|In Favour and Out|
|Summary:||Tiaryn finds various Flints and offers them morale boosts in the way of favours. Each reacts differently to her kindness.|
|Related Logs:||Flint logs, Ironborn Logs, Tall Oaks Logs|
|Fire pits, tents, and Flint army.|
|Feb. 17, 289|
It's the calm before the storm. Now that everything has been done that needs doing, it's gone into that 'wait' period where checking and rechecking begins. The Young Lord Flint is out with his horse, running it on a line in a circle around him, a crop in hand. The great war horse, his destrier, is at a controlled trot, mane and tail flowing back in the gait. In the center, holding the end of the rope, Anders watches the animal before he makes a slight kissing noise.. the command to the horse, apparently, that he wants it to speed into a canter— which it does, immediately. Mane and tail begin to whip back as the horse increases his speed, the large animal making the run look effortless.
Tiaryn is still here, calm before the storm and all. She's calm alright, even if worrried to pieces about these folks who she has recently gotten to know far better than in the past, even if they are family. She has Adara and Jacob with her, as always, the two faithfully sticking by her side through thick and thin. She has been wandering the Flint campsite, trying to give words of courage where she can. Relaxation, strength, courage, remember to breathe, whatever she can think of to say to settle nerves down and give the men rest before it's time to sail. And now that she's done the rounds so to speak, she's returning to where she can see Anders, perhaps the one man who could really use someone to talk to. And the one man who might not have anyone, at this point. Course, she'd be happy to draw squir - erm, look at any maps he has to show her, but that hasn't really come up yet. She curtseys as she nears, pausing well outside the circle of horse and man, watching the form and line of the horse as he canters. "Such a beautiful horse, m'lord," she calls out after a bit.
A couple more times around is given to the horse before Anders catches the progress of the Lady Tiaryn, and as she closes, a soft 'ho' is given. When that is done, the horse comes to a sudden and abrupt stop, the dirt flying.. and he stands still for a moment before turning his head in to see his rider. The noble nods, and immediate the great horse begins to walk towards him in that circle and pauses once he gets there, putting his head down for scritches right between the ears, which Anders gives him.. with pleasure. "Lady Tiaryn," they are in public, and he offers a nod of his head, "come on in, give him a pet. He's a fool for a rub behind the ears, too." A smile is given before he takes the step so she can get a better reach on the horse's head. "But, even if he was an ugly brute, as long as he does the job he's needed for? I don't care, though.." the smile broadens, "I'll confess to a conceit.."
Tia chuckles softly, slipping in to stand next to Anders and holding her hand out to the horse briefly before she reaches to also skritch behind his ears. "Good day to you, Lord Anders," she says, dipping her head slightly. "He is far from ugly, if you want my opinion. Now Gethin, on the other hand … " She lets her words trail off, as she glances over to Anders, letting her amusement show. But now that she is within easy speaking range, and out of range of others who might hear, she adds softly, "How are you holding up?" Adara and Jacob are of course out of earshot, but within view, keeping their usual watch on Tia's world.
"Your little horse has a big heart," Anders begins, teasingly chiding, "and he has a cute face. He's not built for war, which is perfect." He pushes the great head away from him as his horse begins the search for treats. Raising his hand to rub at the horse's neck, he notes the lowering of tones, the concern that shows, and lowers the grin to something a little.. less. "It's war, good cousin. There are a million places I would rather be at this very moment, and not one of them is here, in this camp, at this very moment. But that sentiment is for fully my entire contingent. I wish for all of them that the battles that lie before us were not." He shrugs with one arm, a half-gesture, his voice still low. "I give more concern to my cousin and squire. He wasn't in the last war, so all this is new. Battles were on paper, tactics and logistics a matter of intellectual curiousity. Now?" He exhales in a quiet sigh, "I just hope for clarity of thought and ability so his experience doesn't equal mine." There is a pause before he smiles weakly, "I am well, then.. Concerned, wishing I was elsewhere, wishing we were elsewhere."
