|Civility in front of the Gods|
|Summary:||No arguments within the sanctity of the Godswoods.|
|Date:||18 August 2011|
|Godswood - Tall Oaks|
|The small godswood walled in by an age old wall connects with the clearly to the east. Within the godswood stands at the center an old and tended weirwood. It's boughs are touched with ribbons, placed by those of Tall Oaks that yet hold on to the Gods of the first men. Though it is not a worn area but it is not abandoned. The face within the wood is near feminine in make, the weeping tree one of ethereal ties.|
|Thu Aug 18, 288|
The next day was mostly a preparation for the journey to Hag's Mire and the cool shade of the Oaks seemed more welcoming that it ever had to Damara. Time has finally allowed for her to sneak away and seek solitude beneath the boughs of the Heart Wood, the carved face overlooking the Mistress as she kneels before it. Hands clasp over the medallion at her chest and she whispers softly, her head does not bow. Instead it lifts, eyes closed as she enjoys the soft breeze of the wood, welcoming it's touch and the difference it brings from the coastal brine they had left behind.
As she always does, her leather jerkin lays on the ground beside her and the blouse shifts in the wind, the sleeves half rolled up.
Remarkably enough, though there's no admission, the week away from Tall Oaks is one that will remain in memory as difficult, and not only for the more obvious reasons. It's taught the Captain of the Guard how woefully insecure their position is. Archers— he's very proud of the fact that he knows that ten of them could take out a hundred infantry. But should a force wish to invade, even taking to the trees wouldn't help. While the rest of Westeros may look forward to the wedding and subsequent tourney of Lord Jaremy, he's not. Not that his archers won't make for a good showing, but..
The smithy is filled with projects now, two horses are done; hooves trimmed and shoes put on for the journey out. Now, he's got a workbench of decaying tools that somehow he's going to breathe new life into.. and he can. It'll simply take a little longer. Dinner will be shorter, and the night hours will be spent at work in order to fulfill his promise to the Septa.
That is going to require a little aid…
Dafydd doesn't appear to be a religious man, and his leanings are usually only found in the occasional (okay, maybe more often than occasional) oath.. and that is to the Old Gods of his family past. So, leaving the smithy-apron behind, and washing his face in the quench bucket, Lord Camden, a younger, makes his way to the wood for a moment of peace and quiet supplication.
Slowing, however, as he sees a form, Dafydd pauses in his step, coming to a stop. Blue eyes linger a moment before he turns slightly away, for all the world averting his eyes, and clears his throat to announce his presence.
If one was to listen close enough, the Lord's approach would not go unnoticed but Damara is too far given to her prayers and wishes that she does not at first hear him. With the clearing of his throat, Damara rouses from her inner thoughts to open her eyes slowly. Her hands lower from the medallion and the Mistress lifts her chin slowly to look back over her shoulder. She grasps for the jerkin and slowly stands, "My Lord." She intones and dips her head as she steps out from beneath the Heart Woods brilliant red foliage.
The woman smooths the jerkin over her arm and she offers him a faint smile. "There is always room for more beneath the Heart Wood. But if you wish solitude, I am done." Or is now at the least. She makes no fuss over it.
But she studies his face, perhaps searching for something but in the end she makes no comment, dipping her head to him.
Stepping forward once he's acknowledged, and makes not she doesn't move to replace the jerkin, Dafydd instead looks forward. "I can always use one more voice to get the Gods' attentions." While Damara was quietly praying, offering obeissance on her knees, the Captain's method of supplication will be a little more obvious. The setting of a small, guarded fire— the reminder that from consuming fire comes life anew.. and it's for that he's here to ask. To ask for protection from that fire, and should it come, that life comes after.
"There's no need for you to depart. Not unless your duties for preparations require you to be elsewhere."
Hesitating, she looks to the Captain and gives a slow nod of her head. "I would be glad to lend my voice to your prayers." Damara says. She shifts to the side and dips back beneath the canopy of red, looking to him before she moves to step closer again to the watching face, her eyes lingering there as she lets the Heart Wood study her in turn. "My duties, my Lord..are seen to. There is little else I need to do and I hesitate to even go now. I would wish to bring another falcon, but I fear that Gein's death was an ill omen. For all of us." Her brows furrow, her head lifting to look upward through the branches, sheltering as they are.
