Page 167: Inventories
Summary: Aubra comes across Anais while the young Lady Terrick prepares for siege.
Date: 31/12/2011
Related Logs: Invasion logs
Anais Aubra 
Kitchens - Four Eagles Tower
The kitchen is usually alive with activity but for the latest hours of the night. Stone counters with wooden tops line the interior except nearest the large brick ovens. Open fire pits in the center have iron bars across them for grilling as well, the hot surfaces on the other side of the room from the tables in the center used for final food preperation. Huge cabinets have been carved out of the walls to store the dishes and utensils for serving the meals to the House Lords and Ladies. The few exits lead towards the Servant's Quarters as well as the Throne Room and Entrance Hall.
December 31, 288

In the aftermath of the attack, there are a number of things that need to be taken care of. One of them is an inventory of the supplies needed to keep the castle running with invaders camped outside the walls. Another is to keep Anais occupied so she doesn't have to think about what's going on outside the walls. And so she's set some people to counting how many have taken shelter within the walls, and has moved to the kitchen herself in order to find a semblance of quiet to look over the figures.

In a more supervisory position in the kitchen, the old woman that is Aubra is giving using the location more as her own home base, while on occasion a servant with ask her about something, or she'll stop someone to make sure that something has been done. Sitting on a stool near one of the counters, the old woman is talking to one of the many tower's servants in whispered tones. Shooing her away for another task, Aubra gazes about. As she notices Anais, she moves to stand, offering a little curtsie to the young Lady. "M'lady Anais. Is there something I can do for you? A spot of tea? A calming solution? A snack, perhaps?"

Anais looks up from the ledger, summoning up a small, brave smile. "Tea," she says quietly, laughing softly. "Yes. I think a cup of tea would be…very helpful right now, thank you. Actually, now that you mention it, we should probably start some for the people in the hall. Some will be going into shock, I think, and the warm water will help them focus."

"Of course, m'lady. A cup of tea for you and those in the hall, right away." Aubra shuffles about with surprising spryness for someone her age, stooped as she is. "And how are you doing, m'lady? This is bound to have come as quite a shock to you too." She starts pouring water into a large pot, which she carries over and places over the fire once it has been filled. "And to be confined to the tower is no easy thing. We like our freedom, people do."

"Shock," Anais echoes, reaching up to run a hand through her hair and finding herself distracted by the blood smeared on her sleeve. "Not…terribly," she admits, sighing softly. "We grew up with these in the Banefort. They were a fairly regular occurence, especially in the winter. It's just that the Banefort is so much better prepared for these sorts of things, and my father was always there, and…I've never been the one who was supposed to be in charge."

Moving back to her seat, Aubra sits down and looks over to Anais. "Well, you are lucky, in a way, m'lady. While something to this affect is never pleasant for anyone, at least you know what to expect." Her differing coloured eyes gaze at Anais, silently. "It is always different when we've got to do these things ourselves for the first time, when the responsibility to be in charge is placed on us." She looks around the room. "I have seen, m'lady, many men and women, lords and ladies, walk through these halls. All of them of varying ages. And the younger ones never know how they'll turn out in the face of danger, in the face of immense responsibility." Her gaze finally falls on Anais again. "It's like the wolf cub catching its first prey. When it succeeds, it is all the more confident and allows it to grow into its full potential. That same way, this will help you grow more into your own potential."

"Not exactly how I'd hope it might have gone," Anais admits with a faint smile, reaching up to rub at her eyes. "But Jacsen is all right, and Lord Jerold is all right, so we're not lost. They should go home by morning," she adds with a soft sigh. "No more than two or three days, at the most. I suspect they'll have more to loot here than they usually do at home."

"It never is how it's expected." Responds Aubra in short order. "Well, you're doing great, m'lady. You are taking charge wonderfully and I'm sure Lords Jerold and Jacsen will say the same when they get back." She putters off her seat and over to the water to check on it, but shakes her head to indicate that it's not boiling just yet. Back on her seat, she takes a deep breath in. "If there's anything you do need, outside of this tea of course, be sure to let me know. I want to help in any way possible."

"Thank you." Anais quietly closes the ledger, her shoulders still squared and straight. "I think there will be plenty of opportunities for everybody to help in the coming days. Right now, the best thing we can do is to keep everybody calm and usefully occupied." She looks back up, chin rising bravely. "Fear and panic are our enemies as much as the Ironborn."

