|Dragons, Fish and Women|
|Summary:||Kamron arrives on a resupply ship, and catches up on the situation on Harlaw Isle.|
|Related Logs:||Invasion Logs in general|
|The labrynthine fortress of Grey Garden sprawls atop a bare, rocky hillock commanding the south-eastern quarter of Harlaw Isle. The countryside is largely bare, with thin soil over weather-worn rock.|
|Fri Mar 16, 289|
The Mallister campsite, not so big as many, at least not in this particular army section, is where Keelin finds himself. He's been out to check the pickets, and made sure that the Mallisters are doing their own fair share without griping. Course, he's also been known to stand a watch or three himself, not too proud to help out. He's seated by the fire, fish stew in a small bowl, along with barley bread, as he wolfs down what passes for a luxurious meal around these parts. "At least it's not stone soup," he quips, to a departing man-at-arms, the other fellow laughing and spitting out some comment about stones that is scurrilous and not fit to print.
Kamron has had time to drop off his gear at what will soon be the site of his tent and check in with his betters to let them know that he's arrived, but that's about it. His boots still have beads of seawater hanging from them and gathered in folds of the black leather, and rumors of the ship's arrival is still winging its way across the camp. He approaches the cooking fire with the casual still-rolling gait of someone sufficiently comfortable with ships to actually be hungry after a sea voyage, arriving in time to hear the comment about stone stew and the ear-scorching response. Quiet laughter lifts his voice, and he notes casually, "I would bet that you won't have to worry about that for a bit longer." One hand gestures languidly out toward what passes for a beach, "There were at least some foodstuffs on the ship that just arrived."
Keelin's laughter at the response from the other fellow is cut short by a new arrival, and he glances over to see who it is. Not necessarily someone he recognizes, though he's been a Mallister man for years now. "Afternoon, Ser," he greets politely enough. "And if you know for sure there's a ship out there, then you must have just arrived on it. Welcome to the rocks and stones of hell." He pauses and then says, "Keelin Dorsey, and a pleasure to meet you." The Ser may well be obvious given that he's got his own insignia on his clothing, and he's relatively well armoured, though not noble. "There's fish stew - seems about the only thing that grows in abundance here. The ironborn are daft to live in this rathole."
Kamron nods his head, confirming both the method of address and the fact that he's just arrived, "Not a bad voyage, either. Ser Kamron Mallister." He nods in passing to a man at arms that he thinks maybe he recognizes, then focuses his attention back on the other knight, "Of the Talon Point Mallisters, which is probably the reason I don't believe we've had the pleasure before, Ser Keelin." He glances out in the direction of the Gray Gardens, "As long as the fighting's not over and done with, I don't much care what's under my boots." He stomps one boot on the shale and stones beneath as if making a point. "I was afraid that the ironborn would have turned turtle by the time I got here."
"Well, you might say that, given this hideyhole they've got," Keelin says. "But so far, we've little fighting here, just a lot of standing guard and trying to keep them in, and any ravens out." He pauses a moment, and then adds, "We've reason to suspect they do send parties out to spy, but we've not caught any as yet. Just found tracks." He gestures towards the fire and the rock seats that have been pulled to a circle around it. "Help yourself, and mind you don't fall in. There's some might think it a treat. Does Ser Martyn know you're here yet?" He finishes up his own bowl full, mopping up the last of the stew with his bread.
Kamron's brows furrow at the mention of the hiding ironmen, "Now that just doesn't sound like them. I thought they all wanted to die gloriously." A mirthless laugh crosses his lips as he grimaces wryly and moves over to the bowl of fish stew. "The least we can do is oblige them." He gathers up a chunk of bread, tears off the top, and spoons some of the stew straight in before stepping back to sop up the stew with the torn-off piece of break. "I went by his tent, but he wasn't there, so I left word for him. Not much in the way of reinforcements, but if what I heard from the crew is true, we shouldn't need them. With most of the island subdued, it's really only a matter of time." He grunts, "And blood." That grim note added, he starts to devour the stew-soaked bread that was once the top of the loaf.