"I worry..my Lord." She says to him, her green eyes for once not showing that simple complacency but one of guarded uncertainty.
Dafydd carries nothing with him; no tools, his weapons of both steel and wood are a distance away. He, too, enters the wood, under the canopy, and stops, taking the moment of silence.
With blue eyes still cast at the face before him, his voice is low and even. "I would wish that it was only my brother and I." And a troop of guards. "If we fail, then Lord Mikah can help the boy, and he would still have everyone around him to aid him and give him counsel to teach him." Other than he and Sarojyn, of course. "But, because my Lord Camden will not be moved, I make preparations for us all.. and add to my list of supplication that all may pay heed so that the warnings of a dead raven don't come to pass." Superstitious, but the Captain of the Guard doesn't let anything pass.
Lowering himself, Dafydd finds small twigs with which he can use to create the heat that will be needed to cause the tinder to flame. Everything given by the Tree.
"All I can do," we can do, "is to make all assurances that which I have control of is set to the purpose it's intended. The horses will be sound, shoes upon their feet, our shafting the finest of the barrels, and what few swords we carry will be wielded by ready and practiced arms." Beyond that?
At the comment of Gein being a Raven, she falls silent. Right. Damara just lets it roll off of her but a nod is offered. Listening to him as he speaks, the Mistress watches his work and then lowers to help gather a few more as she realizes his intent. She then speaks up, her voice meant for only them. "If my Lord would…I would ask you teach me the use of a blade so I can be more than just a burden.." Burden in his eyes at the least.
THe Mistress offers a handful of twigs and try leaves, smoothing a hand to her knee as she rests upon the other. She does not say anything else and lets him tend to his actions, her eyes watching and then slowly lifting to look at him.
The rubbing of the twigs begins, the heat building but not yet firing. Dafydd's voice remains low, his head shaking, "I will not.. for several reasons." The Captain doesn't blow on it, but rather, waits for the breeze to pass the heat, moving it around so when it does catch the tinder, it'd ignite.. "A sword in hand becomes a target." That is given as his first reason, and it's given matter of factly. "They'll care not if it's a woman or a man."
The small tinder begins to smoulder, and moving away, gestures for more fuel.
"And my brother would have my head."
As it truly begins to catch, Dafydd's voice lowers, though his gaze moves up the tree once more. It's a prayer, one filled with quiet ritual, from greeting to offering to request.
"If they mean to hurt, my Lord…it will matter less if it is a bow or a sword I wield." Damara says and looks to him, but doesn't press further. But that last comment makes her smile a bit and in some humor, she finds some accord with him, "Perhaps…though I don't think he would take it." Green eyes are relieved of some of their worry, but it lingers there and reawakens as he falls to prayer.
The Mistress' gaze lowers to the flickering flame. That scarred and knotted hand lifts to the medallion at her neck and wraps her small fingers around it. She lets out a long breath and her chant comes as a low drone to his lowered voice. Her head tilts and she looks over the flame, a soft hum filling her words, making it more of a hymn.
As the tender of the flames so it doesn't get out of control, Dafydd's tenor is quiet, his hands busy with keeping the fire lit during their prayer. At the end, because it's a known ritual, the request is made— knowledge, wisdom and courage. Camdens don't break, they bend. Falling silent so the Hawks Mistress can add her own; a fire is a sure fire way (no pun intended) to garner their attention, he puts his hand out to douse the flame. There's a wince, a flicker of pain, and the tinder settles down to first a smoulder, and then is out.
Wiping away the ash, and avoiding looking at his hand, Dafydd takes a deep breath, and with a tight-lipped grimace glances beside him. "You may have your life with a bow. With a sword, there is little chance for mercy. Call it a lack of appreciation for what a good archer can do."
The dousing of the flame is noted and Damara's green gaze flickers for a moment over his actions. Her head tilts and the hymn dies on her lips. Her hands reach out slowly and with a silent question, she looks to him and then his hand, her own scarred ones offering to look at it even if he will not. Though occassionaly her eyes look about the Godswood, as if in search of something. "And if they were to reach me? Am I to just lay down my bow and be struck?" She asks him gently.
