Page 165: Among The Pines And Nettles
Among the Pines And Nettles
Summary: The Ironborn come not to raid, but to invade.
Date: 28/12/2011
Related Logs: Many to come.
Anais Belle Coyn Hardwicke Jerold Kell Liliana Muirenn Patrek Revyn Horde 
Terrick's Roost
All of it.
29 December, 288 A.L.

The sun has begun to rise, but has not fully climbed above the eastern horizon. The day is a brisk one, as the nobles and smallfolk of the Roost rouse themselves for another day, peasantry going about their early morning chores, while at the castle, the watch has just changed.

Though he is an early riser, this is perhaps still a bit earlier than he is generally wont to wake, but leaving Rockcliff any later might raise more eyebrows, and so it's just at dawn when Hardwicke makes his way down to the door and the square outside of the inn. A bit rumpled, he is nonetheless dressed and armed in his usual livery.

As usual, Anais was up before the dawn, seeking something to occupy an ever restless mind. This morning, that means a brief ride. As usual, she has a guard and a handmaid with her, and the trio are chatting quietly as they go.

The sky was still dark and the last of the stars twinkling when the Lady Muirenn rose and readied herself for the day. As her maid offered something to break her fast, the teenager smiled and said "No, have the kitchen pack a basket. I wish to herb gather before the heat of the day wilts those more tender blossoms." Sending the girl off on her task, Muirenn turns to her chaperone and friend, the everpresent Septa Waldsteinia and comments "The man at arms should be ready when we get downstairs." Perhaps thirty minutes pass and as the sky begins to lighten from black to grey and the first of the birds begin their chorus, Muirenn and her small retinue take the basket of food and the small basket of implements the lady requires for her cuttings and proceed outside the castle walls towards a specific place past the training green that the Mallister maid has in mind.

Pink and gold stain the sky and Muirenn exhales in a small puff and giggles to see her breath in the cool air. "It will be a lovely day Septa, perhaps not quite so warm as yesterday." Pausing she looks around, "Do you hear that? What an odd clattering…perhaps some woman calling her family to break their fast, yes?" A hand is lifted as Anais' horse and the woman herself are recognized, "Good Morn!"

The Young Lord Patrek is an early riser by duty if not by natural inclination, and he's up and to his morning duties as the sun begins to color the sky. Still yawning and blinking drowsiness from his eyes, he's down at the stables to see to Jerold's horse, set out a bag of oaks and fill his bucket with fresh water.

Similarly rumpled in the Rockcliff, Belle reaches out to grab Hardwicke's belt, dragging him back for a long kiss goodbye. It's one of several she's been delaying him with since the first pale, grey fingers of light crept into her suite. She twines her arms around his neck, eyes closed — then becomes aware of that distant sound. She turns her head slightly, eyes open once more, still twined about the Terrick knight, more or less. Listening. The hairs at the nape of her neck and all along her arms raise. "Do you hear that?" she asks softly, still straining to listen.

Early indeed, as time is counted, but it seems at least a small trio of the keep folk are about. Liliana, with Eli and Denmus, her sworn, settled comfortably ahorse along the lane, not far from it, as they seem to be making their way back from the green, if the hawk on Lili's arm is any indication. it seems Parand has been set to have her morning flight. Fate, perhaps, or happy chance, that the second party of three should meet the first, but perhaps not, as Lili grabs the hawks jesses, stilling them. "Lady Anais!" The Camden woman calls, hopefully arresting Ani's forward movement. A glance to yet another approaching, and the Lady Mallister and company, "Can you hear that? Coming on the wind from the coast?" A beat, "Like…a hammer on an empty kettle, or a stick on a bell. No, Lady Mallister, it's…too fast, panicked."

Several moment pass as the faint clatter goes quiet. It resumes shortly after, but does not continue for long, before cutting off again. Those in the open and closer to the western side of town can hear it better, but after the second time it goes silent, the clatter does not resume.

Anais raises a hand to Muirenn, smile flashing across her features. "Lady Muirenn," she calls back. "How did I miss you at the stables?" Liliana's words draw her attention, though, and she falls silent for a moment, tipping her head to one side. "Are you sure?" she asks. Her brows furrow and she closes her eyes, and the guard with her takes a slow circle around Anais and her handmaid. "I don't think I hear anything unusual. Maybe the cheesemaker's churning butter?"

Reluctantly distracted once more, Hardwicke's arms are close about Belle, his head tipped to the temptation of yet another last kiss goodbye when the woman turns her head. "Hear what?" he murmurs, pressing his lips to her neck where her lips are no longer in easy reach. It is probably a rather unexpected sight in front of the inn.

Patrek lifts his head, frowning at the peculiar sound. Giving the horse a quick pat, he darts out of the stables to squint towards the west as it begins again. ANd then ends, again. "What was that?" he asks aloud, but to no one in particular.

Unexpcted but not all together unseen before. Eyrian is carrying fresh buckets of water towards the Rockcliff, giving no mind to the two embraced or to the odd sounds. It's morning, people are moving, simple as that - just like the woman lumbering under her load is. Though a moment she does look off in the direction of the sound though doesn't really linger in thought of it. She dumps the buckets in the back basin and starts for the center well again, murmuring to herself.

Frowning, Muirenn nods as she walks over to her friends upon their horses. "No…not the cheesemaker my Lady….and…you are right Lady Liliana, it continues for too long to be someone calling for a meal. Perhaps a kettle…something…." Shaking her head the Mallister noblewoman says, "No….surely not. Those cannot be the warning bells along the coast. I have not ever heard one, stories tell of them being much clearer and louder." And with this thought, she comforts herself.

Several minutes pass- about the amount of time it takes a very panicked teenager to run the mile or two in between the coast and the town, before the exhausted screech of "Ships!" reaches anyone's ear. "Ships! Ships at the beach!" the flush faced boy hollers, before stumbling to the ground, gasping for air.

"Keep." It's the only word Anais' guard needs to say before Anais presses her lips together and steers her mount toward Muirenn. "Keep," she repeats for the other woman, forcing a small, tight smile. "You did say you were a good rider, didn't you? Apologies, Lili, but this is one of those times when it's more important to move quickly than to ride in a perfectly ladylike manner."

Belle shakes her head. "I don't know. Clanging. Something…" She steps slowly back out Hardwicke's arms. "You should get back to the — " Her eyes widen as she hears that distant shouting, and she practically shoves Hardwicke out the door. "Go — GO!!!"

The faint sounds came from further into town, and Patrek has chores (or the excuse of chores), things to buy and order for Lord Jerold. Which is enough reason to send the boy running towards the marketplace, though he stops along the lane at the strange cluster of people gathered there. His curled hair is mussed, bright eyes wide. "What's happened? Did he say ships?" The boy loks from the teen to the direction of the shore. As if he might be able to spy them from here.

