|Summary:||Senna sees to Riordan's wounds on the way back to Stonebridge. Rygar disapproves.|
|April 15, 289|
It's about mid-afternoon as the small flotilla of skiffs move upriver on the Green Rill. The colors of House Nayland are everywhere, as the first contingent of Nayland nobles, armsmen, and retainers, along with their gear and horses, utilize these river-going vessels to return to Stonebridge. From there, those serving the Naylands of Stonebridge will remain, while those with the Naylands of Hag's Mire will continue on, when the Lord Rickart deems it appropriate. This is by no means all the Naylands, of course. The majority of the soldiers and levies are still in Seagard for a day or two. Rather, these are the ones who, for whatever reason, wish to get back to the Nayland holdings sooner.
Ser Riordan, for his part, is sitting on the open deck of one of those skiffs, his shirt removed, revealing his wounds in all their awesome and ugly glory. Bruising is the worst of it, as his armor took the brunt force of the trauma, leaving cracked ribs and ugly-purple skin all over his chest, though there is a nicely healing gash across his chest, and a much smaller one on his left arm. As he waits for Senna to give his pronouncement, Riordan finishes telling a joke to a nearby Nayland guardsman. "…So she said, I was talking to the pig!!!" He gets a genuine laugh from the man, because even though Riordan got the joke originally from his Lord Father, and the punch line was the same, the lead-up was all his own invention. Riordan himself chuckles at the end, then winces as his chest pulls tight.
Rygar is fully dressed as befits a nobleman of his meager station. Although not the most comfortable of rivergoing attire, the stiff necked Nayland is well composed as he turns his cold blue eye from the long procession of riverboats winding up the Green Rill behind them, to the still unseen stone bridge of their family's holding ahead. "It is hardly proper for a gentleman to have his wounds dressed in public, Ser," he comments crisply in aside to his merry cousin.
Senna glances up at that wince, kneeling beside Riordan as she washes off his wounds and inspects them for any sign of infection. It's a daily ritual, one that's been undergone by a fair portion of the Nayland forces at some point in this war, and as such is familiar to most of those on the skiff. It's certainly cut down on the number of deaths from infections and dire amputations that have been required, at least. "Feeling all right this morning, my lord?" she asks, reaching up to press the back of her hand against the skin around the room, checking the temperature.
"And when we step off these boats onto dry land once more, Cousin, then I shall be the very pinnacle of a gentleman, and all shall look at the pair of us and wonder: 'When did Ser Rygar begin to look like a boorish lout, in comparison to his knightly and noble Ser of a Cousin? That Ser Riordan is the very pinnacle of chivalry and refinement!'" Riordan says this with his typical broad, friendly, and inviting grin as he addresses Ser Rygar, who indeed, likely seems royalty in comparison to his half-undressed cousin. "In the meantime, let me enjoy the life of a soldier for a moment or two, Ser Cousin. Once my boot meets stone, I shall have no choice in the matter for a long time to come, and we both know it." He does not seem overly mournful of the fact, more it is just a wish to take all that life has to offer at the very moment. "I simply wish to enjoy the scenary while I am poked and proded." At this, he turns to Senna, grunting good-naturedly at her. "You know, for a healer, you are far too understanding. You should be causing me undue pain and haranging me for not listening to your orders the last few days. Also, you should probably be three times as old and ugly."
Rygar sniffs sharply at his cousin's retort, expression still stern. "Nobility cannot be set down and picked up as it suits a man, cousin," he notes, dryly. That said, he doesn't press the point further, noting on another matter, "A feast is planned for our return. Several barrels of beer have been set aside for gifting as largesse to the peasantry in your name." In between his words, he leaves time for Senna to speak with the merry regent.
"I am full of surprises, my lord," Senna replies with a faint smile. "And pain is its own punishment." Like the stinging and burning that comes from that alcohol and herb-laced concoction she squirts into the wound every time she cleans it. Settling back on her heels, she draws a tin of cream out of her satchel, starting to smooth it over the various bruises. It chills and burns as well, but it also soothes the stiffness that comes from the bruises.
"Which is why I do not intend to go carousing with Rafferdy anytime soon," Riordan returns good naturedly. If anything, he seems more merry then usual today, and it seems to be growing with every passing hour as they move further upriver. Under it, though, there are the slightest signs of building tension as well. Riordan lets out a loud grunt as the first concoction is squirted at the wound, but it only causes him to smile larger at Senna. "That's the spirit!" Letting out a chuckle, he gives the girl a wink, nodding, "And as for surprises, I don't doubt it." He then turns his head back to Rygar, and in between his wincing nods, "Excellent, Cousin. Thank you. Have we news of my Lady Goodsister yet? How proceeds her condition?" Though still giving off an over-all cheerful vibe, this question carries with it a level of seriousness.
