Page 267: Before The Storm
Before The Storm
Summary: The Riverlords mass for their marching orders, and a surprise is sprung upon the littlest Nayland.
Date: 11/04/289
Related Logs: The Kraken's Last Stand
Aleister Anders Bruce Dominick Eamon Gedeon Hardwicke Jarod Kamron Keelin Kell Kittridge Martyn Pariston Riordan Rowan Rutger Rygar 
Great Keep - Castle Pyke
The first and largest of the Greyjoy strongholds within Castle Pyke.
11 April, 289 A.L.

The day has been full of fighting, since before first light. Just before sunrise, the stories say, a daring seaborne assault by the men of Dragonstone had succeeded in raising the crowned stag of King Robert over the smallest and most seaward of Pyke's islets, the so-called "Sea Tower", scaling the cliffs after weeks of bombardment. Although the Greyjoys promptly cut the rope bridge to the Sea Tower, effectively stranding the Dragonstone men, it was a victory to begin the day.

A victory King Robert seemed intent on building upon, personally leading an assault of Crownlanders and Stormlords on the Great Keep. Rumor has it that in capturing the largest of Pyke's fortifications, the King's men defeated Balon's brother Victarion.

Throughout the morning's excitement, the Riverlords sat idle.

The next assault was granted to the Westermen and Reachlords under Randyll Tarly. For over two hours, the knights and men of the West and Reach pushed through a stone corridor against the defenses of the Bloody Keep, before at last retiring in the face of a counter-assault led by Balon's heirs, the princes Rodrik and Maron.

As this bloody contest played out, still the Riverlords sat idle.

Then at last came the order: the bannerlords of Hoster Tully were to mass together with the Northmen under the Warden of the North for a decisive push upon the Bloody Keep.

Ser Jarod Rivers has spent a restless morning. Though that's hardly unusual for the Rivermen in the camp. He's all of purpose now, though, organizing the Terrick men as they mass in their part of the force for the push. "I wish we could've gone in under Good King Robert," he says to his slim squire, once he's got everyone basically lined up. At least do the point where they can be seen to by the serjeants. "Our Rivermen might've made the difference against the pretender princes. Besides, no one like Robert Baratheon to in battle. Nothing can stand against him. It's a hell of a thing to see."

Kamron has had to force himself to sit still and calm in the face of the news and sights flowing down from the castle, settled atop a camp stool brought out by his trusty (and clumsy) squire Percival. It wouldn't do, after all, to see one of the Mallister men leading the forces of Seagard pacing back and forth anxiously. When the orders come back, however, he pops up to his feet, a broad grin flashing across his features. "Hah! Just like the last war. Under the command of Lord Stark, and called on for the decisive push." Percival manages not to drop Kamron's helmet when he hands it to his knight, and the Riverlord sets it atop his head, shaking his features with their new line of still-healing scar tissue. Looking over to the other knights gathered at the head of the Mallister forces, his grin broadens, "We might even be able to get our own back against those gods-damned Pretender Princes." Looking over to the Terrick forces nearby, he gives a brief wave to those at the fore of them, making sure they've heard.

The Riverlords are ready. Seven knows, they've been ready — yet the call to assemble still sends Squire Rowan scrambling to make sure, for the hundredth time, all is in place and perfect. Last of all himself, armed and armored, checking the straps of his maile. The slender young man is both pale and feverishly flushed as he strides out to his horse, helmet under his arm, the wind playing havoc with his short, dark curls. "You've seen him and I've heard you tell it," he says to his knight, flashing a quick, tight smile. "S'enough for me. It is what it is — we'll fight and be done."

Eamon Carver has spent much of the day sitting, watching, and waiting. The blade of his poleaxe had been sharpened to perfection, his armours prepped. He wore full maile, Mallister livery prominent on his surcoat. It can be hard to judge his humour at the best of times due to the scar that has silenced the rightmost half of his smile forever, but the grim serenity of his expression made his feelings clear. This was as good as done. He stands and makes his way to the head of the forces, standing near to Kamron Mallister. He is a sworn sword, and he seems to have made an unspoken decision on which charge to protect. The sun glints off his armour, and his eyes gleam too as the Riverlands forces move.