Being Oaks born, and only recently Terrick raised, the warning bells are not something Liliana would be at all used to. And so, that gets a sharp look from Liliana to the Lady Mallister. "And yet, who can say, when we have not, as you say, heard them in many a year. I most certainly never have." A glance back to her Eli and her sworn, as she releases Parand's jesses, flicking her arm and setting the hawk to free flight, before she looks to Anais, and in the smile she offers the Young Lady Terrick, perhaps some of the friendship they once had, now long since lost, "There are times to be a Lady and times not." And she doesn't wait for Anais, she knows the blonde woman will keep apace with her, as she sets off towards the coast, her retinue following.

Within Four Eagles Tower, the master-at-arms Ser Revyn frowns at the commotion, sending a household servant to "Bring my brother and Ser Mallister. Quickly." As the word of 'ships' reaches him, the knight begins shouting orders, "Rouse the Guards! Bring Ser Blayne! Squires, ready the horses!"

The boy collapsing causes Eyrian to turn from her progress to the well and then the movement of those around her in response signals something of an itch. There is a moments panic, shock, fear even perhaps, but all in all she jus draws a breath. People are beginning to shift, moving for homes, for the Keep or just somewhere. For a moment, she just stands in place, fingers tightening about the buckets as she looks to the Inn. They may need the water and with purpose, she heads to the well, more in a hurry to get the things filled and back to the walls of the building.

"They said that the bells were loud and clear! Not that they sounded like a washerwoman beating her tub." Muirenn grumples. She nods as her man at arms draws nearer. The basket is hiked up her arm as she lifts her skirts and begins to run full tilt towards the keep. Of all the days *not* to ride, she calls out to her cousin as she sees him along the road, gasping out "Patrek! There are ships…go! Go warn his lordship!" As Liliana has noted there are times to be a lady and times not, an amount of pantaloon is seen as the lithe girl pauses towards the boy. "Come! We will help you." And with her urging, the messenger is hefted up by her man at arms and assisted in the race towards home.

As Muirenn sees to Patrek, Anais takes one last look around, her guard circling his mount restlessly, before taking off after the others. She's grim-faced, bent low over her horse's neck to offer the smallest possible target. Her handmaid is likewise, and her guard rides between Anais and the shore, keeping pace with the lady.

Looking towards his cousin, Patrek swallows once and nods. As Muirenn has her men with her and sees to the messenger, the boy turns to run back the way he came, towards the Roost proper. He charges into the Tower, nearly running into the spill of men running out. "Lord Jerold!" he calls, and then spying his brother, "Ser Revyn! Ships! There's ships sighted off the coast!"

Revyn nods once to Patrek. "Ready Jerold's horse and armor, lad, and arm yourself as well. I don't want to see your face again today except from behind a helm, understood?" This despite the fact that the master-at-arms is not yet in armor himself, dashing out the gates to see to the safety of the smallfolk.

The shouts of ships have raised quite a stir among the townsfolk as dread of that long absent menace returns: it has been decades since the Ironborn had dared raid the Roost but as a few daring souls creep toward the coast for a look, the scope becomes apparent to them, and shortly thereafter to the other residents of the Roost: dozens of longships have reached the beach and begun vomiting up scores of ironborn reavers.

Liliana moves at best speed, falling into the group with Anais and her retainers, keeping a spacing designed to make it difficult to have to choose a target, if such a thing becomes necessary. Though she has not the free hands and stillness to string it, she does keep hold of the reins with one hand, and unlash her bow from where it sits along her saddlebags with the other. "The outcropping, just there!" She waves the hand holding bow, but not reins, in the direction of one of the tumbled down collection of rocks nearing closer to the coast, a possibly suitable place to both lookout and use what protection it offers.

"Come Septa!" Muirenn calls as she slows down to assist the older woman. "See, I told you that horse riding is a beneficial activity." She adds lightly, trying to allay the Septa's panic. "I am sure that my cousin Aeric will have them routed in no time….that's it Septa, we aer almost there." She continues to assist and encourage her small group as they move towards the outcropping, a chance to pause for the elderly and catch their breath before the last flight to the castle.

Patrek nods quickly for these instructions, head bobbing as Revyn speaks on. "Yes, ser," he answers before he's off and running again. Back to the stables to get Lord Jerold's horse readied and saddled. His motions are quick and practiced; he's made good use of his time at the Roost thus far. When the horse is tacked, the boy flies to the armory to look over the Lord Terrick's armor and ready it for him to wear before he begins pulling on his own with slightly shaking hands.

"Ships—" The sound is barely on the air from the young man racing through than Hardwicke is spurred on yelling to the stables, where a boy has already been preparing his horse for his departure. He yanks the reins from him and mounts Delylah with a singular focus, wheeling her around and spurring her out into the street. He looks back at Belle, torn, and then draws up next to her. "I will not leave you here for them," he tells her firmly and reaches for her arm to try to heft her onto the horse.

Ser Revyn waves the noble ladies ahorse on as they pass him, "Get inside and prepare the courtyard to recieve the smallfolk! And for love of the bleeding Seven keep them out of the Guards' way!" the knight hollers as he raises his formbidible voice to impose some order on the panicked smallfolk, "To the castle! Make way for the Lord's soldiers! Families, keep together!"

Anais is reluctant to pause at the ourcropping, her horse tossing its head and her guard circling still. "I don't suppose you have a spare?" she asks when Liliana pulls out her bow, cheeks flushed in an otherwise pale face. She knows the sound of raids, the way they pass. She'd really rather not linger. And at Revyn's urging, she's quick to finish the dash.

And what — she's going to argue? Belle's up and astride with Hardwicke the moment he reaches for her. "Ride hard as you can — I'll be fine!" She has some experience on horseback.

One bucket full, Eyrian fills the other at the well despite the warnings. She watches for a moment as the nobles rush for the Keep and the smallfolk are scrambling to lock up homes and buildings tight. She halls the other bucket over and than grabs for them, dragging them quickly upward with a grunt. She starts to hurry back to the Inn, better to keep the water on hand should the ironborn attempt to smoke them out of the buildings. The serving maid speaks lowly beneath her breath, giving a look towards the direction of the shore.

"Indeed I do, as soon as we make it to the keep, you will have it." That to Anais' question. In such times, speed is paramount, but so is picking up those as have need, "Lady Mallister, I will take her" she offers, reaching down to assist the Septa in mounting her own horse, "Denmus will take you, it will be safer." Better a sworn riding hard than running alone. "Come, it is not far now, but we must ride."

As soon as Belle is astride, Hardwicke is directing Delylah back to the square before spurring her to a gallop. She is a ripple of chestnut speed as she thunders up the lane towards the castle. He slows only at the sight of Revyn, but does not stop unless he has orders to shout for him. Otherwise, he knows his duty.

Hardwicke is recognized and Revyn bids him loudly, "Arm and muster the Guard, Ser! We need to protect as many of the smallfolk as we can!"

Nodding to Liliana, Muirenn assists hefting the Septa up onto Liliana's horse. With little heed for propriety, she gathers her skirts and hops once…twice….three times and then is up and astride behind Demus. Her head bent and arms going tight about his waist. "Ride…I will be fine, like a cockleburr in Pryderi's mane."

A quartet of the guards who had been on duty when the ships were sighted have armed and dashed out to assist the Lord's brother, while their fellows are roused from be and breakfast to hastily thrown on armor and take up arms.

