|If You Know What I Mean|
|Summary:||Senna tries to pass through the Charlton campsite and ends up with more than she expected.|
|January 8, 289|
Aleister and a couple of Charlton Knights are settled just outside of his private tent, apparently conversing and laughing quietly together. A campfire is lit and burning, enough for food to be cooked upon it and a small table is set to one side, a pitcher of wine and mugs placed idly upon it. Cherise has just emerged from the tent and upon making her way towards the group, attracts the attention of one of the Knights, who dips a bow of his head and offers, "M'Lady." That draws the attention from the rest of the group and when Aleister catches sight of Cherise, he's flashing a quick smile to her, "We're in high spirits, dear wife, because we took not a single injury amongst our men during the battle." One of the other Knights offers a low chuckle before offering, "And Ser Aleister managed to take down several of the Ironborn, including their Chieftan."
Word had passed that the men were successful however the details that resulted in their victory were unknown. Until now. Cherise nears closer, choosing to remain standing rather than joining the circle of knights. "Their Chieftan?" Repeated both by surprise and awe. "My husband would be the one to serve those barbarian's Chieftan a taste of Charlton steel." A bright smile stretched across her lips as her eyes moved over the gathered men. "For those who cannot be here to show their gratitude, we are most proud of you all. To fight so well." At last her eyes would land upon Aleister, "And you, husband, for returning unmarred."
The Charltons may have avoided injury, but Senna has been dancing attendance on the one knight who didn't throughout the night. She's still neat, her hands clean and her hair braided back against her head, though there's some blood and bits of poultice at the edges of her sleeves and on her skirts. And she looks like she's been up all night, on top of it all. Which probably explains why she's wandering /through/ the Charlton campsite on her way back to the Nayland camp, rather than walking around it.
The Knights that sit with Aleister offer a series of chuckles and laughs as their heads dip to Cherise and thanks is offered. Meanwhile, Aleister sits there, a smirk upon his lips and when his comrades have finished, he's offering, "You have my thanks, dear wife, but was there any doubt that we'd return unmarred? Or that it would be Charlton steel that caused the Ironborn column to rout?" Arrogant, most certainly, and it draws another laugh from those with him before they excuse themselves and angle off towards the fire. It's only then that Aleister is rising, eyes flitting amongst the campsite for a moment and during that, they come to settle upon Senna. She's an unknown here and it causes a lift of his brow as he calls out, "You there! Is there something you need?"
Cherise laughs briefly, "I am not allowed to carry doubt by the course of your actions." A mock again all subservient wives, the lady Charlton stepped a bit closer, pulling the edges of her cloak together as arms crossed beneath her bosom. "A few scars from battle are quite charming husband. They certainly take notice from appreciative eyes." When he rises pale blue eyes latch on the lord's ascent, following his gaze towards the Nayland servant and almost instantly Cherise feels wholly superior. "She is not one of mine."
Senna looks up at the call from Aleister, brows rising slightly before she bobs an automatic sort of curtsey. "My apologies, my lord," she replies, keeping her eyes down. "I was on my way to the Nayland campsite. There was a path to the side there," she points to the east, "But it seems some of the foot soldiers set their tents there. I was hoping I could pass through. My apologies if I'd interrupted."
There's a quick look back to Cherise, the smirk remaining firm upon Aleister's lips as he gives a slight nod, "Noted. I'll make sure to let an Ironborn mark me with a couple of scars for your eyes, dear wife." It's a teasing thing and his eyes are immediately snapping back over towards Senna, listening to her words and giving a slight nod of his head, "Tents were set were they best served a purpose." There's a pause and once more his brow is lifting, "One of the Nayland servants, then? Tending to the couple who didn't know when to sidestep a blow?" A hand lifts, motioning towards her, as if that would clearly point out the blood on her sleeves that draws this conclusion.
"None on the face." Cherise had to specify as if Aleister would have the preference of where to receive those battle wounds. "Or the hands." She may have excluded other areas were it not for the public audience. In a partial turn towards the Nayland servant surveyed from head to toe for inspection. "There was an injury then?" None to Charlton as previously informed. "Who was it?"
"Yes, my lord," Senna answers Aleister, daring a glance up from beneath her lashes as she steps forward at his gesture. "Ser Rivers may not be our favorite knight, but it would look ill for him to take the only injury in a crowd of Nayland-affiliated knights and die of it. Ser Gedeon Rivers, my lady," she clarifies for Cherise, bobbing once more as she addressed the noblewoman. "Not a complicated injury, but there seems to be a high risk of the wound turning."