Under the Warden of the North. That.. that is truly music to the tired Young Lord's ears. Anders is set, back in armour, though it's seen much better days. Wounds are bound from the furious fighting seen days ago, and while he can move, and swing a sword, it is painful. But now.. he's animated. A smile is on his face, and his words are animated. "Finally," he addresses one of his men at arms, "fighting alongside of kin." Looking around, he checks the banners.. his lips moving as he names the devices he recognizes. "I'm looking forward to this as I have no other."

Stretches of extreme boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Someone, somewhere, used that description to define war, and though it wasn't Gedeon Rivers, the phrase comes to him time and again as the day stretches on, the battle rages and the men of the Riverlands… wait. Oldstones and its men are ready as they can me, with bows and what spears they've gained from fallen ironers. Ser Gedeon Rivers is equally kitted out in maile, blade sharpened, as he, and all the others final get their orders and assemble. "Did you actually see him?" he asks Jarod Rivers, finding himself near the man, the Terrick contingent and so the Mallisters. "I don't think I did."

This is an all too familiar scene for Aleister, who has once again found himself under the command of Lord Stark. Having secured his armor and weapon, along with his men, the Charlton Knight had then made his way over towards the area to which the Flint's were preparing themselves and after a quick greeting, he's moving through the men in the direction of Anders. Drawing closer, a hand lifts in greeting before he's calling out, "Northerner. Seems as if I find myself under your Lord's command again."

Rygar is armored once more, although a fresh patch of maile glints bright and clean at one side of his gorget. The stern Nayland moves stiffly, but straight backed, with head held high. If he stands with one arm held close to his side, and permits his squire to carry the crow's beak pole hammer rather than bearing it himself, few would suspect anything amiss, by the sight of him, save for the new twist to the right corner of his eye and lip. He comes to the decisive battle freshly wounded by the struggle before it. Just like the last war.

The Nayland armsmen and the White quarter of the levied pikes wait nearby, weapons held below the spearhead, the long hafts trailing behind them.

"Saw him once or twice, as I placed with Lord Jason's men. Though it's always the tale of his duel with Prince Rhaegar folk want to hear, and that I missed," Jarod replies wry to Gedeon. "Probably best. Stories never live up to the real of them." He returns Kamron's wave. There is even, if the Mallister knight catches it, a beckoning quality to the gesture. Then he looks to Rowan. He looks at the young Nayland for a long time. Like he's trying to work out in his mind something he wants to say. Or working himself up to something. Deep breath. "Aye. Near done. Time to settle things. Just one bit of business to be settled before things start, I figure. Kneel, lad." And, looking away from the youngest Nayland now, he draws his sword. And raises his voice, particular toward the nearby Nayland camp. "Could I get such knights who're able to bear witness, if it pleases, Sers?"

Ser Riordan Nayland stands ready with the Nayland men, checking his gear one last time. The younger Nayland, like other men throughout the Riverland host, has spent his time preparing. His kit has been polished, his tack oiled, his blade smoothed of pocks and nicks. "No, boy, the strap goes there," he says, a lopsided grin on his features as he mock-smacks the boy acting as his squire today, his real one dying after attempting to earn his knighthood early by picking up a fallen sword and shield and entering combat back at Harlaw. "Leave off, leave off, I'll manage. See to the horse. And don't be surprised if the horse bites you if you try to lay a strap 'cross his genitals!" Riordan grins a bit wider as a few of the nearer Nayland men guffaw at their young lordling's joke. Riordan then moves over to stand by Rygar, waiting for his acting squire to lead over the horse he claimed a few battles back (having lost his horse, as Riordan tells it, when the horse tried to grab a sword much like the squire). "What word, Ser Cousin?" he asks, light-heartedly of Ser Rygar.

Among the Flints, and close enough to hear Anders, stands Pariston. Offering a small grin as he looks over towards the Young Lord. Already ready for what the day will bring. Armour and weapons equipped and for now just checking with the rest of the men, helping out with whatever is needed. The Charlton get a nod as his greeting to Anders catches Pariston's ears. But for now not much more attention is payed to the nobles. Just staying close enough in case he's needed.

Kamron looks to his squire, taking his shield from the gangly youth and telling him, "Go tell the serjants that it's almost time, Percy." Grinning over to Eamon, he gestures to where Gedeon, Jarod, and Jarod's squire have gathered, "Let's go see if they know anything we don't yet." And then he's walking over to the gathering, eyeing Jarod's gesture to Rowan as they near, "I'll witness it, Ser Jarod. And then we can go kick some arse under Good King Robert and Lord Stark again, eh? Although I don't think I'll get to see His Grace crushing breastplates with that hammer of his here… sounds like we missed that this time."

