|At The Grey Gates|
|Summary:||The Riverlord host gathers for a council before the Grey Gardens.|
|Related Logs:||Invasion logs, more to follow|
|Army Camp at Grey Gardens|
|29 February, 289 A.L.|
Having driven the smallfolk of Harlaw Isle into the fortifications before them, the commanders of the Riverlands host have come before the castle of Grey Garden.
The seat of a cadet branch of the Harlaw family, Grey Garden is not so towering as the fortress at Seagard, but is no less impressive, in its own way. Placed atop a series of low, stony hills which comand the south-eastern Harlaw lowlands, centuries of rainfall have washed away the great majority of earth which once covered the hillock, leaving the place a jagged maze of stone, natural once, but enhanced by the picks and minds of men. No single outer wall faces the invaders, rather it is a series of short walls atop stony crags, and cut ditches deepening natural gullies, each layer of the defense overlapping the next, seen from above like the petals of a grey, spreading flower.
Other than picking through blind canyons and hammering through a dozen smaller portals, the best method of approach is a long, elevated stone bridge which leads into the center of the unorthodox fortification. This passage is long and unprotected, all the while under the eyes (and no doubt stones and arrows) of the defenders.
Before this granite labrynth has come the Army of the Riverlands, divided into three portions to besiege the three clearest approaches to the Harlaw fortress, their deployment uncontested by the defenders. In the center-most camp, the ensigns have been gathered for a council.
Lord Tytos Blackwood has arranged his largest pavilion to be set aside for the event, with room for dozens of men within. A pair of camp tables have been set side-by-side to display the best-guess diagrams of the defenses, as well as the most current maps of Harlaw isle. Standing nearest the tables are those of highest rank: Jonos Bracken, Clement Piper, a pair of Vances, Rickart Nayland and Stevron Frey. Although Hoster Tully's health prevented his attendance, the Lord of Riverrun is represented by a banner bearer.
Having been one of those summoned to the gathering, Aleister makes his way along the ground at a medium pace, moving alongside a couple of Charlton knights who have accompanied him. Occassional looks are taken in the direction of the fortress and with only the hint of a chuckle, he's casting a look in the direction of one of his fellow knights, "I still say that we should send the common rabble out first. Teach them the way of things." That illicts a momentary chuckle and as they begin to draw closer to the camp, he's lifting a hand to wave off the knights, "Enjoy your time. I imagine I'll be awhile." Then, he's moving to slip within the pavilion, dipping a bow to those that are already present, along with a quick, "M'Lords," before moving to claim a seat over near to the Frey side of things.
Amongst those come to the council is one clad in green and more notably black. Representing his House and of course part of his House's contingent is the Blackrood, Ser Quellyan Charlton. And given the look of furrowed brows and hard pressed lips he is either out of drink or perhaps none to happy about the current looks of things. Still, Ser Quellyan came when summoned and is now waiting for the meeting to come underway. Currently his helm is being held in the crook of his arm.
"I have to say.." Ser Quell starts, though directed to his good cousin, Aleister. "This has to be the fucking worse thing I've seen in terms of a defense. Forget their walls. That's not what's got me buggered.." At least Quellyan keeps his voice down so as not to interrupt the most important of men as they study and talk. "It's that fucking bridge. It's bloody perfect for them and shit for any men we send to take it." Unlike though his own Cousin, there's no joy in sending the smallfolk to eat arrows. There's a look as they slip in and he offers his own bow as well. "My Lords.." muttered out before he is moving to take a place close to the Charlton Lord.
Dominick Augusten's fairly illegible signature is at the bottom of many of those area diagrams spread before his elders and betters; the commoner engineer himself is somewhere in a spot back a bit from the main thinktank. In Groves colors of course and with others of similar fashion sense, he half watches the backs of heads of Men In Charge and half fiddles with some wood thing in his hands, picking at a splinter with a knifepoint.
