|Jade, Honey and Sweet Flameena|
|Summary:||Jarod, Kittridge and Raylan share a brew and discuss the girls of ill repute they left behind.|
|Related Logs:||Harlaw invasion logs|
|Harlaw Isle — Wilderness|
|Camp. Tents. Hidden ale stores.|
|Mar 13, 289|
Sunset on Harlaw Isle. Ser Jarod Rivers has just come off standing yet another uneventful watch on the pickets. Drills are done for the day, the last scouting patrols already out. So he's left more or less at liberty for the next several hours. With the restlessness that's not uncommon for the men of the Army of the Cape he wanders toward the center of camp, where the men congregate around the cookfires at this hour. It's been a few days since the raven was intercepted and so the mood is, if not upbeat, then at least a bit moreso than it was before that word from the rest of the isle was snagged.
Ser Kittridge Groves tends to arrange most of his cohort's drilling for around midday, when the sun is most likely to break its way through the other-wise-perpetual clouds and mist for at least a brief period. He's at his liberty now, a bowl of stew held in one hand and stirred with a utensil in the other. He meanders away from the cookfire where he got it, finding a crate to lean against.
Jarod meanders over to get himself a cup of the weak tea that's brewing presently. He sniffs his cuppa, not thrilled with it, but as there's little else better available he can't turn up his nose at it. He takes it away from the fire, walking sort of aimlessly, though his aimlessness brings him to the same general area as Kittridge. "Ser Groves. How goes the day?"
Kittridge swallows down a spoonful of his dinner, though with little enough apparent enjoyment. He lifts his chin in greeting to Jarod as he appears, shrugging, "It goes, Ser Rivers. Or I think it must, anyway. Difficult to say for sure, lately, the way they start to run together." He smiles crookedly, and asks, "And yours?"
"Aye. Well. Perhaps Ser Martyn can put an end to it soon," Jarod says, drinking at his tea. He holds the cup with both hands around it. It's warm, if not precisely tasty. "I'm all right. Just got off watch, which was quiet. Just got word of the latest scouting patrols, which were quiet. At least the word back from Leviathan's Hold is good. If the raven was right about that, the rest of its message was like as true as well. Harlaw's falling, just a matter of time."
"Perhaps he can," Kittridge replies, "I suppose we'll see." He takes another couple bites, shoveling the food down quickly and then glancing around for a non-existent beverage. He nods to Jarod and agrees, "Seems that way, though even with the others taken, Ten Towers and Grey Garden are hardly pushovers. But with any luck King Robert and the rest will have finished with the other isles by the time we're done here."
"I'd not like to miss the fighting on the Pyke," Jarod says. "Though the Westermen and Northmen and Flowers of the Reach and all the rest can have the other islands. So long as I get a chance at Maron Greyjoy's head I'll be a satisfied man." He notes Kittridge's glancing and says, "There's tea on the fire. Gods knows what they're making it out of now, but it's not bad. Wouldn't mind better drink at this hour, I'll confess."
"The tea's pretty shit," Kittridge notes, "I think I'd rather go without for the moment and see about getting into the ale once I've finished this, instead." He spends another moment eating rapidly, and then shrugs and shakes his head, "You really think you'd get a chance at Maron Greyjoy even if we did go to Pyke and he did show his face? I hate to tell you but you're probably well down the list, if the number of lords and sers who went after lowly Ser Harras is any indication. I'd just as soon see the whole thing over with and get out of here."
Jarod shrugs. "Ser Kell got a crack at Ser Harras at Seagard, though he didn't manage to take the squid knight. Never know. Man's got to have a dream." He half-smiles. "As to that, the Greyjoys can't be allowed to stay in power, after what they've done. They like their iron price so much, time for them to pay it. You really still got ale left, after all this time?"
"Man ought to have a better dream than that," Kit replies dryly, but without real judgment. He shrugs, "You remove the Grejoys, there'll just be someone else, and there's not a house on these isles didn't join in this business. What's it matter?" More stew is eaten, and then he shrugs once more, replying noncomittally of ale, "I might."
