|Apples and Iron|
|Summary:||A fairly pleasant hour spent among friends, with Anders sparring Fenrir.|
|Date:||5 February 2012|
|Related Logs:||Several Flint logs. Fen being bad, Corrie being crazy… Take your pick!|
|The Flint encampment at Seagard.|
|February 5th, 289 A.L.|
The thing about iron is that you generally don't have to think fast in dealing with it. — Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies
Mid-afternoon. The fires are burning as they are always doing, and the serjeants are taking their turn to drill their men in a 'wind down' before they all descend upon the maids and demand their portions for the day. As a result, said women are working over the large stewpots, cooking up the fish laid aside by their fishermen. After all, those from Flint's Finger feel the same affinity to the sea as they do the land.. and fish stew isn't a bad thing.. in the least. It's another reminder of home, even if some of the vegetables used are only found in the south.
Walking out into the now smaller common area of the encampment in light tunic, breeches, and cleanly brushed boots is the Young Lord, his gaze set to searching for something or someone. The stack of wooden blades are set out under the main flap of the pavillion that the Young Lord has claim of, one missing and leaning upon the seat of his chair, a measure of leather wrapped around the grip, for comfort. His own steel blade is set aside, inside his tent, safe in his absence from it for the time being.
Fenrir has had the men down at the wharves for most of the morning; the afternoon has been spent with the serjeants walking their men through the smaller details, giving them a chance to relax a bit, hone their unity, and - most importantly - dry out. And the Master-at-Arms is not above spending such time to get into dry clothing himself. So when he wanders toward Anders' tent, bearing a leather roundshield and his wooden sparring axe, he is - for once - clean and dry.
He doesn't seem too much the worse for wear, given the vast amounts of ale he consumed last night; indeed, the man grins cheekily at his Lord, resting the axe across his shoulders. "Wasn't sure you'd have remembered, Lord." He nods toward the wooden sword resting against Anders' chair. "Y'sure you're ready for this?" The question is delicate, half-teasing, Fenrir's brow raising slightly in inquiry. "If I break you, Lord, your wife - and your Lord Father - ain't gonna be pleased."
Neither seem to be suffering too badly from the effects last night.. and no one is nursing a broken eardrum from Anders' singing, which is always good. The Young Lord is on his feet, moving around; every day a little better, every day a little stronger for it. From half dead to on his feet and looking to get some exercise.. and training from the hand of a man he calls friend, confidante, and Master at Arms.
At Fenrir's approach, Anders turns slightly to the sound, and smiles, the expression genuine. "I am.. because if I am not, then I will never be. I need to be stretched, taxed.. and pushed. And that," he pauses, his attention still upon his friend as he takes a couple of steps towards his seat to claim his weapon, "is your job. My Lord Father will be pleased if I go out in such a fashion, and my lady wife?" He chuckles softly, "She would have me sit in shelter out of concern for my well-being." Which he doesn't begrudge her, at all, certainly.. not the feeling anyway. "The question is, can you remain standing after your maneuvers this morning?"
Fenrir doesn't answer in words - he simply darts forward fluidly, poetry in motion, and lashes out liquid-fast with his axe. It's a startlingly-powerful blow, underhanded and hacking upward, and it might really raise a bruise - except that the man halts it at the last instant, and just tags Anders on the butt lightly. "Nah, the -question- is, when are you gonna learn not to turn your back to me? Come on, Lord Anders."
He's grinning now in tense excitement, dancing backward and raising his shield. His axe, he keeps low at his side - spinning it idly between his fingers as he allows the other man to finally fetch his weapon and prepare himself. "Come on then, -Ser-, show me how a knight does it, eh?" He laughs, knowing full well that the drunken oaths Anders took years ago were hardly the warmest pledge. The man's a Northman, knight or no.
Never saw it coming, never even considered that it could possibly come.. and suddenly he's struck from behind. Not hard, obviously, but in his reaction, Anders is slow.. still a little too slow for the grab of the sword.. but once it's in hand, he turns— still a little stiffly, but there's no pain that shows. He needs the limbering of muscles..
"Shield then, Fen?" The Flint reaches for something smaller than the shield he uses from his horse.. something a little lighter as well. He wants to be able to move, which is the entire point of the exercise. "A knight, hmmm?" He plants his feet on the ground, a grin that shows all his pearly whites given.. but soon enough, he moves.. he's just mocking the southerners.. "Call me 'Ser' once more, and you'll regret it," comes from a laugh. But now, it's into it.. and he approaches, sword hanging beside him. It's a common enough opening gambit.. and safer than it looks as far as defense goes.. and he raises his brows. "At the end of this, we can write my Lord Father and tell him how I stand?" Hopefully, he'll come out on the other side better than .. well, a mess.
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Fenrir=bludgeons Vs Anders=blades
< Fenrir: Good Success Anders: Good Success
< Net Result: DRAW
"You better hope I leave you able to write, ma..M'lord." He nearly slips, does Fenrir, and calls Anders by the wrong title. In private, certainly, they're mates - but out here, he's the master-at-arms putting his lordship through the paces. As Anders approaches, his sword-arm kept safely behind him, Fenrir shuffles forward and brings his axe in another upward-diagnol chop.
Perhaps it's merely a testing blow, or perhaps the young Lord's reflexes are better than he had expected, but Fenrir fails the strike. He grins as the struggle is well and truly joined, beginning to circle, his shield tucked in tight against his left ribs. "C'mon, Ser," he taunts softly. "Show me some anger."
And there's the attack that Anders knew was coming. He's smarter than to go right in to his Arms Master, knowing that somehow, somewhere, an opening would be found and pressed. That, and attacks take a great deal more energy than defending— "I can write with either hand.. or if I'm cramped, I'll ask my wife to write.. and she'll seek you out to find the particulars." Is that a threat? Or a promise?