Studying as closely as possible, the Young Lord from Flint's Finger presses his lips together tightly. The geography is very much like home, what with the stones and such.. but like home, the damnable Ironborn have used it to their advantage. With proper respects offered, Anders is in the pavillion, searching for any possible weakness, and simply not finding any. Looking around at Aleister's entrance, he smiles to the Charlton Master at Arms, and goes back to what is turning into a vain attempt to discover any good points of attack. He exhales in a frustrated chuff of air, "Best hope would be that they run out of arrows," is muttered.
Lord Kittridge Groves stands a row back from the main table as well, his house not precisely of Blackwood and Piper-type standing. He's had more time to look over those diagrams than many, though, Dominick having made them, and he glances at the engineer frequently as the higher lords debate, looking to him for input.
The expression on Ser Martyn Mallister's face as he watches the fortifications while walking towards the pavilion seems to be a thoughtful one. Looking around rather carefully, before he shakes his head a bit, "This might take a long, long time, I fear…" he mutters, before he makes his way into the pavilion as well, bowing to the higher ranking Lords present. "My Lords," he offers, waiting a few moments before he moves to find himself a place with the others. Glancing in the direction of Stevron Frey, he then looks over to Anders as he hears the mutter, "And food, of course…" he offers, a bit quietly.
Moving along close to the Charltons is young lord Fenster. Being their vassal and all. Moving behind Aleister and Quellyan. A bow offered to the others when he moves inside. Taking a stand close but behind the Charltons. Looking to all the others and studying each of them. Most attention is directed to the highest ranked people in the room. Though he does look to Quellyan with a smirk having heard parts of the man's words.
Jarod is among those in the pavilion, as highest-ranking Terrick officer in the host. Hard year for the Terricks that it's been. He's standing near Kittridge, listening more than talking, though as he assesses the defenses he's also frowning thoughtful. And not churning up any particularly brilliant thoughts immediately.
Arriving at their destination and goal on this island, Ser Kell is part of the Terrick contingent of knights and soldiers and upon sighting the monstrosity that is Grey Garden, he already has a bad feeling about it. Despite not being built like the great walls of Seagard or Storm's End, the Hedge Knight can see that the natural fortifications are more than formidable enough. Kell usually wouldn't be part of meetings of Lords and Field Commanders but this battle looks to be bloody and brutal so he wanted to atleast hear what was going on or is being planned today. He does stay near Ser Rivers, who is representing the Terricks in the meeting tonight.
Rygar Nayland stands stern and silent toward the back of the assemblage, the place to Rickart's right hand occupied by the smiling Ser Riordan. He waits with hands clasped at the small of his back for the address of their appointed general.
Lord Tytos does not keep those assembled waiting for long. "Gentlemen," the lord of Raventree Hall begins. "It is plain we face great difficulty here. What siege engines we have are wasted against such.. irregular lines, and even provided with so illuminating a picture-" he pauses to incline his head briefly to the Groves contingent, "-We learn only how heavy the price of storming this fortress shall be. It is my intention to divide our force, leaving a token body here to carry on the siege of Grey Gardens, while carrying on with our greater strength to besiege Stonetree Hall, the Leviathan's Hold, and the Ten Towers."
Rafferdy has come to the pavilion, though he'd rather be doing something else. Or someone. Anyone, really. He's tired, and war is shit. He's wearing his noble clothing, a red leather outfit of pants and a sleeveless doublet with gold trim. His arms are thickly muscled from years of archery. A crimson cape finishes the outfit, perhaps making him look a bit pretentious. But then, he IS a Nayland. He has assumed a place near the other Naylands, and watches quietly.
Standing slouched behind Lord Kittridge, and his engineer, is another Groves man, though his own being here is mainly in attendance for his Lord's needs. Luckily, this man too in Groves colours remains silent, as eyes dart to those coming an' goin' as it is. But, then it is doubtful that anyone will be asking Raylan Weir what he thinks on this whole mess. He's no engineer. Not at all. A raised brow is given before he's looking down to his belt-moving to fetch something from a pouch therein. And as Lord Tytos begins, he does look back up and stills.
Dominick flickers a glance at Kittridge as Tytos speaks of splitting up their forces, then looks back at the talking heads up front. The knife makes a nearly inaudible 'shick' sound on the wood and he quietly blows a little dust off to the side.