"She is in seclusion, Ser, as appropriate to a lady who grows near to her birthing month," Rygar answers on the subject of Isolde. As fresh air is generally held to be detrimental to a pregnancy, such precautions are typical. Tellingly, Rygar sums up her condition with the words, "There is no word of difficulty in her childbearing."
Senna steers well clear of discussions of Isolde. Seclusion isn't exactly her ideal situation. And better wounds than babies. Instead, she finishes treating the bruises, then takes another look at the cuts, examining the skin around the stitches to make sure everything is as it should be. Quiet and unobtrusive.
"Well, she is still attended, so I had hoped for some word as to her condition and temperment," Riordan says, then nods as his cousin gives him some information, at least. "Well, good then. Tell me, Ser Cousin? How good sits the treasury, do you estimate? Is there enough to spare some coin for the populace, in additional largesse, in the name of the Lady Isolde and her unborn child?" he then asks. Even if they have not been back in several months, he still obviously holds the opinion that if anyone would have the information just by guesstimate alone, it would be Rygar.
"The Lady Valda could provide a more accurate count, Ser, but it is my estimation that the coffers- while well appointed- ought not be strained, when the cost of grain runs so high," rygar replies with his habitual stinginess. "None can what unseen expenses lie ahead, nor what auspicious events may occur in the future which would demand appropriate celebration, cousin."
With the stitches approved and the wounds clean, Senna moves on to wrapping Riordan's chest in bandages, keeping the wounds covered and his ribs braced in case there are any cracks hiding out. She's quick at it, with all the practice she's had recently, and it does at least cover his noble chest from the dirty public view.
"Well, then we must find some other way to honor the Lady Isolde with the people. I do not want them thinking that I am usurping the lady's rightful place, anymore then I want her or the Lady Valda to think such," Riordan asserts to Rygar, nodding thoughtfully. "With the Bastard still an unknown, it is especially important to remind them that the last true Tordane is allied with our own benevolent and just family." See, he listened the last time Rygar gave advice! Turning to look as Senna finishes up with him, he smiles at the woman. "Thank you, Mistress Delacourt. Where would my family be without you?" His smile is genuine, large, lopsided, and infectous, as most his smiles are. His boyish qualities at work.
Rygar nods curtly once, managing not to wince, as his neck wound continues to mend. "As you say, Ser," the grim Nayland agrees. He goes silent as Riordan turns his merriment on Senna.
"The hands of an aged and half-infirm Maester who'd likely know more about coin than bodies, my lord," Senna answers Riordan easily, her own smile crooked as she takes his discarded shirt and replaces it with one clean and as crisp as shirts can be gotten in an army camp. "And in dirty shirts. I'll see to this, my lord. Which doublet will you be wanting for the arrival?" Healer, body servant, laundress, cook, and bedwarmer, at least she's a woman of many talents.
"Not to mention that I've yet to meet a Maester who talked or looked as sweet as you, my dear," Riordan says to Senna, continuing to grace her with his smile. Without missing a beat, he answers her with, "The one with the Stonebridge colors and crest, I should think. And see if the harpy and crane chain that my father gifted me with can be found, as well." Glancing over at Rygar, his next words are nonetheless still for Senna. "My cousin also needs some looking after, if you do not mind, Mistress Delacourt. He is looking a little more stiff-necked then usual." Despite the jest, there is genuine concern in Riordan's eyes.
Rygar sniffs sharply at the flat jest. "Decorum can often appear so, to those who find it lacking," he volleys back deadpan to Riordan's needling. Stoneface uncracked, he asides to Senna, "I am well, mistress."
"Of course, my lord," Senna nods to Riordan, tucking the shirt into her satchel and looking to Rygar at his words. There's a moment of pause as she considers the lord, then dips her chin once more. "As my lord wishes," she replies. "Should my lord change his mind later, I'll be belowdecks at his convenience." For all the trust she may have built with the family, she is ever mindful of the public eye and how each of the Naylands wishes to be seen in it.
Riordan gives a short laugh at Rygar's barb. "Well done, Ser. Some more like that and you shall begin to give our Lady Grandmother a run for her money." He looks between the pair at their exchange, but does not add more. Instead, he will say, "Well then, Cousin, thank you for your further advice. Now, if you'll excuse me, I promised Jenkins that he could hear my newest joke." And, with that, he'll go back to talking to the guardsman. "So, the four-headed eagle and the harpy walked into the tavern…"