|Bows and Conversation|
|Summary:||Einar and Liliana meet on the training grounds.|
|Related Logs:||Tiaryn gets hitched: Wedding At Highfield.|
|Training Grounds — Tanglewood Manor|
|All sorts of things for hitting, shooting and stabbing. Also dirt and trampled grass.|
|05 Nov, 289 AL|
Early morning, the practice yards. Long before the swords of the house and such squires as Ashwood's knights have in their service have taken over the training yard for their own use. Early enough that any still needing time to recover from the wedding if the day before yesterday have not yet made it from their beds. But there's movement, a tall figure in ranger's leathers, but not marked with the grey of Flint, or even the green and blue of Ashwood, such rangers as they might have to patrol their borders. Indeed, there are no devices at all, only that soft, well-worn leather in shades of brown and green and grey as suits a ranger whose time is spent under the trees. The hair twisted up into a knot on the back of her head and the fact that the leathers are cut for a woman and not a man give the Lady of Tall Oaks, such it a thing still exists, away, as she stands to the side, stringing a longbow. A sworn, similarly unadorned with a house colour and the long-suffer Elise are off at a safe distance, but well within ear and eyeshot of their lady.
Early to bed, early to rise. It's one of those saying that trickles down the ages but it seems generally true of Einar Flint. He's always been an early riser and the festivities of recent days does not seem to have changed that. He's generally makes use of the first few quiet hours of his days at Highfield by working with Pariston but today it seems that only the lordling is making his way down towards the practice yards. As he spots another figure there already he initially assumes it to be Anais but quickly dissuades himself of that as he gets closer and can thus see more. The sword and maid get a brief nod, both in acknowledgement of their presence, and a friendly gesture to put them at their ease. He might initially appear unarmed, but once close enough that details can be discerned it is clear he has his crossbow strapped across his back in it's usual carrying position. Once within easy speaking range, he hails the other shooter. "Good morning Lady Camden, would you object to company on the range?"
Liliana does not immediately look around, as she's hailed, as she did not look around as her sworn made her aware that they had company approaching. She is no small woman, that is true, if her height is a measure of such things, barely a few inches shorter than the man approaching, but she has not a man's build, nor his strength, and the stringing of a bow that is longer than she is tall, takes all of her strength and most of her concentration. Still, there's no doubt the man's greeting was heard, because, once strung, she does turn around, eyes doing that familiar dance as she picks out the heraldry marks of his House. "You may, my lord." A dip of her head. Curtseying in leathers would look a rather silly thing. "Your colours I recognize, and your face, from my aunt's descriptions of you and from seeing you at her wedding, but I do not think we have met formally before."
With his own bow already strung, Einar simply needs to lift the strap over his head and slide it off his shoulder. Returning the dip with a polite nod of his own before he pauses to think a moment at her words. It is only a moment though before he replies "I think we might have, at my brother's wedding, but that we would both have been a lot younger then. Either way though, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance." He glances then down range for a moment, eyeing the target and surrounds before turning back to Liliana. "Tia speaks highly of your skills, I almost wish I had brought my other bow so as to pick up some new ideas." That said he grounds the front end of his bow and tensions the string. His bolts are in a small quiver strapped to his leg but he does not reach for one just yet. "Would you prefer to shoot alternately or an end a time?"
Liliana steps away from the staging area, as it were, moving towards the practice field proper, the bow held lightly in her right hand, leaving her dominant left hand free, "Yes, I recall being able to see Tiaryn, and being let off from the children's tables long enough to congratulate her, but that was all. I think my mother was afraid I would embarrass myself. It is good to meet you now, when we have such happy circumstances to celebrate. As we did then, but perhaps we are more cognizant of their importance than we were." A tick of her head at Einar's comments on her aunt, "I am better with the short bow, but I have been trying to improve as I can, especially in the light of how much danger there still is in the Riverlands. If you wish to shoot this bow, you are welcome to it. We are not so different in height that the bow would be too small for you. Alternately seems well enough."
Einar nods once at Liliana's recollections. Being older he'd been with the adults and mostly concentrating on is brother and new good-sister, rather than the plethora of others around. "I am better with this," he says as he holds up the crossbow a moment, "than I am with any more traditional designs." Thinking on the offer he seems sorely tempted, although a little uncertain. "I should get my daily practice done, I was lax in the regard yesterday and would not wish to be for two days in a row., but possibly a few ends if you're willing? Either before or after his standard routine, he doesn't mind so leaves the to Liliana. He feels the need to say something else, although so variety of 'I'm sorry for your loss' seems both too little and too late, and probably the vast majority of what she's heard for the past year or so. Instead he opts for the more recent, "how did you find the wedding?"
"I do not have the strength required to pull a crossbow that would be effective more than once or twice." As light a crossbow as she would need for her strength would do little good in combat, and a sturdier one, she would grow to tired to fire more than a time or three. "I play to my strengths as I can. I am small and light, the short bow suits me and does not sap my strength so. You have the build for a crossbowman." Liliana holds out the bow, towards the hand that seems strongest for him, "Earlier might be better than later, when weariness makes your hands clumsier than they would otherwise be." She will offer to hold the crossbow, if he needs, "It was a beautiful wedding. Auntie Tia looked radiant, and I am glad that she has the happiness the war stole from her." Liliana smiles, looking long down along the range, "We used to say…that there must always be a Camden under the tall oaks. And I am glad that she will be able to keep our blood where it belongs. That those who come from her union will always know where they came from and who her people were. And perhaps, if the gods are good, what we believed in."