Cherise's specification as to where Aleister is not allowed to be injured draws a rumbling laugh and a slight shake of his head, though he keeps his attention upon Senna for a moment. The mention of Ser Rivers and then the clarification of who it was, has a quick nod being given, followed by, "Ahh yes. The Knight from Nowhere, if I so recall. A shame. I had assumed he would be better trained then to fall on the first charge." There's a casual shrug of his shoulers at that. "If there is risk of the wound turning, he should be sent away. It would not bode well for the rest of the army."
"Rivers… a bastard then." Suddenly disinterested in the man who received the injury Cherise seems to agree with Aleister's words. "Useless to reserve a space for an injured man as these grounds should only carry the weight of valiant men at arms." The lady, pale female, turns her gaze upon the servant. "You would have better use seeing the men well fed and their bellies full of ale rather than wasting your services on one injured man." She does cant her head a touch after a thought, "Is your Lady here? Lady Isolde?"
"My lord makes a very good point," Senna agrees with a dip of her chin. "Though it would be a waste to send good fighting men escorting him to Stonebridge if he's to die either way." She turns to Cherise at the lady's question, shaking her head slightly. "No, my lady," she answers. "Lady Isolde remained behind at Stonebridge, along with many other noblewomen." A faint smile touches her lips, difficult to see on her downturned face. "They all seemed well-pleased for the opportunity to spend time together, however."
Looking back to Cherise, Aleister gives an approving nod of his head before his attention returns to Senna once more, "Indeed. You are quite correct, miss, that it would be a waste." Hands come to clasp together before his body now. "He should be secured to a horse and simply sent on his way. I'm sure a horse could lead him back to Stonebridge, where he'd find aid enough and away from the army." Then, there's talk of the Lady Isolde and the other noblewoman and it simply draws the Charlton Knight to fall quiet for a moment.
"And to waste a good horse?" Cherise adds, unless it was his own yet still someone else could find it useful. In the sharing of Isolde's whereabouts the Lady casts a glance towards the direction where the tower is, partially visible from this distance. "I do not doubt that.. who are the other women of noble stature besides my cousin Westerling?"
Senna reserves any further comment on what should be done with Gedeon, instead focusing on Cherise' question. "The ladies Lorna and Igara Frey remained behind. Ladies Cordelia and Tiaryn Flint. The lady Westerling, as you mentioned. I believe Lady Emylie Erenford was remaining behind as well. And the Lady Lucienne Terrick." Clearly, the tower is swarming with well-born ladies. Who wouldn't follow the army and deal with infected wounds instead?
There's an almost quiet snicker at Cherise's mention of wasting a good horse and Aleister is quickly lifting a hand, giving a slight wave to indicate that she's right. With the talk of the Ladies that remain behind moving further, the Knight pays half attention to it, listening for the names and filing them away before taking a step back to claim a mug from the table. That step is then reclaimed, the mug of wine then coming to be offered towards Cherise.
Nearly all the women of high status remained behind for each others company. Cherise takes a moment for thought before stating, "The Freys." Where her tone is neither pleasing or displeasing yet she probes servant for more information. "Tell me Miss, how do you find the lady Flint and Lady Erenford? Those are names I have not heard of in a long while."
"I'm afraid I met all of them only briefly, my lady," Senna answers Cherise. "So any thoughts I might have on them would be little more than gossip." Not that it stops her from answering the question. It's always smarter to answer the questions of nobles who've found you in their camp. "Lady Erenford struck me as quite clever and lively. Perhaps more bold than others, but not so much as to be considered unseemly. Lady Tiaryn Flint, I'm afraid, is still recovering from her flight from Tall Oaks. I looked to her wounds with the maester, but sleep was kinder for her than any attention. The Lady Cordelya seems well-collected and educated, and kept her head admirably upon their arrival."
Any information was useful, unfounded or not. In listening to the servant give her general impression of each the ladies, of course not a single word would be damaging to their reputations Cherise nodded slowly. "Ah yes, the Oak's survivor. I am sure that was a terrifying experience." Poor thing, the noblewoman wore a mask of sympathy. "And what of the others, these Freys? I am surprised a few more have not popped up for you can hardly turn without bumping into one." All sympathy gone she smirked a bit.
