Page 204: Going Home
Going Home
Summary: Ser Bruce Longbough releases some of his levy when fresh troops arrive
Date: 06 February 2012
Related Logs: War, etc.
Bruce Einion 
Nayland Encampment - Seagard
Encampment: fires, men, women.. tents
06 February 289

The sun is beginning to set on the encampments and there are more than a few gathered around the fires dotting the landscape that is set aside for the Nayland contingent. There are laughs, and sounds of good-natured argument born of wanting the same .. camp follower. There are fewer people in camp, but the common man doesn't have quite the same freedom to go home and be sure to return when needed for the Island strike, so perhaps it is only those that are lucky to have horses.

Off to the side of one of the groups, the tanner turned serjeant is speaking to one of the swordsmen, a man at arms, discussing the dirk— obviously, as it is out.. and the man is showing Einion exactly how to hold it in combat rather than how a knife is held for gutting deer and tanning hides. He's a pikeman, however, and the dirk is a little.. clumsy. It's weighted nicely, but..

Once that lesson is done, the swordsman allows the tanner the chance to practice that which he's told— after all, Einion isn't.. the brightest, but he's dedicated to learning a task, and in this case, to be worthy of the price of the blade.

Ser Bruce and a number of the Guardsmen have been gone for a couple of days, on some errand of theirs. They took a pair of mule drawn wagons with them, but didn't bother to tell the rank and file where they were going. However, Einion, being a Serjeant, is no rank and file. He would have been told that Bruce was going back to Stonebridge. And now he comes, with a few new faces - the other two Serjeants from Stonebridge, Red and Yellow quarter specifically, and two Serjeants from Hag's Mire, as well as a bunch of new Guardsmen, again both from Stonebridge and the Mire. Though Bruce walks well, his neck is definitely still stiff.

The sound of the cart brings Einion's attention around, and he turns fully to check who is arriving. His eyes widen, and yells, "Oi! Guard! Form up! Captain's here!" The tanner limps a little more than he had when everything began, but as the returning men enter camp, he virtually hops in the attempt to gain some speed. "Form up!" and finally, some of the rabble do, indeed, form and make something of a 'honour guard' greeting for the man. Men. "Captain.." he gives in greeting, his dirk fully back in place in his scabbard, "Ser Longbough, ser.."

Bruce smiles at the sight of Einion marshalling the men up, waving his hand dismissively. "Not necessary, Serjeant. Just coming back with the turnip patrol." As one can see, the two carts are laden with goods - though what's in the covered boxes and barrels is anyone's guess, just now. "I do need you to get Serjeant Farrier and the two Mire Serjeant's together, on me. We've a bit of an orders briefing." As he pauses to talk to Einion by the road, the 'convoy' rolls on to the centre of the camp. Soon, Guardsmen and newly arrived Serjeants alike are marshalling militia pike to unload cargo.

Einion can't resist craning his neck to see if he can't see what's in the cart, but because it's covered boxes and barrels, there's nothing that he can see. A shame.. but then again, the Captain is speaking to him again, and he has to pay attention. "Aye, ser.. I'll fetch them.. they're," he points towards one of the other fires, drink is flowing, conversation is flowing.. and he inclines his head in a bow and makes his way.

As Einion approaches, the men acknowledge him as, well.. Einion the tanner, and it's nothing that the lad won't take. He does single the others out to meet up with the captain.. and thus called, he begins to make his way back. The others actually beat Einion to the knight; the Green Quarter serjeant losing to being winded and the requirements placed upon his leg. He does make it, however, moments later. "Ser.."

"Thanks, Serjeant Wycliffe. Well, lads, today we're harnessing a new ox to the yolk, if you understand my words." Bruce says, reaching to first pull his helmet off, and then grab a waterskin from his belt, from which he drinks. He observes each of the eight Serjeants here carefully before continuing. "The lads who fought bravely at Alderbrook and Seagard will be going home to Stonebridge and the Mire. We need a good, solid home defence, and there's no one more experienced than them. In their places, the other Quarters will come, for the invasion."

