|Last Quiet Day in TO|
|Summary:||Nerves are fraying and each deals with it in their own way. Plans are finalized.|
|Date:||01 January 2012|
|Related Logs:||Tall Oaks / Ironborn things.|
|Grand Hall - Tall Oaks Keep|
|The massive room is not just a dining hall but it presents itself as the throne room too, extending into the second floor with a view of the landing looking down into it, the stairs curling along the front right. There is a plateaud rise of several steps along the back. Two thrones rest there, hand carven out of oak and worn with time. The high windows let in the air and the gentle breezes of the forest that whisper their songs through the large room. But what is more, is the collection of scrolls and books along the left wall, tucked beneath an overhang on shelves. Records, stories, histories, all clumped together in a fashion on a Maester would understand. The long table set in the middle ofthe room is on top of a near threadbare carpet done in the colors of house Camden and each chair looks as if it is used daily, speaking of large gatherings. The Hall in itself is a cathedral to the forest without.|
|01 January 289|
For two days Tall Oaks has been surrounded by the throng of Ironborn with the Keep and township entirely cut off from the rest of the forests. For all intents and purposes, there doesn't seem to be anyway through the line that has been formed around the Keep, though it's hard to tell as the reavers have been careful to keep their lines entirely outside the range of the archers. Not long ago, a loud cheer went up amongst the Ironborn and then there was nothing. Those on the wall and on the Parapet were unable to see anything different, so the cause of the cheer remains unknown.
With little else to do at the moment, Sarojyn had visited with those that take refugee in the courtyard and once that was finished, he'd made his way into the Grand Hall. Now, he stands off to one side of the room, by the shelves of books, eyes lingers upon their bindings as one hand simply trails his fingertips along them.
Dafydd paces, stored energy being dispelled, but nowhere near enough. His head is down, his gaze set to the middle distance, and if it were any other situation, perhaps he'd be considered 'out of his mind'. But, now he runs scenarios over and over in his head.. and every couple of minutes, he looks up, opens his mouth as if to speak, and then closes it again without ceasing his step. Finally, however, he stops. "We have to get them out brother.. even if a rush by night.. we move on all sides, and they won't know which side it is that is truly making the break."
As Dafydd begins to speak, Sarojyn's hand comes to fall away from the books so that it might settle by his side and then he's turning, eyes seeking out his brother to focus there for a moment as a soft sigh sounds past his lips, "I know." He looks away then, attention drawn to the large windows of the keep before he continues, "We have enough horses for those of the family and a few of the guards. I had Damara ready them, for something similiar to this."
"I tended to them before the attack," so their feet are good. "They're all sound." Unless something happened in the past week? Dafydd nods and takes a deep breath, his arms along his side, though his hands worry.. and before long, has to put them behind his back. He doesn't look like he's been getting much sleep, as if any of them have? Fits and starts.. and dozing where and when able. "A parlay probably wouldn't help.. coming out under a banner of white to offer some time."
Tiaryn comes out into the great hall, alert, her hair almost neatly put into a proper style. She goes nowhere without a bow, quiver and a knife. Although she has barely enough swordsmanship to know which way to hold the sword, she's at least going to fight as hard as she can. For all the good that will do. She pauses as she spies two of her brothers and then she heads over their way, without calling a greeting immediately.
For the moment, Sarojyn allows his attention to remain upon those windows, eyes looking to the panes of glass and the brief slivers of sunlight that pour through them. "No, a parlay will not help. We have seen to that, already." There's a roll of his head from left to right to relieve some of the attention and as he begins to turn back towards Dafydd, he's spying the approaching Tia. There's a slight smile and a nod of his head towards her before he's looking back to Dafydd, "We can get people through the line, brother, but the cost will be great. The horses are swift and if we rush a particular point with archers, we'll scatter them enough for the horses to break through."
