|Hurry Up and Wait|
|Summary:||Dark wings, but what words do they bring? A winged visitor makes an appearance over the Grey Garden.|
|Related Logs:||The Harlaw Isle invasion logs, generally|
|Harlaw Isle — Wilderness|
|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 09, 289|
<FS3> Anders rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Jarod rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Dominick rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Kell rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Aleister rolls Alertness: Great Success.
<FS3> Keelin rolls Alertness: Failure.
One of those people standing near the pickets is Aleister and he seems to be conversing quietly with a couple of the other Charlton Knights, though that conversation is drawn to an abrupt halt as something catches the Lord's attention. There's a turn of his head to the left, a narrowing of his eyes as he searches for a moment before darkened eyes suddenly lock on something. It takes only a moment for him to realize what it is and when he does, he's turning his head to the others, lifting his voice to be heard over the general chatter of the others, "To the west! A raven heading for Grey Gardens."
Making his way out towards the pickets, eyes to the animal in the sky at the moment. Nodding a bit as he hears Aleister's call. "Shoot it down!" he adds to it, loud enough for those near to hear. Offering a nod in the Charlton's direction as he heads further toward those lines now.
Making his way out towards the pickets, Martyn eyes to the animal in the sky at the moment. Nodding a bit as he hears Aleister's call. "Shoot it down!" he adds to it, loud enough for those near to hear. Offering a nod in the Charlton's direction as he heads further toward those lines now.
The clank of metal-on-metal is absorbing Ser Jarod Rivers at present, presently engaged in sword drills with another Terrick knight in camp. Man's got to keep himself busy somehow during a siege, and drills are as good as any other option when not scouting and standing watch. It's a serjeant watching him and his opponent, and not presently trying to hit another man with a large metal object, that alerts him to the call of 'raven' from the pickets. He stops his play swordplay abruptly, though from so far from the line he can do little but crane his neck skyward, and squint to see if the archers down it.
Anders, too, looks to the sky, and as the bird is spotted winging it's way towards the keep, he frowns in a thought that is given voice, "What if it's a message that the other keeps have fallen?" There are only seconds, however, for the decision, and he looks towards Pariston, his hand rising to garner the man's attention before he issues the order, "Shoot it down, Master Viis."
Dominick has been settled on a flat bit of stone, a broken board over his knees. A wind-battered piece of parchment is spread over the splintered wood, his quill etching some sort of diagram on it. At the sudden calls of something ominous in the air his green eyes flicker upwards and narrow, his hand reaching for the loaded crossbow beside his hip.
Einar knows Anders well enough to drop the idle speculation and is about to say something else when the cry goes up from further down the line. He glances skywards, taking a moment or two to catch sight of the bird in question, then starts to unsling his bow from his back, hoping he can both keep track of the flight and get a bolt ready and loaded in time.
After his call had been issued, Aleister turned his attention towards Martyn, giving the Mallister a slight nod of his head and the hint of a smirk, "My Lord." Then, he's falling quiet, looking back to the sky and waiting to see if any of the marksmen are able to down the bird before it reaches it's destination.
Back at the camp, Kell is currently not on duty so he remains near where his tent and bedroll is set up, going over his kit and items he had brought with him on the trip across the sea. He is alert though, a bit moreso now than the other days due to what was found during the scouting mission as Ironborn could actually hit the gathered allies with a sneak attack. As shouts from the direction of the picket line is called out, the Hedge Knight looks towards the west and also spots the black speck in the sky which his eyes can see is a large bird.
Pariston do notice, but it takes awhile. Some of it having to do with the guard change coming up and he is just about to get ready to move away. But luckily the sound, in combination with Aleister and Martyn, catches his attention before he is able to do so. His bow is raised soon after. Though he does catch Anders gesture and waits for the signal. Then let the arrow fly away.
<FS3> Pariston rolls Marksmanship: Good Success.
Keelin is seated at the camp, off duty and relaxed a little bit. He is far enough to not hear the cries and oblivious at first to the fact that there's anything at all to cry about. He's got his sword in hand, tending to it, though as he finishes, he gets to his feet and glances around. He sheathes the sword, collects his bow and heads out to see if there's anywhere a bored knight can help out. Which brings him late to the party, but arriving just about now, a brow arching as he spies there's already some excitement happening? Wait - what?
Jarod lowers his sword from playing with his fellow armsman, though he doesn't sheath it. Dark wings bring dark words and all of that. He's not far from Kell, and he turns toward the hedge knight. "Up for a walk to the pickets, Ser Drakmoor? Mayhaps we'll finally get some news. Though even bet it's just another bloody crow."
The bird- only recognizable to most as a raven once it begins plummeting to the earth, transfixed on Pariston's arrow- strikes the ground lifelessly on the rocky ground in between the Riverlord lines, and the outermost of Grey Garden's defended crags. A keen eye would put the dead bird just outside a stone's throw of the Harlaw defenders.
Dominick rolls up the diagrams and pushes the old board aside, standing up. Crossbow still in hand, he scratches the side of his thumb over his eyebrow and scans the landscape where the bird fell.