Kitted out in his own sword and armor, Patrek lingers in the armory, looking for his lord to get him equally dressed and ready. He paces in a small, anxious circle as seconds crawl slowly by.

Hurrying her way into the Inn, amongst patrons and other workers alike, Eyrian sets the buckets of water down just inside the door and moves over to rush around and begin to close up the windows. The back doors to the Rockcliff are being piled with tables to keep those outside from getting in while some are being turned as a way to help secure the windows. Up the stairs she goes, knocking on doors and rousing those yet sleeping. "Move your asses…" Buckets are empted and waiting for her when she returns and Eyri grabs a young man and drags him outside. "Come on…we are going to fill.." She says to him sternly.

Having only recently returned from the Banefort, Coyn had spent the past couple days within the confines of the Rockcliff Inn and more specifically, a room that he'd acquired. It was a long trip and rest was in order. With that rest now claimed, the Knight had exited the Inn with most of his kit and secured his horse. Then came the leisurely trot from the town square, up and into Roost Lane. Eyes begin to shift about, taking in the scenery and … activity. That draws a quirk of his brow upwards as he begins to urge his horse forward a little faster, trying to see what all the fuss is about.

Anais pulls up sharp once she's within the walls of the keep, dismounting and passing the reins to her handmaid, who's quick to take care of the horses. The guard with her stays by her side, though he gives the Lady a brief look of concern. "We'll be fine," Anais murmurs to him, perhaps as much for her own sake as for his. And then she turns to survey the courtyard, trying to remember what she's supposed to do first.

"Aye, Ser," Hardwicke calls to Revyn, speeding Delylah back up to a gallop the final sprint past the gates and into the courtyard. He slides off, yelling for a squire to take the mare. "Be safe," he tells Belle. "Be calm." He touches her cheek for the briefest moment before turning and rushing towards the armory. Mail he has on already from the day before, but no plate. Tsk tsk.

As soon as Liliana has the Septa safely aboard, she and Eli make for the high road, as it were, Denmus assisting in scoopping up Muirenn and holds onto her for dear life. Let it not be said that a Terrick sworn allowed harm to come to a Lady of Mallister, no indeed! The trio continue the race towards the castle, coming just inside the portcullis, before she allows the Septa down from her mount, "Seek the Lady Muirenn, get her to safety! Eli! The stables, get my spare bow and all the quivers you can find." Still ahorse, but now stopped, Liliana takes the time requires to string it, using the horn on her saddle designed to brace, for just that purpose. She does not proceed past the portcullis, snuggling tanis up against the stone, as she adjusts the quiver on her saddle, pulling and nocking one, falling in, as best she can, with the guards still set to guard the entrance and the approach of the smallfolk coming to the keep for shelter.

Belle nods at Hardwicke's instructions, swallowing hard. "Be safe," she echoes, heartfelt. "Please." But a man can only be safe as duty allows, and he goes to do his duty, leaving her in the chaos of the courtyard. "Fuck," she whispers, closing her eyes and taking a deep breath.

Sliding down from Denmus' mount once they reach the portcullis, Murienn flashes a calm smile and murmers "My thanks and the thanks of my House." She pats the horse and then strides forward towards the Septa, twining her long red hair back into a knot at the nape of her neck "Septa, we must ensure that the Maester is prepared for the wounded and that the keep is prepared for the townsfolk that may seek shelter." Her jaw tightens as she adds, "I knew we shouldn't have trusted the Ironborn…ambassador my…" clearing her throat and not finishing the unladylike thought the Lady Mallister lifts her chin and moves towards Anais, "My Lady, you are the heir's wife and though you may wish a fight you along with the Lady Evangeline are the rock upon which the servants will cast their eye. Come, we must prepare within the walls for what will come."

"No, no fighting," Anais says quietly to Muirenn, even as she finds a bow and quiver placed into her hands by Liliana's servant. Absently, she slings both of her shoulder, drawing a deep breath as though bracing herself. "Would you mind seeing to the organization of a trauma center, Muirenn?" she asks with a small smile. "The entrance hall should suffice, I hope. I'll start settling the smallfolk in the throne room as well we can. The kitchens and the cellars should also be secure, though seven help us if they breach the wall."

Hardwicke doesn't waste time even as he moves to the armory, still shouting commands to whatever guards are in earshot to make sure they are arming and mustering themselves. Once he's there, he moves as quick as he can to secure plate over his mail. Hopefully there is a squire or two to help. Maybe Patrek's not busy.

Patrek is not, and rather eager to be of help however he can. The boy clinks in his own armor as he approaches Ser Hardwicke, falling into quiet step as he helps the captain of the guard into his plate. "Did you see anything," he asks, "riding here? Are they ashore?"

"The entrance hall will be quite sufficient Lady Anais…" Muirenn glances around and then notices Belle standing looking after Hardwicke. The perplexing notion that a female actually *likes* that cranky man is a concept that is shoved aside for the time being. Her face softens and she says to Belle, "I will need assistance if you are able to keep a good head on your shoulders around injuries?" She gestures, "I will be setting up a trauma center there." the offer is made and she comments to her grey haired chaperone, "Please go get my healers basket, the large apron at the bottom of my trunk, and both of my maids. I will need them for running errands." Smoothing her skirts she studies her man at arms, "You go and assist young Lord Patrek. I have no need of weapons and he will need your assistance." Then it is off towards the entrance hall, the option for Belle to join her hanging in the air.

The steadily rising press of smallfolk fleeing the town rushes uphill toward the safey of Four Eagles Tower, as the mailed ranks of Ironborn reavers close on the town at a jog, grunting invocations to their Drowned God to witness their valor. The heavily outnumbered guards are led in an answer by Revyn who shouts an invocation to the Warrior as the loose line of Terrick men holds ground against the oncoming vanguard of reavers, who seek to plough through their ranks and the crowd of peasantry and achieve the open gate.

<COMBAT> Raider 05 attacks Guard 04 with Bludgeon & Shield - Moderate wound to Left Hand (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider 03 attacks Guard 01 with Thrown Axe but MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider 03's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Raider 07 attacks Guard 02 with Thrown Axe - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider 07's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Raider 04 attacks Guard 01 with Bludgeon & Shield but Guard 01 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Chieftan attacks Revyn with Polearm - Moderate wound to Abdomen.
<COMBAT> Raider 10 attacks Liliana with Thrown Axe - Serious wound to Right Leg.
<COMBAT> Raider 10's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Raider 09 attacks Revyn with Spear & Shield but Revyn DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raider 06 attacks Guard 02 with Spear & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider 02 attacks Guard 02 with Spear & Shield - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider 01 attacks Guard 04 with Bludgeon & Shield but Guard 04 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Guard 04 attacks Raider 06 with Sword & Shield - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Guard 03 attacks Raider 03 with Sword & Shield but Raider 03 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Guard 02 attacks Raider 07 with Sword & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider 08 attacks Guard 03 with Bludgeon & Shield - ARMOR on Right Arm stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Guard 01 attacks Raider 05 with Sword & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Revyn attacks Raider 02 with Greatsword - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Liliana attacks Raider 06 with Hunting Bow - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Coyn passes.

