|Down By The Water|
|Summary:||Cordelya and her lady's maid take their ease by the water. Muirenn joins them briefly.|
|Related Logs:||Cordy can't see patients, briefly: Nobles in Great Earnestness|
|The Green — Terrick's Roost|
|Damaged and turn after the invasion, there still some life left on the green.|
|16 Jan, 289 AL|
"Come now, Reed's daughter. Come away and walk the good, green earth with me." Niamh's voice is soft, thick and heavy with the accent of home, as she comes upon her Lady. No cultured woman is she, though her mistress does the best that can be done with such a one. For the now, Niamh looks content enough in her homespun, bare feet kicking up the dust around the rubble piles, "I have brought cool drink, and what bread I could find nearly fresh. But there is foraging away towards the cliffs. I have seen some small patches of berries, where the ironmen have not trampled over all. And you have need of your rest. Flint's son will wonder why you are so wearied."
It has been a long day. Corrie's rarely done actual, rough physical work. Not for years and years. She's not exactly a strong back, but she's been willing to give what she could to help the people of the town. Now she's covered in soot and dirt from the rubble they've been moving for hours. She's half breathless and not entirely steady on her feet. She's not eaten or drank since she broke her fast with her husband in the morning. She's about to protest, but the world just momentarily shifting around her is enough to tell her she needs to stop. She nods to the woman. "Aye, Niamh… water… Water is probably a wise idea. And food. For both of us. I'll be fine in a few moments." But she says a quick farewell to the commoner whom she'd been working near and steps away, following after her maid. "…And it has been months now, you know you can call me Corrie…" As she's insisted time and time again.
"I have you now, Ree-…Corrie." The woman has to forcibly remind herself to use the name she's been given. "I will be your strength until you find yours again." Niamh seems perfectly content, to do both. Offer Cordelya the skin of water she's brought with her, cool with the memory of the few chips of ice that have now melted in the walk from the underground storage cavern of the Roost to where her mistress has been working, and slip am arm around her to support her. Though the Young Lady Flint is fully half a foot taller than her maid, Niamh is of hardy field stock. "I have brought a bag, for your shoes, so that they might be kept safe." Ever a proponent of touching earth however one can. "There is a stream, not so far. Cool and still clean."
Cordelya hungrily accepts the water, probably needing it more than anything else. She takes a few moments to gulp it down, soaking parched throat and lips. She pauses to catch her breath and then takes another few, deep gulps and reseals the skin, handing it back to Niamh. "Thank you, luv. That… that did help. I am fine, truly. It has simply been a very, very long few weeks." In truth, Corrie cannot remember the last time she felt so exhausted. She leans warmly against her maid, letting them walk together, ensuring she won't falter as they head towards the edges of town. "…I… am surprised all the streams in this land do not run with blood, with all the destruction I have seen." Her voice is a touch low and heartsick.
"The water runs red, only for a little while. And then it remembers itself, and will run clear." Niamh allows Corrie as much water as she needs, though she tries to make certain she does not take too much too quickly. "Men can not destroy the earth, only what men built upon it." As true here as it is in the bogs of their home. Given time and the turnings of the world, the earth always reclaims itself. The two women though, walk companionably, of a kind, but like two seeds grown and branched apart, different. One tall and straight and regal, the other smaller, shorter, homelier. "Come, only a short way now, look there…a soft place to sit and take your ease."
Cordelya continues to walk wearily, happily listening to Niamh's reassurances about the earth around them. The woman does truly help remind Corrie of her roots when silks, court and propriety would make her into a woman entirely different than whom she was bred to be. She fights the tiredness in her eyes as the exhaustion in muscles from more hard labor than she would have thought possible, but she continues walking. It will help the joints move easier in the future. "I… I hope so. The people of this city will need to learn from their lands. There has been… so much damage. So much scarring."
"I do not know the minds of the Gods, but, like a fire, cleansing away the overgrowth, that new life might rise…perhaps there is good that can come of this." It's only a few more steps, in truth, before Niamh is helping her lady to settle on the soft grass, moving to her feet to begin the work of removing her boots. "There is always a way through the darkness, if one has eyes to see." Words Corrie would know well, having spoken them to Niamh when the woman first came to serve her, joining her on her journey to Flint's Finger.
A tired, worried little laugh in the woman's direction, as Niamh speaks those familiar words back in her direction. They did help, in truth. She knew the woman was right and Corrie trusted her with her very life. Gingerly, Cordelya sinks down into the grass, inhaling slow and deep of it's earthy, slightly muddy smell. It reminded her of home, her childhood home, more than anything. "How… are you not utterly exhausted, Niamh? I do not know how you have the strength to just keep going." She asks, both envious and a hint worried.
