these days, it seems. She smiles as she sees the hostess. "Lady Rosanna… I was soon to sit, but I wished to say this is… Beyond lovely. And thank you for arranging the affair. The ladies all needed something to ourselves, I do think. This was brilliance on your part." Her northern accent offers warmly.
Day drags her attention away from where Rosanna holds court, brightening her smile in warm thanks for the beverage. "Thank you," she says, studying Sofya. "Forgive me… I don't think we've met, though you look familiar…"
"Oh, how lovely, Lady Lucienne," Rosanna coos appropriately over the gift. She offers the Terrick a warm smile before setting the gift aside with a delicate hand. LATER. And still so many people saying hello! "Thank you for accepting, Lady Jocelyn," she replies. "And Lady Cordelya, that's so gracious of you to say. I am very much of the opinion that ladies should be able to own their time as well." Her eyes twinkle with a certain mirth of excluding the boys. Silly boys.
"Doesn't she," Lucienne agrees softly with Muirenn, sliding a look over toward the lady Cordelya as she draws another sip of tea. "Hopefully the Roost will be blessed with more children soon enough - my own handmaid Belle is with child. Such a lovely thing to witness."
"I'm a dark haired Riverlands lass, that's probably what you're seeing," Sofya replies with a crooked grin, lifting her glass in a mild toast. "Sofya Dale," she says in cheerful introduction, taking a short sip of her drink. Her slate hued gaze dances back towards the Lady Lucienne as she speaks, marking her movements.
Cherise plucks a slip fruit from a nearby serving bowl while listening to the various traditional compliments pass back and forth. Her tea soon exchanged for wine and it is great improvement. "The Roost should be so lucky." She returns to Lucienne just before her gaze sweeps to Anais, "Correct me if I'm wrong Lady Anais, you have been joined with your husband for a year now? Two?"
Saffron beams brightly at Corrie, almost happy to have met another lady in the Riverlands — even if she's a Flint! She nods in agreement to the woman's assessment of Anais. "We were raised very close together, Anais and I… I can agree that she is quite a good friend." The gesture is exchanged before she looks over toward Anais and then Tiaryn. She nods. "I met Lady Tiaryn once before, though it is good to see you again." As she begins to stand herself, she adds in a simple, polite tone. "Excuse me, I'm going to fetch myself some wine." Her gaze does move over to Cherise at the question and then to Anais even as she stands.
Eyes brightening, Muirenn gently begins to fan the air "Really?! Oh how joyous! She will be a wonderful mother." Lifting her glass, she takes a sip and then says simply with a grin, "I am glad you are home…and Anais is home, it is very good." Languidly each slat of the fan is little more than a big poof of an exotic bird feather. And though it is an utterly glorious bit of feminine decadence it does move the air quite well.
Cordelya nods over in the direction of Anais, Saffron and Tiaryn in their little sitting area, "I am going to sit with my good cousin and Lady Anais' group, please, when you are done being a proper hostess running around like a headless chicken, do join us for a drink or two?" Corrie smiles again, giving Rosanna a respectful little curtsey for the lady of the day, before she turns back into the crowd and weaves as quick as she can back to a seat. Muirenn and Lucienne are caught in her gaze, especially as she suspects that the women have looked at her. She flashes both the ladies a smile and bows her head in greeting to them both. Still, she's determined to sit, and that is where her feet bring her. Smoothly, still quite comfortable with her center of gravity, she folds down into one of the chairs and exhales warmly. "Much better. Sitting."
After her greeting is complete to the host, Jocelyn moves away for the many others that wish to greet her. Stepping over to the refreshments table she pours herself a glass of wine, tilting her head to Iulia and saying something quietly to her, "You may go off and speak with others if you wish it." she says, nodding her head, "I should be find just here." Raising her wine to her lips she sips it and lets Iulia wander off. Jocelyn eyes glance over the crowd and all those mingling together.
Day follows Sofya's gaze. "Perhaps. You're attending Lady Lucienne?" She blinks and shakes her head with a chuckle. "Please forgive me. I'm terribly distracted today, for some reason, but that's no reason for poor manners." She extends her hand in greeting. "I'm Day, Lady Rosanna's governess."
"Goodness, no," Anais laughs to Cherise, smile unfaltering. "Though with everything that's happened since, it certainly feels as though it might have been two years. We were just wed in October, my lady," she explains, tilting her head slightly. "Which makes it…Just about eight months now. Still, it was two years before my own mother had Quentyn, and there were ultimately eight of us Baneforts," she adds, taking a sip of her drink. "And not one lost until Greyjoy's Rebellion, at that."
"Ah, yes. Her usually lady's is with child, so I am stepping in her stead today. I normally attend Lord Vance," Sofya explains briefly, waving away Day's apology with a low laugh. "No matter. The heat will do that and I am certain you were all too busy with organizing things." Her hand clasps Day's, warm and calloused, giving it a friendly shake.
The end of Cherise and Anais' conversation catches Cordelya's ears and she smiles, "It took Andy and I about a year of trying… and I even was uncertain for so long that we had managed. There is plenty of time, Anais… enjoy your young days and your early marriage… Blessings are… miserable in the beginning. I am certain Cherise knows that." Corrie admits with a small, half embarrassed smile, but there is still a slight hollowness to her cheeks that speaks of a long sickness. She's gained most of the weight back and then some around the middle, but she did not have it easy for a long while.
Since it seems Anais has this completely under control, Saffron goes off to get a full cup of wine.
"She most certainly will," Lucienne must agree again with Muirenn, on her handmaid's prospective parenting skills. The Terrick girl offers a warm smile in response to Lady Cordelya's attention, and inclines her head gently. "And I am so very glad to be home, my lady. It has been such a trying time, but I belong with my family. At least for the next little bit," she adds lightly aside, with a soft laugh. "How grows your garden? Those flowers you wore yesterday were simply splendid - and oh, my, what a lovely fan!"
"Ah." Cherise returns, nodding with understanding. "Someday, m'lady. I hope you are not discouraged by not being with child much sooner. It is as lady Cordelya has stated, enjoy this early time with your husband as you may have many long years to entertain children. Perhaps ten to best your mother?" She'll not do such a thing herself but she, again, agrees with Corrie, "The timing was wrong, given the invasion from those Sea barbarians."
"Surely you must enjoy continuing to look so lovely without a child to weight you down," Rosanna adds to Anais in what is hopefully an encouraging manner.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Mistress Dale," says Day, returning the clasp. Her hand, also, is a bit work rough, if not precisely calloused, long fingers stained with ink. She takes a sip of tea, eyes drifting to Rosanna again. "I worried, until recently, that we'd sheltered Lady Rosanna too much in King's Grove — keeping her home, not exposing her to life at court… but she really has taken to this sort of thing."
"Oh, I'm not worried," Anais assures the gathered ladies with a small smile. "These things come in time. And indeed, I'll admit I was glad not to be expecting during the siege," she nods to Cherise. "One body can only handle so many demands, and I would worry for the child going through such strain. I can't imagine how you did it, Lady Cherise." Rosanna's words bring a flicker of a smile, and anyone who saw Lady Banefort - a woman of a decidedly…motherly figure - at the wedding can probably tell why.
<FS3> Troll rolls Marksmanship: Embarassing Failure.
And then there's Tia whose husband died without leaving her any children. Inconsiderate lout. Ahem. At any rate, she is quite relaxed where she is, but hasn't anything to add to the conversation about children really, seeing as she doesn't have any of her own. A sip of her tea, as she listens quietly.