Spying their baby sister bristling with weapons brings something of a heart sadness to Dafydd, even more than anything else could. The fact that it's come to this? He lingers on the vision before he brings his attention completely and squarely back to his brother. "If it means any measure of success, brother, than it has to be tried. I will not have this be an end." He shakes his head and tightens his jaw, "There isn't a man or woman who doesn't know this wood, and if given the chance, can make good time and avoid traps." Twisting around the room, as if all were present, Dafydd takes a deep breath and begins, "You, Lady Elinor, Seryl, Alyse, Wren, Ava, Lady Ailith and Tia.. and if there is room and time, Mistress Damara. That's eight, at most nine. You can ride hard and easily. Seryl knows enough sword, and there are more than enough good archers within that group.."
Damara enters the hall, hesitating near the foyer as she catches the end of Dafydd's list. She clears her throat and steps towards the noble folk. "I will not go…if I walk out of these walls ever again, it will be in victory or to protect those leaving." She intones without faltering. She stops not far away but gives them some room, "My lords, lady." She dips her head and is as well, still carrying her bow and quiver, but her hair is just as wild as it always is. She dips her head to them and then adds, "The horses are provisioned, tacked, ready to go. I have made certain they are newly shod and that food has been sent with for them as well. Waterskins have been filled on what we have left behind the walls..its not fresh, but it will serve."
Lifting a hand, Sarojyn comes to rub lightly at his chin as he considers what Dafydd speaks, but before any reply is given, Damara is making her appearance. Eyes lift towards her, resting there for a moment before he's looking back to Dafydd, "We would need a few of the Men at Arms, brother. To protect the riders." He pauses there for a moment, considering things as he gives another shake of his head, "If we open the gates, Dafydd, and have the archers rush forth to provide a distraction, though, the keep is lost and all those within, as well. We would then give a staging point for the Ironborn that they could then fortify."
"If we do not do this, brother, the keep falls and our name is gone but for one person. And she will marry and there will be no one." Dafydd's attention is pointedly at his brother. "If we sit here, we are dead. If we get those out, you out, there will be some point in time that Tall Oaks can be regained." He knows some men-at-arms will have to go.. and without looking at Damara, he does acknowledge the words. "I would welcome your aid, mistress." And it's back to Saro that he addresses, "And they would take it with some injury to themselves, I swear it."
Tia inclines her head as the others acknowledge her. She would rather not have weapons in hand as well, truthfully. It's seriously not the sort of thing she wants to do, but - the way she figures it, it's better to try than not. "Sarojyn, Dafydd," she greets, just that and nothing more, for the moment. As Damara approaches, she nods to the other woman. The usually easy going happy Tiaryn is now serious and quiet. But she has been thinking about this, seriously. Her gaze goes from one to the other as they speak, but she stays silent for now.
A nod of her head is given as Dafydd speaks to her. Though it seems that Damara is not off the list yet of those that may leave with the nobles. She frowns some, having stated her position and now waits to see if there is not else she can do in preparation. Yet, just like Tiaryn at the moment, she is silent and listens as the brothers speak. She stands the closest to the exit from the hall and the other three are nearer to each other. Everyone appears to be armed and armored yet.
"Tia," comes the offered reply from Sarojyn, along with a quick look towards her before he's looking back towards Dafydd, "I can not so easily forsake my people, Dafydd. To ride away to safety, while those that remain are forced to fight and fall." Once more his hand comes to his beard, scratching lightly upon it as he gives a shake of his head, "But I see reason in sending some away. Our neices and nephews, my children, Ailith and Tia. They should all be safe. If we can get them past the line, they could ride north." He looks to Tia, eyes settling on her, "To bring word to the Flint's in the hopes they can send men down."
Tylur enters the Grand Hall. He looks tired, but stands tall as he glances around, seeing the large group gathered. He furrows his brow a little, and then moves to join them, standing near Damara. He gives a silent nod to the nobles, but remains quiet so as to not interrupt.
Tiaryn blinks for a moment, as she hears what Saro says, and then she inclines her head. "I am certain that, for all he did not appreciate my humour, my husband's lord would not turn us away." She pauses a moment then, thinking. "And if they are able, they would likely send help." She thinks. Well, it's his call in the end but it certainly seems like a plan, doesn't it? "Have we any ravens at all from anywhere?"