"I know little of Lady Lorna, my lady, but the Lady Igara is the image of a pious, well-seeming young noblewoman," Senna answers, choosing her words carefully so as not to offer any offense should they find their way back to the ladies in question. "She is frail in body at times, but far stronger in spirit than she is in the habit of showing. A very clever young woman with a good deal to offer a household. As it is, there was talk of a match between her and young Lord Rowan, though the squire seems…reluctant to close such a deal."
"Interesting.." She relays in listening to the servant. "A Frey in the house would benefit any." Cherise comments, unfolding one of her arms to brush away some few strands of hair the wind had blown against her face annoyingly. "You had mentioned a Terrick, a Lucienne? I had understood there was some tension between the Naylands and Terricks, then to harbor one within their walls?"
"There had been tension, my lady," Senna agrees with a dip of her chin. "But Lord Tully decreed that there should be some measure of cooperation between the Terricks and the Naylands until King Robert might have a chance to investigate Ser Rivers' claims for himself. Members of the Terrick family have been travelling back and forth as a result. It is my understand that she was in town with Ser Jarod Rivers when the Ironborn arrived." She pauses, looking shrewdly up through her lashes before continuing almost non-chalantly. "And of course, the Lady Lucienne and Lady Isolde were very close as children, in anticipation of a wedding between Lord Jaremy and Lady Isolde."
"Had…" Meaning the tension was subdued for now. "The bastard's claim to … Stonebridge?" Cherise inquires with some interest in understanding the trials and recent history surrounding this area and those within it. Suddenly she smirks, "And to think we believed they were all so quiet here." In stepping closer Cherise probes, "Why would Ser Rivers have a claim for Stonebridge?"
"Ah, that is a complex tale, my lady," Senna smiles faintly. "And one in which there is some danger in telling in these camps. I would not wish to give the wrong impression to one of my lord's allies." In other words, she might need some incentive. Or reassurances.
"Of course not." Suddenly warming to the servant, Cherise glances briefly to her husband before motioning to the pavilion marked with Charlton banners. "Come with me Miss…?" Fading when not having a name to address the woman by as she starts for the private enclosure.
"Senna Delacourt, my lady," the woman introduces herself with another curtsey, though this one is deeper and more formal. "In service to the Nayland family since the Trident." She looks to the other woman, taking in details and running through connections in her own mind. "And you must be Lady Charlton?" she guesses.
"Delacourt then.." She recites having a name for the face and source. Relocating towards their pavilion, she addressed the woman's inquiry. "Yes I am. You have also had the privilege of encountering my husband as well, Lord Ser Aleister Charlton." His name is recited with fondness. "In Hollyhort we seldom hear of the ongoings of the western holdings. Names are usually just that, names and I have been relieved to finally have faces to compliment them." Nearing the entrance of their large tent, one of the guardsmen standing by instantly bowed his head. "M'lady." Then pulled back the curtain for the arriving pair. Cherise said nothing to man as she entered.
Senna nods to the man at the door, offering a small smile before following Cherise into the tent. Outside the light of day, there's a moment where the not-sleeping shows in her features before it's shoved away. No showing anything but a good face to the nobles, those are the rules. "My lady has certainly arrived at the right time to meet people," she agrees.
The interior of the pavilion has been catered to the Charlton's standards with a sofa for seating, rugs to soften the floors, and a table for dining with chairs on all four sides. Only a few of the lanterns had been lit for the daylight hours, illuminating the darkened enclosure once the curtain had drawn to a close. "My husband says the same." Inside, one of her hand maidens immediately approaches for the ladies cloak. There were four total, standing in various areas of the room. Giving Senna her back, Cherise says, "And there are a great many to meet." The words should have been spoken on a tongue more eager to the task. Her cloak removed, the lady easily walks to the sofa, lowering her form without offering the servant to make herself comfortable. "I was taken by the lady Isolde. She seemed polite and quite generous in offering such gifts at our arrival." The lady starts, waiting for one of her hand maidens to prepare a drink for the noblewoman. "She was Tordane correct? Stonebridge was in their possession and since the marriage it is within the Nayland's holding. Something the Terricks were supposed to lay claim on with a union between Lord Jaremy and Lady Isolde." She recites before looking to the servant, "Am I correct thus far Miss Delacourt?"
"Yes, my lady," Senna answers Cherise, hands clasped lightly in front of herself. She seems accustomed to dealing with nobles, and stands comfortably before the woman. "Lords Tordane and Terrick had been close friends for many years."
