Page 442: Early Morning Archery
Early Morning Archery
Summary: Einar heads for the practice butts at the Roost, only to find Lady Anais already there.
Date: 10/Oct/2012
Related Logs: Nothing specific
Einar Anais 
The Green, Terrick's Roost
The Green is a large field of deep green grass, nearly flat, that runs along the base of the towers. The road into town runs along the far edge, hemming it in neatly to a confined area where beyond a line of trees serves as a subtle windbreak. This area is most often used for drilling or practice for the guards but also serves as home for festivals, tournements, and another other gathering that might require the space for a large number of the local residents. A well-trodden path winds around the side of the wall and moves towards the coastline. Another heads southwest, toward Kingsgrove.
Mon Oct 08, 289

It's early morning at the Roost, and presumably the rest of Westeros as well. There is a slight breeze from the coast, but other than that the air is cool and quiet. It's warm enough that as he makes his way up from the town and towards practice butts on the green, Einar is not wearing his cloak, but it is still far to early in the day discard the pale gray tunic that sits atop his shirt. His crossbow slung over one shoulder on it's well worn strap and there is a quiver of bolts strapped to the side of his leg which makes his intended destination clear. He's not exactly rushing to get there though, choosing instead to enjoy the walk while it is still quiet about.

One might think after her hunting expedition that Anais wouldn't be out practicing so soon again, but it seems the lady enjoys the practice enough to be at it again. Despite the early hour, she's already at the butts, though closer than most of the men would shoot. Close or not, though, the target is clustered with arrows near the center, though a few have drifted to the high end. A guard and handmaid chat nearby, keeping an eye on the horses.

From a distance, Einar had spotted the vague figure of someone already at the butts and assumed it to be Pariston. The two generally shoot together in the mornings and so it wouldn’t take too great a stretch to assume it's him. The horses, guard and handmaid quickly put that idea to rest though. The fact that it appears to be a lady attracts his curiosity but it's not until he is almost at the butts himself that he actually manages to put a name to her. Possibly something to do with knowing her mostly by reputation. Keeping his approach stead and offering the guard a faint nod in greeting, to indicate to the man that he's friendly, he stops a few paces back and to the side of her firing position and glances downrange to gauge her grouping. It only takes a moment and when that is done he turns to offer the standard greetings due to the Young Lady of the local house. A polite bow followed by a respectful "Good morning my Lady." He's not unslinging his weapon yet though, he'll give the guard time to weigh him up first. No use causing unneeded trouble after all.

Anais releases her arrow, sending it thunking into the target, before turning at Einar's call. "Good morning," she offers in turn, smile flickering comfortably. Taking in his bow, she takes a step back, tucking a piece of hair behind her ear with a small smile. "I can clear the field, if you like," she offers. "I've had more than my fair share of time this morning already."

Einar gestures towards the target with his downrange arm. "Please, do not stop on my account, I am more than used to sharing a target." That's generally with another man and means standing closer together than is proper when a lady is involved, but he has an idea of how to get around that. "I see no reason why we can not simply shoot and end's worth alternately, it is not as if your arrows and my bolts would get confused when it comes time to collect them." He seems to be in a talkative mood this morning for he then adds, "besides, what kind of a guest would I be to impose upon my host so?"

"The usual kind, I'm beginning to think," Anais answers with a rueful smile, a glimmer of humor in her eyes as she takes up a stance once more. "But thank you. I hope everything is all right at the inn?" she asks. "I've been meaning to come and see you both, but things have been so hectic lately, I haven't had the chance. I wanted to thank you for offering your assistance in the search for Lord Jacsen."

As Anais adopts her stance again, Einar takes the time to unsling his bow, tension the string and loose the flap on his quiver that covers the top of his bolts. He doesn't remove one yet though, he'll wait until it's his turn to shoot for that, although he is careful to keep his hands away from the release mechanism, dry firing not being a fun passtime. "The inn is fine," he replies with a faint nod, even though he doubt' she'll see it. "Your good-brother is intending to meet us there later this morning to fill us in on events and suggest how best he thinks we might be of use. I am afraid though that I can not say how long we may be here for. Lady Cordelya is approaching her time and we may be recalled if the search is not complete. Until then though we are simply here to lend a hand where we may. I know we would be grateful for any assistance offered were the situations reversed and it be Lord Anders who was missing."

<FS3> Anais rolls Marksmanship: Good Success.

