|Love and Duty|
|Summary:||The last two Camdens catch up.|
|Related Logs:||None specifically.|
|Coastline — Terrick's Roost|
|The Cape of Eagles looms out over Ironman's Bay, a vast, blue ocean inlet, that spreads its watery depths out beyond the horizon. The path that leads down to this coast winds down behind the towers for several hundred meters before arriving at the rocky water's edge. Rather than sand, the coast is covered with innumerable smooth and rounded stones about palm-sized. They stretch up and down the coast in all directions with the battered remnants of driftwood scattered about. Above the beach, one every mile or two, are towers with a large bell and mallet atop them which are to be beaten to warn of an incoming invasion. A small dock is being constructed of thick northern timbers, with mooring space for two large ships, or perhaps a half dozen smaller craft|
|17 Jul 289 AL|
Early and early in the morning, long before the sun will come above the horizon. But already such work as can be done is being done, what few boats as can be put to sail are being readied, and nets are being repaired and prepared for another day of work. Such men woman of the keep and holdings as can work knots and men pots are put to work, and none seem to see the colours of house or smallfolk in the lowering dark. Liliana, for her part, sits just a small way away from the main group. Not out of a desire to seperate herself, but because she's been tasked with the far side of one of the nets. And while she has no skill at a needle, knots she can do, and her hands are swift and deft as she works on the ropes.
Tia has been helping where she can, of course, though she's not got a regular task like those who live at the roost do. She is out early this morning, her maid and guard in tow, as she walks down to the beach, and along it. In the dark, trying to tire herself out enough to just sleep. As she moves towards the boats and the workers there, her pace slows, one hand checking her hair, for all the good that will do. It is far and away windblown, though it is mostly still in its confines, just strands here and there starting to drift free. She is no longer in mourning garb, the six months having ended nearly two weeks ago, but there is still a somber look on her face. "Good day," she greets to those she sees. "You are all very industrious so early in the morning. Might I find you here every day?"
"Every day that the weather is good, my Lady," says one, "Every day the gods give," says another. It may be that Tiaryn Flint is not a resident in full to the Roost, but she has been seen often enough that many can pick out the blonde woman of a northern house. And they all seem happy enough to receive her. Honest people and hard at work, with a duty that goes beyond themselves to all of the mouths that need feeding in the roost. "Auntie, you are rising early today." That comes from Liliana, looking up from her work, Elise seated not far from her. There is a sworn around here somewhere, as well.
Tia brightens as she spies Liliana, giving the smallfolk she was chatting with a genuine smile. "If I come back, might you teach me?" she asks, in all seriousness. Though then, once she gets their answer, she leaves them to their work, moving closer to Liliana, and her handmaid. "Liliana, it is good to see you. I had not expected it," Tia says, as she nears. "And yes - but so are you. Though to more good than my lack of sleep, I see. Well done." She does look a little tired, but not overly much so.
"Of course, Lady, if you wish to learn." And that seems the answer most would give, but as they see the Flint lady move off, they return to their work. The tides do not wait, no matter how much we might will it. "I only arrived yesterday evening. The road has been a long one, and even such a summer as we have been having cannot make up for lack of supplies that we need." Liliana, of late seems to have been spending more and more time away from the keep, gathering and trading as she can, only small amounts, but she seems to have a restlessness in her that does not abate. "I can brew you tea to help you sleep. But this is just something to keep me in one place." The network, she means.
Tis smiles at Liliana's offer, but shakes her head. "It is not so bad as that, I think. If I just tire myself out, I shall sleep." Tia has been to the tourneys and back, at the roost now with Anders and Corrie, and Einar, waiting for Anders to conclude his business here and determine what he is going to do next. "If it persists though, Lil, I might come ask you. I don't wish to be a burden to Corrie right now, in her delicate state." She looks back over at the smallfolk, a very thoughtful look on her face. "I think perhaps I should learn to do some of this work. Will you show me, Lil?"
"I will always have some ready to brew for you if you need. You would never be a burden. Not to Lele or to me. I hope that Lele is doing well with the baby. I know how much it means to her to give her husband a son. It is what we woman are made for, isn't it?" Lili moves, to give Tiaryn room to join her, "Of course I will. It is not so difficult. Do you remember making ropes to swing from the trees when we were very young?" Despite being aunt and niece, barely seven years separate them. "The knots are similar, enough that one can do for another."
Tia grins at that memory, nodding her head. "Oh yes, that I do remember." Seven years is not so much time, after all, and Tia was by far a surprise to her parents. She moves to settle in comfortably by Lili, her maid settling in not too far, and the guard finding the sworn to gossip about whatever it is that such men do, no doubt. "We are knotting a net for fishing? Alright, this seems a good use of time." She pauses and then she says, "Lili, might I share something with you that might be a hint of good news? Even though it is not at all official or anything? And ask you to keep it secret, well, as much as it is at least?"
