|Amongst the Enemy|
|Summary:||Lord Rafferdy sneaks into Seagard to learn the plans of the Ironborn invaders.|
|Related Logs:||Marching Orders|
|Seagard Low District|
|The lower class residential district of Seagard, just inside the city walls, with all the worst smells of the fishmonger's trade and the tanneries mingling together. The roads are paved with cobblestones, but the avenues which wind between buildings are of packed dirt, reek in the heat and turn to muddy morass in the rain. With little of worth, and only enduring occupation for a scant few hours, this quarter of the port city is largely intact.|
|January 27th 289 A.L.|
With the aid of darkness, and a maile shirt and coif 'borrowed' from the storehouses of salvaged gear, Rafferdy had into the half abandoned, half ruined, and entirely contested slums which seperate the Army of the Cape from their Harlaw rivals, dug into the Market district. More than one roadblock of overturned carts and stacked crates had been bypassed by slipping through decrepit hovels and the odd warehouse, already looted.
The camps of Ironborn occupying the market district are a stark contrast to the regimented and orderly lines of the tents in the Nayland camp; Rafferdy faces less of a challenge of blending in, and more of a difficulty in keeping his sense of direction as he weaves his way onto the street of the Scythemakers.
Rafferdy looks around, nodding in simple soldier greeting to any he passes, if they appear to 'deserve' such acknowledgement. He begins looking for the larger tents, those that might belong to generals or nobles, and especially, any that might be planning areas for the battle.
The mood among the Ironborn army aids the errant Nayland in his efforts: none are as loud of drunk as he might expect, the mood in general seems to be rather somber, a sense of latent tension in the air that- while some indulge themselves in distractions of the flesh- those in the streets are largely silent and focused. But the Westerosi eye for banners is wasted among hundreds of ironborn: no silk pennants nor herladic blazoned shields mark the men of each host. It is only after a long while of wandering that Rafferdy spares a moment to catch his breath, ducking into a side alley, and idly noting that the shingle marking the building he leans against is that of a scythe, typical for the street.
It is a moment before the nobleman-in-hiding would note that there are voices conversing within the building. Barely audible through a second-story window.
Rafferdy exhales slowly, looking up at the symbol on the building, and he smirks. He looks back up the alleyway to make sure he's alone, and then he looks to see if there is a door or window he might slip inside
On the ground floor there is nothing. Only that opened window on the second story, likely for emptying chamberpots, if the stench in the alley is any indication. Still, the voices in conversation within that second floor window are polished and erudite. Words are spoken well, rather than the marble-mouthed mumbling typical of the common born. "-snakes, the lot of them. Treacherous and cowardly. You risk too much in such a move, even should they accept-" a second voice, deep and level, interjects, "Should the Eagle lord accept, and should he fall, the spirit will go out of his house. Our ships yet control the sea, and Maron will be mustering fresh troops, by now. Should the keep fall, we can continue to occupy the Riverlords here, until reinforcement comes."
Rafferdy considers the wall a moment, trying to decide if perhaps a climb might be in order. He stares up at that window for a minute, before finally sighing, and thinking better of it. "Height's suck…" he mutters to himself, and instead, just continues to listen carefully.
"They will not honor single combat," the first voice nearly spits. "How they account themselves knights, I do not know, but they are a craven and poisonous race. There is too much beyond out control in this, Highness: if the Eagle refuses- if he betrays you- if you should fall-"
Again the level, grave speaker cuts off further word, "If I should fall, I will have done so in battle as befits the true son and heir of a King. But what is dead cannot die, my friend." A smile colors the unseen words at that last. "Keep your Seven Gods as you like, but we agree on this much: glory is given not to the timid. Mass the men of your House to stand with me, my friend. Lord Volmark reports his men in readiness, and Ulfr claims the square prepared to defeat any charge. With the Eagle slain, Seagard will fall, whether to our occupation, or as a shattered monument to the strength of King Balon's arm."
Rafferdy grits his teeth a bit at the mention of Lord Volmark, the man he just couldn't seem to kill. He chews on his lip, concentrating on the voices he's hearing, working to piece together the clues being offered in the night air.
"If any man could do this, it is you," the first speaker grudgingly admits. "I and mine will stand with you. Neither the Stranger nor the Storm God will be more terrible than I if these honorless dogs betray you, Highness." A fond chuckle follows. "I know. My uncle Victarion's last message stated that he expects to corner the Redwyne fleet near Fair Isle. With the teeth of the Reachlords pulled, there will be no strength afloat left to stop us. But we must take the keep. If the Eagle does not fly, we can always simply come back. But here and now we have a rare opportunity, my friend."
Rafferdy removes a bit of parchment from his pocket and writes a few quick notes with a piece of charcoal. He uses ciphers. He's not writing word for word anything, just locations, names and the like.
The first voice calls loudly for drink to be brought, and a mutual toast is offered, the two voices reciting in unision, "May the sun never set on disgrace and may the morning always bring you fresh glory. May the long line of our people behold your deeds and may you live and die with honor." A clash of cups follows, and from then the discussion turns more casual. The first speaker withdraws, and 'His Highness' orders one of his women sent in.
Rafferdy moves around to the front of the building, lingering so he can try and see who leaves.
Three men leave, two Ironborn warriors trailing a third in full plate, a black cloak streaming from his pauldrons, blazoned with one of the rare pieces of quartered heraldry to be found among the ironborn host: a white scythe on black, and a peacock on cream.