"I got one or two more, that's just the one that relates to the Pyke," Jarod says. Though he doesn't dwell on his other dreams just now. "You don't think it matters? After all that was done to the Roost, and to Seagard? How'd your own lands fare, when the squids came to the coast?"
"Better than some, worse than others," Kittridge says of his family's lands. He shrugs, "No, I don't think it matters. Killing Greyjoys isn't going to rebuild homes or unkill people. Isn't likely to prevent them from trying it again sooner or later, whether it's a Greyjoy leading them then or not. All it's going to do is get more people killed who could be home working on rebuilding instead." He shrugs, and licks his spoon, "You don't have to agree, I know nobody does."
"So you'd what, Ser? Just let it go? Let the Greyjoys have their own kingdom on the Pyke, and invite them to try again at the River coasts whenever they please?" Jarod asks. "I wish this could be done another way, don't mistake me. But, no, I don't agree."
"You think as badly as we beat them back they'll be eager to try that again soon? With their fleet crushed and half their army too?" Kit shakes his head, "No, I'd get on with our lives on the mainland and send some spies in to stir up trouble against the Greyjoys, which I bet'd be pretty damned easy after that disaster of an invasion, and then let them fight amongst themselves for a few years and save us the trouble."
"If it could be done, I'd rather have the Greyjoys brought to King's Landing and hung proper for treason," Jarod says. "And the other nobles of the Iron lands along with them. Give these islands to be ruled by loyal men. I don't fool myself it'll be that simple, though. And no. Reavers are reavers, I don't figure they'd just sit back here quiet and let us rebuild. They want to reach beyond their shores and take what's ours. But, fuck it. Little you or I can do to change how it'll be done. I don't suppose I could convince you to share that ale you claim you've still got lying about?"
"Aye, that might be the best, if it were possible," Kit replies, "But you won't take any of them without war and I don't know who those loyal men would be to rule it after if you did." He shrugs, "They'll always come again at some point, just a matter of time. I don't think what we're doing now's likely to beat them back for enough longer to be worth the lives we're spending on it, but what do I know?" he shrugs, "Maybe the other isles have fallen without a scratch. We're stuck in it now, regardless." He scratches at his cheek and asks, "If I did have ale still lying about, I'd only be sharing it if you'd promise me less morose conversation than this."
Jarod chuckles at that. "If you'll do the same. You'll find little agreement with your views on war, and I figure my conversation is more mild than most you'd get. Fair enough. I could do with less morose conversation these days, truth be told. I've had little of it of late, and this isle puts men in morose moods."
"Aye, I'm well aware I'm alone in thinking war is a stupid, short-sighted, waste of lives," Kit replies, smiling crookedly, "It is this island," he agrees, "It's so grey, and the fogs are claustrophobic. I feel like I'm drifting around in a clammy nightmare. A clammy, boring-as-fuck nightmare." He scrapes his bowl with his spoon and then picks both up in one hand, straightening up off the crate, "And fishy. And no camp followers about to keep things interesting." He starts walking away, but slowly enough (and still talking to Jarod) that presumably the bastard's meant to come with him, "Not that they're much to my taste, but they liven a place up a bit, you know?"
"I just think it's a little more complicated than that, Ser Groves. But, no more on it from me," Jarod says, following Kittridge as he makes away from the crate. "I wonder if all the Iron Islands are like this. Barren and cold and rich in little but rocks. Whole place is a nightmare." The comment about camp followers gets a grin, and wry laugh, out of him. "They do at that. Women in general have a way of making a place more interesting. Though no good could come of bringing them to a place like this." He's about to go on along that line but, perhaps thinking it going in a morose direction, doesn't. "Back during the Rebellion there seemed to be an army of them to itself. Good King Robert's men kept them in good coin."
"And I think it's more complicated than 'they came and killed some of us, so now we've got to go kill some of them'," Kittridge replies to Jarod, "But anyway. I don't know. I imagine there must be bigger towns somewhere, maybe at Ten Towers and Pyke, or on Great Wyck. But I imagine it's mostly rocks and sea and mines. There's a reason they took to reaving, after all. Maybe we should just buy them some cows." He snorts a bit at his own idea, and heads with Jarod in the general direction of the Groves encampment. "Aye, it's a good thing they're not here, but they do lighten a place up. It's so damned quiet around here, it just makes it seem even more unnatural." He doesn't seem to find the rebellion as much a change of subject as Jarod does, but nods, "Aye, not that that wasn't a brutal, ugly business too, but it didn't feel like you'd left the world entirely."