Belle blinks, looking blankly at Muirenn a moment before snapping out of her fugue. "I. Uh." She gives her head a quick shake and breathes. "I'm afraid I don't… have any schooling in actually — mending anything. I can make things, though. Salves and… poultices. If supplies run low." She nods, more resolute. "Just tell me what to do, my lady."

Having ridden a little faster up the lane, it really only takes Coyn a few moments of listening to those around and watching to realize what's happening and for a moment, the knight seems a touch stunned. The reins of the horse are tugged upon, drawing the creature to a halt so that he can quickly unfasten the travel bags that were being carried, letting them drop to the ground without a care or worry about them. With those free, his hand falls to the sword that's worn at his waist and as he begins to urge his horse forward towards the Reaver party, the Knight is pulling the blade free, fully intending to ride into their masses it would seem.

"Thank you." Anais reaches a hand to give Muirenn's a brief squeeze, then turns to the people starting to gather in the courtyard. It's then that she puts the voice she inherited from her father to work. "All right, then," she calls over the crowd, summoning up a reassuring smile. "Women and children to the throne room, please. Gentlemen, if I could have your attention, please, we'll need your help preparing the keep."

"Longships," Hardwicke says, expression grim as he works gratefully with Patrek to secure his armor.

The Ironborn vanguard slams into Revyn's loose line of defenders, led by a chieftan in full maile, swinging a heavy two handed axe at the Terrick knight. The weight of the ironborn charge and the weight of numbers inflicts several wounds on the men-at-arms, but the bloodied line does not falter.

"Longships," Hardwicke says, expression grim as he works gratefully with Patrek to secure his armor. "Dozens." He glances down at the young boy with a quiet exhale. "Keep your head."

The crash of combat not far away is enough to stop the young man that Eyrian has enlisted to help her carry more water back. "No you don't, keep moving!" She says firmly and than grabs at him, hauling at his shirt as they carry two buckets each. She reaches the well and is quick to begin to haul the buckets up, filling each and when two are done, she motions for him to go. "Carry them, hurry….head back here when you are done." The likelihood of that, she now realizes is not very good and she sighs, starting to fill the other two still by her feet in an attempt to beat the clock.

Liliana takes aim, her arrow flying true, but not doing nearly as much damage as she might have liked. Like as not the axe that finds it's target and slices deep into her leg might have something to do with that. Tanis shifts, instinctively trying to get her lady away from the battle, shuffling back as best she can away from the sheer chaos in front of her. This is no stupid equine, even as Liliana tears the already torn gown of her dress to fashion a makeshift binding to secure the wound.

Behind the ironborn vanguard the ironclad mob of raiders have surged up from the coast and have begun to close on the town. Liliana's tormenter, having thrown his axe, draws a sword and sprints at the mouted Camden, roaring as he sprints.

"Yes, ser," Patrek agrees, the sternness in his voice as much to steel himself as it is to convince the grumbly captain. "I will." He moves to fasten the other side of Hardwicke's armor, breathing out slow and steady. "Longships," he repeats. "It's really them, then."

<FS3> Coyn rolls Heraldry: Failure.
<FS3> Liliana rolls Heraldry: Failure.
<FS3> Hardwicke rolls Heraldry: Good Success.
<FS3> Eyrian rolls Heraldry: Success.
<FS3> Patrek rolls Heraldry: Success.

Squeezing Anais' hand, the Mallister gives her friend a grin and a wink, "Above all is my motto Lady. We shall triumph over these Ironborn rabble!" Turning with a sharp nod, Muirenn addresses her newfound assistant, "Come with me then….I am the Lady Muirenn. In times like these certain formalities might be set aside. What might I call you?" the redhead inquires of Belle as she leads the way up into the Grand Hall. As her maids enter, she begins to give out calm orders. To the first maid "Gather perhaps 5 others of the household staff that might be spared. We need blankets and as much water set to boiling as the fires will hold." The second maid is instructed, "Find the Maester, we will need his chirgeonry instruments and herbs. I am sure that he is assisting others and for now, praise the Seven, I can effect a decent triage center for the wounded." As she speaks, she allows the Septa to help her into a large, pristine white apron that covers the front of her gown and ties into a neat bow at the neck and waist.

After the initial clash, reeling and gritting his teeth against the sight of his own blood, Ser Revyn blocks a blow from the Orkmont chieftan, and counterattacks, seeking to hold the staggered line.

<COMBAT> Raider 03 attacks Coyn with Sword & Shield - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Raider 02 attacks Guard 02 with Spear & Shield - Light wound to Right Leg (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Guard 03 attacks Raider 03 with Sword & Shield - Serious wound to Right Leg.
<COMBAT> Guard 01 attacks Raider 05 with Sword & Shield but Raider 05 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Chieftan attacks Revyn with Polearm - Moderate wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Raider 10 passes.
<COMBAT> Raider 08 attacks Guard 03 with Bludgeon & Shield but Guard 03 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raider 07 attacks Guard 02 with Sword & Shield - Moderate wound to Right Hand (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Guard 02 attacks Raider 07 with Sword & Shield but Raider 07 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raider 09 attacks Revyn with Spear & Shield - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Raider 06 attacks Guard 02 with Spear & Shield but Guard 02 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raider 05 attacks Guard 04 with Bludgeon & Shield - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Raider 04 attacks Guard 01 with Bludgeon & Shield - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Guard 04 attacks Raider 06 with Sword & Shield but Raider 06 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raider 01 attacks Coyn with Bludgeon & Shield but Coyn DODGES!
<COMBAT> Revyn attacks Chieftan with Greatsword - Moderate wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Liliana treats Liliana:
< Right_Leg (Serious): successful
<COMBAT> Coyn attacks Raider 05 with Broadsword - Moderate wound to Right Arm.

<COMBAT> Guard 02 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider 03 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider 05 has been KO'd!

Belle casts one last glance back in way Hardwicke disappeared, then gives the ladies her full attention. "Belle, my lady," she replies. She breathes in, setting her mind to practical matters. "Boneset. Bloodwort. Witch hazel. Syrup of poppies for pain. If someone can direct me to your stores, lady, and your kitchen, I can start making."

At least Liliana's managed to stop the blood, and Tanis, if not the woman astride her, is attempting to make a steady retreat. Of course, who knows who might be behind the horse, because she certainly isn't looking behind her. Nor is the Liliana looking to the rear, her attention focused instead on the raider who first attacked her, now charging in with sword and shield. She's almost to the portcullis now, but she will not turn her back on the Ironborn.

"Yes." Hardwicke spits viciously on the floor. "Here's to their /ambassador/." He checks the last buckles of his armor. "Orkwoods and Tawnys at least. I saw their banners as I passed." Once his armor is finally secured, he touches a hand to his longsword to assure himself of its presence and then buckles a dagger to his right hip to finish. "Attend the Lord," are his parting instructions to young Patrek before he turns to rush back out of the armory, out of the castle, towards the fight.