Keelin is in his Mallister colours, helm in hand, and keeping quiet as he simply keeps with Lord Ser Martyn. Knight he is, and he's interested in what is going on to be sure. His expression is impassive, save for a slight smile at the words of Lord Anders and Lord Martyn with respect to arrows and food. But that smile fades quickly and he turns his attention to listening to the plans.
With Jarod, as ever, is the youngest of the Nayland brood, Rowan. The boy has been a dour presence most of his time on the isle, brooding in a fashion most unlike the typically cheeky, energetic lad. He stands by his Ser, a slender figure a head shorter than most men, arms folded as he squints at the fortress. He glances a Jarod, but for the moment says nothing.
Kittridge nods to Dominick as he catches that glance, and clears his throat. "Lord Tytos," he says, "To defend a place like this, with these sorts of fortifications, we estimate," he tips his head towards Dominick to indicate it is really HE that estimates, "They'd need at least 300 good soldiers, and they've probably closer to 500 or 1000 fighting men total in there in total. If we are to split our force we must be careful not to leave behind so few that they are easily overrun in a sally."
Oh sure, blame it on the commoner. Dominick lowers the wood piece as Kitt starts talking, like a student slacking off in class who's aware the teacher might be looking that way. His thumb gently scratches the end of his nose and he stay silent, listening.
Quellyan says nothing during the Lord's address. There's a quick glance over to his cousin, before he's reaching up to rub his nose-before inspecting his glove. There's an absent flick with his other hand, before he's settling in all fine. Shifting in his stance the Charlton knight seems at ease, even if his earlier words betrayed a hint of not looking forward to this particular siege. Eyes slide to the Groves men, before he's nodding-though absently.
'So-how many would you leave behind?' Quellyan murmurs softly to Aleister, quieting down, lest he gets called on, before adding a quick. 'And who?'
"Advantage in a siege is ever-with the defenders of a fortress," Jarod says. Less a real insight than a general note, like he's half thinking aloud. He looks to Kell and Rowan near him, then clears his throat and contributes. "Squids learned that at the Roost and Seagard. We any idea the size of their stores? They can only hold for so long as they can keep eating, as Ser Mallister touched on a little." He listens with interest for the answer to Kit and Quellyan's questions, once he's asked that.
Anders keeps his face forward, his jaw set.. and cheek tight. He's got a really, really good idea of how 'shit' the attack will be.. but keeps his thoughts to himself for the moment. Siege engines.. no go.. Sappers? He waits, however.. the decision to break up the army to pieces undoubtedly a foregone decision. "If we split our forces, my lord, each one is weaker.. why not save this, and use the others as examples of what will happen if they do not yield?"
Tytos Blackwood looks to Kittridge as the Groves speaks his concern. "Indeed, Ser. Our best reports place the strongest enemy forces at Grey Garden and Ten Towers, so the greatest strength of our host must be directed against those castles. I judge that the men of the Cape of Eagles should be sufficient to secure the surrender of this place. Two thousand men and knights ought be more than enough." As Anders speaks, Tytos is silent a moment, as one of his knights leans closer and whispers three words to him. "Lord Flint. We shall divide because if we do not, the whole of Harlaw Isle will be free to our enemies, and subdual of this castle could take some months by siege, or some hundreds by storming. I wish to see Harlaw Isle reduced within a month, my lords."
Listening to what's said, Aleister is then turning his attention in the direction of Quellyan when he's addressed by his cousin and with a slight nod of his head, he's murmering, "Don't know. Considering that." If there's more, it's cut off as other voices are heard and he's casting his eyes in the direction of Jarod, Anders and then Blackwood. To the latter, there's a slight nod of agreement, though nothing further comes to be offered from the Charlton Lord.
Raylan coughs lightly behind Kittridge as he starts to speak. Only now does the archer take time to look around the assembled Lords and Houses. Eyes squinting slightly as he shifts his weight. There's a brief look to Dominick, but it's quickly going back to the Lord Blackwood. There's a quick tightness that hits the commoner's jaw, as he shakes his head. But then he's no real tactician himself-what does he know?
