Page 218: Keeping Order
Keeping Order
Summary: Jarod, Hardwicke, and Gedeon talk about keeping the armies in line. Kittridge shows up to comment.
Date: February 20, 2012
Related Logs: Unposted, as of yet.
Jarod Hardwicke Gedeon Kittridge 
Terrick Camp — Harlaw Isle
Full of Terricks and stuff.
February 20, 289

There's an air of tight tension in the camp of the Army of the Cape. Word has circulated throughout it about the killing of the squid priest in the Ironborn graveyard. While the Flint's army camp is a decent distance from from the Cape men, and there's been no sign of Ironborn coming to retaliate from the scouts, the mood is still grimly expectant. Double-watch posted as the sun sets, men sent to man the pickets on the outskirts, and so on. Ser Jarod Rivers has just returned from those pickets, for his part, and he strides back to the tents in section the Terrick tents are posted. Frown knitted on his square-jawed face.

Hardwicke is /especially/ bristly today: his usual banked aggravation has become a pacing, prowling ire that has him snapping at a few of the men to shape up their stances as he goes by. He positions himself outside one of the tents and scuffs his boot against the alien foliage. He spits angrily just in time for Jarod to see, which will no doubt make him swoon. "Disgusting."

Ser Gedeon Rivers isn't a Terrick, though with documents signed and sealed, perhaps he may yet have a place among them. At any rate, the hectic landing of the ships left him separated from much of the Tully host, and so the camp of the men from the Cape is where he has settled. He's coming from the other direction, collecting word from a returning scout, and walks near Hardwicke and Jarod just as the former mutters. "An army against a priest," Gedeon replies. "Not especially honorable odds."

Jarod does not swoon. He doesn't bristle so impressively as Hardwicke. The Terrick bastard has less practice being bristly. But there's a taut mood of angry energy about him he doesn't seem to quite know what to do with. "I keep thinking of the Sept back at the Roost, laying in rubble. I thought our own forces'd be…better than that. Thought knights sworn, even Ser Tree-Bugger, would be better." He holds onto more boyhood illusions of chivalry than he'd probably admit to, and he's ever-fussy about letting them go. Gedeon is offered a nod, which turns into a shake of his head. "Not especially honorable. That's true enough."

"The Flints care for nothing but their own whims," Hardwicke says in a low, rumbling snap. "They've been chafing under command since they arrived. Apparently they hold just as much stock in codes of honor as they do effective soldiering." He looks like he'd care to spit again, but manages to somehow restrain himself.

"Ser Tree-…" Gedeon snickers softly, teeth flashing in a quick grin. "That's good. The Flints consider us in their debt for their deigning to come down from the North to help us lowly Riverlanders. I think I understand now why the Starks would rather have them in our lands than theirs."

Jarod shrugs a shoulder at Gedeon's appreciation of his nick-name. He's in one of his moods, so he doesn't snicker along, but he likes to see his wit - such as it is - enjoyed. He does not make anymore quips about Lord Flint, though. "Ser Bruce and I were talking the other day, and he'd spoke on how we might offer to spare the common folk, if they didn't fight us. Never could see how the Ironborn would have much love for their reaver lords. But after this…if it were a septon dead, I'd want to make the men who did it to bleed."

"They would curse the Ironborn for their razing and then turn the same on them." Hardwicke pulls his gaze away from the other men, expression cinched in restrained anger. "And the nobility love to believe they have some inherent claim to honor."

"Well, the offer can still be extended," Gedeon replies, "and those who might grasp on the excuse may do so. Those who will not…" he sighs softly.

"Ill omen, Ser. And after the fire on the seas…well. Few good omens on this isle," Jarod says, crossing his arms along his chest. Gedeon's words get a nod. "Aye, we can extend it, though after such as that the people of this isle'll trust it less. There anything we can do to…I don't know. See that such things aren't done again." He looks mainly to Hardwicke, like the older knight might be some source of wisdom on this whole thing. "I figure we can order the Terrick men not to trouble Ironborn holy places, and tell them how to conduct themselves with the smallfolk here, but I fear they'll want vengeance much as any others. After what was done to the Roost."

"They will do as they're ordered," Hardwicke says, bristling once more at the idea that their men would do anything different. "We make an example out of any that fall out of line, and the rest will stay in it."

"It should not hurt that the orders come from both the current Captain if the Guard and the former one," Gedeon muses, looking from Hardwicke to Jarod, "Lord Jerold would be shamed to hear his men comported themselves any other way. Perhaps you might remind them of that."