"And the Lady Elinor, brother. She has a life, and with your safety, our voices will still be heard," Dafydd's tones are sober and serious, and he means to save as many as he can. "Your people, Saro.. and mine.. all would wish it for you to leave so they're not forgotten." He exhales in a long sigh, and his head shakes in the vain attempt to dislodge the thoughts that worry and weary him. "If you will not go, however, brother, I will stay beside you."
Looking up to Tylur, Damara nods her head to him. The mistress is inclined to wait patiently as it seems the brothers have come to an impasse in opinions of what must be done. The falconer says nothing for her part, the horses are ready, supplies gathered and the people who will aid the escape of whoever shall go have been informed. But now it lies on the family to decide who shall take the horses and who will stay. Fingers lift to shift the cut of the leather strap along her shoulder and front from her gear, adjusting them.
There's a dip of his head toward Dafydd as Sarojyn offers, "Yes, and the Lady Elinor. With Seryl safe, the Camden line will continue and he can plead with the other Lords for assistance for our lands." Now, he looks back towards Tiaryn, that slight smile returning to his lips, "Let us hope that your husband's Lord will heed our request for assistance, Tia. We will try and hold the keep for as long as we can, to give time for reinforcements to be sought out and brought down." The sheer length of time, though, would stack the odds against those within the Keep. He does look back to Dafydd again, giving his brother a nod of his head, "Then there is little left to do. We must wait for nightfall or first the first sign that the Ironborn seek to begin their assault."
Tylur looks between Dafydd and Sarojyn, and his brow creases slightly. "We will need to send men at arms with Seryl and those who accompany him. We may be able to cover them during their departure, but if they encounter any Iron forces between here and there, we can't leave them unprotected."
Tiaryn inclines her head, a grim sort of humour about her. "I will do my very best to convince my good-brother," she says, and is quite hopeful that she might manage that convincing, given the circumstances. She is fairly quiet at the moment, not saying anything much. No matter how this goes, she stands to lose loved ones, or perhaps her own life. She'd rather they all escape, not just some. But she cannot think of a way for that to happen.
"There will be some to accompany them, yes." Dafydd is the one to answer that, and as Flints are discussed, he considers, "Flints may come down, particularly if the Roost is attacked. But they may not come immediately to us, but rather take to the sea?" It's a thought, and one that is only a little more cheery than the fact there are Ironborn surrounding them. "Please do, little Tia. We'll do our best to hold the keep while you ask.. but please? No chasing squirrels and diverting your path? Hmm?" He makes the attempt to inject a little humour, even if he simply isn't feeling it. "I would that everyone be ready at all times, ready to ride. Tia, change.. have the Lady Elinor change.. and make ready at a moment's notice."
"My lords…the Flints may have found Ironborn on their shores as well. Even if you decide to head north, I suggest sending a scout to go before you to make certain the way is clear. Or there may be Ironborn between here and the Flints." Damara looks between them. "I can not believe we are the only ones if the Ironborn have come in this number…to just our gates." She intones and than looks to Tylur at his suggestion about the armed men to accompany those leaving. She nods her head. "Some horses can ride two…but not for long. You would have to set camp and rest sooner than would be advised."
A simple nod is give to Tylur, Dafydd and Tiaryn, but it's Damara that draws Sarojyn's attention, "We have little choice, Damara, but we do have an advantage in this. If they can break through the Ironborn line and then head north, they can travel through the forest. Our people know the tree's and the paths and will know well enough if the Ironborn remain them." Pause. "And shoud they find Ironborn at the gates of the Flints, then they will need to move eastward."
Tylur glances at Damara, and then nods to Dafydd. "I'll see to it a few men well trained in the sword are prepared to go." He turns, and leaves the hall.
"Send someone ahead when they go….that is all I ask. We may know the paths, but in all fairness the fact they do not means that they could stumble across those heading North." But Damara nods her head to Sarojyn, her gaze flitting from him to the other nobles. "Do you need me to ready anything else, my lords? Lady?" She looks to Tiaryn as well in this and shifts on her feet. "When the decision is made as to who is to go, let those tending the horses know so they will be ready for each."