Jarod's grin crooks some. "Never said it wasn't. But you want the last word on that so bad, m'lord, so I'll give it to you without a fight." His step slows some as he enters the Groves area of the encampment, taking in the faces of the men. He raises his hand to wave in a friendly sort of way to some he passes, though he doesn't seem overly familiar with any of them. "There was this one girl I remember…Della of the Hills, they called her. Because she'd come from the Westerlands original and…well. Had damn fine hills. Showed me a thing or five. Though I was just sixteen, so I figure I got my training as much with those girls as with those who were showing me how to work a sword."
Kittridge laughs, and shrugs, lifting a hand to push hair back out of his eyes, shoulders rising and falling in yet another shrug. "Maybe I do," he replies, "Not getting much else I want 'round here, am I?" He smirks good-naturedly at Jarod, and then listens to his story, scratching at his neck. "An all-around educational experience for you, then," he says, "I'm drawing a blank on names," he admits, "But there was a… Jade, or something like that, I think? Some unusual stone for a name, I don't remember. Played at being exotic. Pulled it off well enough, all things considered."
"That sounds like one of those names girls like that make up for themselves," Jarod says with a laugh. "Jade. Honey. Goldie. Destiny. I stopped into a brothel in Lannisport one time and I swear there were four Honeys working there. Only did one. Wasn't as sweet as the name promised, but at least she wasn't too sticky."
Kit laughs at that, and shakes his head, "That was awful! But aye, definitely one she made up for herself. Never once met a child named Sapphire or Chastity, but met more than one grown woman. Funny how that happens." He grins a bit, and leads the way around into a tent, presumably his own, though it's not much different from any other by the looks of it. He crouches, and reaches into a pile of gear and clothing, dragging out a small keg.
Jarod does a mocking sort of half-bow to Kit. "I aim to entertain, m'lord. One of the few times I got my fair lord brother Jaremy into a whorehouse, that time in Lannisport. I don't think he did one of the Honeys. Don't know what the fuck he got himself up to that night after I went off with the girls, truth be told. But in the morning he claimed he'd had himself a Westerwoman, so he must've managed some fun." He follows Kit into the tent, looking around the interior curiously, though there's not much a man can do to decorate one of these things. The small keg earns an approving grin. "Smart, that."
Kittridge snorts at that, and shakes his head, "Doesn't sound like much fun, your brother. Not that I'm much for whorehouses myself," he admits, "Not much sport in it, after all, but still. Were they all named after golden things, in Lannisport? In Gulltown there were lots of sea-names. Oceana…" he frowns a bit, and waves a hand vaguely, "Other things sea-related, anyway, I don't remember." He draws the keg out and tips it onto its side, leaving it to rest a moment while he rustles up two tin mugs.
"No dramatics with girls in a whorehouse. Everybody knows precisely why they're there and what they're getting," Jarod says. "Gold was popular. So were silvery things. For the more realistic ones, I guess. Or the ones who wanted to advertise they were affordable. Jaremy was…not the most fun bloke to go drinking with, I'll grant you that. Miss him all the same. I wonder how he's getting on, up on the Wall now. No Honeys up there, I'll wager."
"True, true," Kittridge nods, collecting the cups and coming back to take a seat on the edge of his cot, gesturing, "There's a camp stool over there somewhere. And I'm not opposed, at all, I see the appeal. Sometime's easy is best. I generally like there to be a shade more adventure in it myself, is all. It's like hunting, right?" he shrugs, "It's more fun when you've got to work for it a bit." He opens the tap to fill both mugs, passing one over to Jarod. "No, no Honeys at the wall, I'd bet. They've chillier names there, I'm sure. Iciclia or something. Or maybe they're all named Warmth or Flameena or something, try to lure them in."