Tia reaches a hand, but stops short of touching Anders. She takes a breath, and then she nods, as she listens quietly. The horse - well, he obviously prefers Anders' attention to hers, even if he's putting up with it with good grace. "Oh, aye," she says first. "Gethin is a sweetheart and he does have a cute face, though his form is not so ideal as your marvel here. It doesn't mean I love him less. Perhaps more so, given the circumstances." She hesitates a moment, and then she says, "I think that is probably the same I have heard throughout the camp. Everyone is considering whether they will make it home to their families and if so, whether they will be whole. It is only natural to wonder, and equally natural to worry about our friends who are in this same situation. It speaks well of you, where your concerns lie." She pauses a moment, and then she gives Anders a sweet smile. "And a I shall ask you the same question I've been asking as I make my way around the camp. Have you eaten recently?"
Anders chuckles and takes a step back, his arm sweeping from his side, "My clothes are fitting a little better, my lady," and taking the step to close the distance once again, his voice lowers, "though I won't tell you if it's the seamstress' work, or the fact that I gain weight on campaign." Brows rise; is one supposed to gain weight in war? He lowers his head and reaches for the lady's hand, the one that had drawn away from him to give it a kiss upon the knuckles, in a half bow, his eyes gleaming a touch.. mischieviously, "You are truly living up to the request made by my lady, my goodcousin. I am fed, watered, and exercised."
Tia watches the flourish, letting a touch of amusement show on her face. "Of course I am - how could I do less?" she asks, sounding somewhat puzzled at the thought. Truthfully, whatever good that request has done for the men, it has done wonders for Tia, providing her with much needed distraction from her own thoughts and time to let mental wounds begin to heal. So much so that she allows the gentle kiss upon her knuckle, before she gently disengages her hand. "It seems to me, that leaves only the heart and mind, yes?" She wrinkles her nose again, glancing over at Adara before turning back to Anders. "It - I know that Corrie provided the entire contingent with her favour on the standard, before she left. I do not feel it would be fit for me to do the same, but - " She hesitates, not quite sure how to continue.
A soft chuckle sounds as Tia checks for her maid and sword at the brief kiss, and straightening once again, takes the dutiful half step back, the smile still playing. He nods, "Heart and mind. As for my mind, I know I have the best people where I need them if I must be here." An assurance, and it's something he fully believes. "My heart.. well, a heart for battle.. my attention needs to be there, and my heart is my own, thankfully. It isn't broken, and I choose to believe that all are in their places where they need to be, which allows my attention to turn to things that require it." He pauses now, the heartbeats passing, and he dips his head in askance, encouraging the words with an open expression. "She did… and.."
Tia can't help it, they're there, she's supposed - oh never mind, go ahead and laugh. It only slightly flusters Tia, and not so you'd really notice. Truthfully, it's kind of nice to get to good terms with Anders, and she's not the least bit upset about that. "Well, when we visited Tall Oaks, I'd given those who came with me a favour of sorts, just to thank them for coming with me." She barely hesitates now when she says Tall Oaks. It's not that she's not still mourning and sad, but that she's having to move on and able now to start to do so. "I was wondering if perhaps I might also give you one, to remind you that, apart from Corrie, you have other family who also wants you to come back, cousin."
Anders resists the urge to inquire more into the Tall Oaks visit, instead letting Tia march on. And she does, which brings a smile back to his face, his head canting and slightly dipped in deference to height. "That.." he begins, his voice soft, "would be an honour given to me of which I am unworthy. However," he doesn't want her to think she's in the wrong, oh no! , "I couldn't possibly do other than accept gratefully, and pray that I comport myself with grace and ability upon the battlefield so you are proud." He's not teasing now, no.. his expression is one of genuine.. deference to the lady and her wishes.
Tia is on tenterhooks after the question is out, worried that he might take offense or not like the idea or take it the wrong way. She even holds her breath without realizing. And as he speaks, she notices, and lets her breath out gently in a little sigh of relief. "Thank you," she says, with a little smile. She next looks back over at Adara, since the maid is the one with the basket, and gestures. It might be a preplanned gesture, for Adara opens the basket and rummages for mere moments, before she's on her feet and she comes over to meet the two nobles, curtseying deeply, before holding something out to Tiaryn, and then departing back to her safe spot. Tia turns back to Anders to admit, "I - Adara and I - made a couple extra, in case." Okay, cause Corrie told her to give favours out, and it was the only one she could think to give. She holds it out to Anders tentatively, the Flint emblem with the blue and gold Camden motto that she'd given earlier to Jacob, Pariston and Adara. "I hope you don't mind that I took a few liberties."