Lowering his voice to murmur to his squire and cousin, Anders' tones are.. puzzled. "I thought the Ironborn didn't believe in birds. That they were a curse?" He shrugs soon after, however, as his man takes the shot. Glancing around, he catches sight of Aleister, his brows rising in askance as he makes his way towards the Master at Arms for the Charltons. "What do you bet it was words of surrender." He pats the side of his armour, a quirked smile coming to his lips, wry. "I left my coins with my wife.. but I'm good for it."
"Was just thinking of doing so, Ser Rivers." Kell says after seeing the flying avian eat an arrow from the direction where Pariston shot it. "Might even be carrying a message. Hopefully they're running out of salt at the other keeps." The Hedge Knight ends with a smirk as he gathers up his own gear, sheathing the blade he was maintaining and putting some stuff away quickly into his tent before joining Jarod for a trip in the direction of the others and where the bird fell. "I guess now it's a game of finding the dead bird, though I get the feeling that the Ironborn were watching, if it is one of theirs."
Casting a look in the direction of Anders as he approaches, Aleister considers that for a moment before offering a low, rumbling chuckle, "Who the fuck knows, Northerner. But, we're sure as hell going to find out." There's a look towards the other Knights before he's turning his attention to Martyn, "If it pleases you, Lord Mallister, we should send a party to retrieve that raven and see just what news was being carried."
Einar is just about drawing his readied crossbow to his shoudler as the bird thuds to the ground. Lowering it to point to the ground incase of mishap he keeps it to handthough before offering Vis a nods of congratualtions. "I have no idea," he responds quickly to Anders, "but I can go take a look for you if you want."
"If they're not having some game with us by this," Jarod mutters to Kell as he starts toward the outer area of camp at a quick stride. Quick as a man can in armor, at least. "They've been spying on us, we as good as confirmed that last night with the way they've been sneaking around our rear camp." He reaches Martyn in not terribly long. "We saw the raven fall, Ser. Need you men to retrieve it?" Pseudo-volunteering, is he.
"Lord Charlton," Martyn offers to Aleister, with a bit of a nod. "Good eyes," he adds. Nodding a bit as he sees the bird fall, he starts moving towards the group in the front, nodding to Anders as well, "Lord Flint." Then looking back towards where the bird fell, nodding to Aleister's words. "We should," he replies after a few moments, looking around for a few moments as he considers who to give that task. Thankfully, that's when he hears Jarod's words, and he offers a bit of a thoughtful nod. "We do. Are you volunteering, Ser Rivers?"
Dominick rechecks the bolt in his crossbow, edging up closer to the pickets as the others vy for who's going out to retrieve the bird. His attention is still out on the field where the animal should be lying, eyes narrow as he watches for obvious movement nearby.
"Stay put, cousin," Anders puts a hand out in gesture to stay his squire. "Let them." He inclines his head towards Martyn as he is named before glancing towards his bowman. To Pariston, he mouths, Well done.
Kell can only nod at the thought of the Ironborn spying, "Hopefully it is only spying and not a staging point where they may make a surprise raid in the middle of the night when we are lulled into a false sense of security. Glad we found that spot though, so that the sentries are increased." Even with small numbers, a successful and bold surprise attack can scatter a much greater group.
Upon joining the group with Jarod, Kell remains silent as the Rivers Knight speaks, only nodding in agreement to show that he is more than willing to volunteer for a trip out to the dead avian.
Pariston has his eyes following the bird then looking over to the others. "Thought I gonna miss for a moment there." He says with small smirk. Then looking around. "I could go along to get it." He offers, another glance to Anders as he nods in reply to the mouthed words.
"If I'm needed for it, Ser, I'm willing," Jarod says to Martyn. "I do wonder if they might not be toying with us in some fashion. Ser Bruce led a party of men to scout our outer lines the other night and we saw signs they'd been creeping around there, though no squids in body." He looks to Pariston, studying the Flint man. "Wouldn't mind some cover that close to the Garden."
Offering a faint cough and a slight chuckle, Aleister gives a shake of his head as he looks amongst those that approach the Mallister Lord. For a moment, he simply looks to Jarod and then to Kell, before finally returning his attention back in the direction of Martyn, "Lord Mallister, if you might accept a piece of advice. Send only a man or two to retrieve the bird and ready a line of archers to protect them."
Dominick braces his foot and knee against something that can bear the weight, lifting his crossbow to aim out over the field towards the potential area of conflict. The point comes down, then back up, testing a space to lean his elbow, then he glances back at the others and waits.
"Stay your position, Master Vis." Anders narrows his eyes, and inclines his head in agreement with Aleister. "His bow is ready where he is, Ser Mallister. I agree with Lord Charlton. No need for everyone to run out and potentially be killed for their efforts." He looks to Jarod, his expression turning neutral, "We are ready to shoot any.. trees, or priests.. or birds should they attack." Returning his attention to Martyn, he inclines his head, "My archers will provide cover, Ser Mallister."
