Page 211: Look to the Future
Look to the Future
Summary: Young Lord Flint gets to speak, finally, with the new Lady of Tall Oaks.
Date: 19 February 2012
Related Logs: A few here and there about musings and mentionings.
Anders Liliana 
Down the shore - Terrick's roost
On the shore, overlooking the dock.
13 February 289

The docks are not such a long journey from the keep, and Lili has made the journey more often than in days past, as the war galley, one of the last remaining reminders of the once proud environs of Terricks Roost sits at anchor while its Captain and his crew prepare to make the crossing to the Iron Isles. Out of the way of the men working, loading such as can be found to provision the galley and such weapons as might be needed, but close enough to watch the work going on, sits Lili and Elise, one working at what looks to be a small token, embroidery on a small patch of Camden gold silk (that would be Elise, naturally) and the other working small strips of leather into a pattern of intricate braiding, such as might be used to adorn a bow's grip, especially in adverse conditions.

Anders is seated, a proper distance for propriety, but not so far as to make it difficult to discuss matters that should remain.. confidential. Not hard to identify him from afar, dressed in his house colours as he is. He, too, watches the Mallister preparations, enjoying the sight of the galleon up close. Flint holdings have a few, but none that will come directly under his command any time soon. "I miss the sea," is muttered softly, and he glances towards the now Lady Tall Oaks. "I don't sail enough, but soon enough, I may have more than enough water beneath me. I should say, rather, I would sail in peacetime.."

"If you wish for peace, my Lord, it may be long in coming. The Ironborn are no match for the forces of good King Robert, it is true, but they know no other way but savagery, and they will not give up their ambitions lightly. They will see all of the world burned on a pyre, before they bend the knee to the crowned stag once again." There is real hatred, in the voice of the Lady of the Oaks, but it is directly at the reavers and not at the scion of one of her House's best and truest allies in the North. "And even when the good king puts down their rebellion, the ravaging of the lands will lead to greater lawlessness, born of hunger and desperation."

"In that case then, my Lady, there will never be peace. Reavers are what they are, and we are what we are. One of us must change fundamentally, and that will never happen." Anders is feeling a bit philosophic, apparently, and takes no offense as the venom and ire is certainly not directed at him. He picks at a pebble and tosses it, not even bothering to try and skip it against its bretheren rocks. "If they remain on their Isle, I would be at least content. Let them feed upon themselves and whatever it is they can grow or fish from the sea." Then again, he scowls and his gaze shifts back towards the Lady. "But not before they've paid reparations.. in blood."

"And how much blood will be enough? How many of the Iron born would it take to repay the loss of my Lord Uncles, my mother, my father, all the members of my House save my good Aunt? The Lord Jason, Lord Ser Revyn, even to the smallest child trampled under the heels of the reavers? Ten, fifty, a hundred? How much blood before we finally say enough? I would gladly see the throats of every ironborn slit and it would never be enough to repay them for what they have taken from us, from all of us. And for the threat they pose to the one who carries my favour with him as he sets sail for their isles." Despite the vehemence of her words, Liliana remains at her braiding, seemingly doing it as one does when one has long practice. The hands are set to work, and continue, without the need for conscious thought or effort.

"And not one death would begin to approach their honour, my Lady," Anders replies, his tones even. He looks out to the ship once again, his brows rise; he'd had.. suspicions, thanks to his lady wife, but now? "You refer to Lord Ser Aeric?" He looks back at the pebbles beside him, "Good man, though I don't need to tell you. I've only had the honour once, on the road south, but in that time, the measure I've taken is.. he's a good man." Taking one, he pitches it again, watching it bounce. "Though, once all this is done, we'll be turning our own eyes North again."

"Yes." A simple answer to a simple question. There are many, more now than before perhaps, from whom Liliana has become inclined to keep secrets, but the Lady Cordelya and her Lord husband are not among them. Indeed, with the loss of her own family, and with Tiaryn's bonds to Flint, they are, along with the Lord Jerold and those of his children to whom she is close, for the moment, the closest thing she has to family. "I have heard that many are turning their eyes north, to home or to covet that which belongs not to them."