Keelin nods soberly. "Aye, there's the rub. If we can't coax them out, then we'll have to break in, and that will get quite messy." He shrugs slightly, not really up on what everyone at the higher levels of the camp, never mind the whole army, is thinking, but aware of his own opinion. And that of many of the others. Which is - cutting into this place will be incredibly bloody. No doubt on both sides. He gets to his feet to clean up his bowl, and then pours a cup of tea, since there's little to no ale around. "Did you by chance bring us all some ale?" he asks, sounding a bit hopeful.
Kamron chews and swallows the chunk of bread, then collects a spoon and retreats to one of the rock-seats around the fire. Despite the dirtiness, he settles down without hesitation or any sign of displeasure. The question draws a laugh, and pauses the spoon in the midst of a trip between breadbowl and mouth. "If there was, do you really think it survived the sailors, Ser Keelin?" He shakes his head a bit, "I wasn't much concerned with any of the contents of the hold except Third. A trip like that can be rough on a horse." With his spoon resuming its travels, the newly-arrived knight curls in a little around the warmth of the stew, "Escalades get blood very fast, aye. Dragonstone was a stone-cold bitch, and the defenders were disenheartened already there."
"Horses haven't been of much use yet, though my Tiny is over with the rest of the line. He's not any more impressed with this place than the rest of us." A shrug, and then he settles back down with his mug, enjoying his little break time. "Any news from home for us?" he asks, curious to find out if there's anything that could be used to help motivate the men, though likely it'll just make them more homesick. "Pity about the ale though. That might have been a good motivation tool."
Kamron is already down to scraping down the inside of his impromptu bread-bowl, having managed to eat the fish stew out of it before it soaked through. Shifting a bit on the stone seat he's claimed around one of the Mallister fires, he shrugs at Keelin's question, "They're starting rebuilding." At Seagard, of course. Otherwise he would have specified. "I didn't actually spend much time there, though." His usually-smiling features sober, "I had some important business to deal with, in addition to waiting for my arm to heal." He works his left shoulder a bit, looking down at his breadbowl. Clearing his throat and forcing a smile back onto his face, he inquires, "So we haven't stormed the place yet… I presume the Freys are demanding to hold back until we've got absolutely overwhelming numbers?" There's a hint of scorn in his voice, but mostly an enforced sense of joviality.
"They put Martyn in charge, they did, which I think did not impress all the Freys. But with the group here, it's not too bad. And nay, we've not tried storming this place as yet. Just shooting down ravens, and keeping ourselves from cussing out each other. Even the Freys. I don't know that we've actually got any full blooded Freys here, but we've lots of their banners. The Naylands have good foot soldiers, and so to do the Flints." Course only one of those is a Frey banner. Keelin shrugs a bit, as he considers what else to say. "So far the lines have been solid, and everyone's working together. Though there's been some grumbling here and there."
Kamron grins full-force at the news that a Mallister is in charge of the whole force, "As it should be. The Ironborn are a Mallister concern." Not that they've faced them for centuries until very recently, but it's the tradition that counts, right? "Seiges eat at a man, from what I've seen. Even the Roses didn't look so pretty when they dipped their banners from around Storm's End." He laughs a bit more wryly, "And if Seagard had been besieged for that long…" Starting to pull apart the bread that served as his bowl, he notes, "But I'm sure there'll be enough blood to keep us all tied together soon enough. I rather doubt that the Arbor fleet can keep us supplied here long enough for a true seige."
Having been off at some other part of the camp to see to something, Martyn makes his way back a bit slowly as he stops every now and again to speak with someone. Finally making his way back towards his own tent, he looks a bit tired at the moment, and hasn't noticed anyone in particular.
"Aye, the length of time beseiged leads to more or less of a mess. In this case, well. It's been not too long yet. And we've word that the other armies are having far better luck. Seems they've found keeps not quite so walled in as this one." He pauses though as movement catches his eye. "Ser Martyn," Keelin calls out. "Come have some stew. And say hi to Ser Kamron here. He's just arrived with a supply ship."
Kamron nods his head, "I heard that most of the rest of the island was in our hands." Gesturing up toward the Gray Gardens with the last of the bowl, he adds, "And that that was nasty as shit on silk." The change of subjects draws his eyes up, and Kam rises to his feet, brushing his hands off as he recognizes the man being addressed. He steps toward the other Mallister, holding out his hand, "Ser Martyn. Pleasure to meet you, General." He uses the honorary title with a crooked grin, making it into just a bit of a good-natured, teasing barb.