"It'll come from us, Ser. We command the Terrick contingent on the isle," Jarod replies to Gedeon. "Lord Jerold returned to the Roost, to see his lady wife laid to rest with the proper respects. Seven keep her." His head bows a little, and he does sound truly sorrowful for the death of the Lady of the Roost. Not that he speaks on it anymore than that. He clears his throat, somewhat awkwardly. "I was wondering if there's anything more that could be done to…I don't know. Stop such as this from being done again. Perhaps if our commanders ordered all the men to spare such."

"Anything more than order our men to keep in line?" Hardwicke says, brows arching at Jarod. "If the men don't listen to our orders, there are steps to take to correct it. Until that point—" His jaw goes hard at the mention of Evangeline, and his gaze shifts stiffly away.

"Yes, that was my point. Lord Jerold isn't here, so…" Gedeon shakes his head, "Nevermind. You both know the Terrick men better than I ever hope to. The only… oh." The blond Rivers blinks. "Well, I suppose that's an idea."

"I was trying to think on what might be done to see men who aren't Terrick keep in line as well," Jarod says. Though he shrugs as he says it. "Though little directly from either of us, I suppose. Not as if we've any say in it. And the Flint lordling seems to think this a proper way to make war, and they'll not be made examples of, I'd bet copper to gold on it." He shakes his head. "Things're quiet now, at least. I just came from the outer pickets, and neither they nor our scouts've seen traces of the Ironmen." He's standing with Hardwicke and Gedeon in the area occupied by the Terrick tents, talking.

"Ah." Hardwicke scowls at the very mention of /other/ men, though he does consider the question. "We might be able to address it with certain of the houses. The ones we have — warmer relations with." The scowl deepens. "Although few lords are going to listen to commoners, no matter what our station."

Kittridge approaches from some other area of the camp that is neither this one nor the outer pickets Jarod has just come from. "Sers," he greets the trio with a polite nod. "Ser Rivers— Ser Jarod," he corrects/clarifies, "I was told you just got back from the outer lines. Things quiet after all, I trust?"

"Spread a rumor," Gedeon says, scratching at his jaw. "Well, not a rumor, really. The truth, but scornfully. 'Did you hear what the Flint heir did'… that sort of thing. If it's traveling all over camp as an embarrassment, who would be the first man to do its like?" He quiets to offer Kittridge a nod. "Ser… Groves, isn't it? I met your sister briefly at Stonebridge. She sends you and the other Groves her affections and concern."

"The Mallisters, you figure?" Jarod says to Hardwicke. "And I could speak on the matter with Ser Bruce. I know none'd call us warm with the Naylands, but he and I have always been able to work together on matters. As for rumors, I think it's getting around the camps quick enough without our help. The runner who came to us said clear as day he'd ordered his squire to shoot the priest." If he has anymore to say, it's put aside as he turns to greet to the Groves man. "Ser Kittridge. Aye, I walked it. Watch remains doubled but seems quiet, and the scouts don't report any trouble. Was expecting more after…well, I presume you've heard."

Hardwicke's jaw clenches at the idea of spreading rumors. "A dirty response to a dirty action," he deems it, unimpressed with the idea. Jarod's he seems to like more, from the acknowledging jerk of his chin. "My lord," he greets Kittridge, a bit stiff in his current mood.

"Kit Groves," he introduces himself to Gedeon with a nod, "And thank you, that's kind of you. Though I was able to see her myself before we departed, thank the Seven." He nods to Jarod, "I have, I think everyone has. Is that what you're discussing?" he lifts a brow, glancing at Hardwicke's 'dirty' remark and says, "We can certainly count out taking the high road, it seems, but I'm not sure how many care about such things when it comes to the Ironborn, to be honest."

"As you like," Gedeon replies to Hardwicke. "It was only a thought, it needn't be acted on if it displeases so." To Kittridge, he nods, smiling faintly. "That's good to hear, my lord, and aye. The question of the Flint's actions today and how to keep such from being repeated."

"Not the way we generally go about things," Jarod says simply to Gedeon. Though there's no real edge to the comment. "It'll get around just fine. Matters like that spread quick. Though I'm not sure all in the army will find it particularly distasteful." He nods to Kittridge. "The matter with the Ironborn priest they say the Flint men killed. Aye. I'll admit I'm glad they're camped away from us. Hope it stays that way."

"If their commanders care to check them, their men will follow suit," Hardwicke judges. "But if their commanders lead the attack on honor, it will spread." He gives Kittridge an assessing look, then says in a rather transparent manner, "It would do much for the lords to command their men to keep to honorable conduct."

Kittridge gives Hardwicke a look in return, tone dry, "I'm not sure attempts at subtlety suit you, Ser Blayne. If you seen any men of House Groves behaving dishonorably, tell me and I'll see that they're set right. Otherwise I'll thank you not to lump all of us lords into the same basket."