Anais releases her arrow, sending it to the ring just outside the bullseye before stepping back and gesturing for Einar to go ahead. "Well, if you must leave, do please bring my well wishes to Corrie," she says with a small, warm smile. "I know how much it meant for her to conceive at all. It seems like it was so long ago, I can hardly fathom that it's her time already. I look forward to a visit once she and the babe are up for travel." She pauses, drawing a slow breath. "Perhaps by then I'll have good news of my own."

<FS3> Einar rolls Marksmanship: Failure.

Einar watches the flight of the arrow and nods once as he appraises where it lands. Stepping up to the mark he ensures he stood half a pace or so downrange of Anais before he loads and lifts the bow up to his shoulder. The release seems clean, but the bolt thumps home a couple of feet wide of the centre. Holding his stance a moment it is readily apparent that he is less than pleased with the shot. The moment passed though he lowers the bow and steps back to once again give Anais the range. "I will of course, and I am sure that she would be delighted to come and stay again, once the time is right. She did like it here, or so she says." His right hand fidgets a little with the flight of the quivered bolts as he still tries to puzzle out why that shot went so badly. It might be the distance, although it shouldn't be, maybe a slight gust caught it? Unlikely. Becoming aware though that he's retreating back inside his head again when he's supposed to be holding up his end of a conversation he adds, "I hear from Ser Martyn that you have guests in the tower. Lord Terrick's brother?"

<FS3> Anais rolls Marksmanship: Great Success.

Anais makes no comment on Einar's shot, stepping up and taking an extra moment to take her aim. She draws in a deep breath, then releases the arrow along with it. This time, the arrow lands in the center of the target, and Anais is still novice enough to grin broadly when it does. She clears her throat at Einar's question, stepping back and composing herself once more. "Lord Bolland, yes," she nods. "And his wife, Lady Tressa. And all seven of their children, apparently," she adds, rueful. "Along with a coterie of other visitors, inevitably."

<FS3> Einar rolls Marksmanship: Success.

"Seven?" Einar exclaims in surprise before his brain can inform his mouth that it'd be a tactless thing to comment on. A faintly embarressed glance down to the ground follows before he steps up to shoot again, unsure if apologising would make it worse or better. He opts for the 'not rubbing it in' approach and tries to concentrate on his shot instead. The result is better, but he's still below what he considers to be acceptable form. It's early days yet though, only two bolts loosed. When he has retreated once more he decides that saying something else would be a good idea. Something on another topic maybe, so he enquires, "Have you been shooting long?"

Anais makes no move to reclaim the target, shaking her head slightly when he steps back. "Please, go ahead," she urges with a small smile. "I've been shooting for a little bit. I started during King Robert's war," she admits. "My Father took most of the fighting men with him to join Lord Tywin for the sack of King's Landing, and I managed to convince my uncle, the arms master, that it was in his best interest to teach me how to help from a distance. I kept up with it until I came here, and then I stopped for a time. The Terricks didn't much care for it. I've taken it up again the last couple months, though. I find it helps me to focus."

<FS3> Einar rolls Marksmanship: Good Success.
<FS3> Einar rolls Marksmanship: Great Success.
<FS3> Einar rolls Marksmanship: Good Success.

"If you don't mind me asking my Lady, do they disapprove of it in general, or because they consider it unladylike?" Einar asks as he settles himself at his mark again. Hiss take on such things may be skewed by the fact that his good-sister was born a Camden but he's not sure if that's just it, or if he;s stumbled across another little Riverland idiosyncrasy. His first shot is once again better than the previous. It's not in the centre yet, but he's walking them in in a measured fashion and, more importantly, it felt better as he released it. "I know what you mean about focus," he agrees as he prepares to shoot again, "when I was younger I used to shoot a lot if I needed to put something out of my mind. The concentration required was too much to spare any for other matters." It still is really, and he goes quiet again for a moment before yet another bolt thumps it's way into the target, followed by a final one. Those three he's happy with and it shows in his general pose and demeanor as he offers the line once more to Anais, "please, I will feel like a terrible guest if I end up doing all the shooting."

Anais waves a hand, shaking her head. "I think I'll stop on a good note," she grins. "Besides, I've been going for over an hour now," she admits, rubbing her draw hand on her skirt and checking her fingers for developing callus. "And Lady Evangeline thought it was unladylike," she explains, sighing. "Given that I'd already come into conflict with her over not caring much for needlework, it seemed more prudent to leave the archery alone for a bit."

