Page 173: Friends In Tight Places
Friends In Tight Places
Summary: Anais and Muirenn discuss the day's events. Muirenn offers Kell her thanks for his part in saving Patrek during the raid.
Date: 6/1/2012
Related Logs: Invasion logs
Anais Kell Muirenn 
Courtyard — Four Eagles Tower
The Courtyard of Four Eagles Tower is floored with a fine grey stone that match the color and tone of the interior structure of the castle's yard. Plants have been potted and placed around the entrances to add some color, the greenery accompanied by several trellises of flowers that climb the support columns. The most prominent structure in the area is the set of large slab steps that lead up to the great oak doors of the Great Hall. Several hallways and accesses lead off into different sections of Four Eagles which makes this the hub of noble activity when court is not being held.
January 6, 289

The tragedy of the morning is weighs heavy on the inhabitants of the Roost and tempers the excitement felt by the successful raid of the previous night. The sun sinks low on the horizon, hovering at the horizon for a moment before sinking and plunging the land into the twilight gloaming. Finished for the moment with her tasks, Muirenn steps out of the keep and into the half-light of the courtyard.

Anais has had a difficult day. After the display on the walls, she braced herself and moved inside to speak with the people from the village there, offering condolences to those who could be recognized as related to the victims, offering strength to those afraid for relatives beyond. So it can't be a surprise that she's finally fled the confines of the hall, leaning against the side of the keep with her guard close at hand.

The Hedge Knight was lucky as when the execution was happening, it was his shift to sleep which he took full advantage of after last night's raid in the dead of night. However, after waking up inside the Keep, Kell had heard what had happened which certainly did dampen the good mood of having accomplished something against the Ironborn finally. As he manned the ramparts, he saw the aftermath of the executions outside which only heated the knight's hate for the Ironborn even further. Kell stayed on the walls until he was relieved, shift over for now and he descends the stone stairs, heading back towards the Keep, where the two Ladies are presently.

Hearing footsteps following her out, Muirenn looks over her shoulder and gives a faint smile to Anais. Pausing, she turns and steps to her friend "Oh Anais…I heard about what happened this morning and am so very sorry." She offers a comforting hug.

"Muirenn." Anais may not usually be one for overt displays of affection, but she takes the hug gratefully, holding the other woman tight. "Thank you," she says quietly. "It…was not pleasant. And I suspect the next few days are going to be difficult here, thanks to it."

Kell is garbed as he usually would be when on guard and wall duty, over the cotton tunic is a boiled leather jacket, and over that is his protective ringmail armor while a sword compliments the armor, sheathed at the hip. As he approaches the entrance to the Keep, the Hedge Knight spots Anais and Muirenn and the knight comes to a stop in front of them. Dipping his head respectfully to both ladies, Kell gives them a greeting though not much more is says as he senses the mood, "Greetings, Ladies." A heartless massacre does not make good ice-breaker for small talk.

With a nod, Muirenn allows the other young woman her moment of grief and is the strong one. When Anais' moment is over she takes a step back, "Yes. It is going to be very difficult. I imagine across the country people are losing loved ones to this war." Giving a sigh she begins to speak but hears the soft clink of ringmail and turns her head, "Oh Ser!" she breathes with a brilliant smile appearing, "I have yet to thank you for saving my cousin."

"Ser Drakmoor," Anais replies to the knight, stepping back from Muirenn and summoning up a small smile. It's a transformation of sorts, from a girl glad for the comfort of a friend, to the lady of the keep being brave for the people inside. "It's good to see you up and out. I trust that means you suffered no injury in the raid last night?"

The bright smile from Lady Mallister has Kell grinning sheepishly in return as he inclines his head to her, "Thanks are not needed, M'lady, I only did what anyone else would've done. Was by chance I was close enough, Young Lord Patrek handled himself very well last night. He rode swiftly and his sword is as quick as a veteran's." The Hedge Knight then turns to Lady Anais and shakes his head, "Was too dark for the Ironborn last night, their weapons missed their mark. Thank you for our concerns, M'Lady."

