|And From The North|
|Summary:||An unlooked for party brings an unexpected addition to the Flint household at Highfield.|
|Related Logs:||Directly precedes: A Guest In Highfield.|
|Township — Highfield|
|The expanse of landscape here was (and in parts still is) breathtakingly beautiful. Lush grass fed by the nearby waters of the rivers and smaller streams, while further to the west, the meadows fade into the shade of dense forest. It has been disrupted, though, by the construction begun some months ago that continues still, turning a pastoral landscape into a budding noble seat. Irrigation ditches are complete, a lumber mill buzzes with activity, and a new fence encloses housing and a village that is now well underway. Most prominent is a motte and bailey, which is newly finished and protected by a moat and a drawbridge that is lowered from a small gatehouse.|
|03 Oct, 289 AL|
OOC NOTE: I am certain there is a beginning and an end I missed. Anyone who has it feel free to add it!
Pariston and Kaelea are on their way back from the river heading towards the keep once more. Hair still a bit wet and they are just walking and talking a bit. Pariston escorting Kaelea. A laugh from the tall hunter. "Well, that is a rather good joke." He tells her before looking towards the keep. "You got to go back to lady Tiaryn's side right away or do you still have some break time?" He asks as his gaze goes back to her.
With her hair curling a little as it begins to dry at the ends, Kaelea has her hand loosely tucked into his as they walk. When Pariston laughs, she looks up at him, enjoying the sound as she smiles in response. "I liked yours better." Glancing back at the keep when he does, she shakes her head. "I've pulled double duty since my return so I have some time left," in no rush at all to get back, truth be told.
Einar is on his way into town to drop off one of the pieces of Lord Anders' tact for some repare work at the blacksmiths. With the piece resting over his shoulder he strolls along the road until he spots the approaching couple. The sight brigs a smile to his face and he gives the two of them a brief nod in greeting, "Master Vis, Mistress Steele, a fine day don't you think?"
The road that marks the way between Highfield and the rest of the Riverlands is never truly empty, even in times of war or political strife. And so, the sound of hooves on hard packed earth is not entirely unexpected. But the party is small, and carries no House's banner. Instead, they carry the white flag blazoned with the seven pointed star of the Faith. It seems news of the recent troubles seem to have made this group particularly cautious. And yet there are a Houses's colours in the armour of the men, white and grey and black. A half dozen in all, and four young women. Three dressed in the serviceable simple fair of handmaidens, the fourth in a soft dove-grey lady's gown. A matching cloak of grey edges with soft spring green covers her shoulders, the hood pulled up to shield her eyes from the sun.
Pariston smiles and nods to Kaelea as she replies to him. "That's nice." He says and before he can say more, Einar shows up. Smiling to the man and inclining his head. "Lord Einar. It is good to see you. How are you?" He asks and smiles. Hearing the approaching of the rather large group. Watching them and it does take a moment before he realizes what house they are from. Offering a bow to them all. Glancing to Einar as well before looking to the group again. "My lady. I did not know that more Flint's were to arrive."
As they had been walking, Kaelea had been focused entirely on Pariston until they reached the more traveled road that spans from the town to the keep. Upon being greeted, she hurriedly removes her hand from her companions as she offers a practiced curtsey, "My Lord. It is indeed a fine day." A little slower on the uptake after seeing the flag of the Faith, it takes her a moment to realize there were house colors in there. Again, she gives another curtsey before straightening, though she does not recognize any of the faces.
Einar hadn't been aware that there were more of the House expected either, but he recovers from his surprise quickly and moves towards the arriving horses. He notions to Pariston to suggest the man should take the horse's reins and heads to offer his cousin a hand to dismount if she should be so inclined. "My Lady," he offers formally, although his open smile should indicate that he's pleased tos ee the new arrivals.
Once the group is close enough to the three on foot, Nerys raises a hand, gesturing for the man carrying it to lower it, "Fold it and take care, I would not wish to offend more than we have already." The fact that a follower of the Old Gods is parading a token of the new gods isn't lost on her. "I am afraid I am raven, courier and the delivered parcel all in one, master." A smile, and a friendly incline of her head to the titian-haired woman, before she turns to Einar, laughter in her voice, "You never used to call me My Lady, Cousin, nor you, master. Is it because I have finally grown into my teeth?" That might be a more familiar face of the young woman to Einar and Pariston. Nerys, but young, with pigtails and buck teeth.