If allowed the Mistress will look over the tried flesh, studying the extent of the burn. "Is it not better to be ready, with dagger or with short sword? I have a huntng blade..but do little else but dress the kill with it." She says.
Slightly burnt flesh, to Dafydd, doesn't warrant consideration, and it's nothing he hasn't done before. His hands are calloused from years at the anvil and at the sword, strong and rough. Not the hands of a court lord. His expression turns towards the put-upon, and holds his hand, palm up, for inspection. As far as he's concerned, should the Old Gods answer, or acknowledge, the burn will heal and the tenderness fade after a short time. If the supplication isn't acceptable, his hand will fall off. (Not really, but!!)
"If they reach you, then you aren't as good as an archer as you led me to believe." Is he teasing?
Dafydd shakes his head, blue eyes leveling on the woman. "To kill a man at close distance requires something that I don't believe you have, Mistress Damara. My hand is fine. It will heal in time."
"We have but each other in this world, my Lord. If the Old Gods wished you to be burned you would be." Damara traces a thumb gently over the burn and her eyes lift to meet his gaze from their inspection. A soft smile on her lips. "I can only shoot so many arrows, my Lord. I would hope they do not reach me…then I do hope your sword will find them. But if our prayers are answered, we need not worry." She says softly.
Her eyes drop slowly and she cants her head, speaking openly with him. "You may not believe I do not have it within me. But being once attacked and unable to protect those I loved…" Brows draw a furrowed line for but a moment before it relaxes. "I wish I had known how…there is a desperation that wells up within when that times comes, you fight with whatever you can." She lets out a long breath, "Had I the ability then…my son my yet live." She says as she stares into the lines of his hand.
Damara and Dafydd are kneeling next to a recently doused fire, small and nondescript. The Mistress is looking over the Lord's right palm. She studies it as she speaks softly with him beneath the blood red canopy of the Heart Wood in the late afternoon. The woman's jerkin is set aside next to her and by the look on her face the conversation has turned to something of a grim topic.
Having spent the day mostly to himself, Saro had finally decided to venture forth from the Tall Oaks Keep and upon his departure from the township itself, he'd follow the paths that lead one along to the Godswood. There, he moves past the crumbling wall and into the wood itself and as his eyes play about, coming to fall upon Damara and Dafydd, he's giving a slight nod of his head to each before offering, "I am not intruding, am I?"
Dafydd listens as the femine hands check his for any injury beyond that which is obvious, that is, the burns. They will heal, certain, given time. Perhaps an unguent upon returning, or just not peeling whatever skin may come off will be more than enough. "If you are in that position, my sword will have already failed. There is nothing short of my death that will allow an enemy past me." It's a matter of fact statement, all told.. and one he believes fully.
Her looking at his hand makes him a little uncomfortable; nothing untoward about the scene, certainly. Ash is before the pair; a supplication finished to the Old Gods.
At the approach of the Lord Camden, Dafydd retrieves his hand and rises, deference offered. There's no discomfort in the detection, nothing that would begin to suggest that he's in any way distress about his brother's arrival. "Brother.. no. Just seeking some extra energy from the Gods.. and asking if they could send a little extra our way."
Again she is turned down for the chance to learn the use of a blade and Damara does not press the issue. The Mistress merely nods and in the act begins to draw her hands away from his accosted one. It is Sarojyn's voice however that draws her green gaze upward and her memories wipe away after a moment more. That would be two Lord's that caught her unaware in the Godswood. She rises and offers a bow to him, "My Lord." She intones, offering him a soft smile as her head lifts. "Not at all."
She looks to the Captain and then Sarojyn. "We were offering up prayers to the Old Gods, for safe travels." She intones.
There's is another nod of Sarojyn's head before he's moving forward, coming to stand off to the side of the pair, though his attention has now drifted from them to the Heart tree, "Safe travels would be most welcomed, I must admit, as would the energy. But, above all, I would take a glimmer of hope above all else for the particular task that we are to undertake." The words are almost a murmer, though loud enough for the other two to hear. "Perhaps if the Gods are willing, they will see fit to grant each of us that in which we seek." Hands come to grasp the edge of his cloak, moving it over one shoulder so that he can lower to a single knee in front of the Heart tree. There's a single moment in which his lips move, but no sound emerges, before he's finally beginning to lift back upwards.