Anders defends the uplifting strike quickly and easily, putting out his shield while raising his sword for riposte that doesn't seem to find its way as Fenrir backs out of his immediate reach, and there is no way he'll overreach to get to his target. Smarter than that.. but now, he moves in for the strike, his sword having been raised, he flicks his wrist and goes for a body shot, horizontal backhanded to get behind that shield.. damnable shields!
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Anders=sword Vs Fenrir=bludgeon
< Anders: Good Success Fenrir: Success
< Net Result: Anders wins - Marginal Victory
"Now that's just mean," taunts Fenrir with a smirk. He circles to one side as Anders goes on the offensive - unfortunately, he moves in the wrong direction, and the other man's sword slides past his axe-arm to rap lightly at his ribs. It would certainly have been a bleeder, had it penetrated armor - a long gash, the sort that might hamper a man's speed. "Good strike!"
Oh, it's on, now - the master-at-arms grins and moves forward with a wolf-like grace - shield coming out to try and dislodge Anders' sword and force it out wide, axe coming back as though he intends to strike straight at the other man's chest.. but at the last moment, he -shoves- with the shield instead, attempting to knock his Lord off-balance backwards.
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Fenrir=bludgeons Vs Anders=blades
< Fenrir: Great Success Anders: Success
< Net Result: Fenrir wins - Solid Victory
<FS3> Anders rolls Body: Good Success.
Seeing as the morning tasks are seen to - delegation is finally going more smoothly, given the backing of the Young Lord - it's more permissable than usual, perhaps, that Orlagh has found herself with a little quiet time. But even now, her hands aren't idle. Seated cross-legged in the grass a short distance away, the girl is calmly embroidering a plain tunic with something of a fancier hem, using up some spare silvery thread she has found packed within her belongings. It lends a finer appearance to the slate blue shade of the worsted wool and.. well, it gives her something useful to do. The handmaid always has something. Otherwise she might find herself without an excuse, when she's next asked to go somewhere. And that wouldn't do. Wouldn't be proper.
The embroidery is plainly not the entire focus of her attention, though, for she's keeping a close eye on the spar taking place out in the circle. Anders' first, since his injury. Given her loyalty and nature, it would surprise no one if, in the wake of a too-solid strike, she took up a dulled blade herself in defence of the heir. Yes, even against Fenrir. He's not that frightening. At the very least.. she has a small sack of apples resting on the ground by her knee. She's probably a good shot.
"You'll take it back then?" The Ser, that is.. and if he was younger, it would have sounded almost petulant. Now, from the full grown Young Lord, it sounds almost like a challenge.. but there is no question that his friend can hear the youth within. Grinning at the praise, Anders is feeling better; he can feel his heart pumping, can feel the grip of his sword, albeit wooden. As he moves, and his attention is elsewhere, there is no pain.. none worth mentioning that is noted. He'll probably regret it tonight, or tomorrow, but for the time being? He feels great.. his mood and spirits light.
Like intended, the swinging of the mace garners Anders' attention, and he puts most of his resolve into the blocking of that strike.. his shield rising to take the blow, his sword coming out to defend and to carry the energy and impetus to a counter strike. That, however, is where the Young Lord goes very, very wrong.. and the shield strike is something that he simply didn't expect. The shove with the shield has its intended effect, that is, it completely unbalances Anders, though, through sheer luck, he doesn't completely lose his balance and land upon his back. It does, however, leave him with the inability to press an attack, and only defend.. and being put on the defensive in this way is completely different than in his opening move… and he works to get himself planted once again. "Now that's dirty.."
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Fenrir=bludgeons Vs Anders=blades
< Fenrir: Good Success Anders: Good Success
< Net Result: Anders wins - Marginal Victory
The push is solid, but it's not a shield-boss straight into the face as it might be in genuine battle. A blow like -that- could render the healthiest man ruined for like, and is a trick that Fenrir has used more than once. He grins as Anders goes staggering backward, a wolf stalking his prey. "It don't pay to play fair, Lord Ser Anders - it don't pay to fight with honor at all!" These words are instruction as well as taunt - honor gets a man killed, fighting duels loses wars, and Fenrir doesn't have time for that sort of vainglorious display.
He stalks forward after Anders, his axe rising. The movement brings Orlagh into his line-of-sight, however, and the man hesitates for just a moment as he notes her - however often he preaches focus in battle, his own seems to falter for the critical instant, and the blow that he sends toward Anders' thigh is a touch misaligned, as well as perhaps a bit too slow to fully take advantage of his Lord's unbalanced stance.
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Anders=blades Vs Fenrir=bludgeon
< Anders: Great Success Fenrir: Success
< Net Result: Anders wins - Solid Victory
Orlagh seems blissfully unaware that she has been a distraction, her blue eyes calmly settled upon her needlework when the Master-at-Arms happens to glance her way. Coincidence? Well, hardly her fault if the mere sight of a servant is enough to have the so-called warrior mis-hit in a practice. Tsk. In the end, though, with a contented sigh, she sets the tunic neatly to one side for the time being, curling her legs up to one side in the lush grass and bracing her weight comfortably upon one hand. The other reachs for a rosy apple, polishing it briskly on her woolen skirts before bringing it to her lips. An audible *crunch* announces a healthy bite. Chewing slowly, the girl settles her attention more firmly on the two men as they circle and taunt.
And there is his opening to finish his reorganization and take his time in offering the answering blow. Now that Anders believes the Master is off-balance, he comes in to strike with his sword, working to catch it upon the mans' side, up the gut and across the ribcage. While it looked promising on the onset, now, he's not entirely certain that it'll make it.. Fenrir is too good, or perhaps whomever that has caught is eye is too pretty? But, Anders isn't about to look to see what's caught the Master's attention, even if he could possibly guess, given a breath. "What bevvy of virgins has just arrived nude, Fen?" is laughed.. that is the only thing that could have been it?