As to Jarod's question of Ironborn supplies, Tytos Blackwood shakes his head to the negative. "We do not. It is known only that beside their fighting men, there are several times over the number of smallfolk, within." At those words, his expression turns toward a frown, without explanation.
<Public> Gedeon says, "Hey, Cein."
Martyn focuses on Lord Tytos as he hears the man's words, but then nods again at Kittridge's words. He then raises an eyebrow as he hears Anders speak, nodding once more at the words from the Flint. "And leaving behind someone that could come back to bite our proverbial butts…" he mutters to nobody in particular, before he looks a little lost in thought for a few moments. "Have we considered ways of drawing them out, My Lord?" he offers in the direction of Tytos.
Satisfied they're all talking again, Dominick looks back down at the wood he was picking at. The engineer's ears are keenly on the conversation, his hands making repetitive movements with the knife that require no concentration. He glances once at Raylan, checking on the man next to him, and raises an eyebrow with questioning curiosity at the man's tight-jaw expression.
Alric is staying silent as he listens to the others. Trying to hear all the question being asked. Head turning to listen to Anders and then the reply to him. Not saying much. All the answers and questions get nods of understanding. For now lord Tytos gets most of his attention. But Martyn's question does make him curious.
And, in Anders' understanding, fewer men in each army means more casualties and longer sieges.. but, of course, he defers. The amount of smallfolk within does give the Flint some concern, though not because of 'innocents', but rather, potential bow-arms. With Martyn's question about drawing them out, he exhales in a breath.. didn't work in the Roost, what with the killing of smallfolk. What would the Cape of Eagles army do? Tread on their crops with boots?
Tytos Blackwood arches a greying brow at Martyn's query. Yet it is not the Lord of Raventree Hall, but the Lord of the Mire who answers him. With a merry chuckle, Rickart Nayland wonders aloud, "Have you any such device in mind, my boy? Hah! I would that we could coax the Ironborn out of their holes, but only a fool would be drawn out of his castle against a superior force."
Kittridge nods to Lord Tytos as he replies, and then again, listening to the comments of others and glancing back at Raylan, lifting a brow. He faces front once again after a beat and inquires, "And how stand our stores, my lord? I know a survey has been done, but I haven't seen the numbers. Have we enough to sustain a besieging force for the time it may take?"
"Or treating with them?" Ser Quellyan speaks up. There's a glance back towards Martyn and a nod in the Mallister's direction. "Perhaps, only after we do something that would cripple the strength their defensives have. Such as, do we know which is their strongest point to sally forth? Where our strongest point of defense could be?" The Charlton knight offers at least something. "For instance-would it cripple our own attack or tacking of the Castle if we were somehow able to destroy or take away the advantage of their bridge? Because certainly should we assault from there, they will have the best look on us and the better killing angle on our men." It's nothing, but suggestion.
Keelin takes up a position, by Martyn, which gives him a decent view and not bad listening vantage. He considers the situation for a bit, an idea or two coming to mind, but for now, there's nothing that he's got in mind that's going to make this an easy fight or that someone else hasn't already said better. Still, he's paying attention, looking to see who has what ideas if any.
Jarod stands up a little straighter and squarer at Tytos' comment about the men of the Cape of Eagles being sufficient. Proud of his sufficiency, is Ser Rivers. About the supplies, he merely nods. "They'll go through what they have quicker with so much of the peasantry there. Presuming they bother to feed them." It's not really a joke. "What of their water supply? We know where they're drawing it from?" The bit about the bridge piques his interest.
Dominick also looks up with mild interest at the mention of destroying a bridge, glancing at Quellyan and then to the center gathering of lords.
Raylan looks towards Dominick and there's a faint shaking of his head "Later." is all he whispers out to both the Lord and the questioning engineer. It's not his place to voice his complaints or worries here. Besides, they could be all for naught.
"Destroying the bridge will simply free more of the defenders to man their warrens, Ser," Rygar states cold and crisp to the talk of demolishing the main path of advance. "So long as it stands, the enemy must post many of his warriors to the gates. Destroying it gains us nothing."
Rowan shifts his weight and glowers at his boots at the talk of the smallfolk in those walls. Whether they'll eat or not. Whether they'll be drinking poison. A muscle in his jaw flexes as his teeth grind. He exhales.