<FS3> Troll rolls Marksmanship: Good Success.
<FS3> Troll rolls Marksmanship: Good Success.
<FS3> Troll rolls Marksmanship: Good Success.
<FS3> Troll rolls Marksmanship: Good Success.
Cordelya reaches a quiet hand over to Tia, seeming to remember the fact that her good cousin did miss her chance. At least with that husband. She gives the woman's knee a gentle, worried little squeeze before she gazes back to Cherise and Anais, shaking her head with a tired laugh. "By the Gods… 8? I… I wonder some days how I will get through ONE… much less 8. That is… Most impressive. And the Gods will bless you with what the see fit, dear Anais… when the time is right. Just trust in them." She smiles reassuringly, complete and utter faith in her words about those Gods.
"You must come pick out a fan. I adore them! Horrible of me but they are wonderful!" Muirenn giggles as she flutters it a bit. Thoughtfully she hmms, "The gardens are doing very well actually. Heurtebise makes sure that they are watered each day. That is an important thing in the beginning. I was sort of nervous what your father would think of them" The teen confides, "But he enjoyed it and said something about it being good to see life growing and thriving."
A single arrow whiffles out from the sky, landing near where drinks are set out in the grass. Pfft.
<FS3> Tiaryn rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Rosanna rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Cherise rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Lucienne rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Muirenn rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Jocelyn rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Anais rolls Alertness: Amazing Success.
<FS3> Cordelya rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Day rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Sofya rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Roslyn rolls Alertness: Success.
"On the contrary Lady Rosanna, when you are given such a blessing you feel a deep sense of duty to your young. I would certainly not say it is weighed down but focusing on what is a new priority and their smile makes it worth it." Cherise comments after making a silent request for another refill of her wine. "Honestly Lady Anais, it was my cousin Lady Danae and Lady Cordelya here that had lend me their strength. Otherwise I suspect I may not have made it through the arrival of my Aerick."
"On the contrary Lady Rosanna, when you are given such a blessing you feel a deep sense of duty to your young. I would certainly not say it is weighed down but focusing on what is a new priority and their smile makes it worth it." Cherise comments after making a silent request for another refill of her wine. "Honestly Lady Anais, it was my cousin Lady Danae and Lady Cordelya here that had lend me their strength. Otherwise I suspect I may not have made it through the arrival of my—" Her gaze darts elsewhere, away from the party of ladies. "Seven hells!"
Such a common interloper as that rather ugly fletched little arrow has no place at such a dignified gathering as the one Rosanna Groves has organized. Needless to say, all in attendance note its unsavory entry. The particularly keen Lady Anais notes it seems to have come from the trees. It's even late. Gods.
A hint of confusion crosses Cordelya's features as she sees something rain down, the little shaft of wood built to be too smoothly flying through the air. "…Is… that… an arrow?" Cordelya dares ask, too shocked to go into panic yet, though her legs have moved and she's sitting forward just a touch in her chair. That casually laid hand across the small rounding of her belly now clutches subconsciously tighter.
"I would hope that you'd feel a deep sense of duty to your figure," Rosanna replies, but it's with a warm, teasing laugh. "No, I'm sure your son is just love—" She is startled quite suddenly by the uninvited appearance of the arrow. For the moment she just stares.
Anais starts at the arrival of the arrow, gaze trailing from the fletching back to the woods. "Ladies," she says quietly, leaning forward and starting to stand. "I think we may have visitors." She offers a hand down to Cordelya, going rather tense.
"I have noticed your fondness for them," Lucienne tells Muirenn wryly. "Perhaps I should. Oh, we've always had the kitchen gardens, what with those small herbs and such, but your flowers are splendid! I suspect Lord Jerold is pleased that I've no need to pick flowers off the columns anymore," she adds with a guilty twinge to her smile. "How do — oh, my." Tea spills freely from her cup into her lap as Lucienne jerks at the arrow flitting by, clutching her free hand to her chest. How improper, Mister Arrow.
From her conversation with some random lady that surely was appropriate to speak with, Roslyn looks up, cuts herself off from what she was saying and—does nothing. What is she supposed to do? Needle someone to death. She looks rather alarmed, though.
"Goddess!" Day jumps, dropping her tea as the arrow embeds itself close by. She moves swiftly to Rosanna, gathering the girl to her and moving to — cover? Is there cover? If not, she simply places herself between the treeline and her lady.
The arrow is at least clever enough not to attend the party alone. Shortly, its companions arrive in a more timely and orderly manner, the first lodging itself primly in the face of one of the ladies' picnic guards. He topples backwards, screaming as he bleeds and grabs at his head and its unwanted new protrusion.
You know what else is improper? Screams. At a picnic. The second of of which comes from a nearby guard as an arrow whistles through the air and embeds itself rather fiercely in the poor fellow's neck.
Tia certainly doesn't get to say anything before there's an arrow. Really? With all the guards at the perimeter - they - hopefully they're okay. An arrow. Gods! that's just not a good sign. She goes a little tense herself, reaching for the lap harp and clutching it. Maybe she can hit someone with it if worse comes to worse. "Where are our guards? Oh - gods, … " Her thought is apparently just a bit too late.
Roslyn blanches at the sight of blood, rather white and sickly looking. And then, after a moment, she faints. Yes, the usually polite and proper lady ends up in a heap of limbs.
Also improper? Spilling things all over your clothes. In this case, the substance in question would be blood, as another guard is struck with two arrows in quick succession, and he slumps to the ground with a dark stain spreading across his front.
"Horses, now." Anais, at least, had some things drilled into her growing up in the Banefort. Rule number one: Run first. "Cordelya, /run/," she urges the Flint lady, pulling her up as much as she can and trying to push her toward /any/ animals. Ownership is so relative right now.
Day drops, hauling Rosanna with her, to become a smaller target. She curls around her charge, shielding the young lady with her body.
Sofya's glass falls to the ground as she looks for Lucienne in a panic, dashing forward into the mess to grab the Terrick lady's arm as guards fall to the left and right of her. "My Lady…" Where does one go when arrows are raining down?
The dark blonde massive mane swirls about Cherise's features as she desperately searches her surroundings, praying it is just only one. Unfortunately a guard had caught the next arrow with his neck, driving her need to gather her skirts and peer to the skies, "Be calm ladies! We must take to the bridge, for cover!" She'll correct that comment from Rosanna about her figure at another time while rising on her feet, stretching a hand out for both Tiayrn and Cordelya.
Frozen for a moment of pure shock, especially as she sees the second guard go down, Cordelya then shoves herself up to her feet, ready to DASH in his direction, to help the downed man… But Annie's words are enough to almost snap her out of that, realizing there is probably nothing she can do. She swears loudly, panic in her features as her eyes dash about the place, trying to fixate where the arrows are coming from. Where the safest place there is to run TO. And Cherise is trying to pull her in another direction. She stumbles after the woman, panicked and confused.
Staring at amazement as the arrow lands and then more start to fly, killing the guard. Jocelyn drops her wine glass and starts looking around for her Cousin, only seeing Roslyn as she starts to faint. Cursing, she lifts her skirts and takes a run for her cousin dropping beside her. "Lady Roslyn.. You must get up." she glances around at the other ladies starting panic, "Cousin." she starts to tug on her.