Anders waits, his attention moving between Tia and her maid, and back once again once the favour is passed to the lady, though not before acknowledging the curtsey with a nod of his head. He takes the fabric in hand, and looks at it, studies it for a long moment before taking a deep breath, and exhaling softly, but audibly. "No, I don't mind. I think it's a fine reminder of the union of the families through you, my lady. And it's a fair reminder of good cousins lost, and what it is we do fight for." Anders twists around slightly to place it upon his belt, it now hanging freely alongside his sword. "Should the Lady Liliana acquiesce to our request for a port, I think it will be a fine device for it."
Tia blinks at that, her surprise obvious in her blue eyes and in her posture. Though it's not that the idea is one she dislikes, just that she hadn't thought of it herself. "Oh," she says first, and then her lips curve in a big smile. "I think, if that does work out, that I would be pleased with such a device." It's a moment of almost contentment as she stands there regarding her good cousin. After a moment, she nods her head. "Thank you." Yes, this is a good moment. And she's enjoying it. "Not to detract from the historic nature of this," she says, a hint of teasing back in her voice now. Hey, Anders did start it. "But would you object if I offered one also to Einar? And Master Fenrir, if he won't take it the wrong way?"
Anders watches the play upon the lady's face, the smile relighting upon his own at the end of it all. "I think we all would be pleased." And that is the end of that. It actually settles a potentially sticky issue as to heraldic identifiers for the port, and it could very well mean that it'll also keep the Tullys happy. A presence, but not.. well.. a presence. He laughs now at the teasing, and raises now a hand to his horse (who has apparently stood like a trooper..) "I think your goodbrother will be a little put out that I received one before he did, but all you need do is remind him of his position." Einar loves that, he really does! "And I'm certain Master Fenrir will accept it with the grace that is due." He'd better.. or Anders will box the man's ears.
Tia actually blushes at the thought of Einar being put out. "Hopefully he will not be too put out," she suggests after a moment. "It has taken some time to determine what they should look like, and I have not had the occasion to speak with him privately since the embroidery was completed." Not that Tia did all the embroidery, but she definitely did a good amount on each favour. Her artistic nature showing its head for the first time in quite a while. She does smile at the comment about Fen, tilting her head slightly as she considers the matter. "I just don't want it to be considered improper," she says after a moment.
"Not in the least," and to make sure Tia understands, he underlines it by shaking his head. "It would be the fanciest thing Master Fenrir will have on his armour." That Anders knows about, anyway. "And I'll make sure he works to keep it clean, even while he fights." Now there's a challenge. "With each sword swing, I'll tell him, 'Mind the favour'.." The idea actually brings a laugh from the Young Lord, the gleam in his eyes saying quite clearly that he probably will do such a thing. "I will inquire after it when you tell me that he has been granted it."
Tia for a moment stares at Anders. Wait. He - "You wouldn't," she says, after a moment, and then as she decides he certainly would, Tia laughs out loud, perhaps drawing attention to the fact that she and Anders are standing there trying the horse's patience as they gab. "I almost feel sorry for poor Master Viiding," she says, shaking her head. "But if it gives you something to keep strength, I am in favour." She relaxes somewhat, from the laughter and the knowledge that Anders isn't going to bite her head off for her creativity as some in the past have done. "I should let you get back to this poor beast. He's been so handsomely patient."
Anders nods his head deliberately, the gleam still in his eyes. Oh, he very much will. "Don't feel sorry for him. It will be the first time in years I have something on him." He puts a hand out, just to ward off any idea that he's using this as simply a frat boy game. "It very much is a morale boost. For us all." With that, he bows a low, courtly one, and one that is filled with respect. Rising once more, he takes a good hold of his horse's halter, and exhales in a chuff as he looks to his mount. "He has been.. and he needs to be run a little more." Now, he inclines his head, "Thank you, my lady," and he lowers his voice, "and goodcousin."