Anders nods, eyes gleaming in pleasure. "My lord Aleister," he hails. "He's a good man. Won't be the first time I take his orders, and I know him as I know my own blood." His voice lowers, and he inclines his head. "You'll do well under him." Checking his equipment for what is probably the fiftieth time, he's now.. restless. As the call comes, the Young Lord turns his eyes, his gaze fixing on the call from the distance, and he chuffs a breath, his words low, "I'll leave them to their business." And louder, conversationally, a grin coming, "Now.. what was it again that you would have me remember, my lord Aleister? Dodge? Or aim more accurately?"

Rowan's dark eyes flit to Gedeon Rivers, a startle at the sound of the blonde knight's voice. He nods, greeting and acknowledgement, before looking away. Thus Ser Rygar comes into view, and the youngest of the Naylands calls in greeting and good will, "Cousin. It's good to — " see him up and about again, probably. But then Jarod's bidding the boy kneel, and he staggers around to stare at his knight. "I — wh — now?" He goes completely pale; he kneels, though it might be for dizziness.

Letting his eyes flit in the direction of Pariston, Aleister is offering the man a slight nod of his head before casting his attention back in the way of Anders, "Of that I have no doubt, Northerner. Looking forward to this battle, I must admit. Will be good to stop simply .. sitting around." There's the hint of a smirk that dances upon his lips before it's broken by a quick chuckle, "Dodge, my friend. I am not sure that head of yours can take too many blows. Nor do I think your good wife will appreciate the scars that you are gathering."

Rygar turns from the waist to eye his cousin sidelong, rather than turning his neck as Riordan greets him . "We are to mass together with the Northmen, Ser. It will be a fight afoot, through the castle corridors. Loathe as I am to permit as much, we will need bid a number of the levy cut shorter their pike hafts." He draws a slow breath through flared nostrils as Jarod Rivers speaks up. "As well, Lord Ser Jerold Terrick's son requests our presence."

As Jarod speaks, Gedeon's brows lift a little and he glances from the knight to his squire. A corner of his mouth lifts in something like amusement and he takes a step forward. "I'll witness, Ser. Or be one of, at least." He offers a nod to Kamron as the other man offers the same.

Hearing word of what is happening over yonder with the battle's littlest Nayland, Riordan nudges his cousin ever so lightly. "Ah, looks like the sapling is to be made a tree before the day's fight." Taking the reins of his horse from the squire, the knight motions the boy back the way they had come. "Send word to my lord father, boy. He might wish to know that his son is being knighted." When the squire hesitates, Riordan mimes a kick at the boy's backside. "Not me, you twit. I know I don't look it, but I've had my spurs awhile now. Go on, then." And then, he himself will moves toward where Rowan and the other group is, nodding to Rygar as he does. "Well then, let us not keep them waiting, Ser Cousin." And, he will call out, as they approach, "We will stand witness for my brother, as well."

And, as they make their way, Riordan sends off his horse with another Squire. Since, you know. Fighting afoot.

Anders nods in Pariston's direction, finally a smile given to another Northman, so improved is his mood. "I am too. Finally, we move." At his friend's words, the Young Lord chuckles, "I know she grows tired of the scars, but my fair wife does delight in the stories of battle. Unfortunately, she'll learn that sometimes it means that those she loves will arrive home like those in the stories. Wounded, tired.. but home all the same." He reaches out to clap Aleister's shoulder, the grin remaining. "Right.. dodge.. I will try and remember that."

"My thanks," Jarod says simply to Gedeon and Kamron as they gather. His knuckles tightening some on his blade, like he's trying to keep his palms steady. A look toward Rygar and Riordan as well, nodding some in satisfaction. "It is only proper that your kinfolk should be here to see this done. You've served me well these last five years, lad, as both my squire and my dear, true friend. You have held a blade and stood the field in the defense of Stonebridge, at Alderbrook, in the freeing of Seagard, and upon Harlaw Isle. As a blade, I'd take you against near any man in the host. So. Seems only fitting you go into battle today as a true knight, just as they are." He clears his throat, swinging his sword in his hand so he's holding it with the side of the sword over Rowan's shoulder. He's getting ready to see some knighting done, any watching would recognize.