<FS3> Opposed Roll — Fenrir=bludgeons Vs Anders=blades
< Fenrir: Great Success Anders: Failure
< Net Result: Fenrir wins - Crushing Victory
The sword swinging toward his side makes the lean master-at-arms leap backward awkwardly, barely avoiding it, and swing his axe back-handed at the weapon in a riposte. Fenrir catches the other man's blade on the haft of his axe and knocks it out wide. The sight of Orlagh lifting her gaze seems to be enough for the man to burst back into action - he isn't about to lose in front of his crush, Lord or no Lord. The man steps in, whipping his axe in an under-hand chop that stops just short of actually hitting Anders in the groin, meanwhile swinging his shield-arm's elbow in toward the poor Flint Lord's nose - taken together, the two strikes almost certainly would have heralded the end of the fight, but Fenrir wisely stops both before they land - he simply lets the actions speak for themselves.
"All a part of the plan, Lord - you was looking for the virgins, not for my counter!" Fenrir's laugh is riotous, a touch too loud, really - perhaps he's covering up for a genuine mistake that very nearly cost him the fight. He looks toward Orlagh again, then leans in to whisper to Anders. "Oi, thanks for letting me win, Lord. She was watching.." His eyes jerk significantly to the young woman with her embroidery and back.
And there it comes, and Anders is absolutely powerless to do anything about it. Fenrir is fast, scarily fast, and the playing at combat is suddenly at a complete and abrupt end as the Young Lord finds himself vastly outmaneuvered, and 'dead' in a deadly duet of shield and mace. He lowers both weapons, his head bowing for a brief moment in a silent yield before he looks up at his friend and grins broadly. "We both were, Fen.. I was a little jealous, I'll admit. All for you." He reaches out to pat his friend on the shoulder with his sword hand, no violence, just one of brotherly affection, and he nods. "I will accept that as an explanation for my dismal failure at the end.." is whispered back, his tones all in good humour. "Was she?" Now Anders turns around to see Orlagh on the ground, munching happily on an apple, apparently looking content with the world as two men seek to kill each other for her amusement. "Go sit and see if she'll share an apple with the victor.. crow about how much I've learned under your tutelage.. or lament on how soon enough I will best you.. go.. I.. will go have some tea."
"As you like, Lord.. though you're giving up awful easy. It's only the first bout." But Fenrir knows enough about injury - and about his friend - to not push for another so soon. He clasps Anders' shoulder tightly, nodding once to the man. "Enjoy your tea, but come join us, aye? She feels better if I ain't the only one around her. Something about being proper." He winks to Anders, and turns to pace in Orlagh's direction.
Drawing up alongside the young woman, his axe resting atop his shoulder, Fenrir grins as he studies the embroidered tunic in her lap. "That's real nice, that is. A present for the Young Lord?" Without asking permission, he slings his roundshield across his back and reaches down to snag an apple from the bag. "You see him going at me? Man's a lion - if he hadn't let me win, I would'a likely ended up flat on my back." A bald-faced lie, as anyone who was watching might know, but Fenrir sells it with conviction.
A soft 'mmm' of noncommital almost-agreement is the initial response to Fenrir's self-deprecating remarks. Orlagh's gaze wanders in Anders' wake as he trudges off in search of tea. Not a hard task, since she always keep some hot, just outside his pavillion. But eventually, she looks up at the tall Master-of-Arms as his shadow looms over her and offers him a polite smile, before taking another hearty bite of her glossy apple.
"The Young Lord seems to be improving." she remarks, once she's finished chewing, gaze moving sidelong now as Fenrir takes a seat beside her in the grass. An inviting gesture is cast toward the small burlap bag, granting him leave to help himself, before she settles on the heel of her hand again. Whether she's fooled by this 'lucky victory' stuff is hard to say. She knows a little about swords. Pointy end into the other man and so on. Regardless, she doesn't argue over the details.
Picking up his apple and polishing it on the hem of his tunic, Fenrir looks sidelong at Orlagh for a moment before lifting it up to take a crunching bite. He chews vigorously, a bit of juice flicking out to run down his chin. "These're good - you get these at market? Neh like northern apples.." And they aren't - crisp and juicy, compared to withered and hard. He swallows, mercifully, before talking further.
"Young Lord's improving, alright. But he's pushing hisself pretty hard. He's riding that keen edge." Fenrir may be no surgeon himself, but it's a sure fact that he's seen - and sustained - his share of injuries. The lean master-at-arms knows how recoveries can go sour. He smiles aside at Orlagh, changing the subject deftly. "You know, I remember you. When you was a kid. You remember me, from back then?"
Replacing his sword and board at the back of his chair, Anders takes the moment to head to the fire to make himself a cup of tea. He's breathing a little heavier in the exertions of the sparring, but that's really to be expected. It's been a little while since he's had the exercise, and finally he's able to get back into shape, slowly but surely.
With the steaming mug in hand, Anders considers the request made of him, and looks to the scene, his Master at Arms and his lady's handmaiden. Good pair, that.. and when he ascends, the pair'd have his House running smoothly, to the point where.. nothing would really rear its head as a concern. Exhaling in a soft sigh, he should probably run interference, just in case Fen says something that he may regret.. 'Interference' probably isn't the best word, but.. and he begins his approach, gesturing with a hand that neither is to rise as he is simply going to take his ease on the ground with them. "Southern fruit is .. certainly a treat.." Beat. "May I?" It isn't his, after all..
"Apparently the Ironborn have no liking for apples." is the offered reply from the girl, as she pauses to regard her own half-eaten fruit. "..this and firewood, both in abundance down by the docks." Glancing aside toward Fenrir as he speaks, she sighs in a vaguely chiding manner and reaches to swipe that little trickle of juice from his chin with her thumb - an unthinking motion, as if were a poorly house-trained child. Which, really, he pretty much is. "He always did push himself rather hard.. more to prove, in his mind, I think.." Tilting her head a little, apparently satisfied enough with the soldier's appearance, such as it is, she draws back her fingers. She's always at least a little less formal, when they're not in the presence of their betters. Less scathing, anyway.