Einar heeds Anders reply and stays where he is, turning instead to Pariston. "I think we get to cover those that go, we have the range and all. LEts just hope they remember to stay out of the firing line eh. Nothing more annoying than having to pull a shot cos some guy on your own side just walked into ti."
Martyn nods a little bit as he hears that, as well as the piece of advice from Aleister and Anders. "Very well. Ser Rivers, Ser Drakmoor. I want the two of you to go out and retrieve the bird. And I want our best archers to protect them." Order given, he looks between Jarod and Kell for a few seconds, before he offers, "Good luck."
"I'm better up close than with a bow," Jarod says with a quick grin. Though his underlying manner is serious. A short nod to Martyn, then to Kell. "Let's net ourselves a winged corpse, my good hedge knight." He'll give the archers a beat to prepare to shoot at things, but then he'll be off.
Kell does give Lord Aleister a look though it is a neutral and guarded one, not showing really anything nor hinting that what had happened in the not too far past is still on his mind. His gaze then returns to Martyn to see what the commander of this merry bunch will decide. "Understood, Ser." At best, they will have a message with the dead avian, at worst someone will be enjoying roasted raven tonight. If they succeed that is. Kell does give Jarod a glance with a grin, "Better than counting rocks."
Pariston looks over to Anders and then Einar, nodding to them both. Grinning some at Einar's words. But he now falls silent. Too many nobles for his taste. The Flints are one thing, the others… Well, he still ain't one to talk too much around nobles.
Keelin arrives, and just listens, though he does offer a bow of his head to Martyn as he arrives. Not that he's the stealthy one, by far, which Martyn will know by now. He actually moves to take a quiet guard position by the lords, just in case he's needed. "I can try providing cover as well, though I am, as Ser Rivers says, better in melee than with a bow. Might we have some of us a short distance between the two, in case our brave volunteers are beset and need assistance?" It's a thought at any rate.
"Archers forward and form up!" Anders doesn't turn around when he makes the call. "Bows!" He looks towards the keep, his jaw setting. "Eyes to the keep.. the crenolations.. protect those men.." He pauses, then, "Shoot at will at your target once seen." The Young Lord Flint looks to the men, his expression set now, "Good luck."
Einar is pretty much prepared to shoot as is and raises his crossbow back to his shoulder as Jarod and Kell make their move forward. "I've got the left," he mutters to Pariston beside him, you take the right. Let me know if you see any movement or such." Teaching the man to suck eggs probably, but still, it's good to be clear in such situations.
Having been standing at ready with a bow for some time before the call, Dominick idly inspects part of the picket while the others talk. He exhales a long breath, raising the crossbow once more to train on the proper distance out.
Pariston doesn't say anything in response to Einar, only nodding as he has another arrow ready and looks towards the right. Hoping things don't go for the worse. The location on the bird isn't ideal, and he blames himself. He shot it after all.
A man can't really 'run' in armor, but Jarod makes a good go at a jog. The terrain ahead of them is mostly flat, entirely open, and with no real place to hide, so he books it as quick as he can. Toward the raven. The one allowance he makes to speed is to try and stay as even in step with Kell as possible. "Least we've got a clear view of it," he mutters wryly, focusing on the dead bird.
"Stay put for now," Martyn offers a bit quietly to Keelin. "But be ready in case it's needed, just in case." Focusing on the ones out there for now.
With the bowmen ready to cover them, Kell matches Jarod's pace as it is indeed harder to move fast in armor, however an open terrain where they are vulnerable does provide incentives to move faster than a turtle's pace. "Saves us the trouble of digging around the rocks to find it, and it looks like we'll be reaching it before some other land critter picks it up for dinner." The location of the dead avian is noted so the Hedge Knight turns his attention elsewhere, notably the wall of the Grey Garden and the area in front of it, where bad people may be enticed to throw stuff at them.
<COMBAT> Peasant 02 attacks Kell with Hunting Bow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Peasant 01 passes.
<COMBAT> Kell passes.
<COMBAT> Jarod passes.
As soon as the pair of dashing knights begin dashing toward their target, an arrow flies out of a shadowed cranny of rocks at the base of one short tower. It may have been intended for Kell, but the bolt hisses through the air between the knights without striking, as a lookout within the defenses calls something unintelligible.
Keelin nods to Martyn, though he can't help but feel it would be better to be a little closer at least, shortening the distance just a tad. Still, he follows orders. He takes the time to glance around at things, considering what the raven could mean.
With the order to the archers to fire at will when targets are acquired, Anders is left to watching the activity, his eyes searching the keep, watching the holes, waiting to see if he, too, can't actually see the people moving within. With the first arrow flying, he winces and glances at the line of archers, now waiting for their line's response. "Protect them…" is uttered.
Jarod jogs right past the arrow, which he only really notices when it flies past him and sinks into the ground between him and Kell. "They're awake in there, looks like," he comments dry, not pausing in his stride. They're nearer the bird now, and he bends low to grasp it as soon as it's within reach of his fingers. More snatching toward the black winged shape, and anything it might've been carrying, than taking any real time to puzzle over it.
