|After the Duel|
|Summary:||Kamron holes up after the single-combat-interrupted with the Harlaws. Jarod goes Mallister-hunting for him.|
|Related Logs:||Two Men Enter|
|Harlaw Isle — The Grey Garden|
|Rocks. Houses. Houses made of rocks.|
|Mon Mar 26, 289|
Kamron has been staying at the front-lines since the fiasco on the bridge. It's not that he's been -avoiding- anyone, not precisely—or at least not so that he would admit. But it's definitely more comfortable among the men-at-arms and the common soldiers who have a more… pragmatic… view of the world than other knights and noblemen. With the pursuit through the Grey Garden complete, however, and the ascendant forces of the Riverlands at the very gates of the Harlaw keep, there aren't many places for Kamron to hide-that is, 'stay on the front lines'-and so he has found himself settled into a rather-the-worse-for-wear building with a view of the keep. It's been taken up as a watch position, but the ground floor at least is uninhabited beyond the Mallister for the moment.
Jarod has been occupied since the battle, with the moving of the Riverlands army forces into the city. He's been eager to have the Terrick men involved in clearing and securing it which, given the maze of rock within the Garden walls, is no small task. Perhaps he's found some liberty for himself, though, as he's roaming this occupied bit of the Garden less-than-purposefully. His step slows when he passes by the building Kamron's staked out as a 'not-hiding' place. His footfalls, particularly in spurred boots, are heavy. So his approach is anything but stealthy.
Kamron looks up at the spurred step, and there's a momentary hesitation about him, as if some small part wanted to flee up the stairs, but it is quickly quashed, and he rises from where he's seated on a barrel that had the good fortune to be open and empty when the Riverlanders came through, and so escaped being smashed to flinders. He's still in the area assigned to the Mallisters and Terricks, so he's not likely to run into some Nayland or Charlton, so he moves to meet the newcomer in the doorway. Then again, the Mallisters and Terricks probably have more capacity to do harm in this case. A bit of a crooked grin flashes onto his features as he spots and recognizes Jarod, but it fades away again quickly, "Ser Jarod. Good to see that you made it clear and through alright."
"Ser Kamron?" Jarod comes to a stop, returning the grin easily enough. He's the sort who smiles easy. Though his green eyes are quizzical. "Aye. Made it through just all right. You…err…keeping watch here?" He asks like he's skeptical, but it seems a good excuse for holing up in a building like this. "You seen anything this shift? Our forces're dug into the areas we first took pretty good, I think. There's not been much attempt to push us back this morning."
Kamron shrugs one shoulder slightly, causing a faint susseration of metal rings from his arms, and a faint scraping of spaulder over cuirass, "Just catching a bit of rest." He gestures toward the keep, "But I wanted to be close in case they sally forth again." His lips twist into a faint grimace, "But they haven't. More's the pity." He steps back out of the doorway, beckoning welcome, "Come on in, if you'd like. Not much to see, but it's dry, out of the wind, and there are a few seats available."
"Weather's shite on this gods-forsaken bit of rock," Jarod says, ducking in and pulling up a barrel. "At least after River rains, something grows. I get the feeling the rocks spite any sort of life on this island." He regards Kamron a moment, like he's winding up to say something. Though he doesn't seem quite sure what. "I saw Ser Martyn a bit the other day. Was awake, seemed to be mending all right, thank the Seven."
Kamron settles back down onto his own barrel, nodding his head once, "I've never really gotten homesick on campaign before-too much going on-but this place could do it. I'm almost convinced that one of the seven hells must look like Harlaw Island." Shaking his head as if to dismiss the subject, he brightens a bit at the mention of Ser Martyn, "I'm glad that he's going to make it. Thank the Seven indeed." There's a moment's pause, and his mouth twists into a grimace, and he adds, "You can go ahead and say whatever it is you want to, Jarod." There's a sense of accepting the inevitable in his voice, "According to some, I interfered with a single combat. The way I saw it, Ser Martyn was unconscious and couldn't yield, but he was clearly defeated. Killing him then… it would have been the next thing to murder."