Pariston nods to Einar and moves along to take the reins. Smiling to them all. Chuckling a bit to Nerys words. "I suppose." He says at her last part, shrugging a bit. "Better safe then sorry, lady Nerys." He says and smiles. Holding the reins to the horse. "It is good to see you." He offers and keeps the horse still until Nerys has dismounted, if she is planning to. Then moving along a bit. Flashing smiles to both Kaelea and Einar.
Einar makes no comment on the use of the flag to try and ensure safe passage. It seems to have worked and it hasn't offended his sensibilities as a follower of the Seven at least. "You have me there Cousin" he answers, still smiling, "but what brings you to the South? I am afraid that I am not certain where Lord Anders is at the moment but he is about the town somewhere and I'm sure he'd want to greet you as soon as possible."
"Well, it is a big change, master. I am not so proud that I will not admit it." Well, if nothing else, she doesn't seem the sort to be much over-concerned with her looks. The reins she hands over easily enough, before she slips down from her horse, "The men came to see me safely to my brother's care. They will not be staying, unless at his choosing." But I think Father means for them to return to the Cliffs. But I am glad to see you. I was afraid I would not see a single face I recognized." Once she's comfortable on her feet, she adjusts her cloak, pulling it more closely around herself. A gesture borne of habit, of years lived in the deep cold of the North, useless in these warmer climes, but still a habit, "My Lord Father has sent me to serve in my Lord brother's household. He though I might be of use. But I am being rude. I know the both of you, or I did, but one of you is a stranger to me." That said, she turns her attention to Kaelea, "My apologies, Mistress. I am Nerys Flint, Lord Einar's cousin."
Pariston smiles and nods. "Of course." He says and lead the horse a bit. Looking between the cousins as they speak. As Nerys turns to Kaelea, he smiles. "That is Mistress Kaelea Steele. Lady Tiaryn's handmaid." He explains. Then it seems she has to leave to go to Tiaryn, or some such. Then he will continue to lead the horse along and let the cousins speak.
A known friend of the Charltons rides through the town, his clothing a mark of rank, title and house in its black and grey. He's on a loose rein, however, his horse trotting at a slow pace. He comes from the edges of town, and the expression he wears is one of.. contentment, if only for the moment. Young Lord Anders Flint's spent a good portion of his time without the town, searching for anything the Ironborn may have missed in regards to the Wood.
Einar has always had good ears, and once again they do not fail him. Hearing the well known footfall of Chance the younger of the two Flint lords turns to spot the arrival of his cousin. Glancing back to Nerys he offers, smile broadening, "and here he is, right on queue. It seems you'll get to announce your presence quicker than I had thought." A nod is given to the approaching knight before he lets his two cousins greet each other themselves.
"If she is Lady Tiaryn's maid, then perhaps I will see her again. I knew her so briefly, I would like to make my acquittance with her again." A though occurs, and it comes right out, "The Lady Cordelia hasn't had the child yet, has she? I was hoping I would be here to help with the birth." How much use she'll be, well, who knows. But Einar's words and the sound of hoofbeats brings Nerys' head around, and she looks around the head of her horse towards the approaching Lord. There's an odd look on her face. Part happy, part uncertain. As if she's not quite sure what sort of reception she'll receive. After all, Anders was well on his way to being a man grown, by the time she was finally learning how to walk.
Pariston smiles and nods. Keeping silent and letting the others converse. Though the arrival of Anders does not go unnoticed as he offers a bow to the man, while holding on to the horse's reins. Being the silent and obediant servant as usual. Especially with this many nobles around.
Taking the slow jog up the concourse, Anders slows to a walk as he approaches the small gathering; of course he'll greet his cousin, and his man.. and the ladies beside them? Tiaryn's maid receives a nod as she departs, and it's left to Nerys. Coming to a full stop, he inclines his head, though there's a quirk to it to see her dress. Whites, greys.. "My lady.." It goes no further, however. It's been years away, for both of them, but there is that hesitation before he addresses Einar, "..cousin," and his tones change to address the man; it's a cheered sound, "There is game enough in the woods that will support enough, should we call only a few huntsmen down. They've little fear, and even if you and I track them at sun's rise, we'd return with bounty enough to fill several tables." Nothing like a little confidence! "Master.." is given finally to Pariston.
