Page 369: Devices
Summary: Young Lord Flint calls upon Lady Camden. Futures and the failed past are discussed.
Date: 25/07/2012
Related Logs: Tiaryn needs a dowry!: Love and Duty. Other logs related to the port at Tall Oaks.
Anders Liliana 
Workroom — Four Eagles Tower
Mostly for the women of the house and the staff. Used for fittings, sewings and other such womanly works.
25 Jul 289 AL

Early day, not even noon, and Liliana and Eli, looking much happier and not quite so put out, have taken up residence in one of the larger workrooms on the second level of the Four Eagles Tower. Their guard stands not far from the door, but he looks more likely to doze off, than to attack anyone who might wish to enter. The two women, for their part, seem to be going through a few trunks laid out in the center of the room. All bear the crest of House Camden, and seem to be Liliana's private stores. And within them, well, certainly not treasures or gold. Only dresses and other such womanly items as she was either sent to the Roost with nearly three years ago, or acquired in her time since then. The collection is neither opulent nor, likely, valuable as fodder for sale. In keeping with the House they were given from or bought into, they're simple things, with little embellishments, but finely made and carefully sewn. "Will you need to bring her in, do you think, Eli? Or is your eye good enough to manage from memory?" The question, lightly given, receives only a sniff in answer from the handmaid.

The guard doesn't give Anders much of an argument, though there is something of a soft grumble when he has to straighten in the Young Lord's presence, and he offers a nodded bow. "Lady Camden is within?" is asked as his hand rests upon the door.

"Yes, m'lord.."

Anders' acknowledgment is in the form of a quick rap upon the door and it opening a touch with a call, "My Lady Camden.." Statement, rather than a question. "Have you time?"

Liliana's eyes rise, at the sound of voices outside the door, but she doesn't move to close the trunk she's standing by. It's not as if it would be possible to hide what she and her maid are about. And the voice is familiar, trusted. But she does straighten, as is only proper, and though in his own way, they might be seen as a sort of distant relation, the curtsey and the polite greeting she offers is not familial, but is, rather, the one due a Young Lord, "My Lord Flint, come, I am here, and my time is yours."

Upon the response, Anders opens the door fully and steps through, closing the door behind him and offering a bow. Her maid is spared a glance, but that is all before his attention returns upon the lady of his search. He offers a smile and crosses the distance between them, to stop just beyond the trunk. "I have to apologize for being absent. Circumstances as they are have called upon my time, and have taken a little more, perhaps, than I have wished." His voice drops, moving from the formal to something a touch more familiar, though not quite familial. A fond distant cousin, perhaps. "War, and peace, and tourneys.. and.." He chuckles softly and shakes his head. "How I long for the return of simplicity."

Liliana, the greeting offered, returned, turns away, but slightly so, from the Young Lord, if only to move to clear a space so that he might take his ease, if he chooses, turning back to face him once she's cleared him a place in one of the seats strewn about. Elise busies herself with making the place look a bit less like a explosion might have just gone off. "You have no reason or need to apologize, my Lord. You have your own House and your own concerns, and people that need your attentions. Burdens made heavier when your home is far and far away from here." There's a smile, slight perhaps, but genuine, "I think you are not the only one who wishes for such things. But the gods do not often grant our wishes. My Aunt, however, has told me of your good fortune, and I pray that the gods watch and keep the babe who approaches."

"That burden falls naturally to me. It is something that has been born and bred into me. When I find that I am distracted enough where I do not see to those around me that also may have some need, then.." Anders shrugs, though it's not a dismissive gesture. He takes a long stroll around, and sits upon the proffered chair, his elbows resting upon his legs, his fingers entwining before him. "Your aunt.." he begins, and chuckles softly. "She is a bigger handful than ever imagined." Though, the intent of the mention isn't lost upon the Young Lord, and he exhales, a smile remaining, though it turns a little.. rueful. "I appreciate your wishes, and if the Gods still bend an ear to you, please have them whisper some sage advice, if not to me, then to my Lady Wife."

Straightening, his gaze shifts towards the trunk, and back to the Lady. "It is my understanding that your circumstances have changed, and be assured that it does pain me to think upon it, or even make mention."

"Then I am afraid that you have the better of me, my Lord. For I was never meant for such things as a Lady of the House must take as her duty. But perhaps that is always the way. We do not, as a rule, ever really know where we will end up, once the whim of the gods and our families have settled." Liliana moves to sit herself, as it seems rather unseemly tostand, now that the Young Lord has taken his ease. And so, she sits, in a chair turned to face, hands folded in her lap. "She is a Camden. I am told we make it a habit of being not quite what is to be expected of us. But if it is a burden she has become, I can find a place for her that will take that weight off of your shoulders." Where, she doesn't know, but she's not saying that out loud. "I will intercede as I can with them. And if there is anything in this mortal realm that I can do, I will do it."