First the left boot, and then the right, removed and set aside, before Corrie's skirts are pushed up to a scandalous level. Nearly to her knees! Oh, the horror! But, that is mostly, quickly remedied, as Niamh guides now bared feet and calves into the cool running water of the stream, her own skirts quickly tied up, to allow her to settle on the bank, cool water and skilled hands working the ache out of her lady's feet and legs. "I have not so many duties as you, Reed's daughter. You have a husband, a household, the wounded and the infirm to tend to. I have only you. And you are no burden."
The woman turns her head towards her maid, a slightly skeptical smirk dancing across her small mouth. "…No burden? Now you are just being funny, Nia. I know I am… not the easiest woman. But… aye… after all that has happened, Andy and I spent most the night through trying to give him an heir." She laughs warm and tired, head sinking deeper back into the grass. The feel of being released from her boots and the water across her legs is a little bit of heaven. She makes an involutnary sound of pained relaxation at the guiding, tender ministrations of Niamh's hands.
"I did not mean to be funny, Reed's daughter. I speak only truth. You are as you are, and you have been good to me, and treated me well. And Flint's son has been understanding." You know, to the fact that his wife has an uncouth crannogman in her retinue. "That is difficult work. You did not choose a man of low appetite for a husband." Again, that easy tone. As if to the woman, speaking of such things as children and the making of them were perfectly acceptable conversation. "So you see? My work is easier." Once Corrie's been properly foot and calf massaged, Niamh settles in to the task of cleaning her boots, a rag, usually kept for such purposes, pulled from a pocket of her dress. They make an interesting pair. The noblewoman, lounging in the grass, feet and nearly to the knees immersed in the stream, her maid in comfortable homespun, cleaning her lady's boots.
Light is falling, though it's not totally gone, and apparently the Crannogwomen feel quite comfortable being out in nature even nearing darkness. It probably feels much like home to both the women. Corrie remains on her back, feet drifting lazily through the water, breathing a touch slower and deeper now that she's managed to come into relaxation. They've also picked this stop because there are some fresh herbs growing in the grass that Niamh might pick and clean after she's done tending to her Lady. So, it might be a place Muirenn knows well. The maid's words draw another tired, low laugh from Corrie's throat, "Not easier, dear. Just different. I take a great pleasure in my husband's… Appetites. I do not find them work. I just simply wish… soon… they would yield resuits."
"It is my hope that the filth did not trample everything so badly that the herbs aren't salvageable." Muirenn's soft instructions continue to her maid, audible before the tall redhead and her maid appear upon the rise and then wander their way down the hill. The two women are followed by a man at arms in Mallister colors.
"They will bless you when the time is right. You wish for now, but Flint's son needs you now. He would send you back to his cliffs, if you were to get with child. And he would have not your healing when the need arises. And your son would grow large inside you with his father miles and miles lost to you." Always Niamh looks for reasons why things are as they are, and not as her lady wishes. One boot is set aside, but the sound of approaching voices stops her from reaching for the second, "Three come, Reed's daughter. One as yourself," even the country bumpkin can spot a noble at twenty paces, "a waiting woman and a swordman. I do not know their colours." Heraldry….not the maid's strong suit.
The reassurances of Niamh actually draw a touch more of a smile to Corrie's lips. Her words do make great sense, even if her lack of a child is somewhat a painful and empty thing. "Perhaps you are correct. I… I hope he would not send me away, but I do not know if a war state is a safe place for a woman with child." She sighs, watching the lovely face of her maid. "It is in the Gods' hands, there is little I can do…" And before she says more, the other woman mentions those approaching. She blinks and pushes herself up into sitting, trying to look a touch more proper even if there is grass in her hair and she looks a hint the wildling, not the noble's daughter she is. Out among the grass and waters, the Crannogwomen look very much products of their home. "Lady Muirenn Mallister, and her companions, it seems. Another chiurgeon, a good woman…" Corrie gives a wave in their directions.
It would take a blind person not to recognize Muirenn as a noble. The girl's adoration for all things sparkly tends to be reflected in her gowns. The beading and embroidery on even her more simple garb is quite elaborate. A hand gestures, "We need what can be found Minnie." The wanderings bring them closer to the stream and Muirenn's face brightens, "Oh! Lady Flint, how lovely to see you!" her basket swings in the crook of her arm as she gathers up her skirts a bit so that she can move more swiftly through the grass. She glances at the maid servant, giving a nod and a smile before returning her attention to the other noblewoman.