Having left Anders with his horse, exercising the big war horse by making him run in circles, Tiaryn is now on the hunt for Einar. It is mid to late afternoon and all signs point to the fleet leaving the next morning or at least sometime on the next day. Tia is as always accompanied by Jacob and Adara, the trio familiar enough in the camps that they engender almost no comments now as they make their way around the area designated to the Flints. "Now where do you suppose he is?" Tia murmurs to Adara, a hint of a smile on her face. "Do you suppose someone warned him I'm looking for him?"
After his earlier conversation with Anders, it's fair to say that Einar is feeling a little more at ease with things. Right now he's with his own horse, giving him the attention that such beasts both demand and need. Right now, he's crouched down and cleaning outthe hooves, although a couple of dry brushes lie to one side to indicate that that is not the only pampering that Rea can lok forward to this afternoon. With his attention thus distracted, he is entirely unaware of any hunt for him by his goodsister and equally, probably fairly well hidden from it.
The camp is only so large however, and eventually, Tia makes her way to the area where Einar's horse is. Perhaps she should have started there, but it didn't really occur to her. "Einar?" she calls, as she nears, not really wanting to catch him by surprise. "Are you here?" She pauses, looking over the horses that she can see, her brow furrowing slightly. "Well, I guess if you're not, you won't be answering, so that perhaps was a bit silly of a question."
Einar is there and does hear the call, although he's concentrating enough that he doesn't immediately place to whom the voice belongs. "One minute," he calls back intent to finish the hoof he's working on, but once that's done he rocks back onto his ankles and pushes himself upwards. Turning, having had his back to the approaching trio, he spots Tia and smiles to his goodsister. "Sorry about that, I'm just trying to make sure I don't forget anything before tomorrow."
"No need to apologize," Tia responds promptly, as she makes her way over to where Einar is, pausing a safe distance from the horse. "Is he safe to approach? I know some are not friendly," she says, and then she adds, "I was hoping to speak with you for a short time, if you don't mind? I promise not to pull you away from all the work needing done for too long." She is a bit hesitant, but there is a touch of determination to her voice. Adara presses something into Tia's hand, and then both she and Jacob step back out of hearing range.
Rae is generally safe to appraoch, but what with Tia's neverousness and the general air of tension about the camp, Einar figures it doesn't really hurt to be careful. Dusting himself down a bit, not that there was any great need mind, he takes a few steps away from the horse and towards Tia before saying, "Of course." Noting the hesitancy he tilts his head to one side ever so slightly, studying her for a moment before asking cautiously, "would you prefer if we retired tothe pavillion?"
Tia is not generally nervous around horses, she's quite good with them. She is however cautious around war trained destriers who don't know her well. She does smile at Einar's concern, and then she shakes her head negatively. "No, that's not necessary," she says slowly. "I wanted to check and see how you are holding up?" she ventures. Not the horse that's got her hesitent, oddly.
"Me?" Einar asks, seeming faintly surprised by the question, not unpleasantly so, but still surprisd. He then ponders for a moment or two on how to actually answer that question before shruging slightly and saying, "I'll be happier when it's all over and done with thats for certain, but right now there's too much still to be done to think more than that." Only partially true, there is a lot still to be done but that hasn't stopped him thinking about other things. Things he doesn't particularly want to voice, especially not to Tia. Of all the people in Westeros, not to her.
Yes, well, Tia listens. She's been tasked with morale boosts after all, thanks to Corrie. She inclines her head as she listens, catching the surprise in Einar's voice. The answer brings a certain determination to her own voice as she replies, "That's similar to what Anders said, when I spoke to him. I - had a thought for something that might help? Or at least that I hope won't hurt. If you don't mind?" She pauses, and then she says, "I was thinking that I should give a favour to you, and Anders, and Master Fenrir if he'll take one. To give you all something to remember that we are waiting, something to help bring courage if needed." She pauses and then says, "Would you - would you accept one?"
Einar's mind comes very close to betraying his more lingering thoughts via his mouth, but he is alert enough that the immediate questio of 'did Connell have one?' is banished away as quickly as it had appeared. Pushing back all thouhts of his late brother and getting back to the actual question at hand he replies with a faint smile, "Of course I would." He takes another step forward as he answers, bringing him closer to his goodsister, "I'm sure the others will too." He doesn't expand on that, but given what happened to Tia's other family, this might jus tbe the closest thing the Camdens get to having their banner with the army, or at least serve as a reminder of what was lost.