Another chuckle escapes past Aleister's lips as he gives a quick nod of his head in Anders direction, "S'fine, I suppose, so long as you go home to tell those stories." There's a quick flash of a smile before he's casting a look around and when he looks back to the Northern Lord, he's mimicing that clasp to his shoulder, "Indeed. I've got some coin wagered that you'll make it through this fight without a blow to the head. If you manage, I'll split the winnings with you. Fair enough?"

Kamron frowns tightly as the Naylands join the loose knot gathering around Jarod and Rowan, but he doesn't say anything — no sense giving offense and disrupting this moment — just nods his head once in greeting before turning his attention back to the solemn matter at hand.

Rygar adds curtly to his own squire, "Seek out Ser Rutger, as well. Quickly," sending the lad off after Riordan's new squire. The words are low and intent, and he goes stern and silent as Jarod begins speaking. Clasping the right wrist in his left hand at the front of his belt, observing the unfolding ritual with the solemnity and gravity it commands.

The young Nayland remains kneeling and silent, his head bowed and his eyes closed. His slender throat works in a swallow, his breathing very deliberate, obviously in the grips of strong emotion. He rasps a faint whisper, a single syllable of humble assent. "Ser." It's all he can manage to say, right then.

Pariston listens to the conversation between Anders and Aleister. A smirk on his face while he is moving around in the Flints area. "I'll have your back as well, my lord." He pitches in as well. Making sure not to interupt any of the nobles. Other than that he is silent. Seeming to just wait for what is to come. A bit restless, but still staying calm.

"Shouldn't I be taking that bet for you? They seem keen to remove my head from my shoulders with neck wounds," Anders laughs his reply. "I will take that bet, however, and raise. The first of us that takes that blow to the head pays the other." Turning his attention to Pariston, the Flint offers solemnly, with some gravity, "And for that, Master Vis, you have my thanks."

Noticing Kamron's expression as they approach, Riordan will offer the other knight a deliberately large lopsided grin, and a bow of his head. However, like his cousin Rygar, he too falls silent, observing the same posture, the same silence. Battlefield jokes have no place right now, even in a ceremony that takes place on a battlefield. Ser Riordan observes his brother kneeling before him, and if the lad happens to open his eyes and catch his brother's gaze at any point, the elder will offer a small smile, and an encouraging nod.

Gedeon's another quiet witness, hands resting by his sides, gaze drifting from Jarod to Rowan and back again. His smile has softened into something quieter and perhaps a little nostalgic.

Jarod carries a big two-hander longsword, but the touch on Rowan's right shoulder with the blade is careful and light. He clears his throat, and his words are careful and strong as he begins, "In the name of the Warrior I charge you to be brave." The sword moves from right shoulder to left. "In the name of the Father I charge you to be just." Right shoulder. "In the name of the Mother I charge you to defend the young and innocent." The left. "In the name of the Maiden I charge you to protect all women…" Invocations to all the Seven fellow. Until, finally. "Before these honorable men and by my hand, I dub thee Ser Nayland. Rise a knight."

Hardwicke has been seeing to the various Terrick host as the Riverlands army prepares. He winds his way back through the host to come across the scene of pre-battle knighting with its various observers. He glances around at the other onlookers, something of a scowl to his expression. But, you know, that is kind of default to him. At least he doesn't say anything grouchy.

"They seem quite intent on removing your head, my friend, of that I won't dispute." There's a flash of a grin from Aleister and as he looks to Pariston, he's giving the man another quick nod, "Make sure his head remains intact, please. Try and keep your own, as well, in the process." Then, it's back to Anders, "Sounds good, Northerner. I'll take that bet."

Anders grins in response, and nods in the direction of the ceremony across the distance, his voice low. "I was asked, specifically, by my squire Einar not to knight him on these islands." Why, however, remains unspoken. "I have honoured his request, as his reasons are his own. When we return, however, I'll be searching for reasons.. for cleaning my armour perhaps, or grooming my horse that has so ungraciously kicked and broken his leg." His tones return to conversational, and he extends his hand to secure the bet, "Done."

Dominick keeps one eye on the circle of knights and the other on the direction in which they're shortly headed. Like most of the relatively small group he's close to, he wears just a hint of Groves colors; enough to identify which house he serves but not loud enough to suggest he's one by blood.

