Page 165: Catching Breath
Catching Breath
Summary: Lord Jerold and his heir discuss the aftermath of the Ironborn attack.
Date: 30/December/2011
Related Logs: Among the Pines and Nettles
Jacsen Jerold 
Throne Room
The Throne Room of Terrick's Roost
December 29, 288 A.L.

It's only shortly after the Lord himself has set up in the throne room that he can hear the sound of his son's approach, unmistakable even amongst the chaos of the battle's aftermath. "My lord," Jacsen calls, his greeting mixed with the relief at seeing his father as hale as he was told to expect him.

"Jacsen, come," Jerold greets with a welcoming motion to his son. His expression remains grave, as it has for many months." A steady exhale precedes a drink drawn of the goblet at hand.

He does not waste time in making his way to Lord Jerold's side. "We've ravens sent in every direction, as far as the Banefort," Jacsen offers to Jerold as he nears, a minor frown seeming permanent upon his face.

Jerold nods once at the report. "Very good. I just recieved word that Ser Aeric was near to the shore when the alarm was raised. I know not of his fate afterward, but he set to sea with a small number of men aboard the galley." A slowly drawn breath. "Seven be with him. Have you heard the losses?"

He nods, carrying up the same wish for Ser Aeric and the men aboard ship. "Only a few, I am told. That we are fortunate it was not greater…" Jacsen's frown deepens a touch as he halts by his father and the map he pours over. "Is it true that my Lord Uncle…?" He seems already to think the answer rests with the Stranger, and he adds, "I am sorry, my lord."

Jerold exhales slowly. "He was struck down while seeing the smallfolk out of harm's way. I pray that he yet lives, but cannot help but expect the worst." A slowly drawn breath. "We lost four of our guardsmen, with another two wounded. Of the townsfolk, I know not how many were felled." Another drink of the goblet.

"What does this mean, my lord? This is no simple raid, and the Roost… this is no sleepy coastal village, where raiders might come and do their work, and slink off back into the sea," Jacsen affirms, leaning heavily upon his cane. "That they would attack us here, and in such number… Even go to the effort of this ruse of an 'envoy' amongst us…"

"We must hold the walls until words reaches Seagard," Jerold voices evenly. "The Westerlands fleet will be poised to relieve us and visit a retaliatory strike upon the Iron Islands within a week. Two at the most. Though it pain us to do so, we must endure until then. These ships came in too great a count, Lord Jason will need to march overland with his strength." Another slow breath taken in and out, before he states, "It means, my son, that they have come not to raid, but to conquer."

Jacsen's blue eyes drop down to the map at the last of his father's words. "To conquer." He draws a breath through his nose and slowly releases it, his eyes scanning the terrain illustrated on the table before them. "And if they have already struck further afield, my lord? How long might we hold out if there were no assistance to come from our neighbors?"

"The men of Orkmont came against us," Jerold points out ruefully. "Though they took us unawares, and with more strength than we could match, it is not the greatest, nor nearest of the Iron Isles. I worry that Lord Jason may be delayed in marching to our aid." He pauses a moment, in intent thought. "But all the longships of every island are not a match for the Golden Fleet at Lannisport. Tywin Lannister counts two hundred war galleys, my son, the moment the Reavers failed to take out gates swiftly, they lost their chance to fortify. Now, once the Western galleys are sighted, the Ironborn must flee to thier ships, or else be stranded here without support, and without reinforcement. At the very worst, within a fortnight, Hoster Tully's banner will march to our relief."

"Then we shall hold out, my lord. Whatever is required of us, we shall hold." Jacsen draws a firming breath, searching his father's features. "Tell me what you would have me do, father. I cannot take to the wall, but I am far from being useless. Let me help you."

Jerold inclines his head. "There are some hundreds of our smallfolk within the walls. Jarod is away, Ser Blayne is wounded, Revyn is taken. Jacsen, I would see you search out those within our walls with the nerve to bear arms. I would see them ared and trained as best they can be, and given a place on the walls. I would see you keep your sword at hand, and once again wear a breastplate. Not enough to strain your leg, but enough to let the smallfolk and your own Household see that their lords stand ready to defend them." He settles back in his throne. "If they construct siege machines, we must be prepared to send a sally forth."

"My leg can bear much, my lord, for the sake of our small folk and our honor." Jacsen straightens even then, as if the thought of such has emboldened him, provided strength he did not have before. "I will gather a few of the men and begin immediately. It has not been so long that I've forgotten my blade, I promise you that."

"I know, Jacsen," Lord Jerold voices steadily. "Should worse come to worst, you will have need of it." An offer is made of a goblet, as Jerold refills his own, as the assistant to the maester enters the throne room, and bows to each of the men, being bade approach by a motion from the Lord. "What word?" Jerold prompts with a frown, "We cannot have a reply from Lord Jason, yet. Our own bird cannot but have just arrived."

He nods to the offer of the goblet, though whatever he might have said is cut off by the appearance of the Maester. Jacsen's eyes narrow a fraction as he watches, in lieu of showing what thoughts shadow him with worry.

Jerold reads the note on the size of paper favored by the house maester for decoding messages had from the legs of ravens. "Well," Jerold exhales, handing the slip of paper to Jacsen. "Lord Jason has joined us in spirit, though the good Ser's presence will be delayed." The paper reads 'From Seagard: Under heavy Ironborn assault. Call all banners and march to support'.

Jacsen leans forward to take the slip of paper from his father, the comment made clearer once he's read its contents. "Seven," he breathes as his eyes scan it, once, and then again as if to confirm what he does not wish to read. "Then there is no mistaking it, is there?" He flicks a glance up at the Maester. "Thank you for bringing this to us so swiftly. We still await word from Riverrun, and Stonebridge besides."

"I don't suppose there is," Jerold affirms. He belatedly follows Jacsen's thanks to the raverner's assistant, nods once and glances back to his son from beneath greying brows. "Do you see any value in keeping the scope of this difficulty quiet?" the Lord of the embattled Roost wonders of his heir.

"If there is word that even Seaguard is under attack from the Ironborn, it will change I think the sort of hope we put in those that are here with us," Jacsen says, his thoughtful gaze following the messenger without really watching him. "Some might lose to despair, but others will be filled with steel, knowing it is upon them that all of this might hang." He lifts his gaze up to his father again and says, "The truth will be harder to bear, but it has nothing upon which to buckle. A false hope shall break on the first opportunity, and never repaired in time."

Jerold nods once. "You are correct of course. We must be true with our own people. It shall be perhaps a fortnight before we may expect any relief. And spread to word amongst our knights and guard, Jacsen: our foes will attempt every chicanery, any dissembling.. anything to draw us out of these walls." A slow breath drawn in and let out. "Any bows we can muster and arrows must be distributed. I will add my own hunting bow, it shall never do better service than here and now, in willing hands."

He dips his chin to that. "I shall let even my wife sit on the rooftop, and pick at any Ironborn that come too close," Jacsen remarks, his lips framing a grim sort of smile, small though it might be. "In the meantime, I will do as you ask. I will find every weapon, and find a ready hand for it. We shall endure, my lord."

"We shall," Jerold affirms again. "We must," he adds, with a short nod. Finishing the last of his second goblet, and setting it aside, he notes drily, "I shall have to drink less, lest we run out." Rising from the throne, Lord Jerold summons his seneschal to tend the business of stores and supplies.