"No. I don't really remember you, so much as.. the chatter of the older girls in the kitchens about you." Orlagh looks faintly perplexed for a moment, her blue eyes wandering away from the Master-at-Arms as she considers. "Something about the smithy.. there was a rhyme about it, I think. About hot iron..?" She quite plainly has -no- grasp of what it was really to do with, as she recites a little of what she can remember. "Six times did his iron, by vigorous heating.. grow soft in her forge in a minute or so.."
Blinking innocently, she turns her wide blue eyes back toward the soldier, and up to the Young Lord as he approaches them. "..I didn't know you'd an interest in smithing, Master Fenrir." At Anders' request, she's offering him a pleasant smile, picking an apple from the sack - one of the largest - and tossing it toward him.
At the touch to his chin, the master-at-arms preens, head tilting unconsciously to make the young woman's task easier. Fenrir reddens considerably as the young woman quotes the old song, a dull blush that starts at his neck and creeps upward. He clears his throat hastily, buying time by biting into his apple and chewing with a vigor that approaches violence. Looking up as Anders approaches, the master-at-arm has a decidedly-relieved expression on his face. He mutters an answer to Orlagh, a bit sheepishly. "..Pays to know a bit, in my trade, I suppose.." Nodding a few times, the man slowly regains his composure.
"Ah, Lord! Have a seat, huh? I was just telling Orlagh I remembered her, from when she was a girl. Remember that time you two was playing hide-and-seek?" Pay it forward, embarassment-wise. He shoots Orlagh a sly glance, reaching over to nudge her ribs. "You remember, I wager. What you didn't know is I was one of the lads who had to break you two up. And now, look at you. All refusing to dance and such-like, a proper lady. I thought you was gonna run off and be a knight, I did."
Bastard. And here Anders was going to make comment about the necessity of striking only when the fire is hot, but it probably wouldn't have been in his friend's favour the reaction. Still.. and catching the apple as tossed, he twists the stem until it's pulled out, and taking a set on the ground, takes the first bite. He's a little neater, but it's hard to slurp and apple's juices.. properly. Instead, now that he's found that it's a little more messy than expected, he pulls out a small hand-knife and begins to cut the fruit and eat it from the blade.
Fenrir is granted a stare of good natured death, if that's at all possible. "I maintain that Lise enjoyed cheating at every chance.. and because I would be chastized by my mother, she'd send Orlagh out as a sacrifice, thinking that it'd keep me from lodging my complaint." And 'complaint' from Anders in youth was an all out pout, followed by loud complaint.
The trio are sitting down off to the side; the levies aren't yet returned from their 'warm down' practice, and the kitchen maids are busy at the pots making fish stew. Anders and Fenrir are seated with Orlagh, all eating apples.. and the lady's maid has some embroidery upon her lap, sewing something into a tunic(?)..
Though she's nodding slowly in acknowledgement of Fenrir's answer, the girl is evidently still trying to remember more of that damned verse, her lips moving silently as she glances down at the remnants of her apple for a short time. Perhaps luckily for him, she can't seem to dredge it up from memory. She'll have to ask someone, later. Taking a bite instead, she lets her gaze wander back to observe the exchange between the two men, then shoots the Master-at-Arms a sardonic look, even as she's chewing.
With a sigh, when she's done and swallowed, she shakes her head and relents to a quiet smile. "..I was only a child. And besides.." That gaze flits, with a sudden flare of mischief, toward Anders. "..he started it." Her cheekbones flush with warm color even as she addresses him thus. But it's worth it. "And I don't refuse to dance, Master Fenrir… I just refuse to dance with you, 'specially when I ought to be seeing to my duties." She points that out pleasantly, at least. Then she pauses, a thought occurring to her. "..you broke us up? Were you the one who dropped me in the water-trough, then?"
"Er.. Maybe. I really don't remember too clearly." That's a yes, then. Fenrir, now once more on the defensive, turns silently to Anders for help. And luckily, the man has already delivered a perfectly good change of topic. Lise! "Ah, yeah, she was always clever like that, Young Lord. She liked her little games, I recall; more'n likely, she was taking your dolls.. toy soldiers, that is.. while poor Mistress Orlagh here was out being the decoy, like." Fenrir grins toward his friend, returning the stare-of-death with a perfectly innocent expression.
"Anyhow! You never gave me a proper answer on why it is you ain't willing to go dancing with me. I mean to say, I ain't homely, really, and I'm a real good dancer.." All evidence to the contrary. But then, how easy is it to be good when you don't have a partner? "And I wager Lord Anders'll give us both the night off sometime soon, if I promise to neh tell his wife he been sparring with me." Mischief alights on the man's features, making him seem far younger than his years. "Course, she'd be as mad at me as at him. Mebbe madder. So that's a bad choice, then."
Now all that water trough talk was definitely before Tia was there, to be sure. But the lady in black comes in from whereever she's been, her hair windblown, harp in hand and seeming to be relatively calm. Though the observant might notice that she's found a touch of colour from the sun some place. Her sworn has been left at the edge of the camp, to see to his own whatever guards do when they're dismissed. Which means he's followed her until she's safe and then removed himself to go get some rest before he's called back to duty, poor slob. Adara heads to go get things ready for Tia when she retires, as her hair will need quite some care. Thus, Tia alone comes in, just in time to hear Fenrir's words, and that brings an arched brow. "Perhaps I ought to tell Corrie for you both then," she says simply.
Anders would point out again that they were victims of Lise's plotting, but allow the maid her 'He started it'. However, he has to laugh as the realization comes that it was, indeed, Fenrir that did such a thing. Anders has a pang of almost-guilt at the memory of his laughing, but it's certainly short lived when his friend points out the fact that he had toy soldiers, and he certainly did play with them.. re-enacting battles, myths and legends. His sister would steal them, both to be as mean as only a little sister could be, and because, well.. she had dolls, and they had to have husbands in order to have babies. Many a father he had in his army, apparently.. "Soldiers." Just in case..
