|Halves and Shorter Wholes|
|Summary:||Half-Eagle, Halfsepton and whole Bruce trade words in the camp outside the Grey Garden.|
|Related Logs:||The Grey Garden siege logs in general|
|Wilderness — Harlaw Isle|
|Wed Mar 07, 289|
It's sunset on Harlaw Isle, which marks a changing of shift on watch. Ser Jarod Rivers is just coming off one, for his part, striding back into camp proper from the outer pickets. Another day has ground by with the Ironborn holed up in their castle, and the Army of the Cape surrounding it, with little movement on either end. The bastard knight has a pensive sort of look on his face, though he's far from the only one. Hurrying up and waiting is getting to many of the men.
Among the tents and hoisted banners of the Naylands, the movements of pickets and siege lines are done like clockwork. Something about the smooth drilled lines gives an air of professionalism about the levies and guardsmen. And as others move on, one hangs back for a moment. Taking time to finish his small meal of fish and bread, while his shield and spear hang by a small tent which overshadows a poor man's altar. Nothing grand, but it is there.
Standing to the side and eating is the septon dressed down in his brown robes, over the maile coate he wears-and given how the Halfsepton has become a bit of a fixture in the camps seeing Marsden like this isn't entirely out of the ordinary.
It's the Nayland area of the camp that Jarod approaches, rather than his own plot of army land. He scans the faces of the levies and guards he passes, looking for someone seemingly, though he shows no sign of immediately finding them. His gaze is drawn to the altar, which he studies with obvious curiosity. "That a sign the gods mean to keep us here awhile longer, Septon?" he asks wryly, though with easy good humor. "Cruel of them, if so, I got to say."
There's a look up from his eating, before Marsden is offering a half grin. Turning he sets the trencher away and brushes his hands down on the ends of his robe before he is coming to stand. "Ser Eagle." it seems that he does remember faces, or at least remembers the important ones. Still the Septon keep his grin in place as if the siege means nothing, before he is looking right up. Licking his finger he raises it up to the air, before lowering and he merely shakes his bald pate. "I don't think so, Ser. I think it's a sign that war is war and is a very different kettle innit?"
The Halfsepton chuckles before he is offering his hand over. "How can I be of service?"
It's sunset on Harlaw Isle, which marks a changing of shift on watch. Jarod has just come off and has, for some reason, come to loiter in the Nayland area of the camp. Whatever the precise business of his errand here, he's paused by Marsden's make-shift alter to jaw with the halfsepton. The greeting makes him snort a laugh, and shake his head. "Ser Rivers'll do, Septon. Only a half-eagle anyhow, so I'd not put on airs. I was figuring I could find Ser Bruce or Ser Rygar about. No hurry if they're occupied, though. Just came from the line, but it's more watching and waiting and little of anything moving. A different kettle?" He tilts his head at the make-shift alter, like he's trying to figure the metaphor.
Tonight, though the Naylands are no longer on the siege line, a third or so of their men are guarding the camp's stores. Ser Bruce comes up from inspecting the watch, there, pulling his helm and gloves off and making his way into his area of the camp. His heavy footfalls take the Stonebridge knight on to the command tent, where those of Serjeant's rank and up eat. It's also where Marsden is eating. Pushing the tent flap out of his way, he smiles grimly at the sight of the halfsepton and of Jarod. "Ah, Ser Jarod of Terrick's Roost. A pleasure. Halfsepton."
"Like one has tea the other fish. And we've seen a lot of fish." Marsden replies easily enough before he is looking down to his hand.As he digs at a fingernail he merely nods. "Can I say Half Eagle then? It sounds rather bloody good." though the rest is lost as the other knight comes up and there's a grin offered to the Captain. "Ser Longbough." He means of greetin' right there before he is turning back over to grab up his gloves. "We were jus' talkin about the Seven keeping us here a bit longer." added, incase Bruce has his own opinions.
Jarod snorts a laugh, nodding. "A septon can call me as he pleases, I figure. But that'll do well enough. Ser Bruce." He returns a little toward the Stonebridge captain. "Just came off watch. Figured I'd come by and report to you or Ser Rygar direct, as you're on the way to Ser Martyn. Not that there's much to tell. Been quiet. They're still not coming out. One of the lads shot what he thought might be a raven, but when he retrieved it, it wasn't carrying anything. Just a crow. You get many men to pray in that?" He gestures to the altar. The question for the halfsepton, theoretically. Unless Bruce is in the know about such things.