And then, to more serious affairs, "My circumstances changed long and long ago now, my Lord. Months have passed as I waited to see which of the wolves circling would be bold enough to come in for the kill." Again, that faint smile, rueful in its own turn, "In truth, there never was much hope that my own plans would come to bear fruit, nor my dreams rebuild what was lost. I have at least been done the courtesy of being allowed to remain the Lady of an empty House, for the Lord Paramount was well within his rights to revoke all, not just the lands my family long kept in stewardship for him. That at least remains some coin I might one day sell, if things become so desperate. But my concern now is for your own plans, for I cannot now aid you in your wishes for your port on the sea."

Anders shakes his head, the smile returning, with a soft chuff accompanying it. "No, your aunt is no burden. You are correct, however, in that your family does not take the 'general and accustomed route'. But we knew that when my cousin wed." He cants his head, his expression softening, "We hold your family in esteem, Liliana," and he's chosen to use the familiar purposefully, "and the Old Gods will always whisper their names."

Clearing his through, the Flint straightens in his seat, and nods, "There is more than what you should have been required to bear, and I will do what I can to aid the carrying." Anders shifts his position and sits back, his arms resting upon the chair, "I have, in the past, spoken of ports with Lord Aleister.. and I do not believe that he will say 'no' to the possibility once again. I am going to go into discussions believing that all remains the same between us; our friendship, our business. What I would like to ask you.. that is in regards to your position. If you wish to travel North, to where the port will lie, I would welcome your presence."

"It was something that sustained us for many a generation, but proved to our cost in the end. Lord Tully would not plead our case when King Robert put down the ironborn rebellion, and the crown gave no reparations for our losses. I am told that the reason was because we gave no men to his cause. Yet how he expected us to field men when we had no men living to send escapes me. But that seems the King's prerogative, to use logic or no as he wills. Clearly the loss of a few hundred souls was a merely a trifling thing, hardly worthy of the notice of a great fish or a crowned stag." There's no longer a smile on Liliana's face, but only a stoic mien, concealing well enough the anger beneath. "The Gods alone will whisper their names. None will soon remember them. Some have already forgotten, if this new Lord of Highfield, as he styles himself, is an example. But I cannot even hate him for his deeds. He only plays the game as we have done for decades and decades on. He outplayed me and I must now craft a new hand."

Quiet, now, as she listens to the Young Lord, considering, but not offering her own comments until he finishes, "It would be good to return home again. The Roost struggles and there is a darkness here that is more than what the reavers brought. It is not as I remember it, when first I came. And there is little use they can make of me here. But what purpose would I serve at your new port? For I do not wish to be idle, for that leads to dwelling too long on the things that I cannot change." And is likely as not, the reason Liliana seems always to be going and ever seems quite still.

"The loss of one is no trifling matter," Anders gives his opinion on the matter. "The loss of a whole land and the Godswood was a blow that will sadden me for the rest of my days."

Shaking his head, the Flint shrugs again, and it's an honest beginning of a response. "I won't know until I see the needs as to where you will fill. And, truth be told, I will also be meeting with Aleister. I have some thoughts, but I will not speak of them until later." Even now, his mind runs in different places. "Please.. know and understand that I will be looking for your interests and will speak with you as to preferences to direction."

Anders exhales and nods his understanding, "There are things that are changed here. All I may do is offer our aid, and of all the South, the Terricks have been the kindest."

Liliana dips her head, at Ander's comment, her tone, when her voice comes again, holding less anger and more sadness, "So does the man of the North show the great compassion his people have for those around them. A compassion sadly, that those of the South seem to be lacking. Would that it had been Lord Stark that our family had bent the knee to, in those long ago days. His line would not have forgotten us. Ever have the Lords of the North understood that duty and compassion are a man's greatest strengths."

And in answer to Ander', she nods, "Then I will wait, and when you have some better idea of where I might be needed, I will decide. It will be good to be able to look upon the lands of my home, even if they must now be always barred from me. And if it would bring me closer to my Aunt, then I would be happier still." A nod, again, at the last, "Darker and darker every day, hatred and mistrust, eating away at the Roost. But there is still kindness here, if you can weed out the rest."

"There is nothing to sway me from my firm belief that had we known," The Flints, that is, "there would have been nothing to stay our hand to sending the troops down." Anders genuinely mourns the loss and he looks towards the trunk again, and the smile he offers is a tight one. "Words.. and words again they are, hollow.. and sad. But my faith in my Lord Stark is unswayed.. and will ever be. Indeed, he has taken a Greyjoy to see if the dog can be taught proper manners. I find peace in knowing the King recognizes a proper master for such a duty."