Kittridge frowns faintly, and, after a look to Dominick, and a questioning 'anything to say?' brow raised at him, he leans back towards Raylan, making a little gesture with head and hand and mouthing, 'What?'
"And if we draw their attention to make it appear we build another entrance, other than the bridge?" Anders looks to the plans once again, "I would think the best advantage we would have would be to keep them questioning from whence an attack came, even within their holding."
Martyn considers his words for a few moments as he nods at Rickart Nayland's words. "It would depend a bit on the field of vision from there," gesturing towards the fortifications a bit absently. "But the closest thing to an idea I have would involve doing just the thing Lord Tytos mentioned, with leaving behind just a token force here, in the best spot such a force can find to hold on for a while. If they think they have the superior force here, they might venture out to try to deal with our token force. "He holds up his hands a bit apart, "and if the main force remains somewhere far enough away that the defenders think they have gone, maybe get one part of it to the other side of where the main force departs. They come out," he moves his hands together forcefully. "And we can come at them from both sides, hopefully in a decisive way. I have no idea if such a plan might work, I must admit, but it's the closest thing I can think of…"
Dominick exhales silently through his nose, one corner of his mouth thinned more than the other. He glances at Rayland again and then Kittridge, leaning closer to murmur to his contingent.
"Gentlemen," Tytos Blackwood raises his voice to cut through the rising chatter. "By all conventions of war, if we were to seek an assault of this place, we must needs outnumber our foes by a count of six men to one. Such a count would require the whole of Lord Tully's six thousand. I will not commit the whole of this force to such an assault. If those who are entrusted with the reduction of this fortress are able to devise a stretegem that shall defeat the defenses, once the bulk of the army has moved on, they are welcome to employ it."
Listening to the conversation at hand, Aleister lifts a hand to rub lightly at the bridge of his nose before letting it fall away, "Focusing our attention on the Grey Gardens is simply a waste of our time and our resources." A faint huff escapes past the man's lips, followed by a nod of his head in response to Blackwood's statement, "We should simply look to hold the seige and that it is. There is no reason for an attack to be planned at this point. Our focus for an assault, should be upon the other holdings that are of consequence. Leviathan's Hold, Ten Towers." Lifting a hand, he gives an idle wave in the direction of the fortress outside, "When they fall, this fortress will have little choice but to yield."
"A distinct possibility, Ser." Quellyan replies to Rygar. "But- if that is their only way in or out, and we even give the threat of closing them in there to die like a tomb, they will be forced to keep men focused on it's defense. Whether or not we do it." The Charlton knight replies. "All the while, if we can find even a finger of a hold to slip in- we do so. Perhaps destroying it can be a threat, but it's something they will want to keep. Or Ser-" Though the rest is stopped as Lord Blackwood raises his voice. There's a look and a nod as eyes slide back towards Rygar. One brow raises, thoguh whatever question is behind it is not voiced.
Raylan looks between Dominick and his Lord, before he is leaning in his own hushed voice joining in the small shared conference. He does pause momentarily as he looks back to the council at hand, but then Master Weir's whispering quietly and quickly again.
Fair enough.. A siege doesn't necessarily mean they attack.. and by Lord Blackwood's own words, by all conventions, they simply don't and won't have the manpower to employ. It could be … yes. Exactly what Lord Charlton has said. Anders nods his head in support of the words, a smile ghosting on his lips.
Jarod eyes Aleister, like he's looking for some fault in the Charlton lord's argument, though he finds none. He even nods some in agreement with it. The prospect of splitting the force gets no objection from him.
Rafferdy just continues to listen, watching the others as they discuss options.
Rygar's reply to Quellyan is swallowed as silence is ordered. The breath drawn for speech is let out slowly through the lean nobleman's nose, as he turns his eye from Quellyan to the speaker.