"Half Eagle, and Half Septon. Very good. I'm naught half anything, I'm afraid to say. All common, perhaps." Jests Bruce, his grim smile resting firmly in place. "As for that, we've been too idle, too long. That's the story of the invasion, so far. We're going to take a good gander about tomorrow, Ser Jarod. I'd wondered if you wanted to come. I know you like sitting around like I enjoy the joust. Watching the enemy is one thing, but walking about is another, entirely." He shakes his head at Jarod's question.
There's a look back to the altar, and Marsden chuckles. "Inside the tent? No- I sleep there." he points to the altar "I move it out when I hold service and they do pray around it. That matters." A grin from Streem before he is looking back to Bruce, and he tilts his head. "Half tall? Though I don't think it fits you, Ser." Still the Halfsepton falls silent as talks of scouting is brought up. A raise of his brow before he is looking back towards Jarod-curious as to the answer, before he's reaching to pick up his conical helm.
"Half a Septon?" Jarod's curious now. Like he's about to ask for that story. Though he tables any further questions to chuckle at Bruce's remark. "Half Long, perhaps, along the same line as half-tall. Though you've always seemed too whole a man to be half anything, Ser Bruce." As for tomorrow, that gets an eager look from him. "I could do with a gander. Gets in a man's head funny, being within eye of the men you're supposed to be fighting and not…fighting them. Where do you intend we should walk?"
Bruce snorts. "It's not me that's short, but you lot that are too tall. I never curse my height; I can dash between your legs and you won't know where I went, till I strike you in the back with a stroke of the sword!" He's full of mirth, now, and rather amused at the turn of conversation. "Oh, a bit here, and a bit there, and a bit everywhere. On the other side of the keep, for certain. Our siege lines are very thin there. There are many gaps… you've any experienced scouts, in your camp, Ser Jarod?"
"I've been called worse." Marsden replies back towards Jarod before he is chuckling. If he was to ask Marsden wouldn't hesitate-though he is Ser Bruce's man. At least until the invasion is over. Should he wish to stay on-he'd probably have to negotiate that as well. Helm remains held in the crook of his arm. "Oh I dunno about my height, Captain. I think it gives my spear the length needed to do the right sticking" a wink to his jest there before he's falling silent once more. It's like an odd bit of protocol to play with these two knights.
"Ser Hardwicke Blayne's a solid tracker. Brought in his share of poachers from Roost lands over the years," Jarod replies, after some thought on the matter of tracking. "Sturdier soldier you'll not find. Ser Kell Drakmoor's a good eye for it, too. Maybe a better one than our regular knights. Do all sorts of odd chasing as a hedge knight, I figure. We've still scouts out to shore up the holes in the line but…aye. The Grey Garden's a damn big pile, takes near all we've got to surround it." The turn of conversation about Bruce's shortness gets a hearty laugh from him, though. "And duck under the blade swinging at the necks of the rest of us. Practical. Long as you don't end up facing off against a high shelf." Marsden's joke about spears also gets a chuckle, and he does ask. "Why's he call you Halfsepton, anyhow? Thought you could only be a full one of them."
"Because, the Gods have a sense of humour so lacking in many men, I find. Same reason as I follow Gods both old and new, Ser Jarod. The Halfsepton follows ways of both lay and priest." Answers Bruce cryptically, pointing at Marsden's spear. "See? Any Septon you know stick a man with that? I don't know any others. Besides - Naylands are evil, so it's said." He winks, then grows a bit more serious. "Alright. Please, if you'll ask them, I'd like if they came along. More eyes in tracking the better. I'm not much use with that, but I do know where our eyes are faint or not ever present, so maybe I might take a look."
There's a pause for a moment as Marsden let's his gaze slide to Jarod for a moment. His scarred face dropping his easy grin for a moment, before he simply shrugs. "Because, brother-" And he says nothing more on that, or gives the reason as to why. Instead, he merely smiles and nods towards Bruce. "As the good Ser has explained. Besides, you won't find many of us armed and have a mind for killing." And like that the grin comes back up easily. And like that he's chuckling over to Bruce "Maybe you'd want to see if any of the lords brought huntsmen with them. They'd be fine additions to your quest, Captain."
Though Marsden is not skilled in hunting or tracking- he does have a mind, and that he can use well. As to their numbers the halfsepton speaks up. "I think we've been blessed that they've been too craven to really test a line. If they had a good force of men they could if pushed hard enough, fold one of our siege lines back onto the rest of the army and sally rather well."
