Page 395: Losing My Religion
Losing My Religion
Summary: Lady Danae and Captain Jac have a chat.
Date: 20 August 2012
Related Logs: None really.
Danae Jac 
Pastoral Fields, Highfield
Just outside the township, looking over a meadow.
August 20, 289

The march south to speak words has been quietly delayed, keeping Danae in Highfield for a spell longer than intended. On the edge of the pastoral scene, she has seated herself with a lap desk and a pot of ink, accompanied by a meager guard. An ink brush is caugh between her fingers, dark spirals dabbling on the page in forms neither words not paintings. The patches of scene recount that of what is around her, namely trees and flowers.

There are times when Jac Caddock, Captain of the Guard, would rather not be Captain of the Guard. It has been a hard transition from laying in the mud, drunk beyond all odds, and singing at the top of his lungs to the shiny armor and the constant paperwork. Oh, the paperwork. It is no surprise then that the Captain enjoys the rare moments when he can escape, when he can dress in his old hunting leathers and give into that deeply-buried wanderlust. It is what draws him from the treeline that flanks that same pastoral meadow, a walking staff threaded across his shoulders. Dirt has returned to his skin like an old friend, darkening his Riverlander coloring. He is humming at an easy tone, occasionally filling in a favorite line with actual words. He has spied the woman the moment he stepped out into the field, and he does not hesitate to walk her way.

Danae's guards move to stall him, halting as they recognize that under that fine layer of dirt lays the Captain of the Guard to Highfield. "M'lady," one barks, glancing back towards Danae as he offers Jac a brief nod. The Lady Tordane is draped in black, looking as if she had sunken into shadow with her colouring of gold and pale. Freckled skin donned in those colours, other than a starting pair of sea blue eyes which look up from her work from beneath gilt lashes. "Good day, Captain."

"Lady Danae, even in the darkest of mourning, you are the brightest of stars," Jac compliments with ease, that white smile broadening beneath his dirty lips. He nods his head to her guards, showing his hands freely as if to prove he is an honest and harmless sort. He keeps his distance, not daring to threaten her personal space. "You will have to forgive my appearance. I often have my squire chasing after me with a bucket of water and a sponge so I don't frighten the unsuspecting." He bows at the waist now, offering her a more polite greeting. "Am I interrupting?"

"Captain Caddock, even wreathed in dirt as a battlefied you tongue still seeks to be a sweet as a summer's lily," Danae notes, lifting her chin in a gracefully graceless incline. The diminutive lady remains seated, flicking her fingers in a gentile offer to beckon him closer. The curve of her mouth touches at a smile without becoming anything so broad as one. "He must be effective, you have been spotless in my acquaintance. And no, you are not. Merely gathering my thoughts. What draws you out from Highfield this day?"

With a bow of his head, Jac steps forward so he may join her on the pastoral grasses. It allows her not to strain to look up at him, and for him not to loom over her like a dirty giant. He sets down the staff between them as if to provide an honest barrier between common man and noble lady. His arms are folded across his knees now, looking out across the landscape. "He is quite good at that, Milady. I think it brings him some kind of revenge after I have made him run laps all around the township." He offers a lopsided smile before her question sobers his expression a touch. "A need to explore the woods, Milady. They are old wonders, the trees, and there are sights within those woods that I have never seen before."

"The same be said of any woods, Captain. The dawns and the days each drawing something new into sight," Danae opines, pale Western eyes meeting his more common Riverlander hues. "What found you in these woods this day? The gods are in the trees or so they believe in the North."

"No," Jac offers with a small laugh, shaking his head. "No weirwoods to be found, though I did come across something rather strange in one of the clearings. It appears that someone is stating their displeasure in a lack of a Sept here at Highfield. I found seven trees recently carved with the sigils of the Seven in their bark." He pauses with genuine consideration. "So, perhaps I did find gods in the trees, but not the ones that are usually there, Milady."

"New Gods for a new home." That bare touch of humor that lurks in the curves of her cheeks broadens a touch, pulling a smile into place. "Perhaps it is a good omen and should be referred to the Charlton Maester, Ser. He'd know what to make of it," Danae suggests, passing off her lap desk to fold her inky hands in her lap. "Better our gods be carried than we be interlopers on other gods who know not of our ways. Are you much devout, Ser?"

His dark eyes drop to her inky hands and the lap desk, but he says nothing on their state for now as he looks back up toward the young Tordane. "Once, there was a time, where I would tell you my vows to my house were second only to my vows to my gods," Jac chuckles almost emptily. "But, faith is shaken and sometimes it never recovers. Perhaps mine will one day, but for now I wait for the Seven to prove themselves to me." He rubs at his stubbled cheek, offering her the smallest glance. "A selfish thing, I know. The Septas have chided me constantly."

"Septa's would. I've found that their worlds come to close to scripture and far from life at times — words have no power without the life which we cmight ground them in," Danae says slowly, voice soft and gently lyrical. She cocks her head to one side, brows arched slightly with a delicate intelligence. "It is not on the Gods to hold our faith, Captain. It is a test of our faith to see if we were worth their proof. Harsh as blood as bitter as ash as they might be." Her words shade wryly personal, hands unfolding and refolding in her lap. "I thought to burn them once, but my prayers turn more and more to the Mother of late."

"Had I wine, Milady, I would drink to those words," Jac says in brutal honesty. "Harsh as blood, as bitter as ash," he nods in agreement as he settles with a bit more relaxation beside the woman. At the word of the Mother, he glances toward her with a raise of his brows. "Not my place to ask, Milady, but I hope that the Mother does grant you grace. It will be good to have another young soul in this world." There is something fatherly in his own tones. "My own wife constantly flip-flopped between loving and hating the months of pregnancy. I hope yours are more steadily loved."

Danae smile slides crooked, fingers brushing out a wrinkle in her stkirt. "I wish I had some to offer you." She doesn't seek ot offer a further explanation of her words, dipping her head in a genuine nod in acceptance of his. "Aye, thank you Captain. I hope as well. They are liable to — be difficult times at the least." To put it mildly.

There is a threat of a dark cloud that starts to settle over the older man's features at the thought of these difficult times. "There would be none, Milady, if certain things were respected and the simplest points of honor were upheld," Jac says with a kind of broodiness only a knight could embody. Then he breathes out a sigh that starts to pitter out in a short-lived laugh. "But these things you already know, so what good does it for an old man to say them again." He nods his head now to her lap desk. "May I ask, Milady, what is it you are working on?"

"There would be, but there is little honor in this." Her expression is mild in contrast to his brooding. The subject has settled in too deep in too many months, its blood still coating a white dress at the bottom of the trunk. "This?" Danae lifts the sheet of paper, regarding the delicately articulated scene of river and grass before passing it to the knight and captain. "Call it a present, Captain." For him. In a whisper of black and the rustle of wind through the trees, Danae rises from her seat with a mild smile. She dips her head in acknowledgement. "You should speak to Ser Streem, should the Seven continue to weigh lightly — he has a perspective I think you might find refreshing. But, for now…I bid you good day." An attendent dips to gather up her things, while the Tordane Lady and her guards depart.