Tia is with Anais on this one. She gets to her feet, and moves, cause Corrie definitely needs to get to safety. "Corrie, Anais is right. Cherise - everyone, let's get back to town." She reaches to Corrie too, expecting her to head into danger to help.
Lucienne turns her head to stare with a mixture of horror and fascination at one of the dying guards, her mouth forming a little 'o' as the man reels around with an arrow in his face. As Sofya grabs her arm, she yelps in surprise, and blinks a few times. "What in Seven's name… where are our horses?"
The final guard echoes his fellows cries. The first arrow piercing his leg and two following going through his face and shoulder in a bloodied mass. That'll not come out in the cleaning.
One arrow and then another and Muirenn gasps as her Septa just *glares* at that arrow…the absolute temerity of it all! The auburn-haired girl gives a soft whimper just knowing how this will end up "Martyn and Kamron won't let me go anywhere by myself after this!" Her eyes look towards the guards and though it is clear she wants to go to them she knows she cannot. The whimper is quickly followed by a calm "Septa, my healers bag" and "Lucienne, this party is not to my liking. I think we should leave now." Grabbing the elderly Septa's arm, Muire has lost Dania somewhere in the panic. "Run, but keep as crouched as you can."
When a guard screams, so does Rosanna. Somebody has to be a screamer. She is rather unresistant as Day hauls her in to protect her.
Iulia darts for her lady Jocelyn, finding the object of her concern being plucked up by the Septa, Day. "My Lady, you must come!" No time for being too proper, the young handmaiden seeks to drag the Nayland to somewhere safer. If there was such a place.
Despite her cousin's voice, Roslyn does not seem to be reviving from her dead faint, at least not for the moment. Jocelyn should probably run and save herself.
Turning her head to Iulia, Jocelyn looks stricken, "I can not. I can not leave Lady Roslyn here like this." Frowning deeply in dispair. "We must have someone else us immediately!" Her voice becoming a bit more frantic.
"It's coming from the woods!" Anais calls, picking up her skirts and…running toward a guard? Surely it's a foolish lady thing to do. That, or she's looting a knife from his corpse and shoving it into her skirts. And then she's making for the horses herself. At a dead run.
<FS3> Cordelya rolls Alertness: Failure.
Trees. The arrows come from the trees. Oh look. Another ring bite into the earth in warning for anyone who wishes to proceed outside the circle of the camp.
Those who look towards the horses, run even, find the are area that they once were empty. Not a tail or a saddle in sight. The carriage is there, but little good it will do emptied of its leads.
Cordelya is trying to focus, trying to see anything, but she's half numbed through the panic and shock of this all. She finds herself blindly stumbling along behind Anais, Cherise and Tiaryn, instinctively almost hiding behind the women's bodies, half curled in on herself in attempts to hide from any arrows that may rain upon all of them…"Gods… dear gods, save us…" She raggedly breathes out, half drowning in her own panic. She can't track the arrows. She can barely track her own footsteps.
It's a shock alright, but Tia didn't survive once just to give up and … well, there's no time for shock, she can be a basket case later. Much later. For now, she's trying to keep Corrie safe. "Don't panic, Corrie, we'll just get to the horses," she says, as she comes up to where the .. wait, the horses are .. wait. They're - "They were right here. I know it." Here, but they're not any more - and … Gethin was with them. That's just not good. She pauses to give Corrie a helping hand. "Breathe Corrie. Breathe. We have to keep focused." No horses. Now what?
Anais curses under her breath to find the horses gone, and again at the arrows that continue to come toward them. Rule number two: If running fails, don't panic. She reaches out to pull an arm around Cordelya's shoulders, jaw setting. "Corrie, take a deep breath," she murmurs, looking toward the woods for a moment, then to the others around her. "It was well-planned, at least. Which speaks to organization, which means rules." Her hands shake, but she follows her own advice. "Just…stay here," she says to Cordelya and Tiaryn, disgusted more by the situation than the other women. "Stay /calm/."
Day just stays right where she is, shielding Rosanna, just… waiting for the other foot to fall. "It's going to be all right, Rosie," she whispers, trying to sound as certain as she can. As calm as she can. It's… a fair to middling job. "Everything's going to be fine."
It seems no one is going anywhere. The fan tucked into her belt, Muirenn holds her healers bag in one arm, the other arm gently around her elderly Septa. Straightening proudly to her full six-foot height, the Mallister maiden lifts her chin imperiously and stares defiantly towards the woods and waits. All the horses are gone, guards slain or captured, though none of the ladies have been hit…this does not seem to be a random group of thugs.
Cordelya has two women telling her to breathe. It's probably a wise idea. Though she isn't really breathing into her belly or chest, just taking in a shaken, nervous gasp of air, she nods mutely towards Tiaryn. Anais' arm around her shoulder steadies her, just a bit, and she gives a brief squeeze to the woman's forearm. "Be…be safe… don't go off, they may… god, Annie…" she breathes out, but then she's being handed back to Tiaryn and Corrie seems fine with that. She half leans, half hides against her good-cousin, one arm clutching around Tia's waist, the other around her middle.
"Come. We're going to stand together," Anais urges Cordelya quietly, slowly guiding the little group toward where Muirenn stands.
The hammer-beat of hooves surely will reassure the ladies as a man dressed in black and grey drab, urges the beast towards those who are lingering to the edges of camp. Dark haired and white toothed with a most prodigious moustache, and the jagged patch of embroidery cut from someone's horse blanket pinned to his breast, he grins wickedly down at the women in his path. Hello? "Ladies," he greets loudly, slimy voice chorusing out across the camp. A few men follow behind him on equally pilfered horses. "We are so glad that ue could make it. Now, if you'll be so kind to make a little circle in the center thar, you won't have to meet the same fate as your guards."
Sorry, slimy guy. Roslyn can't form a circle, because she is still fainted, helpfully.
The route for escape Cherise had intended on utilizing had been promptly corrected by another threat of arrows, bringing a halt to her dashing venture. Although they seem to only be corralling the ladies into defenseless state. Her horses attached to the carriage were gone. Their assailants approach, addressing the group. "Who is asking?" She inquires, her tone demands.
In the arms of her septa, Rosanna can barely look past to the arrival of the mustachioed bandit. Her eyes are already swimming in panicked tears, but she stays quiet for the time being.
Trying not to shake as she rises, Day helps Rosanna up. Still holding the young lady to her, protectively, she guides them both to cooperatively join the herd.
The other men on horses, riding up behind their newly-embroidered leader, fan out to form a circle around the women. One fellow with a scraggly beard frowns heavily as he notices one of said women is splayed out on the ground, unconscious-like. "Ey," he notes unhappily as his horse stomps its feet impatiently, "Think Rolf's shit shot got this'un."
Oh. This is just not good, not good at all. Brazen obnoxious - and they apparently have spies too. Grumble. Tia wraps an arm around Corrie and glances to Cherise as the other woman gets all demanding. For her part, Tia isn't about to risk Corrie, so she simply does as told, sticking with Anais and Corrie. And moving towards the others.
Lucienne briefly watches as Muirenn starts for an escape, her gaze darting between the Mallister girl and her Vance retainer. As the ladies start grouping together, she notices poor passed out lady Roslyn, and hesitates. But slimy guy is asking them to form up, and tears of fear are welling in the Terrick girl's eyes, so ultimately she scrambles to her feet to join the rest of the party obediently.