Martyn pauses for a few moments as he hears his name mentioned, and turns to look to the two men, grimacing a bit at the honorary title, before he offers a bit of a grin as he shakes the offered hand. "Ser Kamron, how good of you to be able to join us here," he offers with a chuckle. "I hope the trip over here was uneventful?" He then offers a grin in Keelin's direction, "What kind of stew is it today? Fish or more fish?"
"You didn't run into any sea dragons did, you Ser Kamron?" Keelin asks, unable to resist the small joke. It may well become a long running joke for the rest of their lives, for those who were here to experience the truth of the matter. And then he chuckles briefly, before he says, "Sorry, Ser, it's just the other fish, with barley bread, and I'm told if we're really unlucky tomorrow it will be stone soup."
Kamron shakes his head in response to Martyn's question, about to respond verbally when Keelin puts in his own question. He blinks, then arches one eyebrow and laughs softly, "No, and no snarks or grumpkins either. Some of the crew was a bit twitchy any time a mist threatened, but it was a quiet crossing." The mention of food again draws another shake of the man's head, "There might have been some turnips on the ship if you want to requisition them for your lordly table, Martyn." His joviality fades, however, his blue eyes sobering, "Is the food situation that bad, or are people just sick of fish?"
Martyn is unable to hold bck a chuckle as he hears the sea dragon question, shaking his head a bit. "There was a welcoming comittee," he offers to Kamron, a bit lightly, before he nods at Keelin's words. "Haven't we gotten all of the fish from the ocean yet?"
Keelin's laughter joins Martyn's and then he shakes his head. "We're all just sick of the fish," he says, easily enough. And then he turns to Martyn. "Not yet, Ser, though I'm not sure if we should be glad of that or sad. I mean, since there's still more, we eat tomorrow. But we do eat fish tomorrow." The words are light hearted and humorous, as he relaxes a bit more. At least as much as he can while in full kit. Just in case.
Kamron nods at the explanation by Martyn, but there's no comprehension behind the gesture, just good-natured acceptance. "I guess it's not so bad when you ate fish every other meal growing up." He laughs softly, "At least it's not lamprey-stuffed boar or some monstrosity like that." Rising from his stone seat, he moves over to drop his spoon into a pot collecting dishes for cleaning, then gestures between the other two knights as he moves back to the raised rock, "So should I be wearing steel or cloth while I'm about? I'd rather save the steel for patrols, watches, and any building skirmishes if I can, but if there's a need for it, I'd rather wear steel than swallow it."
"I'd suggest wearing the steel most of the time. We're a bit stretched thing along the lines, so it's probably safest," Martyn offers with a bit of a sigh. Glancing out to the fortifications above for a few moments, then back to the others.
"Sadly so," Keelin agrees. "The Grey Garden is large and while we've got them mostly penned in, there are sections where our lines are thin. And we have seen tracks that come out of the rocks, and right up almost to our lines, in places," he warns. "We may need cutting out of our steel when this is all done. If we can even get out of it." He pauses at the very idea of lamprey stuffed boar. "I think I'll pass on the eel stuck in a pig," he says after a moment. "Though I'm sure it's a delicacy. Somewhere."
Kamron grimaces and nods, running a hand over the front of his worn gray leather underarmor. "Well, at least that means there's a prospect of action. Everything I've heard of sieges sound boring—although I have to admit that the only ones I've been involved in have been a great deal more exciting." Keelin's commentary on the noble-food draws a grimace and a nod, "Usually swimming in its own grease. Apparently it's quite the delicacy. I'll stick…" he chuckles and gestures to the pot still hanging over the fire, "I'll stick with fish stew."
Martyn shakes his head a bit lightly, "Would the two of you please find another topic than the food, at least while I can hear you?" he remarks a bit lightly.
Keelin chuckles, before he gets to his feet, stretching lazily. "If you insist. I suppose we could talk about the rocks - oh, that is a point. Be careful with the horse. The terrain is very ill suited to them. We've mostly been on foot, unless we're right on the roads or the shore. And even then, care is needed." A breath and then he looks at Martyn. "Suppose we could talk about women instead? That's something else good that we've got none of here."
Kamron shrugs helplessly at Martyn's request, shaking his head in apparent amusement at Keelin's words, "What about the enemy then? You said they've sallied a few times, and seem to be scouting us. Have patrols been sent out to try to find out they're getting behind our lines? Maybe passageways under the island that come up behind our camps? Or is it just the fact that they know all the nooks and crannies of the land better than us?"