Nerys's fingers find the edges of her cloak, twisting the green border between her fingers, as if she were gathering some sort of strength from it, or perhaps using as one might use a worry stone. "Lord Brother," Nerys lets go of the cloak, reaching into one of the bags attached to her horse's saddle to remove a rolls of parchment, sealed with the mark of Lord Asmund. "I do not wish to take so very much of your time, and I must pay my respects to the Lord of these lands, but Father has sent you a message." She offers the parchment over for Anders' perusal.
"Lady Cordelya is still lying in," Einar replies, "although she is appraoching her time," or so he's told, "and I am sure that she will appreciate another friendly face to lend a hand." At Anders' commetn about the viability of the woods he turns and gives Pariston a smile, the pair had been doing some investigations on their own with that regard after all. "That is good to hear cousin," he says to Anders. "I am sure that we shall make good on that soon."
"My lord." Is offered to Anders before just glancing between the people as he looks at the reunion. A small grin covering Pariston's lips as he seem to be thinking of a joke but keeping it to himself. As for the woods he smiles in return to Einar. Nodding. "I will be in the woods as long as you need me there as well. Unless I am to be on guard duty." He offers with a smile. Still holding jokes to himself.
"She's.. still abed, yes.." The shadow of concern flickers across his face, and for a moment he's silent. It's only a heartbeat, however, and gathering his reins in hand, dismounts easily and hands the reins to Pariston. "My Sister.." though it sounds more a question than a statement, even if there's no doubt that backs the words. Anders holds a hand for the missive from his father, their father, as a drowning man to a life-buoy. He doesn't hear from him often, truly, and while the Young Lord is making his mark, and his decisions that will have lasting implications for his home so far North, their Lord Father remains (mostly) silent. Opening the parchment now, he looks it over and lets his breath out finally, and nods at the inked words. "Always appreciated, Sister. Perhaps you can put sense into her head," in more ways than one! "Particularly at times when she's at her most stubborn."
As for the news of game in the woods? "I'd be interested in exploring the wood even further, and if it's in search of game? All the better." After all, this is.. was.. the near-to-last bastion of the Old Gods. Certainly the Ironborn couldn't have completely destroyed any and all sign? Anders looks to Pariston and inclines his head, "That's the best place for you. I want everything mapped, and best paths to the sea."
Einar raises an eyebrow slightly at Anders' suggestion of mapping. Not that he doubt's it's a good idea, more that he's asking silently if he should do the same, or if Anders will have other jobs for him. He too is keen to read the missive, but he'll wait until either Anders offers it to him, or he can ask more privately.
Sister? So Anders says, but the young woman's reply is more contemplative, "I was, long and long years ago." But a smile follows, though she is not so presumptuous that she would try to hug him. "I hope that once we grow to know each other, I can be so again." Blood will always be blood, but familiarity is something that has to be grown. "I have some other things, from Mother and from the household for you and yours, but I will give those over to you when you can look them over at your leisure. But I would be glad to do as I can to help with your Lady wife and the child to come." She turns, to indicate the small party that came with her. They are all young, and the men may or may not be familiar, the handmaids aren't. "Father has given you leave to keep them if you require their service, if not, they will return to the Cliffs. They came only to escort me." Because it's just rude to come into a Lord's lands unannounced, with armed soldiers.
It's been a good day. One of the best, most lucid ones Corrie has had in a while. And that means she's going crazy in a different way — stir crazy. So, by a mix of her combined intellect, too-fast talking circles around her staff, and her need to get free, somehow Cordelya Flint has managed to sneak out the tower and get some fresh air. Sans servant or sworn, because they all have orders to keep her tight inside. She actually did get herself properly dressed, in a gown her husband got her several months back of deep emerald green and gray Flint underpinnings. Her hair, which has mostly grown back from when she ripped hunks of it out three months back, is done in petite braids pinned to the side of her head, hiding the different lengths and still looking lovely. Her cheeks are sickly thin, but she probably wouldn't look quite so gaunt from the neck up if she weren't as big as a house from the collar bones down. So very, very pregnant, it's a slow walk down the town trail towards the familiar group. Chin held eye, eyes mostly clear for once, she approaches as if nothing were the matter at all.
Pariston listens and nods to Anders, "Of course my lord. I will do so. I'm not the best at the mapping part but I should be able to give the information to someone. If I may, is there a reason for such?" He asks. Wanting to see if there is something more than just knowing the place. As for reading, Pariston has been trying to do so as of late. Still not really that good at reading. Though it is coming along enough. Then just listening to the talk between family. Feeling a bit uncomfortable perhaps. Though moving to do as he is told. Taking the reins to Ander's horse as well.