"Forgive us, Ser, but I'm afraid you've given us a bit of a start," Anais says as she approaches where Muirenn stands, handing support of Cordelya over to Tiaryn. One might almost think this sort of thing happens often around the Banefort. Or else the reavers already scared the panic out of her. "If you'll give us a few moments, I'm sure we can handle this in an orderly fashion. Might I go assist the lady?" she requests, indicating Roslyn.
Cordelya allows Tiaryn to lead her forward, Cordelya hiding in against her good cousin almost. She's doing everything she can to simply hide herself and, especially, her state. The new dress she was so proud to wear and show off now she damns, as it may make her even worth more — carrying a house heir. So she hides there, keeping her body low and slightly bent, in the shadows of her strong cousin.
"Ye mean he actually hit something other than ground and 'is mother?" The leader snipes with vicious grin, urging his horse forward in lunging starts and stops. The other men snicker meanly at the man who is supposedly Rolf, two bare knees sticking out over the tops of his boots as he tries to sink lower in his saddle. "Ye wouldn't know 'em, Lady Priss," he calls to Cherise, guiding his horse towards her. He turns his head back towards Anais with a snort. "Aye. You can do that. Then you can start stripping her and yourselfs too." That is an order.
Jocelyn has not left Roslyns side and when the men appear she only gets closer to her cousin, moving Roslyns head into her lap, craddling her head. "A fine time to faint, Lady Roslyn." she murmurs down to her cousin quiet. Still she doesnt move and she stares as Anias asks for help for Roslyn.
"Strip?" Rosanna echoes in a small voice from behind Day's shoulder. BUT HER PRETTY DRESS.
Sofya joins the others like a good little duck, staying close to the Lady Lucienne as she watches the bandits with wide eyes. Swallowing thickly, she looks to the spokeswomen of the group as they speak.
Day's head lifts to stare, horrified, at that order. Her jaw tenses and tendons stand out in her slender throat. "Over my dead body," she whispers, more for Rosanna than in open defiance.
Anais is going to take this one step at a time. One step at a time. And so she moves to where Roslyn lies, crouching down beside the other woman and giving her a gentle shake at first. "Roslyn," she says, leaning down to speak close to her. "Roslyn, wake up." And if that doesn't work, she'll progress to pinching.
Gesturing, Muirenn says quietly "Lucienne, go stand with the others dearest cousin, and take Septa Waldsteinia with you." It has been less than a year since the maiden has had to face evil and while her legs quiver she is a Mallister and thank the Seven for long skirts. She does not move into the circle quite yet, instead each of the reavers is regarded steadily as she says quietly "None of you will live long enough to regret this." Once she has studied the faces to her satisfaction, the tall teenager turns and with as much dignity as she can muster glides towards the group of her peers.
Cordelya whispers quietly against Tia's throat, "Orlagh has… has some salts, in the bag there, if the lady needs them… you can tell them…" Corrie has gone full on coward for the moment, it seems. She's not swooned or screamed, but she's not daring to draw attention to herself. Her eyes press tightly shut as the man mentions stripping and she hides just a touch tighter against Tia's side.
It is the pinching that does it, dark lashes fluttering open to reveal wide hazel eyes. It takes Roslyn a moment to orient herself, to recognize Anais and her cousin. She swallows, suddenly remembering her reason for fainting and questioning, "The guard—?"
A kindness for Saffron's unfortunate garment however Cherise was quite favorable to her own. "We will do no such thing. Especially to a group of no named brutes." Her chin raised even when one of the riders drew closer on his horse. Her eyes do wander her group, the sentiment seemed shared that none desired to bare their asses today.
Did he just say? Well now, aren't they nice? Tia watches where Anais is with Roslyn, though she notes the salts in the bag. "Alright, it's alright," she whispers to Corrie, not using her name though. "It's in hand, don't worry." As Cherise also speaks up, Tia looks towards them, though she's not moving forward to speak up, lest she draw attention to Corrie.
"Roslyn, I need you to focus on me," Anais says quietly, holding the other woman's gaze. "We're in a bit of a spot at the moment." Understatement of the year. "But if we stay calm, we can handle it. Now we're going to stand up, and there are some gentlemen here who seem to be of the less than legal sort. You're going to remember to breathe, all right?" And she offers a hand to the other woman to help her up, glancing over her shoulder toward the bandits.
Lucienne looks past Sofya over to Rosanna as the Groves lady echoes that order, her dark eyes wide. Surely the ladies don't have to actually strip, right? She waits for someone else to start disrobing first.
The bandit smiles in a way that is more of a grimace. Cherise's raised chin raised makes for such a remarkable target as he viciously slaps the hard wood of his bow across her face — hard enough to send her to her knees. "You will do just that my little strumpet. All ye will. Me 'n lads have never seen lady flesh, just down to your shifts. Mind ye. I'll be kind enough for that. And your boots off too."
"Thank the Gods." Jocelyn says quietly when Roslyn wakes up beneath her. She glances over at the men, then to Anias. "I'll help you." She says and starts to move back, give her cousin just a little room, taking hold of one of Roslyn's arms she prepares for the getting up process.
Sofya stiffens with a squeak of terror as that bow slams down on Cherise's face. "I think they mean it…" She murmurs, colour sharply draining out of her face.
Cordelya chokes out a quiet gasp as Cherise is hit like that, her body stiffening against Tiaryn, fighting every instinct to run to her now injured friend. She breathes out raggedly…"Cherise…" She whispers, not certain if the lovely blonde will hear her or not. She peeks a bit more around Tiaryn, looking at her old friend to try and see how bad the hit is. She's not moving to strip yet. She's not moved away from Tia at all.
Roslyn nods quietly, agreeing with the Lady Anais even as she rises to her feet with the help of Jocelyn on one side and the Terrick lady on the other. She does not look towards the dead bodies, intently not looking towards them, and instead looks at the bandits. "Have they—," she begins but still fails to finish a sentence.
Day swallows a cry as Cherise is struck, flinching and bowing her head into Rosanna's hair. She breathes in, then instructs softly, "Do as he says. If it's only down to our shifts they want, we can thank the gods for that." She moves her own, badly shaking hands to the laces of her dress.
As she helps Roslyn up, Anais presses the knife she looted from the guard into the grass. Better not to have it than to get caught with it. There's a flicker of a grimace, but she's composed when she turns around again, helping Roslyn over to the rest of the women. "Just breathe," is her only answer to Roslyn's question, a quiet reassurance. And, as no one else seems ready to start with the disrobing, she sighs softly and gets on with it herself in the most business-like way possible, as if she were in her own quarters at the Roost. She even folds the gown when she's finished.
Rosanna does not quite swallow a cry. Her hands lift to cover her mouth, though, as she lets out a quiet noise as Cherise is hit. Her gaze is wide and watery as she looks to Day, and she just shakes her head with a rise of trembling panic.
"Well," the bearded bandit demurs as Anais approaches Roslyn, "mebbe not. Don't see blood, might just be nerves." He glances over towards the cringing Rolf and snorts. "Still at none, for all the ones you loosed," he snickers. But the ladies balking, Muirenn's threat and Cherise's refusal, wipes that smile right from his face. His fearless leader sees to the one uppity lady, so when he leads his hose over, it's to Muirenn the steed walks. And it's she the bandit strikes, hard across the face, with the back of his hand. "You'll watch your tongue or I'll have it out of your mouth."