Holding his hand up to ward off the threats, the one with the knife, Anders grins at the threats. "I will allow the evening off.. I will have one of the other maids serve her Lady and, I say this with apology Orlagh, but she may never know the difference. Not for the night, anyway— And Lady Tiaryn," his attention comes around quickly, "Goodcousin.. The less to concern her, the better." Please? "And.. welcome.." Beat. "I think." The last bit is given with jest.
Seeming about to reply to Fenrir airily, the fair-haired girl instead halts herself abruptly at the sound of the newly-arrived Tiaryn's voice. Sweeping her embroidery to one side with her hand, she rises smoothly to her feet and turns to face the noblewoman, dipping a respectful curtsey. Guilt by association! Not that she could have prevented the pair from sparring but still.. to be caught sitting in the grass, apparently idle.. damnit. Lowering her gaze demurely, she greets the other young woman in quiet tone, not returning to her little patch of ground as yet. Poor Master Fenrir. The Gods really do conspire against him ever getting that dance, don't they? Wait. What?
Looking askance toward Anders as he easily grants his permission - apparently already having thought of how to accomplish things?! - Orlagh blinks a few times before looking to Fenrir. Damnit again. She's been outfoxed.
"Perhaps you oughtn't tell, Lady Flint." Fenrir rises to his feet more slowly than Orlagh, but he rises, a lazy half-smile creasing his face as he studies the black-clad newcomer. He glances aside at Anders with a comforting gestures, as if to say 'I've got this'. Returning his attention to Tiaryn, Fenrir remarks calmly, "Lord's neh the worse for wear, d'you see, Lady. And a man has to get his exercise. Like your sworn man back there, off to grab hisself a mug of ale - there's plenty we all pretend neh to see, ain't there?" He bites into his apple, chewing affably before swallowing.
Grinning toward Orlagh as she realizes she's been outmaneuvered - what were those two naughty boys talking about as they drank into the night? - Fenrir remarks, "See there, Mistress Orlagh? All right and proper now - got a Lord's blessing, what's more." He's trying not to laugh, that much is obvious. "You was talking the other day about hunting and the like. I didn't hear much, but ain't it said that a lone wolf starves to death? Every man needs a friend, Mistress." A wink toward Anders.
Tiaryn pauses a moment, her attention first to Anders as he suggests that Corrie doesn't need any additional worries. As if he's not already Corrie's biggest worry. Before she answers, Fenrir comes out with his little attempt, and he finds he gets a long stare from Tia. Who is no sweet and innocent young thing, by far. (Much to Corrie and Anders' bemusement and … amusment). "Orlagh, do sit down again. I don't bite, and you were there quite nicely before I got here. Please," she starts with. Then she eyes the boys, with a slightly tilted head and her lips quirk in a mischievous smile for a moment. "Anders, do remind me to play you the end of that song one of these days," she says, and just that to the Young Lord. Fenrir now, he's the one with the easy way of speaking and all. "Are you two ganging up on poor Orlagh? That's not very nice, is it? Perhaps I ought to tell Corrie that you are sparring with Anders, after all." She pauses, and then, she just can't help it. "Well, unless you can perhaps bribe me not to tell?" Now, Anders by now will probably know that Tia has no intention of telling Corrie any such thing. But whether Fenrir and Orlagh know, that is another story entirely.
Anders slowly rises, his knife stabbing into his apple before he does so. When Tia does make mention of asking them to sit once again, it catches him midrise, and he's glad enough to do so. His words, then, are for all of them, as an idea obviously comes to him that should take care of all of them in a single sweep. "I think I know exactly what it is that can be done that will satisfy you all.." But what that is, he's remaining silent on the matter. He'll host a dance. But not one for the nobility, no.. a pauper's frolic, as it were. The nobility will sit this one out. Perhaps, if it doesn't offend the Lady Tiaryn, she can play once for them?
Any comment about that, however, goes by the wayside, a grin coming, and he shakes his head briefly and takes the knife from the apple before he cuts another slice. It's mid-day, the kitchen maids are hard at work making their fish stew with fish, and some odd vegetables that aren't found in the north.. off to the side now, there's a foursome, Anders seated, and the others.. in various forms of standing and seating.. "We aren't ganging up on her, my lady. She is quite capable of turning things about, and very properly."
Looking suddenly rather uncertain of how to proceed, the handmaiden simply gazes at Fenrir for a long moment in the wake of his words. There's a glance to Anders, but he has already proven he has no intention of offering her any sort of protection from this… improper notion. You should always take the side of the one who makes your tea. Silly Lordling. Tia, at least, seems to understand the girl's fluster. Thank the Gods for another woman!
Dipping her another brief curtsey, by way of acknowledgement and gratitude, Orlagh produces the half-eaten apple from where it had been discreetly hidden behind her back and nibbles on the flesh of it as she returns to her seat in the grass, smoothing her plain skirts beneath her. As an afterthought, she takes up another in her free hand and offers it out silently to the teasing noblewoman. Maybe a silent message. Here. Take this. And chase him with a stick. To the matter of the Lady Cordelya, though, she offers no comment. There's little doubt that Corrie would go off her head, if she knew. But it's hardly a good servant's place to hide things from her mistress, if she's asked, either. Oh… Rock. Orlagh. Hard place. Such is life.
An entourage of Charlton's make their way off the road and into the beginnings of the Flint Campsite, with the first being Aleister and the remaining three being a knight and two men at arms. As they begin to press a little further into the camp, the knight that moves beside Aleister lifts his voice so that he might call out, "Greetings from the Charltons!". Best to let them know that friends are at their door and not enemies.