There isn't the physical show of familial courtesy other than one naming the other. They are, after all, nobles.. and such a greeting? Well, on top of the fact that it's been years since they've seen each other, and if there hadn't been the introductions, it could very well have been that the pair simply.. wouldn't have recognized the other. Not for some time, anyway. "Where there is life and blood, sister." There is always time.
Anders hands the letter to his squire and cousin in offer to read his Lord Father's desires. Questions regarding the port and land, questions after his health and safety (couched within, of course, the health and safety of the heir), questions regarding alliances. "The land is our first priority." The fighting and such.. is not.
Looking to Pariston, Anders' tones remain easy and conversational, though they certainly have the sound of command couched within. "The port, Master. If we're to move goods along, and to support a small outpost, we need to know the lay of the land intimately."
There is the approach, then, of the Young Lady Cordelya.. and raising his head, his brows rise with it.. "My lady.." and it's certainly no question. He holds a hand out to her to bring her to his side. "You.. really should be abed, my Lady wife."
Once again it's Einar ear's that pick up Corrie's arrival first. Maybe it's that her step is well known to him, maybe it's becuase he's not expecting to hear it. WHat ever it is though his head turns and it's only a matter of moments before his eyes spot what his ears have already detected. "Lady Cordelya," he offers in greeting before turning quickly back to Nerys, "Truely Cousin, it seems that everyone is converging. I believe that my good-sister is the only still missing from this happy gathering." As the note is passed over he takes the oportunity to scan it quickly before passing it back. He can always read it more carefully later after all. THe topics are of no surprise to him and, to his evident relief, there is nothing in there relating to Anders' decision relation to his future. Not that he's sure such news could have got back North yet, but still, stranger things have happened.
"Where there is time and breath, brother." A smile, followed by a respectful curtsey, "But I fear I am bound to find the Lord and deliver myself onto his judgements." These are, after all, Charlton lands and not Flint, "I do not wish for him to think me rude." And then there's a waddling woman heading their way, and there's another curtsey, "It seems all of our blood gather, and I must away. Will you show me to the hall, Cousin?" She can't very well ask Anders to do it, with Cordy here now, and she needs someone to vouch for her and all. "Marisa, you will come with me. Sera, Jaqlyn, attend the Lady Cordelya." No way she's leaving a woman this pregnant alone with no help.
If anyone can try and make late pregnancy look noble, it's Cordelya. Try, however, is the key word. She's got her shoulders squared, chest out (though with her breasts actually being.. well… Breasts for the first time in her life, that's obvious no matter what) and her chin aloft. If it wasn't for being slightly breathless just coming down the hill, and the fact that even her slow walk is a round sort of waddle, she might be able to pull it off. She grants the group her best, elegant smile and a tilt of her head as she reaches one hand off the small of her back for her husband's fingertips. "My heart, if I remain trapped in that room one moment longer, I will go more mad than I already am. I am fine, and I need air, and your servants will not listen to that. I imagine they are in quite a panic right now, but that is what they get for being jailors, not assistants. I am fine." She does seem as lucid as she gets, today at least. The rest of the group is granted a pale smile, "Good morrow, everyone… Lady Nerys, it…it has been ages. I did not know you would be joining us. We… we must speak further. At your leisure." A slightly awkward smile is offered in Nerys' direction, as there is a small part of Corrie's brain that worries she's hallucinating the woman's presence. Her eyes flicker nervously to the others, ensuring that the long absent woman is actually there.
Pariston turns to offer a bow to Cordelya, "My lady." Then nodding to the words of Anders, "Of course, my lord. I will see if there might be place for such on the spot that I find." He offers with a smile. Letting most be handled about such, holding the reins to the horses he can't very well move to help Cordelya. "I will get these away to the stables." He offers. Then smiling to Cordelya and Nerys as they greet one another. "I will be just a moment." Unless stopped he leads the horses away.
With his own errand into town being decidely of the non-urgent varitey, Einar is indeed free to play escort. "I believe Lord Alesiter is around the keep," he states simply as he offers his arm should Nerys wish to take it. "Or at least we shall find someone there who can guide us further." A departing nod is given to both Anders and Cordelya before he turns away for the gathering and back towards the keep itself.