<FS3> Einar rolls Marksmanship: Good Success.
<FS3> Einar rolls Marksmanship: Good Success.
<FS3> Einar rolls Marksmanship: Good Success.

"You do not seem to have suffered much for the interruption in practice," Einar observers as he accepts the invitation to carry on. Readying the crossbow once more he takes a moment to steady himself and the weapon before loosing and then repeating the process twice more. It's not as easy to fire in rapid succession with his choice of weapon than with a standard bow, but his movements are well practiced and smooth. The result, a tight group of three just a little to the left of centre. Pointing the now unloaded weapon down towards the floor once more he glances back to Anais and offers a grounded, "it's a lot easier when they aren't moving." He doesn't feel qualified to comment on the relative merits and flaws of needlework, nor indeed of the late Lady Evangeline so he settles instead for adding, "I think my sister might feel the same, but then maybe that was only after Lady Tiaryn arrived. A source of bad habits maybe." That last bit is said with a smile though as he remember.

"I remember," Anais nods in regards to moving targets. "At one point in the siege, when the Ironborn started to come over the walls, I took up a bow. I think I only got in four or five shots, but I managed to feather one of them. Just one, though." Absently, she unstrings her bow, starting to coil the string as she watches him. "I'd rather shoot deer, by far."

Einar nods slowly as the tale is told, although he isn't feeling particularly inclined to share any of his own war stories. Instead though he goes for the recent practice he's been doing at Highfield. "Myself and Master Vis, the tracker I have with me, have been working on smaller targets," he explains. "He's winning so far with a frog, but I'm fairly certain that had we been able to climb the tree to retrieve a squirrel I had managed to skewer to the trunk then I might have given him a run for his money." Or beer, as the wager had actually been. "Better eating on a dear though," he concedes readily enough. "If you're calling it a morning should we call a halt go collect the arrows?" he asks, "I'll be here a while yet unless Lord Justin intervenes, so I'll need to go collect sooner rather than later anyway."

"Probably for the best," Anais agrees, tucking the bowstring away and retrieving a quiver to go after the arrows. "Master Kain has been helping me with archery since I took it back up," she explains. "He's very good, the best hunter and tracker we have around the Roost. And…" She pauses, considering as she starts to retrieve arrows. "He's a good listener. Quiet. Between that and the focus on shooting, I find other problems seem more approachable afterwards."

Einar takes a moment to think as he sets his bow down on the grass. He'd generally keep it with him but suspects it'll be safe enough with the guard so close. "Master Kain," he starts, a little unsure, "is he the huntsmaster? I think I have met him before." This time though his brain is fast enough to intercede before he adds something along the lines of 'when yourself and the other ladies were kidnapped and left in a cave in your underthings'. Maybe there's hope for the lad yet. "I am glad it help," he offers as he starts down towards the target, "I can only imagine how hectic things must be at the moment."

"Very," Anais laughs softly, shaking her head. "But at least we're not starving anymore. And a full stomach makes a world of difference when it comes to being able to make decisions that benefit everyone." She still takes care with the arrows, though, setting them neatly in the quiver as she goes.

Einar stands slightly to one side as Anais withdraws her arrows. With his bolts being shorter it's easier to retrieve them afterwards. "That is an important milestone," he say when he does move in to requiver his own, and it's an improvement on the state of place since he was last here. "I shall prey then hat things settle down for you," he states simply, "and that the recovery continues to progress smoothly. I can barely recognise the town from how it was when I was first here." That was almost immediately after the Ironborn had retreated admittedly, but still, it's an achievement he'd be proud of were it his seat.

"We do what we can," Anais says with some satisfaction, looking out toward the town. "Given a few years, we'll be better than we ever were." Once the arrows have all been retrieved, she slings the quiver over her shoulder. "I should be getting back to the keep, though," she says with a small smile. "Thank you, Lord Einar. And please, if there's anything you need, you've only to ask."

"I believe it," is Einar's reply as he settles his last bolt into the quiver and turns back up-range. "I will bid you a good morning then, and thank you for your company. However brief." He nods once more as he nears his grounded bow again and finishes with what he hopes is a reassuring sounding, "should anything occur then I will not hesitate to Lady Anais, although I think all we need now is the information from Lord Justin on where to look. Hopefully though, we will have your husband back to you before you know it."