Fenrir grins toward Tiaryn, dipping his head to Anders as the young lord announces that he has a solution to the problem. "See, Lady? You got your bribe - Young Lord's a clever one, and whatever he's got in mind… Well, I wager it'll solve our problem." He grins to Anders, exhibiting utmost faith in the other man's ability to provide a pleasing compromise, whatever it may be.
Orlagh's various predicaments, and the silent alliance she seems to be forming with Tiaryn, do not go without notice. The master-at-arms grins again, broader even than before, and seems about to offer some pithy comment. But then the Charlton Lord announces he and his men, and Fenrir is straightening, stiffening slightly and looking around. Other men-at-arms are already responding - not in a hostile manner, but it wouldn't do to have the visiting Lord be the only one with guards around him. He gestures the men to keep back with a low sweep of his hand. "Greetings, Charlton!" he calls out. But he doesn't invite the Lord to come closer - that job is for the Flint Lord.
That gets a sweet smile from Tia, as she glances over to Fenrir, giving him a once over, quite a-purpose. "But it wasn't Anders I was asking for a bribe." What, he gets off that easy? As if. Tia then moves forward to take the proffered apple with a smile and a "Thank you," to Orlagh. Anders gets a glance, and a calmly spoken, "A solution? And what, pray tell, might that be?" Curiosity shows as she allows it to. At least she's trying to stay somewhat on the happier side of life, these days, trying to find more than just the despair that previously was her lot. She pauses, remaining standing as the new arrivals are introduced, an apple in one hand, harp in the other. Oh, the decisions.
His idea now requires thought, and planning— something that he's in turned encouraged and damned for doing by his Master at Arms. But this time? Anders imagines that encouragement is the course of the day. "I will need you, good cousin.. so patience and it will be revealed."
To hear the hail to the camp, the Young Lord gains his feet and puts his knife away, setting his apple to the side. At the movement of his own, he nods to Fenrir and takes a step forward, his voice rising, "My Lord Charlton. Be welcomed.. and take your ease here." He takes a step away from the women, though he doesn't leave, per se. He's still easily within their circle. "I had heard that you'd found your strength, and it was a welcome message indeed. Come in."
Inclining her head a fraction, the girl smiles as the offer of a simple apple is accepted. Apparently that gives her leave to take another great crunching bite of her own, blue eyes wandering between Tiaryn and the Master-at-Arms. But it would seem, for now, that this brief period of peace and quiet is over. This time scooping up her needlework, bundling it with both hands as she holds the remaining core of her apple between her teeth, Orlagh pushes back to a stand again as the calls of greeting go back and forth overhead. Once straightened, she dusts off her weighty wool skirts and shrinks back a little, not barring the path between her Lord and the visiting one. Truth be told, though, she eyes the approaching knights with some curiosity.. from behind the safety of fenrir's far taller shoulder.
Belatedly remembering she's observing, wide-eyed, over half an apple, she drops the fruit into one hand and sweeps it behind herself again; that slate blue tunic still clutched firmly against her thigh at the other side. Servant girls have no need to get in the way of noble discussion such as this. Unless tea is requested, of course. Lowering her eyes, Orlagh remains silent.
The resounding calls that come have Aleister turning to look at the Knight that accompanies him so as to offer, "Remain with the men. No harm will come to me here." That said, he's turning back to the group so that he can make his approach across the camp and in the direction of Anders. As he draws closer, it's easy to note the bandage that covers his head and the lack of hair that emerge from the edges of such a thing. And those that know the Knight, might just catch that his clothing hangs a touch more loosely then before, but it doesn't seem to hinder the man, for his voice lifts just as a smile had curved upon his lips, "I have indeed, Northerner! It would seem that I, and my House, own you thanks."
Sotto voce to Tiaryn, Fenrir murmurs "I ain't got the coinage you're looking for, Lady Tiaryn." Whatever he means by that, it's out of the corner of his mouth and likely no more than half-audible even to the woman he addresses. He glances down and smiles to Orlagh as she chooses to use him as a human shield, features relaxed apart from the eyes - if the eyes are windows into a man's soul, Fenrir's soul is tensed as tightly as a guitar-string. It's not that he expects trouble - far from it - but this is a man who prefers to plan every contingency out, and here he hasn't even been able to provide a proper reception for the Charlton Lord. As the nobles begin to address one another, Fenrir murmurs softly down at Orlagh. "Two cups of strongwine, I think, sweetling. If they got goblets.." He trails off. The young handmaiden likely knows the business of reception better than he, after all. His apple is dropped discreetly behind his right leg.
Tia gives Anders a polite curtsey at his comment, and she turns to the arriving Charlton to also give him a genteel greeting, but it is perhaps cut short by the peal of good humoured and gentle laughter that Fenrir's comment brings to her. The one thing that can be said, it is a musical sound, that laughter. She glances sidelong at him and offers him a "Tsk tsk, such assumptions, Master Fenrir." But she leaves it there, turning her attention to the Charlton Lord as he speaks. She listens for a moment, before she moves to find a seat, leaving the two lords to their discussion. It takes her only a moment to settle down, the apple for the moment settled safely to one side, as she deliberately plays a phrase from the previous night's third song.
"I'd wondered how I'd repay your efforts at aiding our encampment the other day, and this looks as good as any, my lord?" Anders approaches his friend, and stretching out his hand, he offers proper greeting with a handshake, a grasp of forearms. "You're looking well, and it is good to see you moving about and in your own senses once again." Looking back at the gathered, he searches a moment before he gives Fen a look. While he's not abandoning them per se, his moment of respite is done.. and it's the mantle of the Young Lord that he retakes, and easily. He's used to it now.. but that song? *laughs*.. They'll be in the pavillion.
Gesturing towards the tent, Anders offers, "Drink will be coming, so pray come in and take your comfort. We haven't had near the amount of conversation as we should, and as time grows shorter, we do need to speak on many matters— some of which you may find interesting." The smile remains, his tones conversational. Whatever it is that is to be discussed doesn't necessarily weigh too heavily upon his mind, though some may end up that way. One never knows.