"Yes, I can do that," Tiaryn says simply. "We will be prepared to ride at a moment's notice. All of us. It is worth the attempt, for sure." She knows well enough that even if her husband's folk come south, they may not be in time. She does give Damara a crooked smile. "Whoever comes with us, we will be sure to move cautiously and carefully, as we go." She bites her lip then, refraining from making any impulsive comments about how she wishes everyone could go. It won't help.
Another nod is given to Damara before Sarojyn offers, "One of the Men at Arms will stay ahead of the group, to ensure that they are not stumbled upon, then." Looking to Tia, then, Sarojyn offers his sister a slight bow of his head, "Then may the Gods be with you, little Tia. You're ride will not be an easy one, but Dafydd and I will hold things for as long as we can." It's then that he's looking towards Tylur and as the knight turns to go, he's offered, "Ser Greymantle. You, yourself, will prepare to ride. Your sword will be better served guarding those that go, then idle within the walls of the Keep."
Tylur pauses, looking back at Sarojyn. He opens his mouth, as if to protest leaving his home, but instead, he just looks at his Captain for a moment. Then he returns his gaze to Sarojyn, and nods. "Your son will be safe me with, My Lord. You have my word." He nods once more, and then goes.
As the party is assigned for those who may escape the the impending attack, Elinor is quietly entering the Grand Hall accompanied by Thalia whom is at least appearing a few shades better under the circumstances. Both women are listening as each person within the group speaks, themselves not having anything to contribute just yet.
The smile is returned to Tia but with the news of Tylur to accompany them, it seems to the mistress to be a good choice. With no further instructions, she dips her head to the lords and than to the ladies. It seems that all has been said and she starts to turn to follow Tylur out to see to duties. There is just time now, waiting for the escape or the attack.
Tylur is given a nod even as Saro gives the order. In this, as in many things, the brothers think as one. At this point, that group that leaves the keep is more precious than those who remain, as far as Dafydd is concerned, and any that gives them a better chance of survival should be with them. At absolutely no time, however, does the Captain seek to take the path with them. "We will know exactly who will be going.. and any that do not make the gate's opening will sadly.." not be with the group. "It is upon their life and ours that they are ready." If he could stress that enough?
There's a simply nod to Tylur and then another towards Damara, before she turns to take her leave. It's in this that Sarojyn catches sight of Elinor and he's offering her an incline of his head before he looks to Dafydd, "We have hours yet until nightfall. Our neices and nephews and my own children must be seen to, brother. So must the men at arms that will go." It's then that's looking back to Elinor, a hand lifting to motion her forward as he offers, "Lady Elinor, a moment please?"
Elinor eyes Damara's departure before a request has been made. She returns her attention to the group and proceeds to make her way towards them as Thalia follows closely behind. "Yes Lord Sarojyn?" She asks as Thalia comes closer to enterlock their arms with one another.
As Elinor begins to make her approach towards them, Sarojyn is looking to Thalia so as to give a nod of his head towards the maidservant. Then, he's looking back towards Elinor, "My neices and nephew, son and daughter and Tia are going to be preparing to ride, Lady Elinor. I would ask that you prepare as well. My brother and I, with some of the other men, will provide enough of a distraction to see to everyone's safety."
Tia stays silent now, not knowing quite what to say. Dafydd gets a smile for his attempt to add humour to the situation. Yes, she caught the squirrel reference, but she's just not feeling much like smiling. Or making jokes. She does take a step forward, but stops, her blue eyes showing the emotional distress she is fighting to keep from showing. They need to be effective, not hampered by silly emotions. "It will be a long hard ride, but I think that if we can get out past them, we should be able to escape and bring word."
"The hours will not be enough to steel them completely, brother." The words come grimly, and with an inclination of his head in greeting to Elinor, Dafydd takes a step back, but doesn't depart. Not yet. Instead, he stands and watches, beside Tiaryn. "Little Tia, you and your forays into the woods will be just the thing now," is almost whispered and he reaches to take her hand to give it a quick squeeze. With Saro's request, blue eyes move to the Banefort lady, and he nods his agreement, as if it mattered?