"There are, I'm certain of that," Anders chuckles softly, and there's a hint of.. something that is held within. A tentativeness? "I will be honest, my Lady," he begins again, taking hold of a pebble, "I have had a thought or two about a port on your border. It would aid us both, and it would begin the rebuilding, even if it does take generations." Canting his head sideways, dipping his head as he does to gauge the response, "It would encourage movement of smallfolk into the area, as well." He exhales and looks forward again, watching the ship. "Before any such further consideration, however, I speak to you now."

Liliana, still braiding, looks over to the Young Lord, her expression thoughtful, rather than defensive or unfriendly, "I had thought to approach you after the Ironborn were settled and before you returned to your House. You of all of the allies of my House, know our borders best." The Flints have long interacted with the Camdens and worked the trees along their southern neighbour. A contrast to the Reeds, who, while friendly, kept their interests in the places where the Camden lands met the crannogs. "Though many looks to the Tall Oaks as a ravaged land, ripe for the picking, in truth, they are the lands of Lord Tully, as Lord Paramount of the Riverlands, kept in stewardship by my House. And, if the Gods favour us, they will one day be the noble lands of the knight now preparing to depart these shores. But as I have no folk to keep the lands, I must make such as I can to let the land and arrange for its protection. The trees and their lands are fertile still, excepting the area where the town once stood. There is game enough to feed those who have need and wood and as would be needed to build homes and shelter. There is much the oaks still have to offer."

Anders exhales and inclines his head, his expression genuinely.. open. There is pride there, support, an affection of House that is linked by marriage, though that ended in sadness, and the bounds of location. "We do. And the timber there in the north is the finest, the heartiest." He shakes his head, then, to look out to the ships again, his voice low, "To be honest, my Lady, I don't know if the Lord Tully really concerns himself at all. Who knows his mind in regards to the Oaks? Does his wish your family farewell because of the refusal of the call? Is there another to whom he'd place to the land, or will he turn his back? Or.." He sighs, and smiles in a tight line, and nods in the direction, "Lord Aeric's presence will be enough to keep all possible considerations from coming to pass." Which is his fervent hope. "The fact that you still live, and your widowed aunt obviously gives you rightful claim." And that is the Young Lord that says that. "I cannot speak for my Lord Father, but I do recognize that.. and it is you, the Lady of Tall Oaks, that I seek word. The fact that you had considered the same means that we are of accord." He drops the pebble that sits in his hand, and stretches his legs, bringing a hand up to rub the back of his neck. He nods, and offers a smile, "You don't need to convince me of what still lies in those woods, my Lady. We are of the same belief; it still has much to offer, as do you. The Old Gods will return to the woods, and one day, I may make the ride north to Winterfell to find a branch that I can bring back to regrow your Godswood, and your weir."

"It may be that the Lord Tully would not care if one House was given claim to the lands over another. But no Lord would look kindly to poaching without his permission. Men have lost their hands for less, for killing a deer or rabbit for meat on a Lord's lands, or been sent to the Wall to serve their penance. I know without the shadow of a doubt, that the Lord Jerold would not see my lands thrown away, or misused, but it will be to me to see to their protection. A port would benefit not only your own House but my own, or such as I might make if the future I should hope for comes to pass. But these are thoughts for the future. Now you must look to your journey to come and the battles that await you. But I would thank you for the bringing of a new weirwood, though never again, I think, will the godswood in Tall Oaks bear the face of the gods."

"I look forward to the future, one that benefits us both, my Lady." Anders makes to rise, pushing off with a hand until he makes it to his feet. "While I look towards the coming days and battles, that is not what my life will hold in the future. Instead, what keeps a man going is beyond the battle, beyond the killing, and seeing what can be done with life." He offers a bow, and looks to the ship a final time. "Who knows? My lady believes the Old Gods demand vengeance, and perhaps once that is done, their face will be seen in your wood again?" His voice lowers, "I can only hope." A smile appears once again as he turns towards the cliffs leading upwards, "Until we speak again, my Lady.. may the Gods keep you."

"None of us can know with any certainty what the future holds for us, my Lord. But if my hopes find the ears of the Gods, I would hope that all that you wish for should come to pass. For the now, I will see you off with prayers for your safety and your safe return to hearth and home. The Gods hold you always in their hands, Young Lord Flint."