Jarod goes to hunt for the stool. "Sometimes a bloke just wants to get off. Not that I'm opposed to a bit of adventure now and again. I'm not much on camp followers these days, myself. What put you off them, if you don't mind my asking? You got a girl of your own, back on River shores?" He finally locates the stool, bringing it back over and plopping himself down on it. He reflects on the possible names of Wall whores. "I'd not go with a Flameena. I'd be wondering if she'd still be burning me after we were done. Whatever they call themselves, I hope he finds himself something comfortable and…non-stinging. I refuse to believe a man can go his entire life without having himself a girl, whether he's taken the black or Kingsguard white."
Kit laughs and nods, "Aye, I'm not disagreeing with you, Ser Rivers, I promise. And I don't think it was anything in particular?" He shrugs, "I don't know. I haven't got anyone I'd call 'my' girl, but there are plenty of girls about," he says, with a grin. "I would worry about a Flameena, now that you mention it. Though if I was at the wall I might be glad for even the sort of warmth that stings, who knows. I'm sure there's women up there," he says, "Wherever there are men, there'll be whores. It's a rule of the world or something."
"You can call me Jarod if you like, m'Lord," said Rivers offers to Kittridge. "For clarity's sake, if nothing else. There're more Rivers in this army camp than Honeys in a Lannisport whorehouse." He takes a swallow from his mug, drinking slow. Whatever the quality of the ale, there's little enough in the camp that he'll savor whatever he gets. "Aye. Whores're a thing in this world you can count on. Like the sun coming up and rain in the Riverlands. Who knows. Maybe Jaremy'll have more fun up there than he let himself have at home. He was a man with a talent for avoiding making himself happy."
"There are quite a few of you about, aren't there?" Kittridge agrees, "Jarod it is, then. Y'can call me Kit, if you like." He takes a sip. The ale's not terrible, but not great, either. Decent. He snorts at Jarod's description of his brother, and nods, "I've never understood people like that," he says, "Who can't just take the good in front of them and be happy with it. And have to go fucking things up for themselves and everybody else."
"Aye, yeah, some men are idiots," Jarod says, quickly, gulping some more ale. Decent will do. He doesn't dwell on the subject of men who make themselves miserable, though he does smirk some. "All right. Kit'll do. So. What is it you've got to dream on then, if you've not got a girl back home. You mentioned you weren't keeping yourself warm with ideas of the glories you'll do on the Pyke."
"What, a man needs a steady girl and a lust for battle to make it through the day?" Kit laughs, "I got a little sister who'll dig me up and flay me if I don't make it back, that's for one. Got plenty of girls who aren't mine who'd be sad enough even so, too," he adds, and shrugs, "I like my life. Just as soon get back to it."
"Can't hurt a bloke's will for it," Jarod says with a broad grin. "How old's your sister? I got a younger half sister, Lady Lucienne Terrick. She's a little more than eighteen now. Finest lady you could ever meet. She's back at the Roost now, I figure, helping my lord father and young lord half-brother put things in order. Much as they can. Hard days at home now."
Kittridge sits on the edge of his cot, Jarod on a camp stool opposite, sharing a drink from the small keg of ale Ser Groves has been keeping hidden away. "Rosanna's sixteen," he says, "She's probably met your lady sister, she spent a bit of time at The Roost while we were all at Seagard. She's young, yet, but smart as a whip. Never understood that saying," he admits, "But it fits."
"Well, whips're…sharp?" Jarod ventures. Shrug and drink. "Don't know. I never was the sort who spent my time coming up with…metaphors. Or whatever sort of cunning linguistic that sort of thing is. Likely she has. I wish she could've seen the Roost in better days. It's beautiful land, along the seashore, and the farmlands in the countryside. Still good country, and we'll make it strong again once all this is done." He says it like he's making a personal promise to himself. "What's Groves country like? I've ridden through there a time or two, I'm sure, but I never lingered much to know it."
"Groves country is a fair bit nicer than anything you'll see here, Ser." comes a rather accented voice from behind the flaps of the tent as another man slips on through. A raised knuckle is tapped against his forehead in a slight mock of a salute to both. "M'lord.." Raylan intones as he brings on his bundle towards the knight. "Freshly scrubbed of rust.." meaning the maile in his arms. A look between them both as he falls silent once more. "Any t'in I can be gettin' fer you?" A glance given both ways, after all besides enjoying the Lord's company, he does his best to serve as he may. And perhaps by being useful, it may serve as an apology for interrupting the conversation in progress.