Did Connell have a favour? Of course. But it wasn't this one. Nor was it similar. Tia smiles at Einar, before she inclines her head briefly and admits, "Anders has one already. I found him first." She lifts her hands, the favour a sort of classic one. On it, the Flint emblem embroidered quite neatly, but it has the Camden motto, 'Patience Unbound' in Camden blue and gold, making it a half breed that Tia has come up with fairly recently. It will easily hang on a belt, or be tied to something, so as to keep it safe.
Einar brushes his hands against his tunic again, they're not terribly dirty, but he still doesn't want to get the thing muckier than it has to be. Accepting the favour he takes a moment to look at it properly, recognising the duality of it's design, then looks up again. "Thank you," is his simple response, "I shall find somewhere appropriate for it."
Tia inclines her head to Einar with a bit of a smile. "You are most welcome, goodbrother. I am pleased to be able to give something that might help." She then gives a curtsey in all politeness. "I would ask that if it can be of assistance, let it be so." She takes a step back, and then adds, "I did promise not to take too much of your time, but have you eaten recently? Are you taking care of yourself as well as that multitude of things that need doing?"
Einar nods in response. It's actually his reponse to several of the things that Tia just said, which keeps things simple. "I have," he answers in regard to eating, "and I am doing my best to ensure that Anders does too." Not too bad a task actually, or at least, not compared with when he was trying to get Corrie too.
Tia managed to get Corrie to eat regularly, strangely. Funny that. "He said he'd eaten recently. I took him at his word. Perhaps that was due to your influence. Thank you." She pauses and adds, "It makes the request Corrie had of me easier to fulfill when you all take care of yourselves. I do appreciate it." She wrinkles her nose, glancing back at a noise from nearer to the tents. "That didn't sound quite right. I should go see what is going on." With Orlagh gone, and Corrie, Tia has taken over trying to keep the camps in reasonable shape. It's easier, since Orlagh left things ship-shape, than it might otherwise have been. Still, it does require Tia's attention at times.
The master-at-arms seems to be continually in motion, upon his return from the mock-landings north of Seagard. In the evenings alone, he seems to snatch a few moments of time to tend to his necessities - such as cutting his hair as quickly as possible, which seems to be his current occupation. The man sits with his fighting dirk by a fire, using a copper pot as an awkward sort of mirror while he hacks at unruly blond strands.
"..And Jory, I want the first-through-fifth sections ready to board immediately come dawn. And make certain every man's carrying rations for a week. Hardtack, boiled beef, no ale. No ale." Hack. Hack. Hack. Hair falls around him as he trims the locks; this is truly a crude barbering job, meant more to allow a helmet and skullcap atop his head than to change his styling at all.
The hulking man Fenrir seems to always end up relying on nods, and makes himself scarce - for once, the master-at-arms is alone at his fire, and he exhales slowly, rolling his shoulders to release the tension building up along his neck. A brief, crooked grin creases his canine features as he gazes into the flames, finishing his work with the dirk and sliding it into its belt-sheath.
Tiaryn has had a busy day today. One might think that her part in things would be small; after all, she's not about to head off on boats to invade ridiculous islands that don't give enough to allow life and yet people are silly enough to live there. No indeed. Nor has she any intention of doing so. But, that said, Orlagh and Corrie are both gone. While Orlagh did leave things all very nicely in motion, with her absence, Tia has been able and swift to keep things in line, should anyone slack off or stray from their appointed duty. On the day before the departure, with things coming and going at hectic speeds, this has perhaps been more important than ever. Her ever-present Adara and seemingly ever present sworn Jacob are with her now, as she finishes dealing with the finishing items for the day and then at last is free once more to go about the rest of her day. Which brings her to looking for a certain Master at Arms whom she hasn't spoken to in a fair bit of time. Of course, finding him is not as hard as it might seem. The simple expedient of asking the men where he is always seems to get her a point in the right general direction and she can gradually hone in on his location. As he finishes up his barbarous barbering, Tia arrives at the campsite and pauses for a moment. "Master Fenrir," she calls out. "Have you a few moments of time you might spare me?"