Anais starts herding the women and children toward the keep proper, pausing only long enough to turn and murmur something to her guard. When she's done, the guard takes over organizing the menfolk, determining who can use a bow and helping to arm those who can.

The first gap in the Terrick line appears as the determined Riverfolk continue to shed and draw blood in their stubborn defense. Though he must wade his horse through a throng of panicked peasantry rushing into the gate, Hardwicke is able to charge into the fray.

"Yes, ser," Patrek repeats as Hardwicke moves away. "Orkwoods and Tawnys," he murmurs, frowning as he recalls what bits he knows of those families. He glances towards the door again, waiting once again for Lord Jerold. He clink-clanks as he bounces on his heels.

Coyn's choice was made when he decided to charge his horse towards the reaver line, for the creature bore no armor that would help stave off any attacks that might come. Thankfully, the steed served him well, for even as a blow glances off the armor of his side, the horse is moving him out of an attack that he would not have otherwise been able to avoid. His own weapon cleaves down upon one of the raiders, dropping the man in a single blow and it's then that he shifts his attention to another near to him, fully attempting to try and impale the raider upon his sword.

"They will bring the herbs. I would like the potion making to take place in…" Muirenn pauses and studies the hall with an assessing eye, "In that corner there Belle. There will be no waste of time in running things back and forth. The Septa will give you my basket of salves and potions that I have brought from home and made since I arrived." Turning she directs the disposal of blankets, pillows, and other items into another area where they are immediately at hand as needed." A hand points, and she orders one of the other assistants "Bandages over there if you please, beside the potions. That is where we will keep most of the supplies organized for the moment." Wiping sweaty palms upon her apron the young woman glances up and offers a prayer of both thanksgiving and for aid before giving a calm smile, "It is a pleasure to meet you Belle, I can see that you are knowledgeable and your assistance will be most valuable."

<COMBAT> Raider 10 attacks Liliana with Sword & Shield - Serious wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Raider 07 subdues Coyn!
<COMBAT> Raider 04 attacks Guard 01 with Bludgeon & Shield - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider 02 attacks Guard 04 with Spear & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Guard 01 attacks Raider 01 with Sword & Shield but Raider 01 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raider 09 attacks Revyn with Spear & Shield but Revyn DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raider 06 attacks Guard 03 with Spear & Shield but Guard 03 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Guard 04 attacks Raider 06 with Sword & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Guard 03 attacks Raider 02 with Sword & Shield but Raider 02 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raider 08 attacks Coyn with Bludgeon & Shield - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider 01 attacks Coyn with Bludgeon & Shield but Coyn DODGES!
<COMBAT> Chieftan attacks Revyn with Polearm - Critical wound to Head.
<COMBAT> Revyn attacks Chieftan with Greatsword - ARMOR on Right Leg stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Liliana attacks Raider 10 with Hunting Bow - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Raider 10 with Sword & Shield - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Coyn has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Liliana has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Raider 10 has been KO'd!
<COMBAT> Revyn has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Liliana spends a luck point to keep fighting!

"It's going to be fine," Anais is assuring the women and children in the throne room, moving from group to group with the same message, sending a few servants to bring out blankets for children who are still sleepy-eyed and elders with stiff joints. "I've survived many of these. They never stick around, they just want what they can get easily. And we'll give them nothing easily, will we?" Nevermind that she still has that bow and quiver over her shoulder, forgotten.

Abandoning the well as the fighting starts to surge forward, Eyrian is quickly moving with the buckets filled with water. The young man she had enlisted to help her is no where in sight and most of the smallfolk are much the same, though a few are armed or waiting on rooftops with bows. Her gaze lifts and the woman trundles forward as fast as she can. She passes the buckets through the windows of the Rockcliff and claims some new ones, finally an older man stepping out to help her as they return once more to the well, the place slowly becoming more fortified.

Racing outside on Delylah, Hardwicke's first attention is to the raider on Liliana's tail as she attempts to make her way back to the courtyard. His sword takes a hard, mighty sweep at the raider's chest, biting through the dulling effects of armor for a crunching blow. When the man falls, he wheels Delylah to move onto the next.

Liliana doesn't seem quite able to escape easily enough, or readily, but there's a grim set to her face, a settled air, as she takes aim one again, the Ironborn man and the Camden woman clashing, even as the Captain of the Guard charges in to do his duty. Between the pair of them, the Terrick retainers manage to take down toe raider, but not before his own sword comes down hard on the woman, who has only silk to protect her against steel. The force of the blow knocks her from her saddle, the fall as painful as the wound that opens up on her chest. But child of the oaks that she is, she struggles to her feet, in an attempt to try to escape the fray.

"Moderate skill," says Belle, distractedly. "I'll do what I can, my lady." Then, to those Murienn's recruited to fetch and gather, she adds her own instructions. "I'm going to need the fire built up in the hearth and pots put on to boil. Cotton gauze. And that table. The long one. Come, let's be quick." She dips a quick curtsy to the red-haired lady and goes to see these things done.

The telling numbers of the reavers at least turns the bloody battle of attrition in their favor. Coyn finds himself hauled off his horse, and struck soundly with a bludgeoning blow to the chestplate that drives the consciousness from the Banefort man. The Orkwood chieftan strikes a hideous blow through the guard of Ser Revyn that sends a spray of blood. The Terrick knight is driven to the ground motionless under the surging ironborn. The Guardsmen, for all their stubborn resistance, are being pushed back hard toward the gate.

Within the castle a scream is raised from several of the smallfolk, and a guard at the gate hollers, "Shit!" Although the main line of Ironborn are still being held off by the desperate defenders, the cry comes up in the courtyard: "Ironborn! There are reavers in the gates!"

While his initial charge was more then successfully, Coyn is not so lucky the next time around. With three of the raiders turning on him, he can't defend against all of them and one of them is able to unhorse him, causing him to tumble to the ground. His blade slides free of his hand and there's a soft *Whoosh* of air as the impact empties his lungs. Thankfully, he needn't linger on the pain for too much, for a bludgeoning attack from one of the raiders strikes the center of his breastplate and even with the protection of his armor, it's enough to cause consciousness to flee from the Knight.

The cry, barely heard from the armory, as Patrek leaving it at last to peek out into the main hall. It's not shirking if you're just standing by the door, is it? Leaning, he crans to try and get a glimpse out one of the windows.

At the castle portcullis, horrified onlookers would see a pair of cloaked figures bearing swords attack the pair of men at the gate from behind. The struggle is bloody and brief and one of the pair kneels beside the portcullis winch.

Anais' guard, left behind to organize the defense at the gates, cries out at the sight of those cloaked figures. Having already armed some of the smallfolk with bows, he points his sword directly at the threat. "FIRE!"

Reavers in the gates. Belle's head snaps up. She sucks in a breath. "My lady?" she ventures. "With deep respect, I think out priorities may have changed from triage-readiness to — " She glances at the window, going pale as milk. "We need to barricade the doors."

Anais' man swiftly learns the difference between armed smallfolk and soldiers as the order to 'Fire!' is met by no hail of arrows, and no pinpoint shots. "I can't see!" One calls, "There are too many people-" another shrieks.