"Close enough for hell to me," Jarod concurs with a chuckle that contains a grim sort of humor. "Maybe all the isles of the Pyke account for all seven of them. I'll be happy to leave it, for my part. I figure things'll go faster now that the Gardens' near ours, with the other keeps falling or having fallen. Just Ten Towers left to the squids now, last I heard." As for the single combat, he shrugs. "Was the terms Ser Martyn agreed to. Duel to the death. He had to know what losing could mean. If it'd my kinsman though…" Another shurg. "…can't say I would've done any different than you did."
Kamron shakes his head slightly, "There were no terms agreed to, actually. Just 'single combat.' They were both so eager to get to fighting that they never laid out any terms, either on when the fight was to be stopped or on what the result was to determine." The knight's shoulders hunch up tightly, drawing a bit into himself, "I'm sure that plenty of people will say that I've stained my honor, or even thrown it away-along with Martyn's. But I saved his life, and I saved the lives of all those people who would have died storming the Gardens-even if I wasn't thinking of that at the time. If that's the price that has to be paid, I'll pay it."
"Can't say what would've happened with the siege, had things gone different," Jarod says. "Might be the whole thing was a ruse and they planned to assault us anyhow. They must've thrown near all the men they had at us, and many of the able-bodied peasantry, too. Costly ploy for them if that was the case." More shrugging. "Might be they'd have agreed to surrender if things'd gone Ser Martyn's way. Who in seven hells knows?" Not him. "Aye, some are saying that. I don't know. Like I said, if it'd been one of my brothers up there and I there second…Well. Some things're more important than what the rest of the world thinks of your honor. All down to what your conscience can live with, as I figure it."
Kamron snorts loudly at the mention of his own conscience, "The hells it is. Every damn Frey-lover in the army is going to be using what I did to tear down the Mallisters." One hand drops to pick idly at the surface of the barrel he's sitting on, "If Harlaw'd had a speck of hnor in him, he would have let well enough alone and claimed the victory when he knocked Martyn unconscious. It's not like he's the one who needs revenge against the Mallisters." Now Kam's mostly just grumbling.
"Fuck the Late Lord Frey and his toadies," Jarod says to that with a snort. "Those sorts have as much care for honor as suits them at a given moment. Men in this force've done far worse. Back just after we made landing on the beach, Lord Aleister Charlton came at a prisoner who'd yielded to Ser Kell, and been promised mercy by him, and over the hedge knight's objection Lord Aleister cut the squid's throat. While his hands were bound. Just to prove he had the biggest lordly cock in camp, no other reason. They'll use this to knock Mallister honor, I do figure you're right on that, but only because they figure it furthers them. There's no honor in such as that to bother worrying about."
That brings Kamron out of his curled-in stance, the knight straightening up in a rush of distaste, "The fuck?" He shakes his head, a grimace splashing across his face as if he'd just eaten something long rotten, "He killed a fucking prisoner who had been promised mercy? That righteous little shit. Fuck him and fuck whatever he thinks of my honor." At least some of the fire's back in the Mallister man now.
"He took offense at the idea of a prisoner yielding a common hedge knight, I think more than anything else," Jarod says. He snorts. "Though I've little to say on the matter, baseborn bastard that I am." He grins as he says it. He's not particularly shy about his bastardy. "That's more like it! I'm just saying, I don't figure the honor of any Freyling of that sort is so pristine. Anyhow, I don't figure the Mallisters are so bad off as all that. Ser Rygar Nayland came to pay a visit to Ser Martyn yesterday, I'm told. Asked him if he was going to pick a fellow to speak to Lord Rickart for the Mallisters while Ser Martyn was down. So you've still a place at war councils and the like."
Kamron chuckles at the grin and the encouragement, although his own crooked smirk fades away at the mention of being part of the war councils, "I'll happily join any war councils in Ser Martyn's stead if he can't make it, but I certainly don't think I should be presented in front of Lord Harlaw. He damned sure thinks that I broke with honor's course, although he can be buggered for all I care of what he thinks. The man may claim to follow the Seven, but he's a reaver and a would-be murderer as far as I'm concerned."