For the barest instant, a flicker of irritation crosses the master-at-arms' features - but it is gone so quickly that it might have been imagination. He rises to his feet fluidly, turning and sketching a rough bow toward Tiaryn with an easy nod, his apparent desire for solitude cast aside as he slides back into the role of master-at-arms. "Lady Tiaryn, I got all the moments in the world. Come have a seat with me?" He nods toward Adara and Jacob, giving the other man-at-arms a professional appraisal before a grudging nod of approval.
The whipcord-lean soldier gestures toward the logs gathered around his customary fire, a crude sort of table arrangement, but certainly better than nothing. "I've no stew or ale to offer, I'm afraid," he explains mildly to the noblewoman. "I'm neh certain how my stomach'll hold tomorrow, so I'm doing my best neh to give it cause to hate me." His grin is easy, good-natured, and entirely lacking any frustrations that might have glittered through moments earlier. "What can I do for you?"
That gets a momentary blink from Tiaryn. Not that she saw any irritation at all, no, but the offering of food and ale brings a small smile to her face. She shakes her head briefly, as she does step forward, obligingly taking a seat as offered. "Do not concern yourself with that. I have already eaten, thank you for offering. It is very kind of you." She thinks about what else he's said, and then she says, "I imagine that many men are thinking similar thoughts right about now. I trust you did eat earlier?" She smooths her skirts briefly before her gaze is up and looking at Fenrir's face instead of her own garb. What Fenrir will know, over the past while, is that Tia has been daily at the practices, rain or shine, watching them, assisting with lunch and keeping things running smoothly and doing her best to provide morale to the men in her own quiet way. Adara moves to just behind Tia, as Jacob takes up a suitable guard position in silence.
"I had some bread and cheese earlier, aye." Fenrir shrugs unconcernedly, his gaze traveling briefly over the beloved horde of soldiers that he commands before looking back at Tiaryn. "Most of these lads are nervous as all.. as all get-out, aye." He whistles lowly as he looks between Adara and Jacob, his brow quirking gently again as he looks back to Tiaryn. "Thanks for asking, though." He idly hooks his thumbs through his belt, one hand brushing at the antler-horn hilt of his dirk. "So. All due respect, Lady Tiaryn, but I got four section leaders to track down, a few men to kick in the rump, and some ale to confiscate. So, uh.. You needed something?"
Tia's eyes gleam with amusement for a moment, as she listens to Fenrir's words. Somehow she was expecting something along those lines. "I did, actually. I've a - well, a favour, to ask of you," she admits. Adara covers her mouth momentarily, and ducks her head modestly. Jacob remains stoic. You'd think they knew something, if you knew them well. Still, given that Master Fen is a busy man, Tiaryn does not draw things out, even if she isn't so sure how he will respond. "I have been thinking very hard on how I might help with this endeavour." Her tone comes a little bit drier as she adds, "No, don't panic. I'm sure my stay in Stonebridge will be utterly boring and devoid of any excitement, but it is far preferable to even considering any alternatives. However, I did come up with an idea which seems to be meeting with favour elsewhere." She gets to her feet, collects something out of the basket that Adara had been carrying, and brings it over to Fen. It's one of those classic looking favours that can be worn at a belt, or tied to something as wished. It has the classic Flint emblem on it, with the Camden blue and gold motto "Patience Unbent." And to be fair, the observant Fen may note that Adara has one, as does Jacob. "I would ask if you will carry my favour, as the entire contingent already carries Corrie's, as reminder that there are those of us here who are awaiting your return, and I am perhaps the least of those."
Whatever Fenrir was expecting, it was not this - the master-at-arms clicks his mouth open, then shut again, his gaze searching wildly around himself as though casting about for an escape. Indeed, the man seems paralyzed with uncertainty, taking a hesitant half-step back as he stammers. "I.. uh, Lady Tiaryn, please.. uh.. listen, it ain't that I ain't honored, but.." His features flush red, and the wide-eyed look he's giving Tiaryn has genuine fear touched somewhere in it.
But this man is a soldier, and he steels himself, composing his features with a genuine force of will. "I'm a soldier of House Flint, Lady Tiaryn. And I honor you as Goodcousin to the young Lord, right enough. But the only way I could wear your colors would be as a.. a intimate thing. And that, I just can't do. For my own reasons and nowt against you at all." He braces himself, practically visibly. "I'll take your kind thoughts, Lady.. but it's all I can, and still be…me."