Martyn chuckles a little bit as he hears Keelin's suggestion, "Anyone in particular in mind?" he replies, before he looks over at Kamron, "Well, there's patrols, but all in all, much of it comes because of them knowing the land, I suspect."
Keelin is standing by the Mallister cookfire, while Martyn and Kamron are seated. Lunchtime is the hour of the day, the men introducing Kamron to the realities of life on the siege. He pauses at Martyn's question, his hands raising and a mock innocent expression on his face. "Now, m'Lord, you know me. Not a woman around would have this ugly mug," he says. "And any that are in your eyes are far beyond me." He then turns to Kamron and says, "We've sent out scouting patrols, aye, as Ser Martyn says. Was even on one or two, myself. But the bugger of it all is that the tracks seem to keep ending in rocky areas where they just fade out and we've no idea where to continue looking."
Kamron shakes his head slowly at the talk of women, "There's a war on, and you're worried about women?" A chuckle rises in his chest, and he shakes his head, bracing his arms on either side of the rock he's sitting on and leaning back as best as he can despite the uncertain seat. "As to the tracks, if it's the same rocky areas all the time, maybe we could send some archers to watch 'em. If not, well, we're buggered until we can get them out of their hole or until we go down into it." Even this mordant view of the situation draws a chuckle and a grin from the Mallister knight.
Martyn shakes his head a bit as he hears that, "Oh don't worry," he offers to Keelin. "There's bound to be someone that can be easily fooled out there, right?" It's offered with a bright grin, before he shakes his head at Kamron, "For the moment, women is one of the acceptable topics, I guess."
"You have succinctly summarized the matter, Ser Kamron," Keelin acknowledges with a salute and a bow. He does give a grin to Martyn though. "Only thing that will save me, innit?" he says good naturedly. "And aye, it is, at least until we can complain about the fish again." He's starting to feel like he's been sitting too long now.
Jarod comes striding out of the section of the camped where the Terricks have staked themselves, toward a more central area that's used for drills on occasion. His trusty squire, Rowan Nayland, along walking along with him. He's in the midst of talking about hitting things with other things, which is rather par for knightly instruction. "Most of the Ironmen, even the nobles, will favor maile rather than plate. That's to our advantage, really. Not so hard to penetrate if you just whack it hard enough." He makes a fist and pumping sort of gesture, to imitate the whacking. He's taking a wandering sort of course to the field-ish bit of camp, so they're going to pass by the Mallister men.
Kamron crosses one leg over the other with a thoughtful frown as the fingers of his right hand shift to tap on the leather covering the head of his axe, "Think of it this way, Ser Keelin, there's always the hope you can get filthy stinking rich. Then you'll have women lining up to marry you. Some of them might even be pretty." There's a bit of a weary tone to his voice now that the discussion is diverting off from military matters, but at least he does his best to keep his words light and jovial. He looks up to the approaching Terricks idly, looking over to the Mallister and Mallister-sworn knights again, then blinks and frowns, a bit of a puzzled look coming over his features as he looks back towards the pair wending their way through the camp.
"Whacking's all well and good, Ser," says the Nayland squire, making the universal sign for male self-gratification, "but I've found I'm more of a thruster, m'self." This point he punctuates with his hips — and a cheeky smirk.
Martyn listens to what's being said now, turning slightly as he notices Jarod and Rowan, offering them a bit of a nod, but he doesn't say much more at the moment.
Marsden has connected.
Keelin laughs outright at Kamron's comment. "If I'm lucky, I s'pose. But I'm not holding out much hope on that one." He glances over at Martyn and then catches the sound of the arriving Knight and Squire, nodding his head in their direction. "Afternoon, Ser. Squire," he says, leaving it at that for the moment.
"Don't underestimate a good whack now and then, Lordling Nayland, I'd be lost without it," Jarod says wryly. "Good for gripping strength, too." He smirks, and flexes a fist. Though when he sees Martyn looking at him he stops doing that. Straightening his shoulders a notch. "Ser Mallister. Ser Dorsey. A good day. Was just going to drill. Swords, of course." The conversation about things non-military does make him pause, a little curious. His attention mainly on Martyn, he doesn't take full note of Kamron yet.