Certifying her understanding Cherise's brows raise briefly, "How interesting and perhaps tiresome for the Lady Isolde." When her glass of wine is offered the woman promptly drinks from it, wetting her pallet. "I could also see how it may be perceived as dangerous to share such information Miss Delacourt. Though I should inform you we are allies in spirit against the Ironborn. We hold no greater favor to the Terricks over the Naylands and vice versa." They were perceived as lesser houses, little worth mentioning from the perspective of a Charlton. Cherise shifts in her seat, relaxing a bit more comfortably as a hand lays across her abdomen. "This complex tale, Miss Delacourt, I am sure should pose no danger in you sharing it beyond these leather walls." A hand gestures all around them. Noticing then her handmaidens still residing within. Pointing to three of them, she states, "You and you and… you. Leave us." One shall remain as the three depart from the large tent and she is again, gesturing but to the vacant space on her sofa. "Do sit Mistress."
"Thank you, my lady," Senna murmurs at the invitation, and though she is almost graceful, there's the slightest of a weary stumble as she lowers herself to the couch. "The choices of words are simply…complicated. Given that I'm currently healing Ser Rivers, I wouldn't wish to seem…unduly biased in either direction, my lady. The short version, though, is that Ser Rivers was apparently in possession of some letters from Lord Tordane stating that Lady Isolde was not his daughter, and expressing his wish, after the death of his son and heir at the Trident, that Ser Gedeon should instead inherit Stonebridge, while Lady Isolde might find her own happiness at Terrick's Roost still in a marriage with Lord Jaremy."
Listening, Cherise drinks slowly from her glass. Considering the words and raising her brows at the realization. "I see…" She says after Senna has finished. "Share only the details and your bias will not be considered for you are in service to Nayland and your healing hands are given to this camp." The woman smirks. "These are a series of unfortunate events. This letter Ser Rivers possess is valid?"
Senna lifts a hand, wiggling it from side to side. "Lord Tully had maesters examine the letters. So far as he could tell, both the letters naming Isolde his heir and Ser Gedeon's letters were written by Lord Tordane's hand. There was a question of chronology, but no one could confirm or deny when Lord Tordane had written the letters. And so they sent to King's Landing for a ruling from the king. Which I suspect will be a very long time in coming, given the current situation."
"And neither letter makes mention of the other?" Which should invalidate either letter if written by the same man. Cherise lowers her glass, staring to Senna as the information is poured. "I suppose this should cause a strain in a relationship between Ser Rivers and the Lady Isolde. Unfortunately. I also suspect that this holding of Stonebridge has great worth to the Naylands."
"I'm afraid I had not the chance to examine them myself, my lady," Senna shakes her head slightly to Cherise. "But yes, while Ser Rivers and Lady Isolde were supposedly rather close as children, it seems they are not so very close anymore. Understandably, of course. And yes, Stonebridge is quite the lucrative holding. I've heard Terrick's Roost is interested in building docks in order to bypass it, but the trade that passes through Stonebridge is an impressive source of income."
Cherise breathes in deeply, "Then I suppose you should most certainly see that Ser River's unfortunate wounds should not turn to fester." She smiles softly before looking to one of hand maidens. "See that Miss Delacourt here is properly awarded for her time." The order given, the handmaiden moves to one of the lockboxes and retrieves four silver coins. They are brought to the servant in offering. "Having their own trade route should be remarkably beneficial and forge new relationships. Splitting perhaps those aligned with Stonebridge and in turn with Nayland." Cherise chuckles towards her glass, "My my quite a head spin here in Stonebridge." When she looks to Senna the smile does fade. "Do see that Ser Rivers is given the best care you can offer the bastard."
Senna is not one to question when people want to give her money. She hardly even blinks at the offered coin, and it disappears quickly enough. "Of course, my lady," she replies with a dip of her chin. She rises then, only to curtsey once more. "I should rest, if I'm to see properly to my duties. Might I be excused, my lady?"
"Yes yes, do leave." Cherise dismisses with the wave of her hand. "I should hope that I need not clarify the meaning behind my coin in your pockets. It is not your loyalty I seek." But her silence as she has, in turn, offered hers in her own way. Cherise lifts the wine glass to her lips, drinking in thought.
Senna's only response is another curtsey, before she slips out of the tent, once more offering a small smile to the guard on her way out.