Dominick is still watching the area, but there's nothing in particular to shoot at. His eyes stay narrowed on the two men, flickering back and forth around them.
Even with the action being on his side of the watched area, Einar struggles to identify where exactly the arrow came from. He's narrowed it down to a couple of crags but can't actually see anyone, even if they were close enough to loose at. "We're too far back" he says to Anders, not turning his head for far of loosing sight of his suspect crags, "even if I could see them, my bolts would enver reach."
Spotting the Ironborn defender just before the arrow flies, Kell calls out to Jarod just in case the other knight doesn't see the reaver, not knowing who is being aimed at. "Watch out, Ser!" As the shot is taken, the Hedge Knight puts a bit more oomph in his leg muscles to pick up a little bit more speed as the arrow flies harmlessly to the side. "Grab the bird, Ser Rivers." As Jarod goes to pick up the downed avian, Kell moves in front of the other knight, more or less trying to interpose himself and the ranged assailants. "Looks like the bird may be important afterall, gotta get it back to camp."
<COMBAT> Peasant 02 attacks Kell with Hunting Bow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Peasant 01 attacks Kell with Thrown Spear - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Peasant 01's weapon clicks empty.
<COMBAT> Kell passes.
<COMBAT> Jarod passes.
Anders nods at the information given by Einar, a scowl reforming. "I see.." He begins to pace, now, slowly.. nervous energy, as he watches the keep, then looks to the men in direct harm's way, and back towards the keep.
The Harlaw bowman sends a second arrow flying past its mark, although the aim of the peasant atop the squat crag is better, he hurls a spear in a smooth, deadly arc that is timed and placed perfectly. Any man who has ever thrown a bolt after a moving target would be hard-pressed to avoid sparing a moment of admiration as the thrown spear strikes the gallant Kell fully in the head. The admiration is made easier by the fact that Kell's steel helm appears to have turned the spearhead away.
Keelin can't help it, he's edging forward a bit, as the two men put themselves into harm's way, despite being told to stay put. He quite obviously wants to move close enough to help, even if that will put him into harm's way as well.
"Come on…" Martyn mutters under his breath as he watches the two bird hunters out there. Wincing as he sees the spear going for Kell, he keeps his attention on the duo out there for now.
Pariston does react to the words and so on. Realizing that things are going on, having missed the arrow. Though it isn't too hard to guess that something is up. "I could try to get closer, though if we don't know where they are…" He tries to spot something, but for now it seems hopeless. The spear does make Pariston hold his breath for a moment before he sees that it seemed to not be too bad. He looks over to Anders and MArtyn for their command.
Though Pariston only does so briefly before looking back out.
Jarod has the bird! Another time he might linger for some sort of Westeros-style endzone dance. This, however, is not the time. "Thanks," he breathes quick when Kell covers him, while he's grasping it. The hedge knight is close enough to notice that there is, indeed, a piece of parchment tied to the leg of the dead avian. "C'mon." He pants it short, turns around and starts back to friendly lines. Still at that armored 'run' pace, which seems all the slower going back.
As the pair is on the move again, Kell glances back over his shoulders as they jog as quickly as they can back towards the friendly lines and it is that glance back that either saved his life or almost caused him to lose an eye. At the last second, after seeing the spear flying his, the Hedge Knight flinches so the spearhead clangs off of the curve of his simple steel helm, simple but sturdy it seems. "Fuck me running!" The obscenity is shouted as Kell stumbles in his jog and almost falls over. However, with a free hand shooting out to catch the ground, he maintains momentum and continues forward, from a stumbling stagger to a jog again. "Keep going, I'm fine." He calls out after Jarod since the other knight may not be looking and the curse may have drawn unwanted delays.
Dominick keeps his crossbow trained patiently, turning his aim slightly to sweep behind the two men as they start on their way back.
<COMBAT> Peasant 02 attacks Kell with Hunting Bow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Peasant 01 passes.
<COMBAT> Kell passes.
<COMBAT> Jarod passes.
Einar wants to move forwards too, especially now there's a target atop the squatter crag. He does his best to keep half an eye on the throwe while still scanning for the arhidden archer. As the Kell and Jarod turn for hom though he breathes a little easier and offers a quick and silent prayer that they make it.
One last futile arrow is sent after the escaping knights, falling just short of the fleeing duo, as Jarod and Kell dash out of harm's way, and back into the friendly lines, to the cheers of several onlooking sentries.
For his part, Aleister remains off to the side, arms lifted to cross over his chest as his eyes simply follow the two Knights and their quest for the bird. There's little concern at the arrows that come to be shot in their direction and when they make their return, he's offering a simple nod of his head, more to himself then to the completion of their 'quest'.
"Keep the line, Master Vis," is offered in response. Anders can sort of see them, but shadowed at best, at least his eyes train back towards the same sections. Stopping behind Einar in his pacing, or rather, simply pausing, he exhales in a sigh of relief as the pair make it back to their line. "Keep your eyes out for any movement from the keep for a few more moments. Maybe this'll be the thing that draws them out.." The second is given a little softer than the first, but nonetheless, it's there..