Jarod grins at Bruce's crypticness, though it's a puzzled sort of grin. There's a joke lurking in there, somewhere, but he's not quite up on what it is. "Lay and priest?" A look to the spear. Shrugging in acceptance of the explanation. "Well, you must be good at the…lay parts, to travel with an army such as this." Bruce's comment about evil Naylands get a snort, and a wink. "So it's said. All the same, I can't seem to shake the company of your lot. Kept worse company in my time, at least. Aye. I'll ask. I can follow a trail hunting well enough, but they're better hands for that sort of work than me."
"They aren't craven, Halfsepton Marsden. That is where you're wrong. No, they're not craven like sheep; they're crafty like foxes, and I suspect they've been far craftier than we've given them credit. I aim to find out what crafts they've been employing. Let the Gods grant you reason and truth to your words, but, my good Halfsepton, as is a fond saying in the Blackwood lands where I come from; The Gods help those who help themselves. I aim to secure their help and sniff about." Ser Bruce says, unusually verbose for him. "I will seek huntsmen. The Flints, perhaps, have men - I know they've good scouts. And perhaps the Groves, too. That's alright, Ser Jarod. If there's trouble to be had, I'd not rather another man than you at my side." He winks at the Terrick man.
Marsden snickers, "Well, many a woman might agree with you Ser Rivers." the jest out Marsden reaches in his helm for a linen coif which is tugged one before he pulls up the maile coif on top of that. No need to cut his head apart. "Oh, I was thinking more like rabbits- Ser Bruce since we were doing the hunting." A grin eased up as the helm is tugged into place. "Oh They will help you Ser Bruce. I will pray for it- and so far they've heard my prayers.." Though he will not speak for the tree gods. He does though trust that the Seven listen to him. It's then that the Septon reaches for his spear and shield. Slinging one over his shoulder and leaning on the other.
"I'm not a man of many talents, Ser Bruce, but I'm all right to have around in a fight," Jarod says, though the comment from the Nayland knight warms his grin. "You honor me by saying it. Not many men I'd rather be beside if things turn hot. The Groves have some of the better archers you'll find among the Mallister sworn, I can say to that. Their land's a little more inland than the Roost. More trees and the like, trickier to track in I suppose." Marsden gets a blink. Was that a sex joke from the septon? He snorts, like he's trying not to laugh at it. In case it was unintentional. But he can't help himself.
"Were there any Camdens who survived the razing, I'd take them, too, but, Gods know what vengeance the Ironmen reap. In their minds, we've been defiant since we threw off the yolk of House Hoare and swore to the Dragon House, hundreds of years past." There's a glimmer in Bruce's eye. "Oh, don't stop yourself. He's truthful."
"I haven't seen any." Marsden throws in, as far as seeing Camdens go, or don't go. Still he's grinning back towards Jarod. "I thought that was a fine joke." clicking his tongue, he nods back towards Bruce. "He's right. I am." And with that his hand is taking up the spear and he is moving off in the direction of the pickets. "If you will both excuse me. I need to do my prayers in view of the heathens.." He is serious there. "And do my time in the line. I'll be back come the end of my watch." Whether either of them are looking for him, he can be found.
"Gods keep you, Marsden Streem." Greets Bruce.
Jarod sobers from snort-laughing at mention of the Camdens. "Only know of two, alas, and they're ladies of the house. Lady Liliana, who's ward to my lord father and was at the Roost when the Ironborn came. And Lady Tiaryn, who managed to flee. Seven hells, I can't imagine what she must've seen." He crosses his arms along his chest. "Pity Good King Robert can't raise the dragons from under King's Landing, or wherever they keep their bones. Dragons are dead, though. We'll have to muddle on ourselves. Gods keep you, Septon." He watches the man go. "Might have to catch one of his services. Strikes me as a lively one for a sermon."
"I doubt the Good King would even want to raise them. You ever close enough to hear him rage about the Targaeryans during the war? Never so much eire have I heard from one man. But a fierce warrior. I only wish he was here with the whole army, and this blasted island would be reduced to nothing in a fortnight." Bruce says, momentarily losing his good humour. He shakes it off, chuckling. "Aye. He's great for morale, the men love him. And he can fight. We're using him to hold the line in front. Basically, an officer, as well as a Septon. Gods hope they don't strike him down. I'm fearful the men might waver."