Anders rises to his feet now, and looks towards the Lady seated. "To be honest, my thoughts were to bring you back to the forests you have loved so well, and then to see if they whisper their needs to you as they spoke to me that night, through the fires." Shaking his head, he takes a step first towards the dresses. "I have a mind to offer a consideration to marrying into my family. It would serve us both well. The port run by Flint, and the lady of the Port a Camden." Pulling something out of his pocket, he showes it to Liliana. It is a device, based upon the two Houses; Flint and Camden. "Created by your aunt."

"My Lord Flint, I do not doubt your words, nor the honesty with which you give them. I know, if you had known, if any had known of the Charlton incursion, that you would have sent men to my aid. But it is said that this has ever been there way, to work in secret and shadow, so that none might oppose them when their truth comes to light." Liliana takes a moment, before she continues, "But I would, perhaps, not have wished to see you in such a position, having to choose between one ally and another, for there is goodwill between your house and Camden as well as Charlton."

Liliana settles back, her hands refolding in her lap. She remains still, though her eyes and her attention track the Young Lord, "They call me ever, the black boughs and the green, so that there are days I cannot abide the sight of stone, or the feel of gravel beneath my feet." A smile, "That is a pleasant thought, my Lord, and you are kind to offer. But my Aunt could serve as ably as I, and bind you to Charlton in so doing." She does rise, holding out her hands to accent the device, if he will offer it, "A beautiful thing. My Aunt's skill has ever been the better of my own." She looks back to Anders, "Please understand, my Lord. It is not that I wish to disregard your consideration…only that I do not wish to be the cause of strife or discord within your family." She glances to the dresses, "I have no fortune to give her, but the best and most beautiful will go to my aunt to be such a dowry as my House can still give."

Anders does hand the device to her for a better look. "Your aunt's impending marriage will do well to settle between the Flints and Charltons. I have no concern in that matter. I will not, however, be ready to give over the port to the Charltons if it is Flint sweat that builds it. It will be in the hands of my kinsmen. I do not know Aleister's mind as to his cousin, but I do know my own mind. And I can only imagine the draw for forest loam that you feel. I imagine that it is very much like the song my heart sings when thinking of the cold North." Here, he offers a gentle smile. "Your aunt will have a dowry set by the Flints as she is our widow. She does hold a portion of her husband's wealth, to bring with her." Whether Tia knows it or not. "Seek not fortune to send her on her way. Instead.. perhaps a memory of home? Your land's beauty was not in things, in wealth, but in the land and the forest, and the belief in the Old Gods. I would think on those things.. and put away your own things for your husband yet to arrive."

"I feel you will have a battle on your hands, but I have no doubt that you will prove the match of any Charlton blood. And as for my part, I was born and raised to the defense of the woods. And if you have need of me, I will find a way." Gentle fingers trace the device, before she offers it back to Anders' hand. "Yes, she told me as much, when I told her what I meant to do. But she is my blood, the only blood that remains to me. And I could not let her go without some gift of my House. But perhaps you are right. Perhaps I should make her a gift of the trees that once sheltered us. A cradle perhaps. I know of a craftsman yet who has the skill." A smile then, with no small amount of humour. Eli will be sad, I am sure. She was looking forward to the challenge of setting her needle to the task."

Stepping close, Anders takes the device, and if allowed, takes the hand that holds it gently to kiss the top. "Do not ever let yourself fall to the belief that your House was a poor cousin of the South. Please do not attempt to compete with their wealth and such. Your House and your lands were unlike any other, and as such, a unique gift that could come from nowhere else but the Oaks is the correct gift." He smiles, and takes a step back. "My House is forever your friend, my Lady Camden. I will be in touch in the coming days, and weeks. Hopefully, things will turn out well."

Liliana allows the taking of her hand, and the kiss, receiving it with the same courtesy with which she greeted him. "I will try to remember your words, my Lord. And I know in my heart that you speak the truth. But it is a hard thing to lose…everything. I am surrounded on all sides and I have few ports of refuge left to me. But I am reassured, that if the storm should become too pressing, I may find shelter in your House, even if only for a little while." Liliana steps back, offering a curtsey of deference as well as respect, "I will be here if you have need or news, my Lord Flint. The gods speed your journeys."

Anders crosses towards the door, and placing a hand on the door, he bows, "My Lady Camden. I will send word. May the Gods hold you as their own." Turning now, he opens the door and crosses the threshold, closing the door quietly behind him.