"We were just speaking on doing so ourselves with the Terrick men," Jarod adds quick to Kittridge, after Hardwicke's words. "Figured a reminder that this isn't how we aim to fight was in order for our own. No slight meant to your troops, Ser. Been a day that feels like it bodes ill for this whole adventure is all."

"This soup hardly helps," Gedeon says, gesturing to the haze around them. "Seems to make everything worse."

"I wasn't attempting to be subtle," Hardwicke says with particular dryness. "And I wasn't speaking of any of your men. Just that there's something to be said for—" But Jarod is already saying it in far kinder fashion, so the Captain holds his tongue. He frowns at the indicated fog. Stupid fog.

"Good," Kittridge replies to Hardwicke, "And my men and I have had a chat about that sort of thing already. This was always going to be a nasty business, even without ending up on a beach full of graves and solitary priests. Anytime it's not two armies in a field, it's best to set some ground rules." He glances about at the fog, and shrugs. "Might help keep our presence unknown," he says of it, "Least we're on dry land, even if it's this land."

"I should call the men together and address them on it, I figure," Jarod says, blinking some. Like his head is sort've adjusting to the full responsibility of this. "Our troops've been spoken to on the conduct expected of them but I feel like I should say something specific on the dead Ironborn priest. I don't want to act as if I felt like they needed the reminder but…that we who lead them don't approve it, something on what sort of men we are, how Lord Jerold's always held the faith so important. I'll do in the morning." He looks to Hardwicke. "Maybe I'll write something down tonight. Can I…err…run it by you after sun-up, Ser Blayne?"

Hardwicke looks a bit skeptical at the idea of writing down speeches, but jerks his chin in a nod. 'If I must,' the gesture says.

"Perhaps," Gedeon muses for the concealing qualities of fog, "but one has to suppose the men of the islands know matter how to use and fight around the fog than we do. They've already used it once to sink… was a final tally ever given, how many ships were lost? And those that made it to shore well scattered." He smiles faintly as Jarod speaks of speeches. "You're becoming quite a hand at penning important documents."

Kittridge shrugs a bit and nods to Jarod, "Probably couldn't hurt. Though I wouldn't get too serious about it, you don't want to come off sanctimonious, after all. Probably best you just say it in your own words, you seem like you speak their language well enough." He shrugs, "But true, Ser Gedeon, I imagine they're used to it. And no, I don't think we know the full tally, yet. We'll have to locate the rest, we seem to've gotten split up and spread across the coast. A bad start."

"Not a speech so much. Just some notes to kind of, err, organize my thoughts," Jarod says to Hardwicke and Kittridge both. He seems to think they require organization. Which generally they do. "Thank you, Ser." Gedeon's comment earns a grin from him. "I kind of like to write, I find. Gives you a chance to think about how you want to say something and try to avoid…fucking it up." He peers out in the direction of the beach, the sea, though he can't see it in the fog. His smile fades. "Fire on the water. Never thought I'd see anything like that. The men on the ships were yelling about dragons. I thought they'd gone mad…"

"Water dragons," Hardwicke mutters, shaking his head. "Just speak plainly to them," he tells Jarod in a flat voice. "Gods."

"Heard someone call 'fire whales' myself, though I'm not sure the truth of it is any less frightful," Gedeon replies, arms crossing loosely over his chest. For Hardwicke's mutter epithet, he answers, "not on this island. And the one they keep will have no fondness for us now, if ever it did."

"Tommas," Kittridge says, rolling his eyes at the mention of fire whales, "One of my knights. I swear he wasn't drunk, but he may be half-blind or more touched in the head than we'd expected." He says it with a crook of a smile that seems more fond than anything else. He shakes his head a bit, smile fading and says, "Well. I should be off, sers. On watch myself in not so long, and I need to look in on my squire, first. Good evening to you all."

"Aye, Ser," Jarod replies quick to Hardwicke. Whatever further laboring he'll do over not fucking up words, he will keep to himself. "The Drowned God." He picks up on Gedeon's words. "Damned strange business. What is dead cannot die, is what they say…" But he doesn't want to dwell on that openly, either. "Anyhow, I'll be in my tent. Seven with us, the night'll stay quiet."

"Maybe not, but they play at it well enough when cut," Gedeon says. "I've watch when the guard changes again. May try to grab a bit of rest until then. Until later, my lord, sers." Farewells offered, Gedeon, too, moves to depart.

"My lord," Hardwicke says in succinct farewell to Kittridge. And then: "Sers." He tips his head and turns to make his own way as well.