Thalia looks to Elinor with hope brightening her eyes. The Banefort woman, quite stiff in her poise easily recites, "Then Mistress Ambryl and my sworn, Ser Beylor shall accompany the Camden youths and Lady Flint. His blade will be most useful should they encounter any enemies on their departure. As for myself, I will remain here." She then looks to Thalia, "Is it your wish to leave with this group Mistress Thalia?" The maidservant shakes her head, a hint of reluctance.
Elinor's reply comes and for a moment, Sarojyn is silent, his eyes resting upon the Banefort Lady before flitting to her maidservant and then back again. Finally, after a moment's silence has passed, he's offering, "I can not promise your safety if you remain, Lady Elinor. I do not know if we will be able to keep the Ironborn from seizing the keep."
Dafydd stares at the Lady Elinor, disbelief showing easily on his face, and he shakes his head. "This can't be.. brother, if she remains behind, there is NO chance that Seryl will ever be able to make the alliances he'll need." He looks away, and tries to find the words. "For her to remain behind, and her father and brother know we're besieged.. and you pledged her safety? And not yet officially courting?" The captain looks to Elinor, "Your remaining will make Tall Oaks and the Lord Seryl a great many enemies, my lady, and a liar out of my brother. Is that your intent?"
Elinor inhaled deeply after hearing both Sarojyn and Dafydd, latter she chose to address first. "Of course it is not my intent Lord Dafydd." Her tone revealing a touch of offense. "I would suggest another plan is made that will guarantee the safety of Lord Sarojyn otherwise I will not leave and I am certainly not going to die by the hand or blade of an Ironborn." Thalia looks between the group, speaking, "My lady, should you survive your lord father, relieved of your well being, may grant you any marriage you wish you need not stay. You can live and see that he can offer aid to House Camden." Then Elinor retorts to Thalia, "I am not to have my mind swayed." She returns the three, four of them.
Tiaryn listens to the whole thing, her gaze solid on each speaker as they do so. She sighs, as Elinor's stance is such that she can oh so understand. She's >< that close to throwing a tantrum and she takes a few moments to think, to try to keep her emotions from getting in the way. "I would prefer for everyone in this keep and the courtyard to make it alive out of this," she says soberly. Already they've suffered losses after all. "But I do not see how that is possible. If we can escape to m'lord husband's people, they will be able to send aid, if they too are not under siege." She takes another moment, looking at Elinor. "I find it grates to think of running, as if it is not what I should do, and thought of being captured by these reavers terrifies me beyond words. And yet, if my brothers tell me that the only way is to escape, to go to my lord Flint and ask him to send help back to Tall Oaks, then I will do so. Under duress, but I will abide by their wishes." Cause Tia does not have the strategy or tactics or knowledge to be able to come up with any other suggestions.
At Dafydd's comments, Sarojyn is simply looking towards his brother so as to give a slight shake of his head, "Please, brother. This is not the time for heated tempers. Let us save that, for those that stand outside our gates." His hand lifts, coming to rub at the side of his cheek again, "If the Lady Elinor wishes to remain, then so be it." Turning away for the moment, he's looking towards the large windows once more, "While there will be no alliance with Banefort as this result, there would no one were we both to survive. It will take much for Tall Oaks to be repaired and during that, House Camden will be a house in name only, for their lands will be in disarray." A look over his shoulder and he's looking to Elinor and then to Dafydd, "Her brother is on his way here, Dafydd. If she remains and we can hold out for a few more days, then we will surely have his aid." Then, he's looking to Tia, a faint smile hinting upon his lips as he gives her a nod.
"You are doing that which you accused me, brother. Thinking with your heart rather than what is good for Tall Oaks, and your son." Dafydd takes Tia's hand again to squeeze it before he'll drop it once again. "If you will excuse me. If I remain, I will become more cross because of ill-considered plans. I will bide my time doing such things as previously ordered, and perhaps if the young Lady has any other suggestions, I will drop all and do as she requests." The annoyance is plain, and with his complaint duly noted, turns and stalks from the room to prepare the men-at-arms.