"The reduction of Grey Gardens shall be for the Lord Frey and Mallister, and their vassals," Blackwood states, provoking a mild frown from Stevron Frey. "The capture of Stonetree Hall is for the men of Stone Hedge," a look of distaste is traded between Tytos and Jonos Bracken at the words- well concealed on Tytos' part, blatant on Jonos'. The Blackwood speaks on: "Lords Whent, Mooton and Darry shall seek out the stronghold of House Myre, while Lord Piper and his men are to take the Leviathan's Hold." A broad smile from the portly Piper meets the words. "While I shall take my own men and those of Lord Tully directly to Ten Towers, to secure the Harlaw surrender, there."
Listening to all of it and considering those things. But before Alric can say anything, Lord Tytos raises his voice. Then he just nods in agreement with the words of the Charlton. All that sounds reasonable enough. His face stays neutral though. Thinking about a few things but he doesn't speak up yet. A hand on his chin as he still is thinking about something. But he listens and nods to the words of Blackwood.
Martyn nods a bit as he hears the assignments, his own frown similar to the Frey Lord's, as he looks around for a few moments, studying the others rather carefully for the moment. Keeping silent for the moment, expression turning a bit thoughtful now.
"And am I to assume, my lord, that my number are to remain with Lord Frey and Mallister?" After all.. the Flints were not mentioned— they are not vassals. It's an honest question from Anders, though he already knows what the answer will be… and undoubtedly how it will be delivered.
As the 'assignments' come to be laid out, Aleister is listening and offering only the slightest shake of his head. Settling forwarding in his seat, his elbows come to rest upon the table, hands steepled before him with the forefinger of each resting against the bottom of his chin, "It would seem then, that the decisions have been reached and we need only draw counsel amongst our respective hosts so as to determine how best to accomplish our objective." Anders question, though, draws a quick look to the Flint Lord before he's looking over in the direction of Blackwood.
There is a faint sigh from Quellyan, but he doesn't add anything further. There is a look given to his cousin before he's changing his stance, if anything to lean down and speak softly to the Charlton Master At Arms. Once that little bit is done he's standing back up before nodding simply to Lord Blackwood. "Fine decision, my Lord." whether or not it really is.
Kittridge nods to Dominick and Raylan, straightening up after both retainers have finished whispering. He listens to Blackwood's plan, and then to the comments and questions that come after, and snorts softly. "Surely there is a temple somewhere that could use razing. Perhaps a school? Midwifery?" he remarks at Anders's question. It's clearly an aside to those around him, mostly his own men, but it's not exactly whispered.
"Lord Flint," Tytos answers Anders. "I suggest that you and your hundred remain among those with whom you are familiar. Your force is not large enough to draw a seperate comission."
Anders smiles, though the humour doesn't reach his eyes. He doesn't look back, however, and his eyes narrow. His tones are even, controlled, and each word comes carefully enunciated. "As I thought. Thank you for confirming, my lord."
Giving only the slightest of nods in the direction of Quellyan's comment, Aleister is then turning his attention to Blackwood and from there, to Anders. It's then drawn over in the direction of Kittridge though, so that a smirk can begin to play across the Charlton knight's lips, "That is a gracious offer that you make, good Ser, and I'm sure we would not miss your men while they scout for such a thing." A pause is taken, long enough for his hands to fall away as he leans back in his seat, "Perhaps you might even find a clump of tree's to call your own."
Alric looks over at Kittridge with raised brows, not really caring for the words. But for now keeping quiet. Though he does look over at the young lord Flint but shakes his head slightly before returning his attention to Tytos. Keeping his mouth shut. He has no real experience with real war after all. Listening to Aleister, he smirks.
Raylan does at least hide his chuckle at his Lord's words. There is a brief look given back towards the Northern Lord, before he is coughing into his fist. Ah and then the others come in. Seems about right. Raylan falls into silence and watches. He is good at that.
Jarod shifts a look toward Kittridge, pursing his lips to careful lack-of-expression at the Groves man's comment. He clears his throat, but it seems more a sound he makes to himself than one with any particular import behind it. He's quiet now as well, absorbing the orders as they're handed down.
Ser Bruce Longbough of Stonebridge is very, very tardy, but he's here. As he enters one might note the fact that his clothes are dirtied, as is his face - he's likely just come off a patrol around the camp. The man's footfalls bring him into the command tent where members of the Riverlander army are meeting.