It's only Corrie's reassurances that she is safe from potential, that allow Niamh to return to her work, settling in with the second boot, dipping the rag into the stream to wash it. Once the noblewoman comes close enough, the maid, still sitting cross-legged on the grass, bows, as skillfully as if she were standing, her words coming only after a brief pause, as if she were reminding herself of the proper term, "Lady Mallister." But she doesn't concern herself with the conversations of her betters.
Despite still being in a fairly elegant dress, Corrie does not look near the noble woman that Muirenn does. She's smudged with soot and sweat from a very long day of work. It almost seems as if she and Niamh were out working in the rubble and the burnt buildings of the town! Cordelya tries to sit up just a hint straighter, doing her best to look awake and proper despite the scene and the impossibility of such. "Lady Muirenn… this is my personal maid, Niamh… I do not think you actually met last evening. Niamh, the Lady Muirenn Mallister. Most of the supplies that I brought from the north went under her care in the infirmary, so it's certainly time to go about making more." Corrie has never much cared for propriety, especially not in the middle of the country side. This is no palace or court!
"A pleasure Niamh." Muirenn says with a smile as she looks over at her maid introducing, "This is my maaid Minnie and.." a hand gestures to the common knight, "Ser Hastings." Seating herself, the silken skirts pool about her. "How is Tiaryn today?" she aasks
It takes not so very long, for Niamh to finish the task she gave herself, and with an easy movement, she rises from her place, "I will accompany the Lady's maid, my Lady, perhaps between the two of us, we will find what is needed." She won't stray far of course, but it will give her a task to be working at.
Cordelya bows her head warmly in greeing to both Minnie and Ser Hastings, a tired but warm smile upon her pale features. "Minnie. Ser. A pleasure." And then she looks back to Muirenn, smiling a bit wider. "I believe my ban from the infirmary finishes this evening. I shall be by as soon as my husband permits." Though Corrie looks half dead with exhaustion herself. It seems she has not much slept in several nights and it is beginning to show on her thin, small face. She then looks back to Niamh and frowns. "Wait, Niamh. Just a few more moments to rest and I will go with you. I should not stay overly long here. None of us should, dark is falling."
"My Lady, there is no rush. Most of the wounded are healing quite nicely and it is primarily ensuring they continue to do so. While there is much work to be done, you should make sure not to overtire yourself." Glancing up at the sky, Muirenn nods. "You are probably right. They will worry." She smiles and pushes herself up from the ground. Dusting her skirts off, she flashes a smile "If you both will excuse me, I probably should be heading back. I prefer to save the scoldings for things that I feel more strongly about than staying outside the keep too late."
"As you say, Reed's daughter." Niamh will leave off her speaking with the Mallister Lady's maid, to traipse back to her own, reaching down to gather up Corrie's shoes. Muirenn recieves a curtsey now, that the maid's standing, and, if it's not perfect, at least it shows many hours of practice. "If we should all return to the keep, then this is a good time. The stars will be bright tonight. There will be no smoke on the horizon."
Standing. Walking. Yes, Corrie should do both such things, even if her body does not wish to do so. She nods towards Muirenn first. "That is good to hear, about the Infirmary. Be safe on your journey back, Lady Muirenn." And then she looks to Niamh with her boots and smiles a bit more, "Here, Nia… give me those. I cannot walk back without them. You might get away with it, but they will think me truly mad." She carefully uses her underskirt to quickly dry her feet and then slips them into a boot at a time.
With a soft chuckle, Muirenn nods "The same with you my Lady." The girl flashes a smile and leads her retainers back up the hill towards the keep.
Niamh hands over the boots as she's directed, kneeling down to help her lady don them, seeing her comfortable again, before she rises back to her feet. Little to no attention is paid to the fact that she's both dusty and dirty, "Come then, Reed's daughter. The stars will still shine, for all that your feet no longer touch the good earth."
Cordelya accepts the help, though she's still not entirely used to having a maid. It was not something that was done around Graywatch. Only since she went out into the larger world to marry the heir of a house has she had to not tend to herself as she was customed to doing. It's taken months to break certain habits. "…Thank you, Nia." She murmurs tenderly, slipping back up to her feet and not really swaying dizzily this time. The water and relaxation helped. "Alright. Back to the keep then. We shall find herbs tomorrow and perhaps not help so much with the stones." She slips her arm through Nia's, letting her begind to lead the way.
Slow and easy, the walk back to the castle. In the growing dark, and the stillness after the storm. Time enough to recall the way the Roost might have been…long and long before the coming of the ironborn. And how it might be again.