Moving forward, Muirenn lays a gentle hand upon Kell's shoulder to the gasp of the Septa on the steps who begins to bustle over to take in hand her young charge. As tall as the knight, the maiden looks him in the eye and says seriously "House Mallister owes you a debt for saving my cousins life. On behalf of Lord Jason, we thank you and are grateful for your heroism and courage on the field of battle." Her ivory skin shows the faintest of flushes as she has at this moment. Her cheeks grow rosy as she withdraws something from her pocket and presses it spontaneously into the knights hand. "Unfortunately I am unable at this moment to get you something as befits your act, so please take this token of my thanks."

Anais manages a small smile for Kell, though she falls silent as Muirenn offers her thanks and her favor. She seems grateful for the excuse, watching. The guard at her side offers a brief touch at her shoulder in support, though even he lowers his hand when Muirenn's septa approaches.

Kell is also rather surprised when Lady Muirenn lays a hand on him as bad things happen when he comes into purposeful contact with a Lady when chaperones are around. It happened with Muirenn before and also with Elinor in the past. The Hedge Knight also looks rather embarrassed at the Lady's words but he remains silent, knowing that interrupting her would probably be bad as well. As the gift is pressed into his hands, Kell takes care not to look at it yet, not wanting to appear oafish and inspect it in public, instead the knight inclines his head respectfully in response, "M'Lady, you do me too much honor, too much." However, even though he wishes to protest that what he did was nothing special, he holds his tongue as he doesn't want to offend, also wary of the Septa's approach, "Thank you, your gift is more than enough for a simple knight like me, M'Lady."

With a nod, Muirenn gives a shake of her head "No Ser. Young Lord Patrek is the heir to my House. Unfortunately I cannot do more. I will be sure that my Uncle hears of this as soon as I am able to get him word." Take a step back, Muirenn lifts a hand to the Septa to stop her from coming closer "No Septa. It is never inappropriate to express ones gratitude for a life saved." Lowering her hand she steps back and then moves back to Anais' side…much to Waldsteinia's relief.

"We're grateful for every defender right now, Ser Drakmoor," Anais says quietly, smile faint. She falls silent then, rubbing a hand beneath her eyes as she looks to Muirenn. "How are the healing supplies holding up so far?" she asks, as though just remembering. "I came across a few more herbs hanging in the cellar, though I've only the faintest idea what they actually are."

The Septa isn't the only one relieved as the Hedge Knight feels the same, apparently not one who enjoys being the center of attention, especially noble attention. "I am just glad the Young Lord is all right, he is very brave and he will make a very fine knight when he is older." The knight then nods at Anais's words of appreciation, "And I am honored to fight for the Roost against these invaders, M'Lady, and will continue to do so until their boats are off of these shores." There is a pause before Kell continues, "If you Ladies will please excuse me, I should head inside. Lady Mallister, thank you for your gift." Either he has his own business to attend to or just wishes to find a quiet corner to hide for now until he feels more settled again, he doesn't clarify.

"The maester and I can take a look at them. Whatever they are I am sure they will be of use. For now, things are holding up well. There have been no further major injuries and those injuries sustained in the initial invasion are healing nicely." The blushing Muirenn is grateful for a new topic and turns towards Anais. "Those of us who have been working with the healing are trying to conserve as many supplies as possible knowing that sooner or later they will be needed." There is a pause as she bites her lower lip and then says more softly, "I am more concerned though with so many people in such close quarters that if even a normal illness could spread most rap.." As Kell speaks, the maiden nods aand smiles. "Fare well Ser Drakmoor and you are welcome."

"Take care, Ser Drakmoor," Anais nods to the knight with a small smile. Only after he's departed does she look to Muirenn again, catching her lower lip between her teeth. "There's not a lot we can do about that, though," she murmurs. "There's only so much space. Though I'll admit, I've been tempted to start catapaulting everyone's waste back at the Ironborn," she grimaces.

With a nod, Muirenn replies "I know. I try to…well try to encourage cleanliness all round. Some of the smallfolk, well…" There is a sigh and she clears her throat, "The stories of glorious battle do not tell of the…stench and filth. Sadly I do not even know if adding such to the tales would dissuade men any."

"Of course not," Anais laughs softly, a rueful sound. "Especially not Ironborn. It's their nature, I'm afraid." She reaches up to tuck a piece of hair behind her ear, rubbing at her eyes again. "Jacsen's going to be furious," she murmurs, barely a whisper.

An arm goes through her friend's and she leans, offering her strength again. "He will be, but.." Muirenn gives a sigh and smiles sadly, "He loves you. I can tell. Though he will be wroth, his affection will not ever go away."