"Whips are sharp," Kit says, gesturing with his cup towards Jarod, "Maybe that's it." He nods some, and then chuckles, "Kingsgrove's only a couple hours from The Roost, you know," he points out, "We have seen it before. Our lands are much the same. We've got a patch of forest you haven't, but other than that much the same." He scratches at his jaw, and drinks, and then turns to look as Raylan arrives, saying, "Ah, thanks, Ray. Brynner always misses that spot. Jarod, this is Raylan Weir, my yeoman. Raylan, Ser Jarod Rivers, of Terrick's Roost."
Jarod doesn't seem to much mind the interruption. He offers Raylan a friendly enough raise of his mug in a mock-toast sort of wave. "Master Weir. Pleasure and all that. Your lord was kind enough to show me his ale keg. Should've brought one of these myself. We've a bit of forest land in the Roost, though it's toward our northern border, and only a little of it's ours. It's up toward Tall Oaks. Or what used to be Tall Oaks. Not sure what it is now, with the Camdens all but gone, though Lady Liliana seems to want to restore it to something."
"Have t' be if you're to move horses an' men. You need goads to prick' an ox t' work." Raylan continues idly before he's giving a half grin back to Kittridge. "I figger'd I'd look it over after Bryn had a go of it. Specially with everyone takin' turns waiting for them fellers on the castle t' move or nawt." A rub of his nose. "Almost like huntin' badgers-waitin' fer em to come outta their little hole, but we ain't got anything t' lure em free an all." a shrug. "Rather be doin' that by far.." Bloody hell he can go on.
Though when introductions are given Ray does give a smile over towards Jarod all the same. "Course pleasure an all. At yer service as well Ser, should y' need any t'in." Added as he sees to putting away the Lord's armor, there is a faint look over his shoulder, before he is turning to spit over the other. "It's cursed what it is now- mark you Ser, that land'll have blood in her soil an ghosts in her eaves for time to come. It'll be ill t' settle in there. If'n the Lady wants it restored-gods peace to her."
Kittridge looks puzzled at first and then laughs, "Oh, whips! Right. I was saying Rosanna's smart as a whip," he explains, "And we were wondering why people say that. Anyway, join us for a drink, Ray, if you like. You know where the cups are." He sips from his own, and listens to the other two's comments on Tall Oaks. "Not sure I believe it'll be haunted, but it was a poor excuse for a holding before and lucky not be smoldering coals now. Can't think I'd spend much effort trying to make anything of it, but it wasn't my home." He shrugs, "Good luck to her, if she cares to make a go, I suppose. Maybe living in a tent in the woods has always been her dream, what do we know?"
"My hope is they might yield, with the rest of the island falling," Jarod says to Raylan. "We'll see what Ser Martyn can make of it. He seems a level-headed man." As for the Camden lands, he lets out a low whistle. "Never been one to put much stock in curses or evil spirits. Hard enough without it. At least there's hands still in the Roost to do the work of rebuilding. Not sure what's left of Tall Oaks. Still, I wish her the Seven's own luck in doing it. All the coast'll need it." The remark about the tent earns a snorted chuckle from him. "If any lady'd do it, she'd be the sort to try. I'd be happy enough to spend less time in tents in the days after this, for my own part."
Raylan nods towards Kittridge as he continues to fiddle about nigh the baggage before he's up and moving to where the cups have been hidden. Soon enough Master Weir is over and hunkered down by the keg in order to free some ale from the tap. "Mean's her wits be cutting sir. Figger that's what it means if someone's sharp as a wit-they can cut through th' bullshit." a snort there for a moment before he's coming back up once the stopper's in place. "Oh, I spose if it were the Grove, we'd be doin' what we could to make it mighty again, were boots on other feet an all. But if them ironmen ruined th' soil-it'll be seven hells come t' freezin' before crops come in..An game'll be off away from that place. Death'll linger." But, the yeoman is good enough to halt on further divulging his opinion and instead takes time to draw from his own cup o' cheer. A snort from his drink before he is nodding back towards Jarod. "I'd be right happy to find my wife warm in our bed right now. Though a tent can be fine if you're long in th' hunt. I'd prefer one of them tents as to this one." a glance over towards Kittridge. "Or that'un. It'd be like sleepin' on a grave."