Kamron bows his head as Jarod begins the invocations, slinging his shield over his shoulder so that he can clasp his hands together before him in solemn stance. When the ceremony is complete, he looks up again, a grin crooking his lips. He adds his, "Congratulations, Ser," to what is undoubtedly a cacaphony of congratulations. Looking over to Eamon, he chuckles, adding, "Guess he'll have to wait until he survives the battle to talk to his father about getting some better gear." The words are spoken quietly, just a little light joking to bring the mood back up into a proper pre-battle joviality.

Pariston nods to Anders first before grinning and nodding to Aleister, "That I will try, Lord Charlton." Eyes looking around and towards the other people, and all the preparing people all through camp. How everyone looks like they are preparing and so on, going about with their different businesses. Moving around a bit, but not moving too far from the Flints. Hearing the words about Einar as well. But not saying anything for now.

So does Ser Rowan Nayland rise, just the slightest touch unsteadily, his head still bowed low. He blinks rapidly to clear his vision before lifting his chin and meeting Ser Jarod's eyes. The look is held a long time, the bond of many years and boon friendship between then, gratitude and love. He looks to his kinsmen and all those who bear witness. And finally, for Ser Gedeon Rivers — who himself taught the boy much — the boy mouths a silent, 'Thank you.' The newly made knight takes a breath, draws his blade, and holds it aloft. "FOR KING ROBERT, FOR JASON MALLISTER, FOR THE RIVERLANDS — WE TAKE THIS ISLE TODAY."

Kittridge is a Groves by blood, so the forest green and purple he wears over his armor is more prominent, for all it is faded by sun and salt, stained with soil and slashed by swords and other things that begin with S. He strides up to stand near Dominick, surveying the assembled soldiers, and then turning towards the ceremony in progress, just in time to see the shouting.

Eamon was either deep in preparatory solemn prayer and contemplation, or had been paying no attention whatsoever. "Yes, I suppose he shall!" he replies to Kamron a tad too loudly, chuckling lightly at the joke he only half heard before the newly made knights battlecry cuts him off. He lifts his poleaxe half a foot off the ground and joins in the cheer, so as not to look out of place.

Hardwicke is not one for cheers and shouts — surprise, surprise — but there is perhaps the hint of agreement in the grim set of his jaw for Rowan's cry.

"M'Lord," Dominick greets Kittridge, as the most familiar of knights in the area gets close. His chin lifts towards the shouting and he smirks. "Another one joins your ranks."

Gedeon's brows twitch upwards as Jarod reaches the end of the invocation, and he glances over at the other Rivers, his expresion a query. But, only for a moment, before he looks over at the newly-made knight, tipping his head in a small nod for the boy's silent words. "Well deserved," he opines before Rowan makes his cry. Reaching for his own blade, he holds it up after Rowan does, echoing the boy's cry of "For the Riverlands!"

"So it seems," Kittridge replies without turning from the spectacle, only averting his eyes after a long moment. "Much joy may he find in it," he says, with a brief, tight-lipped smile before he busies himself adjusting a strap on his armor. "All ready, Dom?" he asks, "Any chance we'll see that great machine of yours in action today, you think?"

Jarod cracks a grin that has a hint of boyish impishness in it as he sheathes his sword again. Though his green eyes are still serious as he nods to Rowan. "For the Riverlands, for the Cape, and for our homes. You've a right to elect to fight with the Nayland host, but it would be my honor if you'd continue with the Terrick contingent through the campaign. There'll be time to sort out what follows when you're back on River soil." His little show is done, it seems.

The words shouted by the new-made knight bring Kamron around from his quiet commentary, however, and he works his throat a moment to clear it before adding his own voice, "For King Robert! For Jason Mallister! For the Riverlands!" Now that's a good, to-the-point stirring pre-battle speech by the newest knight in Westeros.

Standing amongst the other knights who are observing the knighting ceremony, Kell had been silent and serious, remembering his own simple ceremony and the vows that were made. Vows he still holds in high importance, despite being only a Hedge Knight. As the knighting is completed, Kell finally manages a smile, especially at the newly knighted Nayland's enthusiasm. He adds his own cheer with the others as well, raising a gauntlet fist in the air along with his words.

Dominick sucks his teeth softly. "It's assembled, m'lord, but I've not got anyone with the right sort of skill to use it. Figured it would be held back by something terribly lame like training." He brushes some bit of dirt off his maille, which is a vain action considering all the other dirt on it. "The old-fashioned way may have to suffice this time."