More of the House guard rush to retake the pair, one of them suffering a serious wound to his torso, before they flee out the gate, the unhurt of the cloaked figures showing a long, feminine shock of blonde hair.

It was a long ride from Stonebridge that took most of the night and also some of the morning as the pair decided to break camp mid-trip, with a delayed depature from town. Due to the slow pace that the merchant which Kell was escorting had decided to set. Atleast it wasn't a tiring trip though but once they arrive near the town, the Hedge Knight can tell that something isn't right, there is too much activity at the gates, unpleasant activity it looks like. Hold up a hand to the merchant, he turns his head slightly to offer a strong suggestion, "Master Merchant, give me my spear and then I suggest you turn your wagon around and ride as fast as you can. I will come get you when it is safe… or I will see you in Stonebridge." Or perhaps not, depending on how the day is going but once it is clear what is happening.
After receiving his weapon from the Merchant, Kell gives the man a serious nod before focusing on the raiders, knowing that the numbers are not in their favor but innocents are in danger. Duty bound, the Hedge Knight unhitches his shield from the side of his horse and secures it on his off arm. He then clucks at Horse, the name of his horse, and has the mount set off at a casual canter at first as the knight continues to survey the battle. Then with some urging, Horse begins to pick up speed as Kell has a target selected and he leans forward, murmuring, "Shield be strong, Spear be true, Warrior protect me in this battle." There is no battle cry, just a charge with his shield and spear.

"Willow bark and…" Eyes widening, Muirenn looks around at Belle's words and then nods "Aye! Anais! We must barracade!" Rushing across the hall towards the door she steps out to see if they really cannot wait for any of the wounded. Her grey eyes grow steely and her back stiffens at the sight of the Ironborn invaders and just beyond them the wounded trying to fall back to the keep, "Patrek!" she cries to her cousin, spotting him in all the confusion as her face grows pale as she sees the heir to her house and her own family, "Fall back! FALL BACK!" and beckons him towards her.

A curse and cry is raised from the gate: "The bastards spiked the winch!"

From behind him, Patrek is given a contrary instruction, "Squire, with me," as Jerold Terrick starts out of the keep toward the gate. "Bring the prybar from the stables in haste," he adds before bringing his own guards to the gate, shields at the ready. Raising a voice the Lord of the Roost shouts to those still outside, holding, "Inside! To the Keep, men!"

As the sound of shouting draws nearer, Anais turns, walking as quickly as she can from the groups of women and children without betraying any panic. "Muirenn," she says as quietly as she can. "Please try not to scream." She draws a deep breath, trying to ignore the shaking of her hand as she moves toward the door. "Sarah, let's get these doors close to closed," she says to one of the serving women, getting behind one of the doors to the keep itself and setting her shoulder to it. She'll leave a gap about two people wide, enough for stragglers, but small enough to close quickly. And then she'll draw bow and arrow, keeping cover behind the door as she readies herself.

Patrek glances towards Muirenn, but then Jerold calls and he turns quickly to face him. "My lord!" he replies, rushing alongside him and then darting (fast as he can dart in armor) towards the stables to retrieve the prybar and fetch it towards the Lord of the Roost.

Jerold Terrick turns his visored eye up to the walls, and bellows above the din: "Ready the oil and flame! Guards-" to the decade of guards with him, "Hold the line at the portcullis, let out men through and hold the pirates back. And someone help my squire with those damned spikes!"

Relieved that Lord Jerold has her cousin well in hand and having assured herself he is not alone. She gives a relieved sigh and steps back into the Great Hall giving an abashed nod to Anais, "Forgive me my Lady, you are quite correct." The rather sheltered young woman has the grace to flush, as she moves back towards Belle. "We should continue preparations. Whether sooner or later, we will have the wounded among us. Willow bark, bandages, alcohol." She works to steady her hands as she begins to organize the appropriated corner for the makeshift apothacary.

"You — and you, and you," Belle conscripts servants and smallfolk and passerby. "Tables, chairs, stands and cases and statuary. Work in teams — block every way inside." Another pair she directs, "Ready barricades by the main doors and Lady Anais. Get her back from those doors the minute you see — " She stops short to stare at Muirenn and then Anais. "You're serious? They make it in here, they will slaughter us all. There will be no one to treat or do the treating."

<COMBAT> Raider 09 attacks Hardwicke with Spear & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider 04 attacks Guard 01 with Bludgeon & Shield - Serious wound to Right Hand (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Guard 03 attacks Raider 02 with Sword & Shield - Moderate wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Guard 01 attacks Raider 01 with Sword & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider 02 attacks Guard 04 with Spear & Shield but Guard 04 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raider 01 attacks Hardwicke with Bludgeon & Shield - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider 08 attacks Kell with Bludgeon & Shield - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider 07 attacks Guard 03 with Sword & Shield but Guard 03 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raider 06 attacks Guard 03 with Spear & Shield but Guard 03 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Guard 04 attacks Raider 06 with Sword & Shield but Raider 06 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Chieftan attacks Guard 01 with Polearm but Guard 01 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Kell attacks Raider 09 with Spear & Shield - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Chieftan with Sword & Shield but Chieftan DODGES!

<COMBAT> Guard 01 has been KO'd!

"I don't intend to let anyone in," Anais assures Belle in a low tone, watching the portcullis closely. "Dammit. They jammed the gate." For a moment, there's a rebellious glint in her eye, but there are still a few men out there to work on freeing the portcullis, and she stays where she is. "Nina," she says to the handmaid lingering near her, "Please get the bar for the doors ready."

Prybar in hard, jaw clenched and legs pumping, Patrek runs over to the gate and the jammed winch. Seeing the spikes up close, he sucks in a breath and positions the prybar. With a grunt, he pushes his weight down on the other end in an attempt to work the first spike free. It wiggles a little, but holds fast.

"Men of the Roost!" Jerold bellows to the defenders still outside the castle walls, "Fall back! To me, to me!" Aside to the guards flanking him, the greying Lord of the Roost voices, "Shields locked. Open for our men, and then lock again." Another of the men in armor whispers, "Oak and iron guard me well, or else I'm dead and doomed to hell."

Belle looks skeptically at Anais, then goes back to countermanding Muirenn. "Barricades now. Medicine later." She claps her hands at the understandably confused servants. "NOW!" She rolls up her sleeves and puts her back into assisting.

<FS3> Patrek rolls Body: Success.
<FS3> Guard rolls Body: Success.
<FS3> Guard rolls Body: Failure.

As Hardwicke wheels further into the fray, directing himself towards the Chieftan, he ducks and shoulders past another raider, whose blow misses him thanks to an instinctive sidestep of Delylah. He's not so lucky with the second raider who attacks, though the blow to his middle is glancing. The Chieftan dodges away entirely from Hardwicke's attempted slice with his longsword. At the call of his Lord, the Captain starts to pull Delylah up short and wheels back, but he's slowed by the mob of Ironmen.