"I'll sure be happy to be out of a tent for a while after this," Kittridge agrees, "We'll be building treehouses for future hunts, Raylan, so we don't have to use tents anymore," he decides, "Soon as we get back, we'll get Dom on drawing them up for us. No more tents." He takes another sip of ale and says, "You should come see it," he says to Jarod, with a grin, "Once the treehouses are built, of course."
"Warm woman does improve a tent, Master Weir, I'll grant you that," Jarod says with a broad smile. He drinks more of his ale, getting down to the bottom of it. "Aye. I'd like that. Would be good to get out hunting, relax some, get the mind right after all of this. Might have to bring along a girl to warm my blankets, if you lot don't mind." He chuckles.
"That she does, Ser." Raylan is quick to agree with a grin from the rim of his cup. A snort as eyes flick over towards Kittridge. "That'll be well an good my Lord, but who'll build em?" Still he doesn't seem to complain at all about the decision to sleep in trees. Eyes flick from Jarod to Kitt as to the woman request, before he's shrugging. "If she don' mind cleanin' what we kill. I'm fine wit it." teeth flashed in his grin. "An 'opefully she doesn't snore."
"The builders," Kittridge deadpans back to Raylan, "Who else?" He scoffs a bit, and swirls the thin layer of ale lingering in his mug, nodding to Jarod, "Aye, bring your own girls, leave ours for me," he jokes, grinning, and then nods, "But t'be serious, you should come out, Raylan here and the rest run the best hunt in the Cape, for sure."
"Doesn't mind cleaning what she kills, and she snores less than I do," Jarod says to Raylan lightly. He nods to Kit. "Aye. That'd be a fine time, I think. You lot should come to the Roost as well sometime when the country's peaceable again. There're still spots to find some damn good fishing, and the tower can still show good hospitality."
Raylan merely grins back to Kittridge before giving over some form of half nod. Still he looks back to his cup before he is rising, as if watching the men's behavior was enough of a signal to him. "Either o' you need a topper?" as in more ale? His own cup being set aside as his hands come out to gather so as to see to the thirst, if fellows still have it. As to the compliment there's a nod. "As my Lord says. It's one of the best I've been in, seen. It'd be good for you Ser. Good for all o' us I suppose."
"It's a good time," Kittridge reiterates, shaking his head at Raylan's offer, "Nah, I think I'll save my next one for tomorrow. Seven only know how long we've got to make this last for, after all." He tips his cup back to get every last little drop of ale, and then says, "Sure, we'll make an exchange of it," to Jarod, "Unless you and your lady decide to stay in one of our luxurious treehouses forever. She IS a bear or something, right?" he checks, joking straight-faced, "Hunts, cleans what she kills, keeps tents extra warm…?"
Jarod shakes his head, for the offered topper. "I shouldn't drink too much. Want to keep my wits about me. The taste was good, though." He turns over his mug, which is now empited. Snorting at Kittridge. "Bears don't clean their kills, M'Lord Kit. I promise, the wild animals are all yours. For now, I should be getting back to my little corner of camp. Thanks for the drink, gents. Was good to be un-morose for a bit."
A nod is given to both and the Yeoman takes Jarod's upended mug before he sits his arse back down, in order to enjoy his own ale for the time being. A glance up before he's chuckling softly. "You never know, Ser Jarod." Ray begins, "Bears do odd this time o' the year. Mind you- I bet fucking a bear is right for winter. All that' fur an paddin." However it seems that the bear jokes are likely to be done with and so the soon to be departing Terrick is given a polite nod in return.
"You never can be sure with bears," Kittridge agrees with his yeoman, nodding sagely, and a bit mysteriously. Or maybe ominously. The subject is bears, after all. He drums his fingers against the flimsy metal cup and nods to Jarod, "Pleasure sharing it with you, Ser Jarod. See you about." He tips a faux-salute his way in farewell.