"Mmm. He wouldn't yell if he wasn't afraid. My father used to say that," Anais admits, smile slipping crooked as she loops a hand over Muirenn's. "Either way, it had to be done. For the people here and the people on the other side. They need to see someone standing up to them, at least as much as can be wisely done from within the walls."

"Aye…they do Anais. They look to us to be their support and strength as they see their homes, livelihoods, and families being utterly destroyed." Muirenn smiles, "I admire you and Liliana so much, both both are able to project such strength when needed."

"Muirenn." Anais looks up to the other woman, laughing softly. "You, my dear friend, are quite capable of projecting strength. Look at you," she nods. "You're as tall as most men, taller than plenty. And you know how to hold yourself. And just between the two of us? I struggle with it myself. It's hard to know when you're being /strong/ versus when you're being defiant, or foolish, or improper."

Cheeks flushing slightly, Muirenn laughs mirthfully, "I am tall, Mama says I take after father's side of the Mallister family tree as opposed to hers." There is a pause, "Yes…this is so, but you have had more experience and know so that you can make wise choices on your own even if it is improper." With a shake of her head, the girl's smile fades just a bit, "You have done well through all this Anais, and I have told Jacsen so."

Anais's features soften, and she squeezes Muirenn's hand. "Thank you." Shaking her head, she walks slowly, content to take in some of the fresh air while she can. "I watched my mother for years. And my father. And my brothers. But my father and my brothers…Well. They're different men than the Terricks. Sometimes it's hard to come to terms with all of it."

Nodding, Muirenn smiles "It is very similar here to my own home. They are good men here, different yes perhaps, but they are good men." She strolls with the other young woman, happy to be outside for the moment. "When this war is over and things back to a symblance of normal, perhaps Jacsen will permit you to accompany home to visit my family."

"Perhaps he'll be able to come as well," Anais suggests with a small, hopefuly smile. "I'd love a chance to see Seagard. To see /him/ in Seagard. I think, in many ways, it's been more of a home to him than the Roost has. And everything I've heard of it…It seems almost more a real city than Riverrun," she continues, smile deepening at one corner of her lips. "With shops, and merchants, and singers, and visitors from afar." She sounds downright wistful.

"Oh, it is all that and more. Not that I was permitted to visit all that often." Muirenn nods as she continues, "I know Jacsen would like to visit I am sure. I remember him fondly, he was a good friend to me. I was ill for several years and was avoided by many and kept away from Uncle Jason's court."

"Ill?" Anais echoes with an arch of her brow, looking to the other woman once more with surprise. "Well, if you were a sickly child, it certainly doesn't show," she assures. "Nothing that lingers, I hope?"

"Oh, I am more suseptible to common colds and illnesses then most." Muireen admits, cheeks flushing in embarrassment, "It is part of the reason I have made a study of herbs…to work to keep me healthy so I can me of use to my Uncle in a good match for the glory of our House." She gives a slight shrug.

"Ah." For all she tries to sound sympathetic, it doesn't seem like the sort of thing Anais is familiar with. "Well, in that case, I suggest you be careful," she adds, smile faint. "I'd hate for you to fall ill in the middle of all this. Gods. That might be one thing that would make it worse. A siege is bad enough. A siege with the sniffles…"

With a soft laugh, Muirenn comments "I have had worse, but the Septa and my maids are good to take care of me." She mmms "Probably I should go back indoors. I think the maester wanted to inventory some of the herbal supplies before everyone retires for the night."

"Of course," Anais agrees quickly, releasing Muirenn's arm only to pause and instead reach out to catch her for one more hug. "Thank you, Muirenn. I know this is a terrible situation, but I'm so very glad not to be alone in it."

Giving Anais a tight embrace, the Mallister maiden gives a grim smile, "It is a frightening and horrible thing war. But I am here for you Anais…not just because the Terricks are the Mallister's bannerman but because you are my friend. If ever you need anything send someone for me and I will be there."

"Thank you, Muirenn," Anais says again, returning the embrace before stepping back. "I am grateful to have such a friend. No matter the circumstances," she adds with a brief, crooked smile. "I should try to sleep. I…don't think I remember the last time I had more than an hour or so."

"Go sleep..get your rest." Muirenn smiles as she moves towards the house and indoors to count supplies.