"Strongest warrior the Seven Kingdoms might ever know, King Robert Baratheon," Jarod says. Tone of respect bordering on awe as he speaks of the man, though there's a pensiveness behind it as well. "I heard him speak when I was with the Mallister host, though always from a distance. Still, nobody could get a body fired up like he could. He was the sort of man you'd want to follow into the seven hells. Aye. Wish he was here now, dragons or no. Good King Robert, Lord Jason Mallister, my lord father. I keep trying to think on how he'd want all this handled with our men, if he were here. Don't know, though. Not sure if I'm doing it at all like he'd want."
"Experience is the best teacher, Ser Jarod. You've years of experience, now. But it's under the din of battle that you see whether you've the spark of command, or not. I think you do. Else, you wouldn't have been Lord Jerold's Captain, aye? He's got a keen eye, the Lord Terrick. He's not one to put a man who he doesn't think will perform in such a spot. Speaking of which… if you don't mind me prying." Bruce clears his throat, finally moving to take a seat at Marsden's unused table. "What uh… is your position? I was in Riverrun when Ser Hardwicke became Captain. What did the Lord have you put as?"
"He's been very good to me. I'll try hard to do all right by him and ours," Jarod says. As for his post-Captain post, he smirks. "I guess he figured I get on so well with Naylands I should relate to them professional-like. He had me down in Stonebridge as…ambassador, I guess. Lord Tully said at Riverrun he wanted the Terricks and Naylands to try and get on better with each other, to make things less tense before…whatever the fuck happens with Stonebridge. Ironborn came before I really could get my hands into it. Not sure what'll happen when the dust settles, truth be told. Seems like it should all matter less now that we've a common enemy." Not that he sounds sure of that at all.
Bruce arches an eyebrow. "But you know, that when the dust settles, as you say, that it won't. Things will go back to what they were. The enemy focused us, but once they're dealt with, the glass comes away and we're back at where we were. And where is it that you stand?"
"I know," Jarod replies. Sounding not pleased with it, but he can't deny it. "My family backs Ser Gedeon's claim, and I stand with my family. If it stays in Lady Isolde's hands, though, he says he'll accept that. Return to the life of as common a sworn sword as the rest of us. And Lord Jerold won't press the matter. The King's word'll be the end of it, far as we're concerned."
"Gods, I hope that this matter is put to an end with the King's word, too. Though I serve House Nayland and faithfully, I hope, the last thing we need is Rivermen fighting Rivermen. In truth, I'd be happiest with a joint holding, under the stewardship of the Lord Paramount himself." Bruce's shoulders slump, and he sighs. "But, also, not likely. I'm an outsider, but I know about strife. I'm a Blackwood man, and we've been at the Brackens' throats and them ours for longer than the record was written. It's pithy."
"I think I would as well," Jarod admits, as to a joint holding. "Not saying getting Stonebridge taxes back wouldn't make rebuilding a hell of a lot easier for the Roost. But after all this…it's just a one damn river town. It's not worth killing our neighbors over. Doubt Ser Gedeon would back down from his claim now, though. Or that Lord Rickart'd settle for less than all he'd managed to grasp. We all serve someone, Ser Bruce. And we're nothing if not loyal to our lords."
"Aye. You know, I came out to serve Lord Ryker. Not much I've seen of him, though, since I came back. I fear he's got a sickness or something. I wonder why Ser Gedeon chose to press his claim." Bruce considers, falling silent.
"It's his lord father's land, and his letters claim Lord Geoffrey wanted him to have it," Jarod says. "Along with his name, that it was all rightful his. Powerful thing. Not sure what I'd do if it were me. Though part of me still figures Ser Kell might have the right of it. Life of a hedge knight, living by your honor, free of Blackwood or Bracken or Terrick or Nayland nonsense." He shrugs. "Probably best not to think on it too much. Nothing we can do, and we're on the same side for now. I should be getting back to my bit of camp, though. Gods keep you, Ser."
"Aye, but a hedge knight is no life for one with a boy, and another child on the way, Ser Jarod." Bruce chuckles morosely. "I married a good mistress, with better blood than I. She's got noble blood. Grandfather. And I've advanced beyond my father's, and my father's father's station. Maybe there's hope for my boy. Tim can move up. One day, maybe, we'll be established knights. I don't know what I'll do if Stonebridge is lost. My allegiance was to Lord Ryker, and if he's a Lord no longer… well, not something I'd talk to others about, but I think I can trust you. I don't know if Aleks would suffer living in the depth of Hag's Mire, after being from Riverrun. But we'll see where the Gods take me." He rises as Jarod leaves, dipping his head. "And you too, Ser Jarod."