Slowly scratching the back of her neck, Aubra nods slowly. "Well, that's easy enough. What people need are reassurances that everything will be all right. That and a good stronge dose of liquor, maybe." She lets out a little cackle. Taking a deep breath in and sighing softly, she says, "None of us here are going to stop supporting you or the rest of the Terrick family. Know that you're stuck with us, m'lady, for better or for worse." She says in a firm tone. "And we'll support you all in any way possible."

Anais' smile deepens, crinkling at the corner of her eyes. "Thank you," she says again, warmer this time, as she steps forward to try to catch the old woman in a brief hug. "And for what it's worth, Aubra, you Terricks are stuck with me as well. In case that wasn't already obvious, what with the betrothal agreements trading around and all."

"Of course, m'lady." Aubra is actually caught in surprise at the actual hug, patting Anais on the back. "Well, we'd not want it any other way, m'lady. We like you here. You're a wonderful addition to the family, m'lady." She cackles. "If them betrothal agreements weren't proof enough, you taking care of this place is!" She pats Anais on the shoulder. "Now. Let's check that water. Should be about ready for tea." She shuffles over, taking a couple of thick cloth pot holders over, she takes the pot of now boiling water and takes it over to a counter. Putting some water into a smaller pot and adding in tea leaves, she looks over at Anais while she waits for it to steep. "So, m'lady, down to business. Has there been any thought of talking to the Ironborn? It may not be mine to ask, but I be curious. Or are they capturing people if they leave the tower?"

"I doubt there's going to be much talk for a few days, at least," Anais shakes her head, watching the water as the tea steeps. "The Ironborn will be busy glutting themselves on whatever the town has to offer them. Hopefully they'll just leave afterwards. But…" She hesitates for a moment, catching her lower lip between her teeth. "The party is large for reavers. Very large. They could try to set up a beachhead here. And if they do…Well. If they do, they still don't really need to speak to us, do they? We're hardly causing them trouble here in the castle."

"The talk isn't for them, my dear. It's for us. We're the ones who need to talk." Aubra scratches her neck again. "But, I'll bow to your experience, m'lady. I'm sure you'll help bring us through." She tilts her head. "They're certainly a harsh people at times, they are, as I'm sure you know. But I would be happy to deliver them messages, if a message or two would care to be delivered."

"Right now, their blood is up. They'd be more likely to run you through than listen to you," Anais sighs, drawing a stool up to the table and settling down for a moment. "And I doubt that would do anyone any good. I think the best thing we can do right now is improve our defenses and watch. See where things start to go."

With the tea properly steeped, Aubra pours a mug for Anais and a mug for her. "Well, m'lady, you may have a point there." She takes one of the mugs and places in front of Anais. "As you wish, m'lady." The older woman blows on her tea, making sure it's cool enough to drink. As another servant starts to scuttle on by, she points to the young maid and says, "Get that hot water there, make tea, and give it to the people in the hall. Get a couple others to help you." There's a quick pause. "Well, what are you waiting for? Go on then. Don't want the water to get cold!" The maid scurries off with the water, coming back quickly with another for the tea leaves and a bunch of mugs. "Now, did you just come down here for tea? Or was there another reason that I may be of service for?"

Anais takes the cup with a grateful murmur, sipping carefully and closing her eyes as the tea warms her throat. "I came here to get away from the noise of the hall," she admits. "To take a look at the ledger and start considering how we're going to supply the people who are in the keep with what we have. The hard part is trying to guess how long we'll need to keep everyone here."

"We'll want to start rationing, hmm? Know what the maximum amount of time is we can go with the food we've got. How long we can spread that time out." Aubra nods. Maybe this isn't the first time she's done this. She's quite old. "Luckily there's a very competent group of servants here. We'll do the best that we can for as long as we can."

"Excellent." Anais takes another bracing swallow of tea, then rises from the stool, drawing a deep breath. "I should get back to checking in on things," she murmurs. "Keep an eye on the smallfolk, reassure everyone that everything will be all right. Remind them that I've lived through these sorts of things many times."

Taking a long, slow sip of her tea, Aubra nods. "Very good, m'lady. I know that the smallfolk all appreciate it. They'd appreciate more from you than from me, I can say that much." She lets out a harsh little laugh. "I'll be around if you need anything more, m'lady."

"Thank you, Aubra," Anais smiles faintly. "We'll need everyone in the days to come. And I'm glad to have had a chance to talk it all out with you. And grateful for the tea," she adds, smile slipping crooked as she raises her cup in salute. "The simple things are sometimes the best." And with those simple words, she makes her way out of the kitchen and back into the breach, teacup cradled in her hands.