Never one to let a battlecry go unanswered, Riordan will draw his own sword as well. "For the Riverland, and her swords! And may the bloody Squids choke on them!" Sheathing his sword, he will move to join those congratulating Rowan. "Congratulations, brother," he begins, before correcting himself. "Ser Brother, that is. I am afraid we had little warning, or I would have prepared you a gift. Would you like my squire? He's absolutely useless." He smiles at the younger man, offering his hand to Rowan. "When we get back, I'll get you something proper as befits your new station. Or perhaps I'll find something adequate of a squid's corpse. These Ironman have strange tastes, but they have a good eye for gear."

Rygar, being no great admirer of either Robert Baratheon or Jason Mallister, remains stoic and impassive throughout the chorus of cheers, although the grim Nayland does offer a level comment to his cousin, after Riordan has had his say. "Ser," he begins, evenly. "May you ever deserve the honor you have won today. May your spurs never be hacked off in shame or disgrace."

There is a brief smile amongst the Nayland knights, but it is lost as the burgonet's face mask is pulled closed. "Well done little brother,"is offered by Ser Rutger after his dour coz says his peace. A gauntled hand reaches for Rowan's shoulder but Rutger eases back. His gaze is to the castle. And the hell therein.

Having been quietly preparing himself for the things that will come, Martyn has only partially paid attention to what's been going on now. He nods a bit as he listens, expression a bit thoughtful. His left hand moves to punch himself on the right shoulder, then the left shoulder, then right knee and left knee a bit absently, as he tends to do while preparing himself for something.

It is toward the common hall of the Great Keep, only captured this morning, that the press of armored bodies begins to process, as the Warden of the North prepares to give his massed men their marching orders.

"Ser Brother," Rowan greets Riordan in return, finally finding a broad smile amidst the weight of the moment and his emotions. He claps the older, taller Nayland's shoulder. "A little bit sprung on me, too — I thought it'd wait until we got home, but your Ser tells you to kneel, you kneel, eh?" He bows his head to Rygar, more somber. "Cousin. Thank you." Then he reaches up to steal Rutger's helmet so he can ruffle that brother's hair. "Roots! I didn't see you. Thanks."

Pariston watches the ceremony from some distance, letting his mind wander just a bit, while still alert enough if needed. For now he has moved to keep to himself. As much that is possible while being in a camp full of people that is. A soft low whistling as he let his eyes wander towards the castle.

The northern banners are distinct and unmistakable as the Riverlords pass through the captured Great Keep toward their destination; Stark, Bolton, Umber, Glover, Tallheart, and a host of others. Amidst the other towering armored figures (one among which has actually draped his armored torso with chains) wearing steel and furs in equal measure, is a stocky, unassuming man in plain leather-covered brigadine. He has an unfortunate habit of glancing down as he speaks, and he speaks quietly to those nearest him, seeming even smaller by contrast with the massive warriors who look to him. As a result, the nobles nearest the front relay his words further back.

The big bearded man in chains bellows, "His Lordship says there is a second crossing, few levels below." A moment's pause as the big Umber listens for the next bit of news. "We push on both fronts, to spread the defenses. Treat the keep like a whore: fuck her through both holes." By the laughter which follows (not to mention the less vulgar relays of other lords), the Umber's translation involved a considerable amount of paraphrasing.

Hardwicke shifts and gathers with the others to make the approach to the northern banners. He listens closely as Umber relays the word from their commander, and even he snorts a quiet breath at his particular paraphrasing.

Clasping Anders arm and giving a firm shake and a nod of his head, Aleister comments quickly, "Good luck out there, Northerner." That said, he's moving off to one side, to double check his gear and when that bellow comes, he's casting a glance in it's direction, the smirk returning to his lips, "Seems like things are just about to get started, then."

This is it - the final push. Ser Bruce Longbough wears a look of grim determination on his face, his guige strap hanging his shield loosely on his left side, while his crossbow is draped over his right shoulder. He and the other Nayland Guard are packed tightly together. The Captain smiles at the Greatjon's words, looking back at the men. "Well, lads. You know what you ought to do. Let's get on with it." He does have an aside for a certain someone - Rowan. "Congratulations, Ser Rowan. Make your father proud." He winks.

Gedeon's lips quirk as the Umber yells, and he leans over to note to Jarod, "Look, Ser, a friend for you."