<COMBAT> Raider 09 attacks Hardwicke with Spear & Shield but Hardwicke DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raider 08 attacks Kell with Bludgeon & Shield - Light wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Raider 07 attacks Guard 03 with Sword & Shield but Guard 03 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raider 04 attacks Kell with Bludgeon & Shield - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Raider 02 attacks Guard 04 with Spear & Shield - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Guard 03 attacks Raider 02 with Sword & Shield but Raider 02 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Chieftan attacks Hardwicke with Polearm - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Raider 06 attacks Guard 03 with Spear & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Raider 01 attacks Hardwicke with Bludgeon & Shield but Hardwicke DODGES!
<COMBAT> Guard 04 attacks Raider 06 with Sword & Shield but Raider 06 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Kell attacks Raider 09 with Spear & Shield - Moderate wound to Right Hand.
<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Chieftan with Sword & Shield - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Raider 09 has been KO'd!

<FS3> Patrek rolls Body: Success.
<FS3> Guard rolls Body: Failure.

Another chaotic battle, Kell had hoped that the Battle of the Trident was to be the last but he knew that the chances of that being true was minimal. This is the first time that the knight had fought a large scale battle as a knight though so he closes in on the Ironborn raiders very fast. So focused on his intended target who was going after Ser Hardwicke, Kell did not see another Ironborn swing his bludgeon which strikes him at the side of his chest. Though the full maile he wears stops most of the damage, there is pain and it unbalances the knight slightly. His spear hits but due to the shift in balance, it does no damage to the Ironraider. Instead of riding past and away, the Hedge Knight swings his mount around to join the fray beside Hardwicke, "Ser! I have your right!" He yells out to the man he has not met before yet but right now, he is a brother for they are both fighting on the same side. With his spear still in hand, Kell re-engages with the same target, his spear thrust out once more and this time fighting purchase with its target, ripping through the Ironborn's hand. Since it is a full on melee, he does get struck twice, one where his armor protects him while the left arm is injured.

Growling under his breath, Patrek shoves the prybar down a second time. But even with the guard's help, the spike holds again.

The defending line of bloodied Guardsmen and pair of mounted knights continue to make a fighting retreat, blows are struck, but it is the body of an ironborn which falls to the flagstones underfoot. "Drop the damned gate, or we're done!" a wounded man of the Guard growls through blood and gritted teeth.

Cursing sharp under his breath, Hardwicke ducks and wheels on his mount, blocking and dodging the attacks of two of the other raiders. He doesn't respond to Kell aloud, but there is a sense of forming up with the other knight and facing the combat together. His next attack at the Chieftan lands, though only glancingly to the man's chest.

"I did not mean all of us Belle to deal with medicine. They will not let any pass, and it gives the younger ones something to keep their minds and hands occupied." Muirenn says quietly. Sighing with a shake of her head she directs two of her maids, "You and you keep the young ones in order. Set them to making bandages and keep them away from the herbs." There were many things she was prepared for, defending the keep itself from invasion of Ironborn was not one of them. It takes a certain amount of humility that is rare among the nobility to accept that they do not know everything…and it is with grace that Muirenn moves to pair up with a gangly thirteen year old serving boy. Smiling kindly she says, "You waited on our table last night. It was well done." With that she pushes and shoves and the begin to work one of the ornate stone benches away from the wall and towards a window.

Liliana is still doing what she can to escape the crowd, but with the smallfolk and Jerold's own guard ringing all around, it's like trying to ford a river against the current. And the blood she's losing isn't help much at all. It's becoming harder and harder to tell the enemy from the friendly, as she moves, and the sudden figure lunging into her line of vision doesn't help either. For a long moment, it's complete disorientation, as Jerold picks his ward up bodily, pushing his way through the crowd to get her on a clear path to the doors. But he doesn't stay, barely long enough to set her back down, barely long enough for her to acknowledge him with a barely audible, 'Papa,' before the aging knight leaves to return to the line and the men, his men, fighting there. And Liliana begins to ford the last feet between herself and the doors not yet barred that lead into the hall.

"Lili!" Anais lowers her bow, holding bow and arrow both in one hand as she ducks out just long enough to slip a shoulder under the other woman's arm and bring her into the keep. "First patient!" she calls to the those taking care of healing. Her features are pale, but she's managed to marshall the shaking of her hands into purpose. Once Liliana's been handed off, she resumes her place just behind the door, vigilant.

The Hedge Knight continues the fight, ignoring the biting pain that is in his chest and left arm, adrenaline rushing through his blood now as he has fully engaged in battle. The next raider he targets is another that is attack Hardwicke who is busy with the Chieftain. Nothing else is said by Kell, since nothing else has to be said. Despite the shield on his left arm protecting his side, everytime he thrusts forth with his spear, he opens himself up to an attack but it is what it is.

<COMBAT> Raider 08 attacks Kell with Bludgeon & Shield - ARMOR on Left Hand stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Raider 07 attacks Guard 03 with Sword & Shield but Guard 03 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raider 06 attacks Guard 03 with Spear & Shield but Guard 03 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raider 02 attacks Guard 04 with Spear & Shield but Guard 04 DODGES!
<COMBAT> Raider 01 attacks Hardwicke with Bludgeon & Shield but Hardwicke DODGES!
<COMBAT> Guard 03 attacks Raider 02 with Sword & Shield and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Chieftan attacks Hardwicke with Polearm - Serious wound to Left Arm.
<COMBAT> Raider 04 attacks Kell with Bludgeon & Shield - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Guard 04 attacks Raider 06 with Sword & Shield - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Kell attacks Raider 01 with Spear & Shield - Critical wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Hardwicke attacks Chieftan with Sword & Shield - Light wound to Head (Reduced by Armor).

<COMBAT> Hardwicke has been KO'd!

<COMBAT> Hardwicke spends a luck point to keep fighting!

"I wish I had your confidence, lady," Belle says to Muirenn. There's an apology in there, somewhere, but it will have to be parsed from the wryer notes of her tone. As the first of the wounded struggles in, the blonde handmaid bows her head to the red-headed lady. "It appears you were correct about our needs, after all. Yet I still fear for the line." And that being the case, she continues seeing to the barricades, letting Muirenn and her people tend Liliana's wounds.

"Liliana!" Muirenn beckons another to take her place assisting with the bench and moves quickly towards the injured Camden. "Come…lets get you settled." A maid is taken from the barracade brigade and instructed to put a clean sheet upon the wide table. With a careful eye, she takes in where Lili is bleeding from and her apron is pressed to the wound to stop the flow of blood.

<FS3> Patrek rolls Body: Failure.
<FS3> Guard rolls Body: Failure.
<FS3> Belle rolls Body: Success.

What little strength she has, coupled with Anais' is just enough to get Liliana into the hall, and walked/carried over to a pallet, where she's turned over to Muirenn's care. It's not pretty. A deep slashing axe blow that sinks deep into the meat of her right thigh, and a vicious slash across her chest. She's done what she can, with the tourniquet on her leg, but the chest wound is still flowing freely, the edges red and ragged through what can only barely, now, be called a bodice. "I took one with me," she manages to offer. At least she made one ironborn pay for what's been done to her. Never ruin a woman's good dress.