Pariston stays ready and in position. Sighing of relief as well when the two knights get out of harm's way. He is still ready with the bow just in case. But since they are too far away from the wall he tries to turn his attention to their surrounding to make sure it wasn't a trick and they get attacked from behind or something similar.
Jarod is panting like a horse that's gone miles at a straight gallop when he and Kell armor-jog back to the pickets. He stops a moment when he's out of bow range, to get his breath back. And grin with no small amount of relief. "Huh…" he mutters. Not that he rests long, he takes the raven straight to Martyn. The parchment is carries is tied to its leg with a bit of supple wire. "Might've been worth the trip, at least, Ser Mallister. That's no simple crow." Once he's handed it off, he looks over at Pariston. Grin crooking boyishly. "Seven hells of a shot, that."
Kell is the trailer of the pair of knights due to his slight stumble back there but he reaches safety with Jarod, perspiration rolling down his temple now at the brief burst of effort that was exerted to retrieve the bird. "I swear, if this thing isn't carrying something important, this better be the best damn tasting bird in Westeros or I'm gonna shove it up the ass of the first Ironborn reaver that comes at me." The Hedge Knight manages to say in between panting breathes as he follows Jarod back to the commander of the group.
Martyn lets out a breath of relief as he sees the two men make it back, and then take the raven as it's handed to him. "Good work," he offers to the two of them, before he adds, "Looked like a bad hit to the head there, Ser Drakmoor?" Starting to work on getting the parchment free from the wire and the bird's legs now.
Pariston grins as he looks over to Jarod. "I try to please. Let us just hope that it is valuable enough. Else I would have rather had it placed on something without wings." Then there is a quick shrug. "It was a nice run, you two had me a bit worried." He offers in reply.
Keelin steps back. Nothing to see here, he wasn't really inching towards Kell and Jarod, nope. He's just here, keeping an alerted guard for Lord Ser Mallister, that's all. He does offer a grin at Pariston though, and a nod of his head to both Kell and Jarod.
As Martyn begins to unfurl the letter from the raven's leg, Aleister is extending a hand in his direction as he offers, "Doesn't look like the standard code, Lord Mallister." Pause, "Mind if I take a look. I've got some skill in ciphers and may be able to decode the message."
"Just a lucky hit by the reaver, that's why they made steel helms, for knights like me I guess." Kell says in a slightly sheepish manner, he did get clonked in the head by the damn spear, good thing it was a glancing blow or he could be out there bleeding or oozing his brain out of a hole in his skull. The Hedge Knight does return the nod of those who give him one, adrenaline slowly leaving his bloodstreams as the brief excitement ends for now.
Within a few more moments, Anders offers the 'Archers, stand down.. and if you're on picket, resume your duties," command before he turns with no little curiousity towards the dead bird and the note attached to it's leg. Approaching slowly, he looks to Jarod and Kell, offering the pair a nod with a, "I'm sure we can find someone to fix that dent in your helm, Ser Drakhmoor." His brows rise, however, in the little information gained, and once gain, steps back..
Martyn nods a little bit at Aleister's words, handing over the parchment now. "Let's hope it's something important, now…" he offers a bit quietly, looking between the men for a few moments.
"The squid archers're were rather motivating," Jarod remarks wry to Pariston, returning Anders' nod in kind. He lets Martyn and the others who're better versed in scholarly matters handle the raven. He eyes Kell over, when he has a moment. "Thanks for covering my arse out there. I owe taking a blow in the head for you sometime. You should have that halfsepton look at it all the same. Never know what might get knocked around when something hits your skull." But, like everyone else, he's most interested in the contents of the dead bird.
Trotting over to the gathered masses is one of the Groves archers. He remains silent though as it seems they've netted something down with the raven. And as the Lord Flint passes orders, Raylan reaches to take off the bowstring, which he had hooked on the massive warbow. A rub of the side of his nose before he's looking for someone of likewise standing to place himself by. Needless to say he's a little more than interested given the startling find yesterday.
<FS3> Einar rolls Cypher: Good Success.
<FS3> Aleister rolls Cipher: Success.
Einar takes advantage of the safe return of Jarod and Kell, and the resultant ceasation of missiles from the Ironborn to drop his crossbow to point to the ground and take a look over towards Ser Martyn. "Excuse me cousin," he offers to Anders, "but I may be able to help there." Taking a moment to disarm his weapon he steps back from the line and crosses the short distance to where Aleister now has the note. "Ser Mallister, Ser Charlton," he offers as he steps up to them, although his eyes are already on the note, scanning across it a few times.
Dominick keeps his slight distance from the group, not really knowing many faces and not at all a man of codes. He fidgets with his crossbow bolt, checking and re-checking it for a compulsive few minutes while keeping an ear on the conversation.