Rafferdy approaches, having heard much of the awkward talk in the last moments, and he shakes his head at Jarod, "Stop teaching my brother your companionship rituals, Ser." He smiles at Rowan, "Hey, bro." He nods at the others present.
Rowan executes a quick, proper-yet-militant bow to those his Ser greets. His brother gets a big, wide grin and a grappling, rough-housing embrace. "I had all those bad habits figured out before I ever left home, Raff — never you fear."
Kamron pushes himself up off his rock seat as Jarod leads his little squireling over toward the group, smirking a little as he cuts in, "If you're worried about the maile of the ironborn, you should be showing him how to use a pick or a hammer, not some sword that's going to make a lot of noise and deal out bruises." He holds out his right hand to the other man, "Jarod. Good to see you again." A little laugh touches his lips, "Although I suppose it's Ser Jarod by now, isn't it?" He glances over at the brothers, but nods politely nonetheless.
Martyn chuckles as he listens what's being said for now, "Ser Rivers, Lords Nayland," he offers to Jarod and the two Naylands. "How are you?" Offering a bit of a nod in Jarod's direction, "A good whack comes in handy every now and again, that's true." He pauses a bit as he sees Kamron greeting Jarod now.
Keelin inclines his head to Rafferdy as well, in a silent greeting. He gives a deep chuckle at the interrupted conversation. "Seems we're not the only ones getting off topic today," he notes wryly. Though at that, he steps a bit away, glancing in the direction of the nearest pickets. "I should probably be heading to check on the watch," he murmurs.
Rafferdy returns his brother's hug, mussing his hair a bit, as well. "Rutger, huh?" he responds, playfully assuming that's the brother who taught Rowan to whack. He leans a little closer to his brother, and adds quietly, "I know it wasn't Ryker. Only dick he's ever dealt with was Rygar." He looks at Martyn, answering, "I'm well. Be better when we can all go home."
"I like to think I have a few entirely original bad habits, Rowan, don't malign me," Jarod quips to the slender squire. Rafferdy earns a "Lordling Nayland. Ser Martyn. Uh. My personal whacking'll be saved for later, I assure you. Never in front of the men. Bruises?" He scoffs, turning toward Kamron properly. "I cut just fine, I assure you…Ser Kamron? Ha!" His easy grin widens to a proper smile, which makes him look even more boyish. "Aye. Been so since the Trident. Seven hells!" He reaches out to clap the fellow's shoulder. "Was wondering if you'd come along with Seagard's forces. Here to fight the good fight against the squid menace, aye?"
Kamron shakes his head in amusement at the interplay between the younger men, although he winces just a little at the clap on his shoulder, gesturing up toward that left shoulder, "Took a blade at Seagard, actually. Held me up a bit. I just got here, along with some turnips and whatever else the folks back home thought you might need here. Congratulations though." He pats the spike on the back of his axehead, adding to Rowan, "And in case this lout hasn't shown you yet, you need something with a little pentration to get through maile." He shifts his gaze to include the Mallister men in the next words, "Speaking of taking the fight to the squids," if that wasn't exactly what was said, it was certainly what the headstrong Knight heard, "I should probably find my daydreaming squire and get into my own armor." He raises one hand, and starts to depart, unless anyone has something further for him.
Rowan snrrrrrks long and low at Rafferdy's suggestions. "Didn't have to be taught, thanks. You leave a healthy lad alone long enough with idle hands, he figures it out all on his own. Egad — Crazy and Creepy, those two. I'll let you decide which is which. The idea of them teaching anyone anything of the like is just shuddersome. I may need to rinse my brain in whiskey." He makes an attempt at flicking Rafferdy's nose. "Talk nice about our cousin, Riff-Raff. Might have a pike up hi arse, but at least his head's on straight. Rare fucking commodity in this family." He straightens himself up when addressed by Kamron, however, and makes a quick bow. "Noted, Ser — but the lout's shown me plenty, truth to tell." He flashes Jarod an winsome smile.
"You and the rest of us," Martyn remarks to Rafferdy, nodding a little bit. He then offers a bit of a grin in Kamron's direction, "Would probably be the best, yes. Keeps me from having to explain to your parents why you didn't make it back again." Spoken a bit lightly, though.