Elinor looks to Tia sympathetically, "Then that is your path of grave importance Lady Flint as you will be able to gain support from your departed husband's house. Something the Oaks will need to root out the Ironborn." As for the lords, Elinor takes a small measure of pride that Sarojyn had not disputed her, however the younger male Camden plucked at her nerves. Propriety hardly had a place here. "Lord Dafydd, my decision to remain changes very little the perceptions Banefort has of House Camden for that was already tainted when you chose to bed our greatest enemy." Mistress Thalia jerked suddenly, eyes narrowing at the noblewoman, "Lady Elinor!" Already said and done the lady doesn't seem to care.
Tia's hand squeezes Dafydd's gently in return. There has never been any doubt that this is a closeknit family, and still it remains so. Even at a time like this. It will be a long time before Tia is happy, if ever again. Even if she survives this. (At least that's what her artistic temperament leads her to think right now.) She simply looks to Elinor and then to Sarojyn, then once again to Dafydd, and takes a breath. She opens her mouth and then closes it, unable to come up with anything sensible to say.
Sarojyn was clearing going to reply to Dafydd, but any choice of words is cut off by Elinor's comment to him abuot his bed partners. That draws a momentarily blink before he's quite simply lifting his voice to call out, "SILENCE!" His eyes now shift between Elinor and Dafydd and for a moment he simply gathers his composure. When he speaks, it's clearly to both of them, "Our problems lie beyond the wall, at the border of the treeline, where the Ironborn stand eighty strong. Fighting amongst ourselves will do little to help us and serve to only make their assault that much easier." Now, his eyes come to settle upon Elinor, "My brother speaks as he does, Lady Elinor, for the safety of our name. To see that it survives and to see that you survive. He can not be faulted for this." Now, he's turning to settle his attention upon Dafydd, "Brother, were I thinking with my heart, I would see you gone as well. Seryl would be better with you at his side and your blade would serve a much greater purpose guarding their escape. So no, in this matter, I do not think with my heart. I simply give everyone the choice that they wish. A choice which you have made. A choice which Mikah has made. A choice which Damara has made."
Dafydd stops and turns around, blue eyes focus upon the lady. His voice is low in warning, "Do not begin —" and he stops in the middle, biting off the words even as they demand to be spoken even as Saro speaks his mind. Taking a deep breath, he shakes his head, "The logic, my brother, would fall upon your departing. You are better at moving quietly in the woods than I, and better at a bow." But, he's not giving argument. Inclining his head, he turns and departs the room; work to be done.
Sarojyn's voice had certainly called the attention from both Elinor and Thalia, the lady then again chastised as the mediator spoke. While Dafydd should not be faulted the Banefort woman looked as if a portion should belong to the Captain of the Guard. Though for now she was quiet, her outburst seeming to have relieved a good portion of the tension that had built up.
Yes well, it would help if some adult goes with the younger folks wouldn't it? Tia's bow and arrows may possibly be able to help out, if need be, on their escape. Though that too is in question. Still, a question comes to her mind, "I wonder if I should bring a falcon with us, as we leave." She's thinking that through, the words only coming out as a quiet venture. "If we could release one with a ribbon, it might let you know that we've made it to a certain point?" she suggests softly. There are a lot of ifs, and she knows it, but the morale boost might be helpful?
There's a simply grunt as Dafydd takes his leave and it's then that Sarojyn is looking to Elinor, "I fear frustration runs high amongst us all, Lady Elinor. My brother wishes only for your safety and draws frustration at your choice to remain." Then, he's looking towards Tia, his head canting to the side before he gives a shake of his head, "I would advise against it. If the Ironborn have spotters, they might catch the direction the Falcon flies from and send scouts that way." Now, his hand lifts to unpin the cloak from his shoulders so that he can simply drape it over the back of a chair, "I now ask a favour of both of you." Eyes shift between Elinor and Tia, "Follow Dafydd and speak with him. It is time for me to attend to what I must do."