Dafydd looks down at the charred bit on the ground, a tight smile given again. He waits for his brother to finish before, "Also covered the 'wisdom, knowledge and courage' angles too, Brother. Forgot strong arm, keen eye, however. Probably tomorrow, I'll put that in before we depart." Glancing at Damara, he wiggles his left hand, but it's something of a light gesture.
"The horses are shod, and now I return to sharpen the tools the Septa has delivered. I'll be taking my dinner late, I assume. Probably either in the shop or in my chambers." No visit to the tavern tonight for the Captain. "I promised they would be done by the morrow— before I inspected them."
Turning his head just a touch, Sarojyn allows his gaze to settle upon his younger brother as he offers a smile and a slight nod of his head, "Perfect. That will save me from having to request upon those, brother." Looking back to the Heart tree, his eyes settle upon the face that is carved there and the blood that 'leaks' from the eyes. "I'm having a raven sent to Hag's Mire in the next couple of days. I assume their response will only take a day or so to return to us and we will leave shortly thereafter. So, you needn't rush upon things, brother, for there is at least a week."
"Regardless, I did say that they would be returned to her by tomorrow." And for good or ill, Dafydd is a man of his word. Even if it means he's up all night. "As for the other preparations, I'm glad. It'll take that long to be sure those whom I choose are ready. They need to be fresh and ready. Practice will start tonight, I think, and I'll at least get a chance to supervise and see whom I will pick to attend us."
His voice lowers even more than it has now that Damara is making her supplications once again. "I would ask that you reconsider once again, brother. Now that they're home." It's with an inclination of his head towards Damara that he continues, "They're weary. We won't be long out, but for the journey.. and we'll be home soon enough. And should something happen, they'll be there to counsel Seryl."
"Very good, then. I intend to remain within the keep this evening, though I may stop out to see how the practive unfolds and how they are doing." The lowered voice and the inclination of Dafydd's head towards Damara has him stealing a glance in that direction before he's looking back to his brother. "I will take your counsel under advisement, brother, but I offer no words of certainty. While I could perhaps justify leaving Alyse here, Damara is one of our finest archers. And, I draw counsel from her, much like I do you." Now, his attention once more returns to that heart tree. "Micah will remain behind to counsel Seryl. That is for certain."
"I have been asked to lunch by your daughter, the Lady Alyse today. I don't know what lies upon her mind, and I am not one to second guess. But, I wanted to let you know that I agreed. Beyond the fact that I assume that it will be held at normal lunch hours, I know nothing." Dafydd isn't even sure if there'll be food.
The other part is dropped; his brother agreed to reconsider, and that is all that needs be said on the matter. Of course, there are several more arguments that can be made, though they're probably either not necessary or won't be heeded once the mind is made up.
"Good, brother.. then if I see you on the practice field, I will call you out and perhaps work on your upper cuts after an effective left block. It is awkward, I know, but once the swing is in place.."
"I'm pleased to hear that you accepted, Dafydd. I knew that such a thing might come and take it for what it's worth and enjoy the hour spent. I'm sure that you'll find it much to your liking." Saro offers only the hints of a smile to that, though he does give a slight dip of his head into a nod. "I'm afraid, brother, that if I appear on the field, it won't be to practice. At least, not today. Perhaps, I will do such a thing tomorrow, but this evening I plan to keep to myself for the most part and if I do appear, it will be for but a moment."
"Enjoy the hour spent." If it were anyone else, Dafydd would go into great detail exactly how he'd rather the hour spent— from the bawdy to the painful. Still, he's pretty sure that his brother gets the idea; they are brothers after all…
The Captain nods slowly before acknowledging it a little more fully. "Then I will be sure that none bother you while you watch the practice so that you can escape when you wish and not when time permits." That's not a problem at all. "We'll obviously have more in the coming days. And when we're ready, with any luck, we'll receive word back, travel, and return home in time to help thin the herds for winter." Nothing like a stockpile of forest game.
"The more I think on it, the less successful it seems. And the young ser did not tell us how far the telling of the contents of this letter has gotten. Has he enlisted anyone else's aid and we are working at cross purposes? Will it only be the Naylands we speak with, or will there be more?"