Keelin sketches a bow towards the group, deciding that really, he's been idle long enough. "M'Lord Mallister, I'll be back in a bit. Going to go walk the pickets," he says, before he too makes his departure, though in the opposite direction more or less from that taken by Kamron.
Rafferdy lifts his brow a bit when Rowan notes he thinks Rygar's head is on straight. It's obvious Raff doesn't agree, but he leaves the matter be. "You know, maybe we should send a boat back to the mainland to fetch us some wenches." He looks at Jarod, "Ser? You have a million sisters…" He smiles.
"We'll catch up later, Ser," Jarod offers to Kamron as the Mallister knight makes to depart. "Little to do but wait, have to kill the time somehow. Ser Dorsey." The last to also-departing Keelin. Rowan earns a snort, though he can't help but grin, just a touch, in return. "I've got a million now? Thought I only had ten. And they're not for the likes of you, m'Lordling Nayland, so don't even think on it." He looks to Martyn and, on a slightly more serious note, "Any word from within the Grey Garden? On whether or not the Ironborn'll parlay, that is."
Martyn nods a bit at Keelin's words, "Take care out there," he offers to the man, before he shakes his head a bit as he hears Jarod. "None so far," he replies with a bit of a sigh. "Unfortunately."
Rowan's eyebrows go up. "Ten sisters? Rivers, you've been holding out on me." He elbows Raff chummily, all agrin. "And that's fine for me, if they come over, but what's that leave for the rest of you?"
Rafferdy laughs at his brother's chiding, "Well, I've had my fair share of Rivers' handmaidens. A few were actually pretty wild. I'd let them clean my house again, if that was what I was left with." He winks at Rowan, smiling.
Jarod snorts. "Just a running gag we got off on when we were out scouting with Ser Longbough. I've only the one sister, and I seriously doubt Lord Jerold's been holding out on me." He chuckles. "Unless you count all the Rivers girls in the Riverlands, in which case I might just have a million. And Hill and Snow and all other sundry bastard girl cousins atop them." His smile warms some as he watches Rowan and Rafferdy. Though, to Martyn, his nod is serious enough. "Aye, Ser. Let's hope they're willing to talk, at least. Once they see what that raven brought, I can't figure how they'd think they can hold out against our forces."
"Who knows how these people think," Martyn replies with a bit of a frown. "As much as I despise them, it would be for the better if we don't have to cut down each and every one, though."
"Mmm. Girls atop girls…" Rowan goes a little glassy-eyed and distant at the idea. He gives himself a little shake when he finally clues in there's grown-up, not-penis-led talk going down, though. "I, for one, hope to the Seven we can just go home — and not just for joyous reunions with the Rivers sisters. I won't shun a fight, but I hate where being the invaders puts us. There's smallfolk suffering and going to suffer — innocent in all of this as our own. Makes me queasy."
Rafferdy nods at his brother, and gets a bit more serious as well. "It's more complicated than that. No one is innocent. Not really." He shakes his head, "They seem like smallfolk, but a noble with no smallfolk to govern is just a guy. They are enablers. Be it through their taxes, their social support, or their simple unwillingness to stand up to those whom they believe are wrong." He sighs, and then adds softly, more to himself than Rowan, "It's just easier if you believe that…."
"You into girls atop girls, Rowan?" Jarod asks of his squire, thoughtfully. Ahem. It's an attempt at lightness that doesn't quite stick, with the talk of the likely violence ahead. "Like the townsfolk of the Roost were but an extension of the Terricks, to Maron Greyjoy's swords." He lets out a long breath. "I didn't come here to be a reaver. I pray it doesn't come to that. Though you can count my sword, Ser Mallister. The men at arms, and those who try to fight us straight, I'll not shrink from that. The rest…I'll do as my conscience guides, I figure. No more any man can."
Martyn nods a little bit as he listens, "Always the first victim of any war, the weakest ones…" He nods a bit at Jarod's words as well. "Let us hope it doesn't come to that," he offers, a bit quietly. Looking a bit more lost in thought since the earlier mention of sisters, though.
"Any man who isn't is sly or dead," opines Rowan of girls on girls. He heaves a great sigh and rakes a hand through his messy, dark hair. "But all this serious talk has gone and made me sad and wilty. Also, I have to piss." He flicks a salute and wanders off for a bit of privacy.