Nodding - and stooping to snatch up that dropped apple, seeing as nobody's looking - Orlagh begins to make a subtle departure from the gathering, avoiding looking directly toward the visiting nobleman or the entourage he has dismissed for the time being. Lesser servants might stare at a tall knight with a bald and bandaged head. But not her. With dark skirts sweeping the lush grass underfoot, the handmaiden makes her way toward the main pavillion at a brisk pace, her thigh-length braid swaying a little with the momentum of her gait. No doubt there's a pitcher of wine and fresh goblets waiting somewhere handy.. unlike some, Orlagh tends to prepare for as many eventualities as she can imagine. Besides.. Anders doesn't always want ale, of an evening. She disappears through into the tent for now, but is unlikely to be lost to sight for long. Just enough time to set away her stitching, toss the apples into a bucket to later offer to her favourite horse and to scoop up the requirements for a more.. seemly greeting. With an ear always open to the tone of the Young Lord's voice, she likely discerns that he and his guest will be moving inside. A swift glance about reassures her that yes, everything is in order. Placing the goblets neatly on the main table, the brimming pitcher of strongwine between, the girl promptly makes herself scarce. Which means ducking out through a side panel. It's as if she were never there.
There's a grunt in the direction of Anders and a quick, "Fucking Volmark," before his hand comes to clasp the other nobles forearm for a quick shake. Then, when it's released, he's offering, almost as an aside, "Think you still owe me on, Northerner. But since I'm told that you allowed your wife to see to my treatment and stay by my side throughout, I shall call it even." The last comes with a hint of a jest and it's only then that he's looking to the others that had made up the little Flint grouping on this day. To each there's a simple nod of his head before he's looking back to the Young Lord.
"Drink would be most welcome, my friend." A pause is taken, enough so that his hands can dip beneath his cloak to clasp together at the small of his back. "You're right, we haven't. That is why I have come, to see that this is rectified." A look to the pavilion is given and now, he simply waits for Anders to take the lead.
Fenrir notes the departure of Orlagh, and her swift exit from the side panel of the pavilion, with an approving nod to himself. Competence personified, that one. He inclines his head gravely to Aleister in return for the other man's nod, then addresses Anders quietly. "I'll handle the folks out here, Young Lord. No matter - shout if you want me, aye?" Though the words are informal, it's clear that Fenrir too knows that this has become an occasion of Lords. His lips twitch a bit at Tiaryn's choice of music, but he doesn't -quite- smile. Wouldn't be proper. A glance around, as though he were waiting on someone else to rejoin the small group.
Tia is quite happily letting the lords go discuss the politics, though that will leave Fenrir somewhat outnumbered, if he doesn't run for cover. She too watches Orlagh's disappearance, and then she turns to play a perhaps more seemly song, at least for the moment. She appears to have a fairly broad repertoire, moving into a somewhat stately pavanne sort of song for a bit, now that Aleister is properly in the camp. Being an inlaw of a cousin, she's not even thinking to impose herself on any such conversations as might happen between the lords. Which would not be proper besides. it's much safer for her to stay where she is, though admittedly she'll have to call for her own maid if Orlagh doesn't return. Which would be a shame, as Adara is more than likely to want to try to fix Tia's hair. Which does remind the widow, music stopping briefly as she raises a hand to her hair and then just shakes her head. "That's what I get for sitting by the water for so long," she murmurs softly.
Fortunately for the Lady, Orlagh does indeed return - having ordered one of her scarce underlings to see to the duty of pouring more wine, if it is called for. Sometimes, just sometimes, absence is more genteel than lingering. She has no interest in knowing everything of Anders' business.. and no place, either. Maybe it's the music that draws her back, in the end? Certainly her gaze lingers on Tiaryn with telling curiosity and evident appreciation of such a rare pleasure. Yes, it's better that the woman has a chaperone, even within the camp of her family by union. Orlagh doesn't seem to mind serving in that capacity for now, in the absence of her own mistress. She does grant an absent smile toward Fenrir, as she returns.. but much of her previous easygoing candour is set aside now, in lieu of propriety. "M'lady.." Yet another shallow curtsey, as she addresses Lady Flint. "..is there anything I can bring for you?"
Fenrir exhales slowly, relaxing as the nobles enter the tent. For a hasty reception, the men-at-arms who formed a loose formation nearby had done quite well - each and every one of them was turned out in their proper arms and armor. He gives a quick smile to their leader, the reliable Jory, and calls toward him with a jerk of his chin to the knight and men-at-arms from the Charlton household. "Oi! See that those lads get themselves some food and wine, eh? And go ahead and socialize, get the gossip, I know s'what you're really after."
Better to force the Charlton men to relax a bit, -just in case- there's trouble between the Lords. Fenrir smiles more broadly as he turns back to Tiaryn and Orlagh, nodding a faint approval at the latter's easy assumption of a new role. He doesn't speak just yet, himself, but instead hums in time with Tiaryn's harp-playing.
Tiaryn's eyes dance briefly as the roles change in the blink of an eye. She continues to play, choosing proper songs at the moment, since there's proper business going on. She takes a breath at Orlagh's question, and then she inclines her head. "If you wouldn't mind, I would love something to drink. Tea would be lovely if you have some ready - ale will do as well if you do not. And then come sit, and relax." She pauses a moment, and then she adds, "I appreciate your company, given that Adara is busy setting things up for later this evening, Orlagh. Thank you." She glances over at Fenrir and the rest of the men, watching as they move to entertain the Lord Charlton's men. That's all well and good, with the accompaniment of Tiaryn's harp music to keep things hopefully light hearted. "And Master Fenrir, do sit as well. I'm quite sure you both can guard my honour while chatting with me, instead of standing like statues."