"Let's do it then, Ser," Jarod says simply to Rowan. He tries to hold the former squire's eyes long, as if he wants to say more, but finally he just retakes his place at the head of the Terrick forces. He strains his eyes, and ears, as the Warden of the North speaks. Showing perhaps a touch of surprise to find him such an unassuming figure. But he adds a hearty cheer of, "Aye aye!" to the prospect of fucking the Greyjoy keep like a whore. Gedeon is flashed a smirk. A friend indeed.

Eamon lets out a sycophantic chuckle at the various plans being thrown about. 'Fuck both ends, don't pull out until we are done' being his personal favourite rendition. He grips his poleaxe and walks alongside Kamron, to whichever path they end up taking. His mail clinks as he moves, but his resolve is stoic and frozen.

Anders laughs in the translations as he, too, draws near the northern banners. His own of Flint's Finger is raised, and he searches for his Father's.. but it's not readily seen by him. Placing his helm upon his head, he twists around to find his Charlton friend, "My father should be among the host. After the battle is done, I'll introduce you, and we'll share another proper Northern ale." A glance is given to Pariston, and he grins, "Let's see if we can't match my father's forces with a victory of our own, Master Vis."

Kamron is about to depart from the group of knights when the orders are shouted through. They draw a laugh, and the Mallister shakes his head. He reaches out to clasp the hands of Ser Jarod, Ser Gedeon, and after a moment's hesitation, the new Ser Rowan in turn, "Good luck. Smith keep your armor strong, and Warrior guide your blows." And then he's moving back to the Mallister men with Eamon, "If I hadn't seen him throw a fully-armored man with one arm, I'd challenge the good Lord to prove he knows which holes he should be fucking." The comment is meant only for the common knight. He does have -some- sense of propriety, after all.

Checking gear is always good. Keelin's been quietly watching, though a smile on his face as someone else gets to kneel this time. He sticks with his own contingent, simply nodding to the newly knighted. Welcome to the clubs - those can wait. But first, there's a keep to take. Keelin triple checks his gear, making sure he's good to go. A simple nod, and Ser Keelin of the Key is ready for wherever he is sent.

Kittridge shakes his head sadly at Dominick, agreeing, "That is a shame. Training! Who needs it? Just point the thing and shoot it and watch it knock shit over. Oh well," he says, before they arrange themselves to hear the plan, the Groves contingent next to those from House Terrick. He smirks at the profane rendition they receive and nods. "Well, should be interesting," he remarks to the engineer, "Interesting and bloody. Congratulations, Ser Rowan," he adds aside to the newly made knight when there's a quiet moment.

The stocky, solemn noblemen at the center of these Northern giant-kin affects a brief smile at the exhuberance of his older bannerlords, before speaking on. The words are again lost to those at the rear, until relayed one more by the chain-wrapped Umber: "Freys- to the lower passage. And try to get there before the fighting's over this time! Northmen, and Mallisters: the wide walk."

The rather colorful order on how to assail the keep does bring an amused smirk onto Kell's lips as his mind is now returning to the more grimmer task at hand. The Knighting was a nice distraction but the taking of the last Iron Keep was never far from the Hedge Knight's mind. As the warriors begin to disperse back to their own groups, Kell follows suit and moves to where the Terrick contingent is, nodding to the now familiar brothers in arms. "As long as this keep takes a couple of silver instead of blood from me, I'll be glad to oblige."

"Leave it to a Northman not to have the consideration for the next man by treating a whore gently," Riordan comments, to noone in particular, upon hearing a more accurate translation of the order. Checking the straps of helmet and armor one last time on his armor (once the armor of Ser Jaremy Terrick). He hefts his spear, his sword at the ready in his sheath should he need it, and his other hand holds his shield firmly in position. The shield shows the colors and sigils of the Stonebridge Naylands, in honor of his late brother, and the position that his lord father has granted him. "Fight well, Ser Brothers, Ser Cousin," Riordan calls out to Rowan and Rutgar, and Rygar besides. "Make sure to leave some for the rest of us, Ser Bruce," he calls as well, to the Captain of his Father's guard. To his Lord Father, however, he merely offers a solemn salute, before turning back in the direction of the enemy. Riordan will do his duty, never fear.

Eamon laughs at Kamron's approach, tilting his head slightly to speak out of the good half of his mouth "Have you seen the Tully women?" he laughs again, then adds "From the sounds of it the man is a fierce enough fighter, though what I mostly know is the talk of smallfolk, and they tend to be far lewder and care far less for the truth."