Lucienne's eyes widen even further and she squeals like a pig at the crack of bow against Lady Cherise's face. "H-h-help me, p-p-please," she stammers to Sofya, quivering hands moving to start struggling with the laces at her back.
Linking her arm through her Cousin, Jocelyn starts to walk with the two ladies to group in with the rest. As she walks that way, she eyes the bandits carefully. Listening to the instruction from Anias, and taking the advise herself, remember to breath.
Day's dress, worth the least of the lot, most likely, drops to the ground. She kicks is aside, then kisses Rosanna's forehead gravely, embraces the young lady, and begins to help her out of her gown. Just as she might on any given evening at home.
Not like they have a lot of choice. "Corrie," she whispers, "take the dress off. I'll help you, come on," she says. She hugs the other woman close, as she does so, and then she says, "We can help whoever needs it after. But first, there's not anything else we can do." Other than make a run for it, and never get anywhere. Inconsiderate bandits. She'll help Corrie first and deal with her own after. Though she does glance over at the ones who struck Cherise and Muirenn. Those ones she's going to remember.
Hands shaking, Sofya looks to Lucienne to see if the lady needs any help with her own gown. "My lady," she whispers in a plea. Please let her help you. The dark hair woman ducks her head in a fierce nod, darting around to begin quickly unlacing her gown. She is down to her shift in minutes, taking longer than normal for shivering hands. Only then does Sofya follow suit with her own, removing it until she is down to her shift. Then sharply tugging off her boots and tossing them aside.
So close to Anais and already privy to the violence inflicted on the other women, Roslyn starts to strip as well, whispering to her cousin, "You as well. Don't—." But then she is focusing on shredding herself of that new, pretty gown, letting the dark material pool on the ground. She trembles too much to go about folding it like Anais.
A cry spills from the Charlton's lips, tensed and doubled over from the wooden blow against her lovely and most prized possession. That bastard. She's cupping the side of her face, consoling the throbbing ache that grows there. A murmured curse may go beneath the ears. But with much reluctance she drops her silk shawl and steps out of her slippers.
Taking in shaking, hiccuping breaths, Rosanna manages to rid herself of her dress with Day's assistance. She hugs herself tightly across her chest once she's stripped of gown and boots, red-faced, humiliated, and terrified. She swallows down another cry as Muirenn is struck next, and is smart enough to say nothing at all.
Utter disdain glitters in Muirenn's eyes. She sees the bandit approaching and the hand coming towards her. Spitting blood from a lip split the tall lass ignores the cry from her Septa as she replies with icy calm to the bandit towering above her on the horse, "You will pay for that insult." Reaching her hand up, tenderly she eases fingers across her cheekbone. Dropping her arm she reaches back and begins to unlace her gown.
Cordelya blinks against the sudden sting of tears behind her muddy green eyes. She shakes her head slowly to Tiaryn, still in denial, but she manages to pull free enough they can start on the laces of her brand new, splashy gown. All blue and purple with those gray accents, the Flint crest embroidered in careful stitching. Her lovely new dress. She keeps her body turned to Tia, hiding herself from the men as she carefully slips out of the over dress… then the underskirts, leaving her just in her thin white undershift. It half falls off her shoulders, baring one of them. She looks like a little girl in her mother's chemise in it. "I-I…I'm sorry, Tia… I'm stronger than this… Gods…"
"Muirenn." It's a quiet word, but it's warning, and Anais is moving toward the other woman even as she speaks, looking as though she expects to be there to catch her more than to help her.
"That's better," the moustachioed bandit grins, leaning forward in his saddle to coo at Cherise as she strips her clothes. "Lovely. Just like that. My they don't look like peasant girls. Do they me' lads?" Smug. Lifting his hands, he twirls his moustache briefly, before straightening his elegant gentleman's embroidery at his chest. Never mind that horse. "You see ladies. Yous are the 'haves. And we's have nots are just going to take what don'ts haves to better ourselves. If you behave, we'll sell your bits for a pretty penny and you'll be right as day. If not…well," he looks towards Muirenn and nods at his bearded friend. Again.
Disdain does not sit well with bandits. Or, at least, not the bearded one near Muirenn. Her glare and her threat cause the man to sneer, and as she reaches back to begin to unlace her gown, Muirenn's backhanded again. The other cheek this time. "Speak again," he purrs. "Let me show them what happens to the ones that won't behave."
Once Corrie is out of her dress, Tia starts to her own. Her own hands are shaking a bit, but that dark grey material come off and is carefully folded, even if it is just that mourning garb. Her shift fits her well and is comfortable, nothing fancy, for a lady. Her shoes come off as well, and then she hugs Corrie close again. "Gods help us," she murmurs.
"Stop," Roslyn cries out to the bandit as he hits Muirenn again, a word that is supposed to be a command—but falls way flat by fear and trembling and the break on her words that shows she is this close to crying. She actually looks regretful that she called out at all, her teeth clamping together before she tries to innocently gather her dress. That wasn't her.
Glancing around and seeing the other women disrobing and herding the words from her Roslyn… It makes Jocelyn jaw set tightly. She appears to just get anger instead of being scared. Reaching around her she starts to undo her dress. defiantly she stares at the bandits as she disrobes with the rest.
Day enfolds Rosanna in her arms once more, shielding her from eyes just as she did from arrows. "Please," she says, her voice pitched to carry, but husky and trembling. "Just take what you came for and go." It's certainly not a command, and delivered with all the respect due someone upon whose whim one's life and virtue teeter.
Lucienne's lip quivers too, as Sofya helps her out of her gown. How embarrassing; she's not in one of her finer shifts, but an older one that's looking a little threadbare in places. She gulps, and tugs off her slippers, and waits for her handmaid-of-the-day to disrobe before huddling close to the slightly older girl. She doesn't squeal this time, as Muirenn is struck twice, but winces and looks away.
A tight lipped Cherise eventually sheds her fabulous attire down to the shift, a thin layer of modesty by the gods are maintained. Her head ached and the man's ogling stare was met with burning hatred.
The moustachioed bandit, let's be familiar and call him Rodrygo, slips his horse towards Roslyn,. He's tall, all whipcord and sinew, sliding his tongue across his teeth as he smiles down at her. "Oh lovely, we've just begun." He tenderly slides his bow along her cheek in the tender form of a caress. He gives it a tap, just hard enough to sting. Then, he looks towards Day. "You know, lads. I've been thinking. Thems clothes is worth a lot, wouldn't you say…" He gives Day a lascivious look, filthy as it crawls from her head to her feet. "Lady? But I bet you lot are worth a lot more."
The second blow has the girl stumbling back. She is nothing if not honest and they have been warned. Tears well up causing the grey eyes to shine green as blood drips from the delicate tipped nose, though it does not seem she is crying from pain for the Mallister's face is a mask of fury. On the verge of taunting the man again, Muirenn heeds Anais' words and as she straightens clenches her jaw…winces..and instead finishes unlacing her gown. Though she remains silent, a glare is focused upon the socially maladjusted brute who hit her. The black overgown is removed, then the pearl chemise now dotted with bright red, dainty slippers, until finally she to is in a shift that would be amusingly Muire were it not so serious a situation…fine white linen trimmed with pristinely crocheted lace. Though she drops her garments and kicks them towards the bandit, she maintains tight hold of her fan.