"I doubt you'll get an invitation," Jarod says with a snorted chuckle. "From the talk in the army, Lord Harlaw's more willing to negotiate a surrender of the Grey Garden now that Lord Rickart Nayland's in command. Or, now that someone's in command not named Mallister. Perhaps all he wanted from that duel was the blood of another son of Seagard."
Kamron shakes his head, his eyes rolling skyward from the shadow of his helmet, "Send Lord Harlaw out to the gates, and I'll give him another Mallister to try to bleed. If he's feeling scared, he can also bring that banner-bearer of his with him. Two to one should be fair enough." Okay, so that's just bravado. "I don't rightly care who he surrenders to, Ser Martyn Mallister was in command of the host when that fish-fucker Harlaw made his mistake and sent his men charging out." He looks over toward the Keep, then shakes his head again, "I wouldn't be surprised if Harlaw was just looking for an excuse to send his men out. It's not like they needed to come charging out to cover his retreat. I never even drew my axe."
"That might well have been his plan, though we'll never know," Jarod says. "He would've been wiser to keep his men inside the gates. Would've made bloodier work for us breaching the walls. Things worked out not-poorly for the Army of the Cape, all things considered. Say what you will about Lord Rickart, but he's a competent battle commander. He led the army at Alderbrook, which freed the Terrick lands from the squids, and he has little love for my lord father."
Kamron nods his head, "I've heard nothing ill of him." There's a pause, and perhaps a little bit of a guilty look on the shadowed features of the Mallister man, "I would just rather a Mallister got the credit they deserve than a Nayland snatch it up." He draws in a long, slow breath, and lets it out, squaring his shoulders as he does. "But you said that Martyn's awake? I suppose I should go see him." He kicks at the floorboards with one boot, then shrugs, "I suppose if I'm going to be fair with myself I've been avoiding him."
"Lord Jerold hates him," Jarod says, of Rickart Nayland. "Though he's never explained to me precisely why. My lord father's not a man who speaks much of his past, and I'll admit I've not pressed the matter. Perhaps when we're back on the mainland." As for Nayland credit, he snorts. "They seem eager to take it. They hung the Nayland banners from the outer towers we took, near first thing they did after they were secured. I don't know. I'd rather they be Seagard's, but anything that gets this bloody pile of rocks to fall, I'll take it." As for Martyn, he nods. "Aye. He was when I looked in on him, and wasn't as poorly off as I was expecting, I'll admit. Would be glad to see more of his kin, I figure. He's sure as seven hells not going anywhere for a time."
Kamron nods with a grimace at the mention of the banners, a thoughtful look spreading across his face for a moment. The mention of Martyn being glad to see him, however, draws a shrug, "So long as he doesn't think I've robbed him of any honor. If there's any to be stolen, they can take it from me. He fought hard." Rising to his feet, he grunts, "You know… I wonder if we might redress the banner imbalance some night?"
"I'm eager to see the Grey Garden done with, whoever of the Riverlords wants to call it theirs. I'll chase my honor somewhere else. This war seems far from over, even after we take Harlaw Isle. The rest of the Iron Islands, and the Pyke." Jarod does not sound eager for it, precisely, but more resigned. He stands. "Anyhow, I've got something I should be doing, I'm sure. Never realized how many little details went into ordering a force, though the Terricks don't have as many men as some of the host."
Kamron shakes his head, "I'm sure the rest of the Seven Kingdoms can handle the other islands, although I wouldn't say no to a chance to take on those cursed Greyjoys." He nods though, reaching over to clap Jarod on the shoulder, "Thanks for stopping by…" there's a pause, and the fact that he's a man forces him to add, "…and letting me know how Ser Martyn is doing. I'll go see him, take my lumps, and hopefully we can get back to the business of kicking some squid ass and going home."
"Warrior willing," Jarod says, offering Kamron a quick grin. And with that he's off, out the door and back into the twisting alleys that make up what pass for 'streets' in the Grey Garden.