Pariston walks along behind Anders, a grin and a low laugh as he hear the translation. Still calm and alert and listening to Anders. A smile and a nod given in return once Anders addresses Pariston. "I'm sure we can, my Lord." He offers in reply. Taking the bow from around his body to have it in his hands. One hand touches at his sword hanging at his hip, making sure it's still there perhaps. Then a nod to himself as he is ready.

Rutger checks his gear and brings his shield about. A grimace behind his steel mask, as his sword is loosed. "Ser Rygar.." Rutger starts. "A pkeasure to serve with you. If this is our last battle, please know the esteem I hold you is high." A nod towards The Umber's words "Naylands! Do well and make them bleed." Lest we all do. A shrug and The Nayland knight is ready.

"Something like that," Dominick agrees, sliding his crossbow off his shoulder and checking the bolt with his usual compulsive routine. "Whatever, it'll be ready for the next war." And the engineer sounds sure there will be one. "Try not to die, m'Lord. Lady Rosanna's wrath on the rest of us would send any Ironborn screaming in terror."

Rowan clasps the hands of Kamron and Kittridge in turn. "Sers, thank you. It's an honor to share the field with you. Let's get his bloody business done and all go home, eh?" The boy flashes a smile. "Seven watch over you both."

Bruce claps his gloved hands together, eyes darting to Anders. "M'lord Anders, Gods smile on you and your lads." He doesn't seem to need to say anything more to his own folk, though - it's being covered by the more noble-y Nayland types. Ser Riordan gets a grin and a nod, but no words. And there he gets on with it, so to speak, and the Nayland Guard follow closely the other Nayland men.

Rygar inclines his chin ever so slightly to Rutger's benediction, sharing his words among the other Nayland knights, "Unto victory, Ser," the grim Nayland voices, before giving the levies the order to march down the long stairs which will take the Nayland column, together with the others of Frey allegiance, to this second passage which their commander has ordered them take.

"And here is where we part, my Lord?" Anders sounds disappointed, truly. "Gods be with both of us, and may we both be well enough to collect from the other when this day is through." He looks to his men, now, his voice rising, "Men of the Finger! We fight this day with the Honourable Mallisters. We'll remind them well enough of their rout at Seagard!" Returning his attention forward, he's ready to go, his hand going to his sword, once all the leather stays are checked to be securely fastened, his shield hefted now.

Staying quietly focused as he listens to what's being said, Martyn nods a little, expression not changing. Seems the humor is something he doesn't pay too much attention to at the moment. Although there's a very momentary grin as he hears Eamon's words. But then the orders come, and he nods a bit. "Okay, folks. Let's do it!"

Dipping his head in a low bow towards Anders, Aleister offers, "It seems we do, my friend. Good hunting." Now, with orders being relayed as to where they go, the Charlton Knight is heading back to the Charlton contingent of men, so as to begin moving them to the lower level, along with the rest of the Frey Host.

Hardwicke spares just the tiniest moment to press a hand to Jarod's shoulder and give it a quick, comradely squeeze. "Good hunting, Ser," he says, and that's it as they continue on the approach.

"I'll do my best, Dom," Kittridge replies with another smile that borders on grim, "Seven know there's nothing more terrifying than my lady sister in a snit. I would hate to abandon you all to a fate like that." He summons up a slightly more genuine smile, and pats his friend and retainer on the shoulder, unslinging his shield from his back, checking his grip on his spear. "Seven keep you, too, Ser Rowan," he adds back to the Nayland, adding a salute and a nod to Jarod and Hardwicke as well to extend the good wishes.

"Die and I will fucking kill you," Ser Rowan says to Ser Jarod, taking his place on the line.

Jarod is taken a bit aback by Hardwicke's show of camaraderie. But it's returned in kind. He claps the older knight's shoulder briefly, nodding and flashing him a quick grin. "For Four Eagles, Ser. Good hunting." He looks back at the men who follow the Terricks. "For the Roost!" That done, he answers Rowan in a lower tone. And with a rather shit-eating grin. "Bit of a contradiction, isn't that? We'll see how it plays. There's much I want to do yet."

"Seven keep all of us," Keelin murmurs, finally saying something. He does give a grin to Martyn at his encouragement, simply nodding his head to the words spoken by the Mallister. "Good hunting all." And with that, he's stepping forward, heading along with the rest of the group.