With the crossbow already tensioned, Einar slips a hand to the quiver and withdraws a bolt before loading it and offering the weapon first to Liliana, "can't dry fire it, itll damage the limbs." If she's rather not then he'll snap off a quick shot towards the target then take the longbow offered. "Thank you," he states simply before taking a few moments to get a feel for the bow and it's draw, as well as finding his shooting stance on the line. "I'm glad she found happiness too, I was worried for her for a while, but she has overcome all that was set in her path. "You plan to travel?" he infers before stating what his cousin had told him so shortly before, "there are men searching the north for a suitable sapling even now, and I know Tia plans a blessing of the marriage in a godswood as soon as time allows. I would not fear for your cousin's and their upbringing."
Liliana accepts the crossbow, holding it with enough care that it's clear she's drawn one before, but her hand beckons for the Flint Lord to take his shot first, "She is a Camden." As if that explained all of Tiaryn's fierce will to live and to overcome the numerous hardships she has faced for much of her grown life. "I will travel when I am free to do so. But I will never live in the woods again, not in the way she can now. I am the only Camden by blood and name left. If I should wish to carry on the Camden name, which is only the smallest part of what I owe to those we have lost, I must find a suitable match for myself. A commonborn man, but well-placed, a respected knight perhaps, or a merchant. In exchange for his hand, and perhaps, his lands, he would receive a lordship." In noble to commoner marriages, the commoner rises to the rank of the noble and takes their noble name. "If the gods will, there will be Camdens in the years to come, but this land will never be theirs again."
Einar nods to the explanation of Tia's resilience, but then drops quiet or a moment, concentrating on getting his head into the right mind-set for longbow shooting rather than crossbow. It's a matter of maybe ten seconds, perhaps fifteen, but then his head rises again and he looks down range. His first attempt at a draw leaves his elbow in entirely the wrong place so he eases the tension out of the string gently before trying again. Better this time he string-walks his fingers down until he's happy then relaxes into his release. It's not a perfect shot by any account, but for the first one with an unfamiliar bow he's content enough with it. Done he then turns back to her and asks "Have you considered the North, or do the ties of fealty hold you to Lord Tully's domain? Sometimes in Tia's tales that I find it hard not to think of your lands as more similar to ours then the Riverlands."
Liliana watches Einar as he prepares his shot. No comment or criticism is made. She simply allows the man time to learn the bow and to take his shot. "There are more similarities between myself and the people of the North than of the Riverlands, however, there are more opportunities for marriage, or perhaps, care to say, there would be more men willing to marry for a lordship in the other parts of the Seven Kingdoms. Trade and knights are both rather difficult to come by in the north. And there is much in this world I have not seen yet." A snort of laughter, "But what of you, Einar Flint? Will you gain your knighthood and then return to the home of your fathers? Or will you see the world for a while?"
Einar takes another arrow and makes his draw. He releases first time and although his elbow isn't in an exactly textbook position, the arrow thuds home no more an inch outside of his first. He's expression shows that he knows he can do better, but equally he's not about to beat himself up about it either. Grounding the bow again he nods to the answer given. "You are correct of course, I suppose our heavy cavalry, while functionally the same, probably don't count do they." There's possibly a hint of regret in his voice at that, despite his own choice of path. Bloody southerners and their weird ways. "Me?" he then asks, "I suppose it's a fairly poorly kept secret these days but no, I doubt I shall be returning to my Lord Father's lands once Anders has decided I have learnt what he can teach me. He has instead, Anders that is, granted me permission to continue as I was before my brother fell, and so gods willing, I will be taking the cloth. As such, I have no idea where I will end up."
"It is not so much that the north's heavy cavalry do not count, but more that they have less desire for titles and lordships. The north is a harsh land and hard to live in. People do not spread out and make new homes for themselves there as they do in the south. Do you think it will be easy to be a follower of the old ways when I know, with all likelihood that I will have to marry a man who believes in the seven? But it is either make that sacrifice and keep my name, or allow the Camden name to die and become as forgotten as the dead already are." Liliana watches the second shot, waits, before she continues, "I wish you well of your choice, my Lord."
"Thank you, I think I shall need it," Einar answers with a faint smile as he nocks his third arrow. His draw feels good but there's just something off with his release. Maybe he hadn't relaxed enough, maybe he the string didn't slip off his fingers smoothly, either way though the arrow is well wide of the mark, and while it's still in the target, it's no where near the other two. Sighing slightly he shakes his head as he just stands and looks down the range, glad in many ways the Pariston was not around to see that shot. "I do not think it will be easy for you no, but as you said of Tia, so I will say of you, you are a Camden. I do not think it matters what the gods, your's or mine, put in front of you. It seems a family trait. I shall wish you well too though, and hope you find what you are looking for when you are ready for it."
"We all need well wishes, no matter our road." Again, she falls silent, watching, waiting until the arrow flies home, before she reaches out for the bow, "A good beginning. And will lead to a good end. Or so my father used to tell me." Lili's face scrunches up a moment, "Or perhaps it was…begin as you mean to go on. He had so many. He was full of little sayings like that." She moves to hand off the crossbow, so that they might both begin their practice in earnest, "If the world is kind, perhaps I will. But while I am still young, the morning is now. And so, let us see what we can make of the rest of it." And so they did.