Nodding in assent, a faint smile tugging at her lips, perhaps in pride at being this prepared, Orlagh's turning on a bootheel to head to one of the closest cooking-fires, where a small pot remains slung above the flames - high enough not to scorch, but within the heat to keep its contents pleasantly warm. The tea is nothing fancy or extravagant.. but it's expertly sweetend with a mixture of aromatic herbs. More than likely, it's done to either the Lord or Lady's tastes. But these are not, surprisingly enough, so outlandish that another cannot enjoy them!
Carefully pouring some into a simply clay mug, the girl casts an absent glance about herself, briefly watching the two sides as they come together in enforced pleasantries. The initial moments are always a bit awkward.. she knows the feeling well. Thoughtfully enough, the handmaiden decides to bring a second mug for the Master-at-Arms. If he's going to sit and enjoy some feminine company - and everyone knows how Fenrir Viiding enjoys feminine company, for sure - he may as well do so with a hot drink.
Accepting the mug of tea with a smile to Orlagh, Fenrir shakes his head slowly in answer to Tiaryn's request. "I better stand, if it's all the same, Lady. If he needs me, or if that lot over there break out into a scuffle.." The master-at-arms trails off, taking a sip of tea and blinking. He grins enthusiastically toward Orlagh. "This is -good-, this is!" He takes another sip of the steaming brew, beaming.
"Anyhow, like the Lady Tiaryn says, you ought to sit, Mistress Orlagh. Good spirits know you been running around all day, pricking your finger and such-like." Even as he talks in such an amiable manner to the pair, his eyes are on the men as the two groups meld. And his ear, of course, is cocked for shouts for aid. After all, nobody's a traitor until he is.
Tia won't gainsay the man his work, so she simply settles in comfortably. She does set the harp aside to accept the tea, fishing her apple back up so she can start eating that little nugget of good taste. "Certainly," she says to Fenrir first. "You're quite welcome to stand as long as you wish." She glances to Orlagh to see what the Mistress is going to decide to do, as she takes a sip of tea, testing the taste experimentally. Tia's already determined that she has no problem drinking tea made to Corrie's tastes, so that merely means that she enjoys the warmth of the tea, and the chance to taste it. "If you haven't had the opportunity to get a drink for yourself, Orlagh, please don't stint yourself on my account," she adds softly. A glance back over to Fenrir, and she says, "Sparring? Really? Is he up to that?"
"I'm fine, thank you, m'lady." Orlagh's reply seems genuine, softly uttered as it is, and the girl merely lowers to a seat in the grass yet again, curling her legs up to one side beneath the drape of her drab skirts, one hand resting lightly atop as the other braces her weight. Content to observe the exchange between the noblewoman and the Master-at-Arms, she does seem fairly interested in Fenrir's opinion of the Young Lord's returning strength, venturing a curious glance up toward the tall soldier as she awaits his response.
Fenrir sips his tea contemplatively as he watches the men interact, only belatedly looking back to Orlagh and Tiaryn. "Young Lord's right - if he waits too long, he ain't gonna have any strength to regain. I didn't hit him hard, and he got a good strike in against me. I'd say he knows his limits." The judgement is genuinely assessing, but he quirks a lip up in a smile to the pair.
"Of course, I ain't a chirurgeon - but it's important, you see. If he don't get back into the practice of it, and quick-like, you start to doubt your own nerve." He's speaking from experience, here, casting a glance toward the large pavilion. "Young Lord needs to train. Ready or not."
That gets a bit of a wrinkled nose from Tia as she considers the words, and then she nods her head. "Like falling off a horse, one must get back in the saddle," she decides, comparing the fighting to something she does know something about. "Yes?" she asks for verification to see if she's at least got the concept somewhat close. "I think that I won't tell Corrie then, since I really do not want to worry her. And - Orlagh, are you aware that she had a moment by the water where she didn't even recognize me or seem to know I was there? It was somewhat worriesome, which is why I mention it to you." Her words are spoken low enough to be only for the two who are here, and that she is assuming loyal to Anders and Corrie.
Seeming to similarly understand the notion Fenrir speaks of - though who knows what comparisons are drawn in her mind - Orlagh follows his idle gaze toward the pavillion with a faint smile playing about her lips. She's fond of the family, it's obvious in everything she does. So when Tiaryn speaks up regarding some.. strangeness.. about her Lady, her attention is directed abruptly toward the noblewoman, the shadow of a worried frown darkening the girl's brow.
"No, m'lady.. I was not aware. By the water, you say..? Not the cliffs, I hope." Her gaze wanders in the vague direction of the harsh coastline as she says this. But she likewise keeps her tone conspiratorially soft in reply. "..was she unchaperoned again? I do apologise, Lady Tiaryn.." Orlagh swiftly begins taking the blame upon herself, as a more senior servant of the House. "..and I of course share your concern. She did not recognise you?" This is evidently an odd notion, indeed, to the handmaiden.
Tia shakes her head negatively to Orlagh. "No no, she had a chaperone, both a sworn and one of the maids, as did I. But she was seated up on a large rock a short distance away, and I do not think they realized that she was - perhaps hearing things in the sound of the ocean. I was there myself today, and did not hear any singing, other than my own." She keeps her voice low, takes another sip of her tea, and then sets both the cup and the apple down, only one bite taken so far out of the apple. Fenrir gets a glance as she considers what he's said. "Perhaps, though I think it may have been more than that. Just keep an eye on her, will you? It worried me somewhat." She collects the harp and starts with a hauntingly beautiful song, a gentle melody that she also sings along to, taking the moment to try to change the topic, somewhat, at least momentarily.
"I promise you nothing
I take only that which is free
I'd give you a life full of risk
and the whirlwind of joy that can be
Don't try to bind me
Just love me without any greed
And I'll give you the world
and my heart
and the air that I breathe
Slip the jesses my love
This hunter you own from the hood to the glove
When the circling and striking are done and I land
Let me come back to your hand
Let me come back to your hand … "