Accepting the parchment from Martyn, Aleister allows his eyes to scan the message, though as Einar makes his approach and seems to do the same, the Charlton Lord is shifting the note a touch so that the Flint has ample access to it. Then, there's a flit of his eyes in the other man's direction, followed by a quick, "Gonna take some time to decipher this. Seeing anything?" Clearly addressed to Einar, that is
"By all means, cousin." Anders steps aside for his squire and cousin; tacit approval. Looking to the pickets, he checks for any holes, and once he's satisfied that all is in order, he stays put, his arms crossing across his chest, weight shifting as he prepares to wait. "Ser Mallister, while we're waiting.. I'd like to speak to you later about something that came up in conversation earlier with my men. If you're free."
"I'm not sure," Einar confesses, lifting his eyes from the parchment and up to Alesister for a moment. "It could be conincidence, but if you look here" he points to a section of the note, "and then here," another section is indicated, "the letter groupings are consistant with 'Ten Towers' and 'Leviathan's Hold'." Glancing up again he shrugs once more. "As you said, it'll take some time, but that's where I'd start. THe replacement sseem to be consistant."
"I'm sure you would've done the same for me, Ser Rivers, if had picked up the bird." Kell says with a nod for the thanks given by Jarod, as he considers the suggestion of visiting the halfsepton. At the Flint Lord's approach, the Hedge Knight also nods to Anders, "If I have the time, I can hammer out the dent, have a small bit of skill at maintaining my kit. Simple stuff like dents at the most. M'Lord." He then grows quiet as the focus is now turned to the message that the raven was carrying before it was artfully shot from the skies.
When Einar points that out, Aleister looks back to the parchment and gives a slight nod of his head, lips curling into the hint of a frown, "If we use that as a basis, then, we should be able to figure out the code that they've used and establish the rest of the message. They ~should~ have been consistent in the substitution, then."
Martyn nods a bit as he hears that. "Let me know when you've got anything," he says to the two, before he steps away a bit, nodding as he hears Anders. "Of course," he replies to the man, "What's on your mind?"
"Oi, wotcher Dom." Raylan says to the Groves' engineer. A nod of his head in the direction of the nobles, before he's coiling up the bowstring to place in a pouch at his waist. No need letting the string get ruined in this piss poor climate. Once that's taken care of he's looking over his bow stave as his free hand tips the kettle helm on his head to cock back a little. "Figger what they've heard?" In case the man has better ears and eyes, than he does.
"Traps and caches, Ser.. I don't know how far the steps lead, but in the jaunts out, the Ironborn may also have caches spread about in the area of the footprints. I can have some of my men search the area. And, with that as well, because the North has ground very much like this, we could also plant hunters traps in areas that may be taken by them.." Anders shrugs his shoulders, his tones low, "Mind, all this could well be moot with information you've gained that I don't know yet." Looking back towards the dual ciphering, he lets his attention linger there for a heartbeat or two before he returns it to Martyn. "It is simply an idea, if you wish to discuss it further, or make additional inquiries, please.. do so."
"Word from the other keeps, might be…" Jarod mutters, at the words 'Ten Towers' and 'Leviathan's Hold.'
"Ray." Dominick's voice is slightly scratchy as he greets the other Groves retainer. One shoulder shrugs at the question. "Said it's in code. Least it seems something important and not someone's lost love letter." He shifts against the picket, digging one heel into the dirt. "Other than that I dunno."
Looking to Einar, the Charlton Lord begins to converse quietly with the other man, pointing to bits of the message, pointing things out and then raising a question. In this instance, two heads and four eyes are clearly the most appropriate use of resources.
Before becoming too engrossed in the task at hand, Einar takes a moment to glance around and take in the surroundings once more, not particularly wanting to be snug up on. The still massed presence of the army sets his mind to rest though and he turns his attention back to the note itself. "I think we have to assume it's constant for now." His eyes keep getting drawn to what appears to be a repeat at the end though and he turns to Ser Martyn briefly. "Do you happen to have a map of this isle to hand Ser, or indeed, the Isles in general? I have a theory."
"How much of a message could be written on a small piece fit for a raven? Wouldn't be surprised if it is a message telling the Ironborn here that Ten Towers and Levianthan's Hold are under attack." Kell offers up a suggestion to the men gathered as they try to puzzle out the cipher, "At best, it is a call for aid and if it is, I doubt Grey Garden would open the gates for us as we sit here."
"Funny that." Ray comments as eyes focus in on the gatherin' of nobles. "Never thought that the Ironborn would send a love letter. Though- spect if they did. It'd read like. Roses are red, I murdered a bloody village for you." A half shrug before he's surveying his boots instead of openly staring at the gaggle. An ear cocked all the same. "You know, I was thinkin' bout the trail we uncovered last night. What if they were trying t' get a bloody cage of ravens out?" though that makes less sense given where the trail ended. "I thought they was minin' in under us. But Tomm said that was bloody unlikely-though made me wonder why we ain't tryin't mine in on them."
Looking to Einar as he requests a map, Aleister gives a slight loft of a brow, "What are you thinking?" Now, he looks back to the parchment in hand as he tabs a finger against another series of letters, "That's gotta be f, would you agree? It's the only thing that would fit."