Einion listens to his knight, his captain.. and his brows rise as he stands as nearly as he can attentively, as opposed to at attention. He resists the urge to look back at the cart, and at the men from the Mire so newly arrived.. and the man. Can it be? The way it's sounding, he just might.. but he doesn't want to question, though his face, he's sure, is an open book.. big time, in the hope that he's understanding correctly.

"You lads have done extraordinarily well. Better than we could have expected. Believe me when I say there will be rewards for your performance. It's time for a break. In addition, if the Ironborn /do/ decide to come back and attack Stonebridge, or the Mire, they'll be met by experienced men who know what they're doing, are disciplined and are the finest militia in the Riverlands." That said, Bruce sweeps his sleepy blue eyes again across his men, during the pause. "If any of the men wish to volunteer, their petitions will be heard. But as of right now, the other Quarters, fresh, are going to be getting their revenge."

Einion doesn't want to volunteer. He wants to go home, and he shifts his weight from one foot to the other. "If I'm hearing it right, Ser, with your permission, we're released t'go home." He can hardly believe it. "An'.. aye sir.. if it pleases you.. I'd like t'be part of the home guard." He smiles before he hangs his head in respect, "An.. I've got the shop which'n I'm afraid may have been looked at by others." And he's got his girl. One of the other serjeants pipes up, "Wycliffe, y'just want to go home so's you can court the pretty groom," and an elbow jostles him in the ribs.

"You're released to return to home, Serjeant Wycliffe." Bruce says, expression hard and voice gruff. "You will remain under arms. There will be no resumption of your normal trades, until you receive word from us or the war ends. Or necessity begs. The Guardsmen, or whatever Lords are present, will command you." He nods at Einion, though. "Aye. That is your right, and we need good, proven men to command at home."

No resumption of normal trades? Einion opens his mouth, not to retort, but out of.. concern. It's how he feeds himself, his family.. keeps the roof over his head and pays his taxes. Life, death, and taxes.. and if there are new tanners in town to take his business? The coin earned as levy is nothing near what he earns in his trade. "Y-yes, Captain." At least he'll be home? Ish? "It is, Ser.. if it pleases you and his Lordship." After all, Lord Rygar had given him his new dirk!

"It does." Bruce pauses, looking at the tanner cum serjeant directly now. It's like he can read the man's concerned expression. "This is war time, Serjeant Wycliffe. Sometimes, to protect our homes, we must make sacrifices. The men who fell on the field to reaver axes, spears and swords know. You know - your wounds tell the tell, from this war, and the last. And so do I. For the common good, no one will be making coin. Food will go to the community, rationed, as it must. If you need to make repairs for the war effort, or for keeping up essential trades, you will. If you need to make new tools or armour, you will. But coin right now is the least of our concern. We're worried about winning this war."

Einion is truly an open book, and he nods his head slowly as the explanation goes on. At least he's getting something of a lecture rather than a dressing down. Always better.. and not receiving that scowl that conveys all things.. from disappointment to disdain. "Aye ser.. apologies.." He shifts his weight again, one leg to the other; he knows well the sacrifices made..

Bruce smiles, at least, patting Einion on the shoulder. "That's what you'll pass on to your troops, Serjeant. Tomorrow morning, the two Quarters here, along with the Guardsmen who served will march back. As soon as you're back in Stonebridge, these Serjeants will take command of their lads," he motions to the newly arrived Serjeants, "and they'll march here. Tonight, we've brought some good food, and some good wine in celebration. Don't overdo it, but it is a time to relax."

Einion nods, looking to the knight. He's in an enviable position, certainly.. the others, the nobles, aren't so lucky as to go home, so maybe things'll be better.. and he'll see things so much better with a cup of wine in hand. It's been a long time since he's had it— just watered down ale has been his fare. He smiles, bobbing his head. "Aye ser.. and thank you ser.. t'is a great thing you're doin'.." Never let it be said that he's not appreciative!

"Gods know, our men could use it." Bruce says, with some finality. "Go on, then. Brief your Quarters and be on with it. There's cooking to be done."

"Aye, ser!" Einion bows, and a grin slides across his face. He's got his Quarter to brief, and then a certain someone.. that is, if she'll see him? Turning about, the tanner looks around for his men, and catching them at a fire, begins to limp off in that direction, moving with decided purpose.