Seems the same old friends and enemies get to bunk in together again. Keelin arches a brow, turning his attention to the Groves folk momentarily, before he shrugs slightly, not saying a word. In the end, so long as everyone does their part in this siege, it matters not if they like each other, or not. There is osme sense in leaving the known quantities together, all things said, and if they can come up with a way to peel the shell off this castle somehow, so much the better.
Squire Rowan looks at the Groves lord, as well — and for half a second, anyone watching might worry that the silly little poofter's going to kiss him. He clears his throat and looks down at his boots again, however, leaving Kittridge unmolested.
"Would you not, Ser?" Kittridge affects innocent surprise, "That is good to know. I will be sure to tell my engineer not to prepare you all any of these diagrams or maps in the future, then, and you may choose where to assault at random. I'm sure it will go very well for you." He smiles, and turns back to the group at large to remark, more seriously, it seems, "We might consider issuing a challenge to Ser Harras Harlaw. This is his castle, and he's shown a liking for single combat in the past."
"If he is within the Grey Garden," Jarod says after Kit's words. "I don't think we're certain. But Ser Harras is a knight sworn in the manner of Westeros. He may take such a challenge if put to him."
"Enough," Tytos snaps tersely at the banter passing between Kittridge and Aleister. "On the morrow, I shall lead my own men in the advance on Ten Towers. Command of the armies at Grey Garden shall then be for Lord Mallister, as it is his House which is esteemed as First Defender of the Riverlands," Tytos Blackwood announces with a look toward Martyn. "Afterward, command shall follow in order of precedence." The order of precedence among the men of the Cape runs: Rickart Nayland, Stevron Frey, Andrey Charlton, Anders Flint, Ryman Frey, and Riordan Nayland before becoming mired in the morass of noble non-heirs.
Dominick rubs his fingers across his pursed and faintly smirked lips, clearing the expression with a similar clearing of his throat. He folds his arms, chin tilted slightly down and one blond brow ticked upwards as he keeps listening, half his attention on this and half reviewing something in his head.
Jarod nods with no small amount of satisfaction as the order of command is announced, offering Martyn a nod of his head and half-bow sort of inclination of his shoulders.
At Tytos' announcement of command, Rickart Nayland is visibly incensed. His face flushes ruddy, making his grey hair all the more stark in contrast, and his jaw clenches tight. Riordan sniffs indignantly, and Rygar's eyes narrow in a deepening frown. Displeased is the House of Nayland.
Any further reply to Kittridge from Aleister is cut off by Tytos's command, to whom he merely gives a slight nod of his head. Then, when the Commander of the Armies is named, Aleister's eyes slide in the direction of Martyn, regarding the man for a moment before giving a shake of his head. Clearly, something in this does not please the Charlton in the least.
Bruce has no real reaction, other than a slight lift of his brows, at the announcement of command. He settles in with those Naylands present, watching and listening in silence.
Anders looks to Aleister, his head inclining in a single nod before he returns his attention forward; thanks for the aid. He takes a step back, now, to be closer to the Charlton contingent, arms crossing before him. His voice is low, a whisper, "Peace, Aleister.. not a word."
Keelin does smile slightly, but the common born knight says nothing. He's kind of worried he'll end up playing messenger out of this or some such. But there, that's what comes of swearing to the House that is the First Defender of the Riverlands, after all. He does glance around the room, noting the reaction of the Naylands in particular, as well as the rest of the room. Might come in handy, if he can catch expressions before folks have a chance to school them.
Kittridge turns to look at Martyn as he is indicated, and then glances around at the reaction of some of the other lords. He himself doesn't appear either thrilled or angered by this announcement from Lord Blackwood, just giving a bare nod of acknowledgement and then shifting restlessly.