Nodding a bit at the suggestion from Anders, Martyn offers the man a bit of a grin, "It's an idea I can take a liking to," he offers, before he pauses as he hears Einar's question, and looks towards one of the Mallister men, making sure that the man knows that he'll have to go get hold of that map. "One moment, and we'll have it brought here," he offers to the codebreakers. Turning to look back at Anders, he adds, "Let us see what information we gain from the raven first, shall we?"
Dominick smirks at the air in front of him as Ray talks, though the mention of last night makes him actually look at the other man. The unwieldy brim of his helmet half hides one eye. "Trail? What trail is that, then?"
Einar pauses long enough to be sure he'll remember the thread he was working on and then glances to the area in question. A quick scan is followed by a nod, "I think so, it certainly doesn't go against anythint we already have, and it would make sense given the context." He glances to where a Mallister man is heading to retrieve a map before filling Aleister in. "There's a repeated bit here, only a few characters, but I seem to recall two of the smaller isles having very similar names and want to check if that would explain it."
Anders smiles and dips his head before his attention is diverted back to the ciphers and the project at hand. As the work progresses, there is some concern that creeps up upon his face.. but he, like everyone else, is held in attention for the words that are forming upon the slip of paper the raven carried.
Listening to Einar, Aleister's looking at the parchment and those series of letters, considering them for a moment before he's giving a nod of his head, "I think you're right. See what's before them. Great and Old .. that's the other islands. You're right." He stops there for a moment, shifting his eyes back to Einar, only so that he can blink, "Are you getting what I'm getting from this?"
Jarod crosses his arms along his chest, giving the codebreakers room to breathe and pacing some. Over toward the Groves men, as it happens. He offers a nod to Raylan and Dominick both. He can do littler ciphering, but he wants to linger to hear what they find as they find it.
Keelin is listening, though as he stands there, he keeps watch on the area around, just in case. Wouldn't do to get ambushed now that they've got the raven, now would it? He shifts in place a bit, the knight close enough to hear the conversation, but not commenting. Like Jarod, cyphers leave him baffled, but he's curious.
"When we tracked th' Ironborn from th' keep. Came right up an around to the arse of our camp." Ray offers back in a hushed tone. A flick of his eyes go up, as of to make sure no one else is droppin' the eaves on them, before he's nodding to the other Groves' retainer. "Down in a gully behind th' camp. Weren't no sign of em, but It'd be a right place to spy on a folk- or come in quick in the night to slit throats an all." And there errantly, he raps a knuckle on his bowstave. "It's why th' Nayland Cap'n had th' pickets doubled." Or rather got the word back to the Mallister chap, who well. You know. A glance back to the other man. "I could show you once we figger if they're plannin on sallyin' forth or someshit."
Dominick nods back to Jarod. "Ser." Then his attention's on Rayland, his head gradually cocking to the right as the retainer talks and talks. "Really. Wouldn't mind taking a quick look, actually. I knew they'd got close but nobody's mentioned much detail…did it look like they'd done any digging?"
Einar takes a moment to confirm the suggestions from Aleister and the nods once. "I think so Ser, it seems clear enough at any rate." As the map arrives he scans it as well, to confirm to himself and then looks back to Aleister. "It all seems to fit at least, and make sense. I'd guess it's from Ten Towers, given the phrasing, but then that is simple guess work."
Martyn looks a bit thoughtful, nodding a bit as the map arrives. Moving a bit closer to the two working on the deciphering, waiting for any information from them now. And glancing to the Grey Garden a bit carefully.
"Ser." A quick added in Jarod's direction before he is nodding back to Dominick. "Aye, I can show you where it is. Not too bloody far from the usual picket route." A snort before he is turning his head to spit. "Don' know." Rayland admits. "Ser Gedeon Rivers was the fella down in there. He'd know more about it than I would." A glance back to the raven squabbling nobles. "I was coverin' from above."
Looking back to the message, Aleister is giving another nod of his head to what Einar says, followed by, "Your right. Ten Towers is west .. that fits. By the gods .." He pauses and offers a muttered, "The one time we shouldn't have shot it down." Then, he's clearing his throat to offer, "Lord Mallister, we know what the message." He pauses long enough to get the Mallister lord's attention and then he reads from the note: "Leviathan's Hold fallen. Ten Towers can not hold for long. Kennings surrendered. Old Wycke surrended. Great Wycke heavily sieged."
Dominick smiles at Rayland, then his nose wrinkles a little as he rolls his shoulders and glances out over the pickets towards enemy lines. "Doubt they'd have got much more than a broke set of tools if they tried, anyway. Hills are mostly solid rock around here. Still, aye. If we're not off tonight…" He pauses as Aleister starts to read from the note, listening.
"maybe we should send them the note and the raven, then," Keelin offers, after listening to Aleister's words. He's obviously only half serious, but it is the sort of note that maybe they do want to send over the wall somehow.
"Masters," Jarod greets Dominick. And Raylan, seemingly, since he put it in plurals. He's making no real effort to stick his nose into the Groves conversation, though. Just pacing and waiting. The words from Aleister jerk his attenion back to the ciphers. A broad grin breaking across his face. "Praise the Warrior. That's most of the island to our forces."