Blink. Blink. Intimate? What? Tiaryn's look to Fen is completely and utterly confused. Seriously. "Uhm," she says with the graciousness of a galloping cow. Then a flash of hurt, followed by a slowly dawning comprehension. "You know, you are the first person to say such a thing to me. I have not been clear," she manages, as suddenly amusement flicks through, and her eyes gleam. "I have no interest in you intimately, Master Fenrir. You are quite safe. Oh - if you don't mind, I might look, as I'm not dead, but there will be nothing improper in any way, shape or form. Thank you." She waits a moment, the somewhat amused tones in her voice should be obvious so lon gas he's not too panicked. "But - since I've already given one of these to Anders and Einar, perhaps you might consider it as a family thing, rather than intimate?"
Trapped. What next? The soldier is no easy opponent, despite his initial burst of panic. He casts a glance around, noting the other men listening in on the conversation, before looking back at Tiaryn. When he speaks next, it is in the bald tones that he most often reserves for his men - not the roaring bark, but the matter-of-fact manner of a tradesman discussing his craft. "In truth, Lady, I still got to decline. Please.. Lord Anders and Lord Einar, they ain't me. They're warring 'cos there's a right here, and a wrong to avenge, and all that noble stuff."
He purses his lips, meeting Tiaryn's features flatly. "I ain't. I'm warring 'cos if I don't do it, some other bugger will go and make a muck of it and get my mates killed. I'm sorry, Lady Tiaryn, but I ain't here for you. And if I pretend I am, even just with a piece of cloth, I'm failing my lads. It's -them- I got to be remembering at all times." The man drops his gaze briefly, down to the campfire. "I'm Master-at-Arms. Until this fight's over, I ain't even a man, not really. I'm just here to make it all run smooth."
Well, that's an interesting line, that is. Tia listens to Fenrir, and then she does make one last attempt. "I see," she says. "You do realize that it is those very men I am trying to help? I can't give one to each and every one of them, there's not been anywhere near enough time to create a favour for each, though believe me, if I could I would. But as their Master at Arms, should you accept this, you can use it as well to help give them courage." She bites her lip a moment, and then she shrugs. "I will say no more on it, and take no more of your time." She is already on her feet, but the amusement is completely gone, her face gone carefully neutral. "Good luck to you, Master Viiding. May the gods bless your endeavour and bring back as many of your men as possible." And him too, but Tia doesn't even bother to say that at this point. Sigh. So much for her being of use around here.
A low grunt at these words, and a slow exhalation. Fenrir studies the woman's features, his own gone as neutral as a block of pale wood, after an initial flicker of uncertainty. "Lady Tiaryn, it ain't that I don't appreciate what you done here. You've worked hard, and I been hearing nothing but good things from the men about you. They remember." He's choosing his words carefully, gauging the woman's expression. "Please. You got to understand my role in this. Lord Anders, he inspires the men. Lord Einar, he inspires. Me?.. I drive them. I'm not the one you want, if you want to influence them. I'm just the lad who pushes those last hundred yards." He exhales slowly, shaking his head. "If I show emotion, they doubt."
Tia simply inclines her head once more, once Fenrir finishes what he's saying. Her expression remains neutral, but there is some stress in her posture as it takes some doing. She takes an obvious breath, as if preparing to say something, and then she turns on her heel and walks away from Fenrir and his camp fire. Adara glares at the man, once Tia can't see, but then she flounces off after her mistress. Jacob says nothing, though his fingers touch his own favour, that is proudly worn, and then he turns to follow, as is his duty.
Staring after the trio wearily, Fenrir runs a hand through his freshly-shorn hair. "Fucking politics," he mutters under his breath as he eases down onto a log. His eyes go to his wrist, briefly wistful as he studies the unadorned flesh. But then he grabs a whetstone from his pack and his axe, and begins sweeping the stone down the weapon's fearsomely-bearded edge. His expression appears, to all the world, to be unconcerned - but in the depths of his eyes, there is still that glimmer of repressed desire. Other men may have the comfort of remembering that they are beloved, but it seems the master-at-arms has boiled his existence down to the fight ahead.