Cordelya closes her eyes, not wanting to look at the men. She cannot help the women even as they are hurt, she'll just draw attention to herself. So she just tucks herself in against Tiaryn's frame, hiding her head there, buried beneath the oversized flowing nature of her chemise and her spills of brown curls. She looks like a little hidden mouse.
Roslyn quivers, her hands balling into fists as that bow slides along her skin. She swallows, maybe sways slightly, but she does not faint this time. That seems to be reserved for blood. "Only intact," she practically whispers. "We only worth—."
Anais is indeed there to catch Muirenn, offering light support at her elbow until she's sure she isn't going to lash out again. And then she hears the lead bandit's words, closing her eyes and drawing a deep breath. "More in good condition, Ser," she says quietly, carefully keeping her tone less than commanding. "You seem to know what you're doing here. A practiced gentleman like you, yes? With the respect and obedience of a well-trained crew." Right, Anais. Because flattery has been working so well for you lately.
"If I come willingly, will you let my handmaiden go?" Day asks, nodding at Rosanna. After all, who remembers who was wearing what? He just called her a lady. And she certainly has the more imperious mien of the two, at the moment.
"Day—" Rosanna immediately cries, clinging to her septa's hands immediately as she begins that offer — but not correcting her, either.
The socially maladjusted brute (oh, let's just call him Somar) offers a leering grin for that glower Muirenn throws at him. He watches as she peels out of her layers, gaze becoming yet more eager as those pearls come into view. It's them he follows as they fall to the ground and he licks his lips before looking back over at the redhead. Then he peers over at Rodrygo, thick brows furrowed. "Wot you thinkin', boss?"
Taking a breath, the septa continues reasonably, "She can deliver a message for you. Let our families know your demands. Your men will be shot on sight, but not she."
Hands stall on Jocelyns clothing, standing beside Roslyn she stares as the brandit grazes the bow against her skin. Her jaw flexes again in irritation. "Whats the point of all this?" she asks. All the while shes shimmied out of her dress, draping it over her arm rather than tossing it onto the ground.
The elderly Septa Waldsteinia is dressed much more practically. Wrinkled hands remove her white clothing until she is in a shift that is as simple as her charge's is elaborate. Muirenn remains at Anais' side, though spares her Septa a concerned look. Glancing to her friend she murmurs, "We got through everything once, we will do so again", and gives Annie's arm a gentle squeeze before turning her efforts to ripping off some of the lovely crochet in order to stop the bleeding of her nose and lip.
"What's right, I am a practiced gentleman," Rodrygo shamelessly agrees to Anais's flattery, flashing her a cocksure grin. Have you seen his embroidery? It's gorgeous. He gives it a reassuring pat. "I am thinking, Somar," he affirms with a nod. He's a thinking sort of man you see. When Roslyn speaks, he squints down at her and then redirects his attention to Day. "Aye…I think that we should send a message yeah. Not 'er tho. Easy on the eyes that one." Rosanna gets a similar appraisal to what Day earned. Heeey. "I know we can send the maids, ladies all up in their virtue but we best send someone to let's thems Lords know we has them. We'll take their horses, their fine things and get a bit o' money for their flesh. Like sporting gentlemen, no Somar?"
Iulia had also shed her attire as commanded and stands close to Jocelyn, linking arms with the young Nayland in hopes to calm her.
"Ey!" Somar barks as Muirenn rips away her embroidered hem and then looks as if she plans to bleed on it. "No you don't, that's mine." He holds a hand out, expectantly, for the delicate stitching even as he glances around at the other ladies and "ladies" and considers Rodrygo's words. His lips purse together. Thinking. It is hard. "Lot of them," he points out. "Could make us proper rich." He eyes the Septa Waldensia, all plain and old. "Loose this one?" he offers, jabbing a grungy finger in her direction. "She's withered and th'Sept won't pay."
"I'm sure a practiced gentleman like yourself wants this risky business over with as quickly as possible, Ser," Anais suggests to the leader, managing the faintest, ingratiating smile. "Perhaps you might want to send someone capable of traveling a little more quickly than such an aged woman? Imagine the riches you'd be losing out on if she fainted and passed away on her way back to the lords."
"Cousin," Roslyn whispers to Jocelyn, a warning. She is concerned too, still shaking, but she draws to twine her bare arm around Jocelyn's, anchoring her other side along with Iulia. "We have to—stop giving them reason to note us." Her words tremble, and she tries to talk really, really quietly, as if now attempting this plan.
Rosanna ducks behind Day a little at Rodrygo's blatant appraisal of her. She stays silent.
"What? You want me to *bleed* until I pass out or make everyone faint?" Muirenn replies wryly as she continues to wipe blood from a nose and lip that are beginning to swell and turn shades of color that she appreciates in clothes but not on her face. And to be honest, the droplets are falling onto her shift and staining the crochet anyway. Even so, she hands up the lace with bloodstained fingers.
Day glances at Anais, lending her support to the argument. "The old woman's as likely to step into her own grave as make it back in good time." She looks to the leader, meeting his eyes. "I know my maid is fair, sir — and I would not ask you to relinquish her save that her family has served mine for ages. I am very fond of her… and for her freedom, I can be very cooperative."
Lucienne just huddles quietly against Sofya. And perhaps sneaks a look at one of the dead guards in his pool of blood. WHERE IS ANTON VALENTIN WHEN YOU NEED HIM.
Listening through the exchanges, while consoling the ache on the side of her face, Cherise eyes those attempting to bargain with the bandits. "And what then should our lords trade coin for flesh, how are they to know you'll honor a trade when you assail women in such a manner?"
Sofya wraps a comforting arm around Lucienne, gently stroking the lady's arm even as she shakes in fear. This is very, very bad.
Jocelyn remains quiet as directed by her cousin, her arms draped around both Roslyn and Iulia as she comes to stand beside her. She glances at her companion, breaking her gaze from the bandits to check on her well being.
Tia is still supporting poor Corrie, staying for the moment quiet and out of notice of anyone hopefully. Because if she gets noticed, so will Corrie. And that's just not what Tia is looking for. Though she does watch as Anais and Day take charge and try to keep things in reasonable shape. She glances over at Muirenn as well, taking a breath, but then going quiet, just holding onto Corrie. "Stay calm," she whispers. "Just stay calm, stay alert, and pay attention."
"See 'eres the thing," Rodrygo says with a flick of fingers, gesturing towards the women before he smooths his moustache. "Thing is…situation like this. You is gonna try and screw me, and not the way all me amd the lads like, that's a fact." He lifts his upper lip in the faint approximation of something that is horrid to look at…turning his attention, again towards Cherise. "You're lippy. She's lippy, ain't she? And they'll know cause all of ye'll vouch each, lovely. Much as I'm sure you'd use a real man — you're worth more to me now. I don't care about their honor, they'll be just begging to get you back. And if they don't believe us, we'll just kill you." He shrugs. It matters not to him. Rodrygo looks over at Somar, lifting his brows. That sound good?
Cordelya nods mutely to Tiaryn, keeping herself half buried, mostly hidden, against her blonde good-cousin. Her green eyes flicker slightly up and over the woman's shoulder, looking around the area to stay alert, see if she can see anything to help them, but so far they've kept out of the notice of anyone. That's for the best.
"Not if they kill you first," Roslyn murmurs, her voice breaking as she forgets her own words of caution to her cousin.
Jocelyn snaps her attention back to her cousin as she speaks up. Jerking her arm, a reminder of what she was just told herself.