Martyn pauses as he hears the announcement from Tytos, taking a deep breath as he looks around. He notices the reaction from the Naylands, and also the reaction from Aleister, studying them a bit thoughtfully for a few moments. Taking a few more moments to compose himself a bit, he looks to Tytos first. "Thank you, My Lord," he offers a bit quietly with a polite nod, before he looks to the others again. "It's a honor to get this assignment, and to do so, I will value the advice of skilled commanders such as many of you here." Nodding in turn to the Naylands, the Freys and both the Charltons and Flints, before he adds, "No matter what differences there might be between our houses, we are in this campaign as one army, and if we will get through this with minimal losses, I hope we can agree to work together as one…"
"Well said, Ser," Tytos commends Martyn's words, before drawing a deep breath and voicing to those assembled, "I shall leave you all to your tasks, my lords. Commanders, see to your men. We march with the sunrise." At that, Lord Blackwood seems intent on taking his own leave. Clement Piper looks as though he would click his heels together on the way out the door, if his girth did not prevent such.
Bruce nods in apparent agreement at Martyn's words, letting a small crack of a smile lift his lips upwards. As Lord Tytos makes his leave, the Stonebridge Captain moves to follow him out of the tent.
Jarod offers a parting bow to Tyros and the departing command crew. As the meeting begins to break up, he edges an elbow over to nudge Rowan's shoulder. The gesture's part encouraging, part playful, to his squire.
Anders exhales softly, and inclines his head in deference as Lord Blackwood makes to depart before he turns fully to Aleister and the Charlton contingent. "First, take a drink with me, my lords.." He extends the invitation to the Young Lord Charlton, of course, before he looks back to his friend. "Then we speak until we have wound ourselves around and around.. and come out at the beginning again regarding what lies before us."
Being a Hedge Knight, Kell has remained silent through the meeting thus far, just taking mental notes of what the troop arrangement will be and who is in charge. At the announcement of a Mallister being in charge and not the Charlton does bring some relief to the knight which is somewhat visible on his face as he offers Martyn a slight nod.
Listening to the speech given, Aleister doesn't offer any form of nod or indication that he agree's .. or disagrees and with the meeting seemingly concluded, he turns his attention in the direction of Quellyan and Andrey, offering each a nod and a quick, "Cousins." Then, as he begins to rise from his seat, Anders invitation draws his attention, along with another quick nod of his head, "A welcome thing, Northerner. Let me tend to some matters and I will join in a short bit?"
Standing close by the Charltons. Just listening to all the things as they all seem to break up. Martyn gets a small nod at his words, without showing much of anything on his face. When Anders approaches the Charltons he just stands and listens. If needed he will stay, otherwise he will take his leave as well.
Rowan sways a little at the nudge from his Ser, shoving back, the good-natured rough-housing bringing the first hint of a smile to the boy's pretty face. "Sod off, you," he murmurs with an affectionate smirk.
As the fleet breaks up, Rafferdy immediately puts some distance between him and his father, moving over towards Rowan. "Brother," he offers in greeting with a smile.
"Sod off your face," Jarod retorts to Rowan with something resembling a grin. Setting a fine knightly example, is Ser Rivers. He clears his throat and stands up straighter in an attempt to look vaguely authoritative when someone else approaches. Though he goes back to slouching when he sees it's Rafferdy. "Lordling Nayland. Oh, I'm told I should congratulate on your victory in a little archery competition in Stonebridge."
Rowan grins — despite himself, by all appearances — at Jarod's retort. Raff's voice brings the boy and his smile around to face the older Nayland; the squire reaches out to clap his brother in a back-pounding, hair-mussing embrace. "What's news, Riff-Rafferdy? And what fool challenged you to the bow?"
Rafferdy laughs at Jarod, "Thanks, Ser." He smiles, looking at his brother. He returns the hug, and laughs, "Well, I wasn't challenged. I challenged someone else. They accepted." He continues to grin, "Ask me what I won."
Jarod grins rather more broadly as Rafferdy discusses his victory. But he lets the Brothers Nayland talk among themselves rather than adding any commentary. For now.
Rowan laughs, making an elaborate pantomime of asking as though unprompted. "Gee, Raff!" he says. "What did you win?"
Rafferdy continues to smile widely. "This!" He withdraws a simple but high quality handkerchief from his pocket. "I now carry the favor the favor of Lady Lorna Frey." He seems rather proud of this fact. Could the wild boy be perhaps smitten?