Anders closes his eyes and rolls his head forward. He doesn't say a word other than a long, soft breath released. "If nothing else, we know how the others are faring," is given. He looks to Martyn, his mouth opening slightly. "Ser.. make a hail to the keep. If Ser Harras is within, he'll make answer. Then, if he's as honorable as others say he is, read him the note and offer it to him." One way, perhaps, of salvaging this. "A parlay?"
A look up and Rayland falls silent as the message is read aloud. There's a faint snort before he tapping the side of his nose. "Maybe we will end this bloody thing yet." Unless the men of Grey Garden are in fact stubborn as all seven hells. "That mean we're goin' 'ome or would we be off fer the main isle?"
Dominick rubs his chin, scratching at the good growth of stubble. "Shit if I know. Though if we do push on I've got a little surprise in order for the fight." He gives Rayland a conspiratorical smirk, quirking an eyebrow. "I'd say I hope it's not some ploy…code within a code, everything means the reverse of what it's said or something like that, but I'll put confidence down they aren't that smart. I hope."
As he hears that, Martyn tears his gaze away from the keep, and over towards Aleister. Nodding a bit as he hears what the message said, unable to hold back a momentary smile at the news. "Good to know how the other parts of the army has done," he offers, before he nods a bit as he hears Anders. "And if he isn't there?" he asks, after a few moments of pause. "We will have to make sure they learn about the message, at least. Could bring the confusion we'd need inside there…" Looking no less thoughtful now.
"If he'll trust our honor enough to come out," Jarod says. Though he nods to Martyn. "If the rest of the Isle's falling it'll be just a matter of time before this keep does as well, Ser. They may be willing to yield. Though I'd like some more proof than a squid raven of all this. How long would it take for a rider to reach our allies at the nearest of those other keeps?"
Looking to Jarod, Aleister gives a slight shake of his head, "They wouldn't have sent the raven, Ser Rivers, if it wasn't a fact." A pause is given, followed by a quirk of his lips into that of a smirk, "If we delay to verify this information, we risk a chance that those with Grey Gardens venturing out to break the seige. An .. unnecessary loss of resources would be spent." Looking to Martyn, he simply nods to the man, "You should try and get Ser Harras, Lord Mallister. This information might be what is needed to put a peaceful end to this, so that we can all return home."
Martyn nods a little bit as he hears that. "I agree. Letting them get this message could be what's needed to make them surrender." He looks around a bit thoughtfully. "The only thing I wonder about is how they would react if Ser Harras isn't inside…"
"You don't think it could be a trap, m'Lord?" Jarod asks of Aleister. "They must know we're watching for ravens, they might want us to see this. They've been skulking around along our lines up to some mischief, perhaps more than just spying on us. It's a day to Leviathan's Hold if you're lucky. We've strong riders who can do it in three at the outside. I say, send a rider now and message to Ser Harras and see what he says. May take some negotiating to get him outside, so we may have time. Only out one man if he does try something, and at least we can tell Lord Blackwoods forces we know. At worst, our allies will have word we're trying to push for Ser Harras' surrender if things go poorly. Presuming he is inside."
"Only one way to find out really," Keelin says. "Are you sure we couldn't just tie it back to the raven's leg and throw it over the wall for them?" He pauses, shaking his head a bit, waiting on Martyn to decide what he wants to do. He looks over to Jarod, a brow arching. "And if he's not inside, our allies may have word of where he is." Not that it would make much of a difference necessarily but it might. Adding to the questions being asked, of course.
"It would be a piss poor trap, Ser Rivers. It's not as if we're simply going to release the seige upon sight of this news." Aleister pauses to give the hint of a chuckle at Keelin's comment before continuing, "Send a rider, anyways, but it shouldn't stop us from seeking them to stand down. We're going to need to wait for reinforcements from the other armies before we can adequately deal with the surrender of those within, regardless." A look to Martyn is then offered, "
Raylan remains silent as the lords start their sqaubbling, and there's a shake of his head. "Figger there ain't no harm in tellin em. If they wanna die fightin' here fine. But, least let em know." the archer notes, before he is nodding towards Dominick. "Come on mate, I'll show y' the gully."
Dominick tips his head slightly towards Jarod, as if acknowledging that at least one person is as paranoid as he is about this stroke of luck. He pushes off the bit of rock he was leaning against. "Yeah. Give 'em a minute, I want to see what they're going to do with this thing. Lord Kitt'll want to know later."
Martyn nods a little bit, "I will have to consider the options for a little while," he replies, after a few moments, before he adds, "But we shall send the rider regardless." Looking around at the others for a little while, then back to the fortifications.
"I wouldn't doubt the Ironborn capable of piss poor traps, m'Lord," Jarod replies to Aleister. To Martyn, he nods. "We've some men in Terrick ranks who became accustomed to border patrols around Stonebridge parts. I can find a fast and sturdy horsemen. By your leave, Ser Mallister, I'll tell him to head to Leviathan's Hold this very hour." He'll be off to do that, barring any objections.