Anais is nothing if not a gracious hostage. "No one here is interested in anything except for going home safe, Ser," she assures Rodygo, adding a look to the other women as though to make her point more strongly. "All of us to our own homes, and you to yours, greatly enriched."
She doesn't speak 'oaf' and it takes Muirenn a bit to understand exactly what the bandit's plan is. The ladies have been herded into a loose circle and made to strip to their shifts by bandits riding the stolen horses. Anais and Muirenn stand together, though the Mallister's elderly Septa is grouped with the other ladies and stands near Lucienne and Sofya, watching over those two. Day and Anais seem to be the ones who are 'negotiating' if it could be called that with their captors. Cherise and Muirenn seem to have been the most uppity as both of those women seem to to have injuries to their faces.
Somar snatches the embroidery away from Muirenn before she can spoil it any further. "No one never died of a bloody nose. You pass out, just saves me the headache of listening to ye." He swipes at his own nose with the back of his hand before looking over at Rodrygo. "Sounds all right," he agrees. "The ones we need to kill as they won't be sold, we can fuck them first, right?" He peers over towards Anais, one eye squinting. "That one sounds sensible, at least."
In the chaos the woman had been shuffled. Dania had stripped off her shift for the way she saw it the gown was borrowed and if someone has not seen something that is on her body that person was going to be in for surprise with all of these women here. She did not scream and she did not cry. She is silent and pale and in the circle of women. Death is something she is used to but being threaten by a sword is something different. She remains quiet as a mouse at the moment. She is a tall woman standing at six feet tall. Her blue eyes are wide. Her hair is primly pinned up and she is trying to stay as clean as she can.
Day flinches and takes a breath at Somar's logic. "You're the lady again if that becomes the plan," she whispers to Rosanna, very low. "If they won't let you go, it's very important they understand you're the captive of worth." She trusts Rosanna understands that, though she still seems to hold some faint hope that Rosie will be chosen as the messenger.
"Didja break it? She'd look right nice with a broken one," Rodrygo crows with a laugh at Somar's comment to Muirenn, giving the girl a look. Hah. "Look like a right whore. All the best ones have a crooked bit." He taps his finger on his nose. "And yeah, you can fuck them. But not till we know whether or not we're getting our money. Or if their behavior is bad enough." Best behavior ladies. "She does, doesn't she? Maybe she'll keep the rest of them sensible." Anais gets a light, tap of his bow on the top of her head like a child playing duck-duck-goose. Rodrygo rides around the gathered group, tapping each of them in turn. Eenie. Meenie…
Cordelya doesn't dare even look at Rodrygo, hiding her mousy self against her slightly older good cousin. She jumps a bit as he comes around the circle, quietly wincing, shying away from the touch. Hopefully think her too scared and small to be worth any interest. Head bowed against Tia's shoulder, her lips carefully move in silent prayer to the old Gods.
Rosanna blinks wide eyes at Day, trapped in trembling shock and looking as if the septa's words don't quite sink in. "I don't—" she begins to reply, but then just shakes her head and takes in a shaking breath.
Cherise scoffs under her breath, so entitled and delusional against the threat of death. She does jerk her head away from the bow being tapped, no touching!
Roslyn tenses, trembles as the bow touches her own head, but she covers her cousin's head with her hand, as if to intercept even that lightest touch to Jocelyn. She doesn't look up at the man as she does it, however, no defiance more than her murmured words earlier and this slight gesture.
Anais stays very still when the tapping begins, though she catches the inside of her cheek between her teeth for just a moment. "Whoever goes," she says quietly, "Head for Stonebridge. They'll have the most ready cash, and we can get this over with quickly." Also, they may actually have cash. And levies.
Iulia lips barely move, waiting for the opportune moment to console both ladies with a few hushed words while still holding onto Jocelyn.
Tia doesn't shy back though she's just comforting Corrie, as though Corrie's a wild little bird or something. She keeps her gaze lowered, but watches as much as she can, wanting, as others have, to be able to identify these louts once they're freed. And to know which deserve harsher punishments, and which do not. She isn't sticking her nose out, but she's definitely doing what she can to protect Corrie.
Day turns her eyes up to Rodrygo, doing her best to remind the fiend how cooperative she's promised to be — if 'maid' Rosie goes free.
There are not many things Muirenn regrets in her life, but at this moment she has one large regret. Licking her lower lip carefully she bends her head to press a bit of her shift to her still bleeding nose, though does not let her attention leave the captor near her.
Sofya flinches at the bow falls against her shoulder, clutching Lucienne tigher. She does not look their captors in the eye.
Dania shakes herself free from her whatever fear holds her and reaches out pulls Muirenn behind her and hisses something into her ear as she does so. She is does so quickly precedence be damned.
Jocelyn squeezes onto Iulia's arm at her whispered words, nodding her head slowly in response to them. Glancing up at the bandits when her cousin places her hand over her own head to protect her.
Lucienne feels the blow of the bow, and for a moment prays that it won't touch whoever's on the other side of her; but no, Sofya gets a tap too. Dammit.
Tap, eek! Tia's eyes widen, as she too gets tapped, but she too tries to cover Corrie so the tap doesn't touch her, but Tia's hand instead.
Mo! Iulia gets a sharp smack across her bottom as Rodrygo makes his choice, smiling down at the bare-footed girl. "Come here, lovely. You get to go home and tell them all about what's happened and what we want for the lot of ye."
Goddess damn it all. Day takes a deep breath and hugs Rosie tighter. "I'm sorry," she whispers. "I tried."
"Uh," Somar asks, grinning quickly for Iulia's smack, "What does we want for the lot of 'em? What'll we make them worth to their daddies and husbands?"
For some reason this makes Roslyn cry out, perhaps because of the woman's comforting words or that it was so close to Jocelyn and herself. "Iulia, tell Riordan—," she begins, but she cuts herself off once she remembers how close the bandit is.
Instinctively, Jocelyn tightens her hold on Iulia when she is smacked and then spoken to. But it loosens when she finds that her companion is being released from the rest of them. Slowly her hand untangles from around her arm.
Yanked abruptly behind Dania, the auburn-haired teenager begins to protest but it is muffled in the thinness of her chemise. Lifting her head she leans forward and murmurs to Dania. Tears standing out in her eyes.
Rosanna whimpers quietly against Day's embrace as Rodrygo chooses Iulia. She tucks herself in against her septa, trying to be as small as possible.
There's a flicker of something in Anais' eyes at Somar's words, and she hesitates. "Please, Ser," she says to Rodrygo. "I only ask that you not ask for the weapons cache. I know how useful it would be in terms of continuing your profession, but we need to be able to protect ourselves should the reavers come again."
Iulia yelped, certainly not expecting to be tagged by a spanking. Instantly her eyes darted to Jocelyn and Roslyn, catching the all to quick urgent plea from the Lady. She nods, twice, particularly to Jocelyn as she carefully releases hold of the young noblewoman's arm, following through with the command and drawing closer to Rodrygo. "I, do? I — what should I tell them?"
Dania looks at Muirenn and put one strong arm around her. Her lips move as her murmurs something back to her. Just the thought of what they are talking about causes her to turn green and get very pale.
