|As You Say|
|Summary:||Liliana and Jerold share a few words, chastisements and a gift.|
|Related Logs:||Jerold, Knight, Savior! Among the Pines and Nettles. Muirenn, flesh embroiderer! Healing Hands and What We Do Now. Camden is Burning! Thus Fell Tall Oaks.|
|Armory — Four Eagles Tower|
|Behind a bolted door lies the Tower's Armory. Stacks of armor line the walls, each placed carefully upon shelves with their helmets. Spears, pikes, axes, and bows line one wall while on the other and also kept on racks in the center are dozens and dozens of swords of all kinds. These are all mostly identical with few variations among them except for design and size as the armory is simply a repository for defense arms. At the front near the door the Guards have their own personal storage space for their more customized gear.|
|04 Jan 289 AL|
Jerold Terrick has been awhile within the armory, putting the counts of new spears the castle smithy has put out in the last several days. He instructs the household seneschal, "See that these are taken to Lord Jacsen, and inform Ser Hardwicke that there are a further dozen arms to provide the volunteers." A nod dismisses the man.
It's not been very difficult, to find the Lord of the Roost, but trying to get through the smallfolk and men at arms, and the generally conscripted, to break through the line, as it were, is a difficult thing. Perhaps it's her tenacity, or the pity in the eyes of some, as they look on the woman, dressed in her leathers now, and still moving haltingly, or just the sheer obstinate, bullish expression on her face, but she manages to make it as far as the armory, slipping in as the man dismissed slips out. A small bundle in hand, the previous expression shifting to uncertainty as she enters the room, "My Lord?"
Jerold had just leaned a war lance against the wall beside the stand which displays his own armor, when Liliana speaks up. "Ahh, Liliana," the aging Lord of the ravaged Roost voices as he sees his ward. "I am pleased to see you are afoot again. Tell me, how do you fare, my dear?"
"I am alive, my Lord, thanks to you." A beat, before she continues, "I know it must have seemed foolish, but there was need, and I had to try." She has not forgotten that Jerold took the time from defending his keep to see her to safety, which he aught not, perhaps, have had to do. "Lady Muirenn has been tending to my wounds…and the Maester tells me I might be well again, in a few months, perhaps." Free of the limp she means, which is noticeable, but not debilitating. "Has there been word? From my—-from the North?" Clearly she means Tall Oaks, but it's a bit difficult to say. Indeed, everything seems a bit difficult to say. The hard, steady countenance crumbling, as it always does, in the presence of the one soul in the keep with whom Liliana has always been unfailing honest, and unashamedly so, as a daughter to a father.
"It was foolish, Liliana," Jerold affirms with a slow nod. "Arrows are best spent from atop a wall. Had you been less fortunate, had Sers Blayne and Drakemoor not held back the raiders as long as they did, you would have fallen, and-" He pauses. "And what befalls the north would have been a greater tragedy still. We know not how many of your kin and smallfolk escaped, but a raven arrived with word that Tall Oaks were being attacked." There is no delicate way to say what follows. "Two days after, a great conflagration marked its place on our horizon."
As has always been her way, with Jerold, Liliana accepts the chastisement without argument. "I promise that I will not be so foolish again. I had…" a pause, before she continues, "Hoped to ask you if you would allow me to join the defenses. Lady Evangeline has the household well in hand…and Lady Anais is managing the stores," another pause, "And I can stand on the wall, or help with the horses." Very rarely, do the less ladylike skills of the Camden woman come into usefulness in the orderly, proper Tower, but perhaps now is one of those times. And while not delicate, she appreciates the delivery of the news of her home. Jerold is not yet as harsh as he could be. "My family would not have wished to forsake their home, nor the smallfolk that depend on them for their safety." A deep breath, "I have seen…from the roof. The home that cradled me is burning. There can be no other explanation."
Jerold does not soften the news with hope of what might or might not be. Rather, the Lord of the Roost answers, "Liliana, you may accompany Lady Anais in her review of the battlements, and you may do so with a bow and one quicker of arrows. I believe my gooddaughter takes such walks as an excuse to be on the walls should another bow be needed, but I will not refuse her this small comfort, nor shall I forbid it for you." He draws a fresh breath. "Yet in the event of a full assault, you are to withdraw to the keep, among the other ladies of my House. Do you understand?"
Liliana nods, only after listening to Jerold's decree, accepting his judgments as writ and law, as she always does. "Yes, My Lord. I will do as you say. If they should assault the keep…I have some skill with healing. I will use it to help as I can." There is a moment, another pause, as if she were trying to find the right words, and her voice softens, more the child and less the woman, "Papa…if all is lost, if my home…my family…what will happen to me? To the Oaks? Where will I go?"
Jerold nods in approval of her assent and declaration of help for the wounded. "Liliana, give prayer that all is not lost. Yet, if in their judgement the Gods have decreed that your home is no more, you remain my ward. You are my responsibility, and you are of my Household. You shall not be turned out, nor forgotten. Let that dread be one that does not trouble you in these dark times."
"No, Papa, I do not mean so. I know you would not turn me away. I mean…" Liliana lifts her shoulders, some of that obstinacy coming back to her face, "I mean to see my home restored, and our lands. I mean to seek reparations for what has been taken from my House, even as any of the other Houses will, once these Ironborn are repelled and sent back to their islands, if they are allowed to return at all, and not slaughtered for betraying the King's Peace."
"Let talk of rebuilding and reparation wait until we know the shape that the day on which peace dawns will take, Liliana," Jerold advises. "We all will have much to do on the day these reavers are driven off or slain."
Again, that nod of acceptance. "As you say, Papa. It is just….it helps to think of the future…so you don't have to think so much of today." An escape of sorts. "I will do all that I can." A glance down, and she finally seems to remember what she brought in her hands. A step forward, and she offers it to Jerold, "I could not find Young Lord Mallister. Your rations, to carry with you." Just the usual fare, dried meats, trail breads, the sort of thing tucked away in saddle bags, or on a knight or squire's person. "But…if you would, if it would not offend you," Liliana reaches into one of her pockets, pulling out a small piece of cloth, folded over, the same blue as her now ruined best Camden blue dress. Within a simple circle of clear tree resin. And suspended within that, a tiny, perfect example of a weirwood leaf. "To watch over you."
Lord Jerold accepts the offered amulet, "There are some who believe that the Old Gods are merely the faces of the Seven, before their names were known by men," he recalls aloud. "Thank you for this courtesy, Liliana. I will keep this close in the spirit it is offered, though I shall have no need of rations. I and mine shall be within the walls all too soon."
"Perhaps that is so, but I do not know for certain. All I know for certainty, is that I would wish whatever gods there might be, to preserve and keep you and bring you always safe back to your home and your family." Liliana looks much pleased, as Jerold accepts the amulet, though she reclaims the rations, "Then I will see them distributed to those who will have need of them. And I will leave you to continue with your duties. Thank you. You have given me more than I deserve."
"Very well," Lord Jerold nods in approval of re-distributing the rations. "The Tower's stores must be stretched for as long as possible, after all." To the last, he answers simply. "You are my ward, Liliana. I accepted you into this House as one of my own family, and that has not changed."
"And I have been luckier than most, My Lord. Many do not see their wards as true family. But I…I have been lucky enough to have not one father, but two. Both of whom have loved me, and given me a life full of freedom and opportunity and hope for the future." Liliana steps back, gathering back up the parcel she brought with her, "And there will be a future, beyond these Ironborn, beyond the burning." But she does offer a final, deep curtsey, before she takes the leave offered her, and goes back to join Eli, standing close by the door as always. Off to do her duty to what may well be the only House she has left.