"For the love of the Seven…" Belle whispers, watching the men struggle with the gate. She vaults the barricade she just shoved into place and slips out the doors, sprinting across the courtyard. She falls to the prybar, adding her own efforts to the struggle — and that's the proverbial straw that broke the mule's back. She growls, shouts, curses — and it gives, tumbling them all into a heap.

Though he manages to dodge another of the raiders' blows and land another light blow to the Chieftan, Hardwicke is left open to a sickeningly deep slice to his arm as the Chieftan returns the attack with his poleaxe. Barely keeping a grip on his weapon, Hardwicke directs his mare mostly with the press of his legs to gallop back inside past the portcullis before his apparently super-strong girlfriend actually removes that spike. His skin is damp and white with the first sweats of bloodloss.

Patrek gives a cry of elation and relief as the damned spikes finally, finally come loose, even if it does send them all spilling to the ground. At least it sets the gate free, too. Panting, the squire twists about to see what brave man lent his might to their task… and gawps beneath his helmet at the fact that he's staring at a little scrap of a woman.

As soon as the second spike is freed, the portcullis drops with a scream of clattering iron that is audible even above the clash of battle, cutting off the abrupt combat to the great dismay of one Ironborn man who is trappen on the wrong side of the now very shut iron portcullis.

Apparently aiming at the unarmored head worked much better than aiming for the armored body parts, who knew. Apparently Kell didn't until now but his spear does hit his intended target and with brutal efficiency. That is one Ironborn that will have a splitting headache, no pun intended, one that will lead to his death. The Hedge Knight was left open again for a pounding, one he manages to deflect with the shield on his left but that leaves the second strike open to hit his mailed chest again, another bludgeoning weapon crushing through the links, causing the man to wince. However, his focus isn't on himself or the remaining Ironborn, seeing the knight he was fighting with taking a savage blow, "Ser!" He calls out before maneuvering Horse in between Hardwicke and the raiders, covering the man's retreat into the portcullis.

"I am sure you sent them to the bowels of Hell" Muirenn avows as she helps Liliana up onto the table. The Mallister retainers know what to do. A bowl of hot water and bandages are forthcoming as is a discreet sheet. What is left of a dress is cut away from around the wounds and the sheet placed to retain the young woman's virtue and modesty. As the blood is cleaned away, Muire bites her lower lip…well aware she is no maester but trying to do as her own maester taught her.

Jacsen arrives from the The Green.

Belle picks herself up, panting as well, and blinks at the people gawping at her. On a better day, this would be the moment for a flourish bow, a handspring, perhaps a little juggling. Today really isn't a better day, though. So she quirks an awkward smile, pushes her sweat-damp hair out of her face, and turns 'round to survey the chaos of men and horses that have withdrawn to the safety of the keep. Looking for one man and one horse in particular, her expression drawn, fists clenching in her skirts when she doesn't spot him immediately.

Anais lets out a breath of relief when the gate goes down, lowering the bow aimed outside and taking a moment to close her eyes in silent prayer. Color rushes back to her cheeks, and she turns to look to the room behind her, summoning up a brave smile. "The gates are closed," she calls across the space. "No doubt they'll be on their way shortly." But when she turns back to the courtyard, her eyes are already on the walls, flicking between them and Jerold.

"Papa saved me," Lili manages, more out of it than in, even as Muirenn works on staving off the bloodloss and seeing what can be done to keep Liliana stable until the Maester makes his way down. It's probably for the best that she's so out of it, even without milk of the poppy, because it's got to hurt like the dickens. "'M fine. help the others." Not that she is, but she can't feel much of anything, so, you know, she can think she is. Just like she thinks she took out an ironborn, albeit with help.

Patrek pushes back to his feet, giving Belle another long glance before he begins to move quickly back towards Lord Jeorld and seek out further instructions now that the gate is down, at least. Peering over his shoulder, he glances, too, at the one trapped Ironborn, jaw clenching again.

Left weak and panting by the time Delylah steps her way through to the courtyard, Hardwicke slides — stumbles — off her back. He croaks out a word, calling for someone to take the mare, even as he stumbles in the direction of the keep where, presumably, medical help might be found. His arm is bleeding freely from the deep gash.

With the gate closed behind him, being one of the last to ride through just in time, Kell follows Hardwicke and dismounts rather quickly, not caring about who would tend to his mount for now as he moves to assist the wounded knight. Moving to the side where the other knight's arm isn't wounded, the Hedge Knight grabs onto Hardwicke's unwounded side and tries to sling the man's arm over his shoulder to support him, seeing that the wound and loss of blood is taking affect. "The Ser needs help! A Maester!" Kell shouts out, not really knowing anyone here right now despite having been to the Roost before, hoping someone would answer.

The Nayland handmaid sees Delylah first, then Hardwicke. She lifts her skirts, sprinting to his side — and skidding to a halt as Kell beats her there. "The hall," Belle gasps out. "Take him into the hall."

With the gate closed and injured to be seen to, Anais sets her shoulder to the doors of the keep, pushing them further open to make room for those who need to be inside. She keeps a cautious eye on the walls, but still tries to keep a brave face for those inside.

"Belle," Hardwicke says, almost sounding faintly surprised to see her there. He grinds his teeth down against any sound as Kell shoulders under his arm in support, and leans on the other knight with a mumbled thanks as they make their way to the hall.

Cleaning away the blood, Muirenn focuses on Liliana's wounds. Reaching for and finding a piece of leather, she says quietly "Lili, I misjudged your House. You have shown me the bravery that the Camdens are capable of. Now I need you to be brave a bit longer. Unfortunately the maester isn't here yet and I do not yet have enough skill to give you the milk of the poppy. I need you to bite down on this leather because what I am going to do will quite honestly hurt." The Mallister noble gently moves to place the strap of leather between Liliana's teeth if her friend allows.

Kell's attention turns immediately to the first person to answer and it would be Belle who tells him to take the wounded knight to the hall. Giving her a nod showing he understands, the Hedge Knight begins moving Hardwicke in the right direction though he does say to the girl, "Lead on, Mistress." Since it would be kind of embarrassing if he accidently helped the wounded knight into the kitchens instead. As they move, Kell tries to sound reassuring to Hardwicke, "Hang on Ser, we are almost there."
Nares pages: is anything likely to happen imminently? I could do with crashing if not

"Yes, me," says Belle, softly, with a touch of grim humor, then leads the wounded knight and his supporter to the hall. Once inside, she calls to the healing contingent, "We've free bleeding over here! Where's the Maester?"

With others seeing to healing, Anais moves toward the kitchens to speak quietly with a few of the servants there. "We're going to need defenses for the walls," she says in a low tone. "Oil is useful, but water and sand are more plentiful and less expensive. Sand in particular is less /useful/. Pull out the largest cauldrons we have and start gathering the firewood to keep it warm."

Liliana nods, doing her best to focus on Muirenn, and follow the woman's instructions, biting down as ordered. Not that it helps with the pain, as the Mallister Lady begins to clean and prepare the wounds for stitching, but at least it gives her something to muffle the screaming. And that's got to be a plus, right? And the two servants holding the woman down help out quite a bit as well.