"What's they call those things? Dragons? We'll get a fine few stags for the dresses and the like, maybe more. One of those messes'd feed my family for a year," Rodrygo muses, twirling the curl of his moustache around his finger as he waits for Iulia to approach. A fly buzzes down and lands of his lip, humming as it crawls across the skin. There's a avaricious gleam in his eye as he looks at the pile of close on the ground. "We want Dragons, me lad. Lots of them." He names a number that is…high for something he likely put together on a whim, well greater than knight's ransom. He scowls at Anais's plea. "Yeah? And where was our damn protection of yours when our lands burned and our wives were raped? Ever see your children slaughtered? Hang your protection." He looks towards Somar. "Round them up. Rolf'll pick up the garb and the boots, he ain't good for much else. Start walking 'em towards — your know where. Bind their eyes."
Well, it was worth a try, at least. And discretion clearly being the better part of her valor, Anais hangs her head and looks ashamed at the bandit's words. She even manages a brief glimmer of dismay at the price he asks for.
"The bodies—," Roslyn starts to say towards Rodrygo as he starts issuing commands, catching herself with a hard swallow. She continues, very quietly as if this will make her suggestion go smoother, "They were good men, surely, with wives and children of their own."
Iulia is pretty certain she could not count that high for such a request but the girl's head bobs, nodding to show she understood. "I understand, but ah, if they agree where is the exchange to take place?" Her bare toes curled into the dried earth and hands clenched onto the sides of her chemise near the thighs.
Cordelya carefully allows her hand to drop away from her stomach and reach out for Tia's hand instead, wrapping her fingertips into her good cousin's palm. If they are going to be walking and blind folded, she doesn't want to lose Tia. She'll just hold on for dear life, though some sympathy is drawn from her eyes as the man talks about those who were lost.
Cherise's eyebrows knit closer, her gaze narrowed on any should they approach to bind and blind her.
"Now they'll feed jackals, ain't got time for burials," Somar snaps for Roslyn's timid request. He gnaws on his bottom lip as he considers how best to temporarily blind a passel of noble women. Scowling down at the bit of embroidery in his hand, he blinks and then he grins. "Rip off a piece o' your shifts, me lovelies!" he calls out, "Tie it across your eyes. Quick now, or I'm like to lose my temper."
"How will we see?" Rosanna asks quietly before thinking better of it. She winces at the command from Somar and looks down at her shift, gnawing uncertainly on her bottom lip. Who knows if she even has the strength in her fingers to do this.
It is a lot, Iulia. Ten and ten and… you get the picture, Rodrygo keeps muttering about ten Dragons with a note of awe in his voice. So she'll have to do her best to guess. "When they agree, they can bring it out to that tree there. See that one? It's got a knot in it." He grabs her chin in hand, forcing it towards the tree. SEE. That one. "By Monday's eve. If not. Then you'll find a bunch of bodies on your roads. RIght sweetling?" He turns her face back towards himself with an awful grin. "Now's gives us a kiss. Then on your way."
The words whispered into her ear cause the first spark of fear and worry to dawn in Muirenn's eyes. Straightening she starts to give a sharp nod but winces as the motion makes her vaguely nauseous. A hand goes to her nose, swelling and purpling…a lovely compliment to the bluish black bruise spread across her pale cheek. Her other hand continues to clutch the fan. Bending she silently obeys. The fan is clutched between her teeth and with a loud *riiiiip* yanks the bottom frill of crocheted lace from the hem of her shift.
Oh, don't let's go there. About the only one that Tia didn't lose was her children, but she's not saying a word. they won't have any sympathy, just find another reason for their slimy evil. She's sure the harp is gone, and a pity that is, but she's not calling attention to it. Maybe they'll miss it and leave it there. Somehow she'll figure out a way to repay Lady Isolde. But first she'll have to survive. As Corrie moves, Tia simply nods to her, her own hand reaching for Corrie's in return. Sticking together as much as they can. And now there's a lovely request. Tia closes her eyes for a moment. Thanks, Muirenn. Really. And then she looks to Corrie to see if she needs help. Meanwhile, Tia reaches for the bottom of her own shift, finding the attached decoration there, though it's not so fancy as all that, and she starts ripping it off. See? They will be falling all over like drunken sailors, and here's hoping nobody breaks a leg. Sheesh.
The other men in the party look appropriately startled by the amount Rodrygo names. 10 Dragons. They aid Somar in rounding up the ladies, one begins unfurling a length of rope from where it's been looped around his waist.
"If you let me have my saddle bags on my horse I will tend any sick or injured you have including ours." Dania calls out as to the bandits she starts to rip off a piece of the hem of her chemise after worrying the stitching free. She moves to put it over her eyes and then she reaches for Muirenn if she is allowed. Her hands shake as she does this.
At least Lucienne's threadbare shift will rip easily. That's a positive?
Resistance is futile. Anais quietly crouches down to tear a strip from the bottom of her shift without lifting it up. She folds it once, then looks around the group. "Let's all line up, ladies," she suggests quietly, summoning up a small smile from gods only know where. "I'm sure the good Ser here doesn't want to use more than one man at the head of his chain for such a simple task." Ropes are bad. Touching is bad. Let's minimize both!
Roslyn jerks back at the snap, nodding quickly in agreement. She glances towards her younger cousin. "Not yours, Jocelyn," she urges her she sets to trying to rip her own skirt in two strips for both of them, finally becoming determined as she looks back to Jocelyn again.
Cordelya squeezes Tia's hand tightly, before she lets go, and then leans over to carefully rip at the ruffled hemline of her shift. She then brings it up to her eyes and carefully ties it across her face. "Gods… Tia…gods… us?" She whispers, shaking her head quietly. At least the blindfold catches some tears, though she's ripped and tied it thin enough she can half see under the thing. As was the plan.
Day is forced to help Rosanna rip the hem of her shift for her own blindfold. The young Groves lady is still breathing unsteadily and with fingers shaking.
Iulia is forced to stare at the tree indicated by a forceful hand. She nods and returns, "I see." Keeping her voice as calm as she may given the men were starving, angry and in need. Much like the rest of invasion victims. "By Monday's eve. Right." The girl had repeated, having to raise on the tips of her toes in order to plant a kiss on the bandit's lips. Quick but hopefully that will satisfy. "May I, a horse, to utilize as much time as possible for the funds to be gathered?"
The lace is…well…lace and it isn't difficult to tear off another frill so that the Septa, Dania, and Muirenn have their blindfolds. The Mallister passes a handful to Dania and murmurs, "Here." She helps the Septa and gently knots the old woman's blindfold before seeing to her own.
Rodrygo snags the back of her head, dragging that kiss a heartbeat longer than comfortable before he releases her with a shove. "No. Best get running, lass! Before I change my mind!" He grins down at her. Run Iulia. Run.
Iulia raised her hands in protest only to be tossed aside then denied a touch of compassion against running all the way back home to tell all who would care. She does stumble backwards, looking to her Nayland ladies soon bound and blinded before darting off in the direction of Stoneridge. As fast as her little bird feet will carry her.
As the ladies blindfold themselves (or get their shift torn and their eyes covered for them, if they can't manage on their own), Somar begins directing each of the men to two or three of the ladies. Except for Rolf. Rolf just gets the dresses and boots. Each woman gets her wrists bound with rope and is tied to the woman in front of her who is, in turn, tied to a horse. "Ten dragons," Somar whispers reverently, repeating the number under his breath now and again. Once all the captives are bound and attached, there's a smart 'Yah!' and the horse move forward in a slow, steady pace, dragging the women behind them towards whatever unknown perils await.