"Yes, for nets. Instead of tying the knots straight, we weave them together, almost like building ladders." Liliana demonstrates, on one end of the net she's working on. It's easy enough to pick up, once you see the order of operations. It's busy work that hands can do while mind is elsewhere, "Of course you can, Auntie. But I am not so old and craven that I would spill your secrets. If any would discover it, whatever it is, it will not be from me."
Tia grins at that, leaning in against Lil for a half hug, and then she takes up the net herself, finding a spot where she can hopefully do very little damage. She just holds it at first, watching Lili's hands at work. She continues to watch quietly for long enough that she is willing to start trying on her own, her hands moving far more slowly than Lil's, but hopefully getting the job done right enough. "It is just that I think I might be falling in love, Lili."
Everyone is slow to begin with, a fact that Liliana takes in stride. She returns the hug before settling in and offers help, now and then if it's needed, but mostly, Tiaryn will do well enough, as it is simple work. Easy enough to teach, easy enough to do. "The gods are kind to you, Auntie. Am I allowed to ask with whom?" That's gently said. She won't press if Tiaryn would rather not say.
Tia offers a gentle smile, taking the assistance and advice offered with grace, and learning from it. She slowly gets the hang of this networking. And after a few moments, she says, "I very much fear you will know it if you see me in his company for more than three heartbeats. His name is Saethwyr Charlton."
Liliana's head tilts, at the name, taking time for careful consideration, but then she shakes her head, "The last name I recognize, but…have I met him before?" Of course, she likely hasn't. Tiaryn has been roaming very different areas of the riverlands than her niece. "I am happy for you, Auntie, more than you know. It has been so long, and you have such a good heart. But how does he feel about you?"
Tia's cheeks go just a teeny bit pink, but she smiles. "I do not think so, Lili. I had not met him before very recently, and yet it feels as if we have known each other forever, in some ways. I venture to say that he feels the same way. He has told me that he is going to request of his uncle to negotiate marriage." So, certainly, Saeth is interested, it seems. She continues to work on the net, letting her gaze drop to it, as she does so. "And thank you, Lili, it has been quite a while, and this is helping me to feel alive again."
"I am told that that is how many loves are begun. Not as strangers exploring the first steps in a dance, but as dancers coming together again after a long time parted. The faces are new, but still they remember the steps they have danced together countless times before." Liliana pauses, considering, "I know I have not much to offer to your dowry," aside from a burned husk of a village and some meat for the feast or wood for the fires, "And perhaps I am not even supposed to do it, I do not know." They are the only two remaining of Camden blood, but Tiaryn has not borne the name in many a year, "Still, I will see that our House gives you as rich a dowry as any lady could wish for." Though how Liliana might manage to do such a thing, who knows. But still she makes the promise. "If and when all you hope for comes to pass."
"Oh, Liliana, you are so sweet, thank you," Tia says with a smile, and brightened eyes, glistening with unshed tears. She pauses in the netknotting, and she gives her niece a solemn look. "But no, that will not be necessary. Tall Oaks has already given me such a dowry once," she says. "And I do not know that it is right that it do so again. I think, well, I know that the negotiations will be between house Flint and house Charlton. And if there is something that you wish to add, that is appropriate, I will not say no, Lili. But - please, do not break what is left over me. I want for you to succeed in whatever you choose to do, with all my heart and soul. If there is any way I can help, you have but to ask, and I will gladly do what I can."
"You are my blood, Tiaryn, and I must do for you what my Lord Uncle would wish, if he were here. He would want to see you well settled in your new life. And what better use to put what our House has than for your wedding? We are the last, Auntie, there will be no Camdens under the tall oaks now or ever again. I must see that my blood is taken care of, wherever it roams." A shake of her head, and a rueful smile, "I wish to do nothing but to be useful to this House until such time as I can be free to find my way north." There are no such things as septs for those who follow the old gods, but there have always been places people can find solitude and seclusion, if they so choose.
Tia gives Liliana a sympathetic look, but she's not sure at all what to say. It's nothing but the truth that Lili has said. There won't be any more Camdens, not once they two are married. Not by name, at any rate. "Are you sure that is what you are wanting to do? To go North and … " it takes her a moment to decide upon a word. "Rusticate?" she finally comes up with. "There is no reason for you to not seek happiness for yourself as well."
"I do not look for happiness any longer. I only hope to serve, as best I can. Lord Aeric has been recalled to Seagard and I have not heard from him in months, nor do I expect to. I am not so foolish as to believe that Patrek will allow so close a relation to be put to such hard use as a marriage to me would allow, even if he did allow the banns to be called. Ever have marriages between our Houses been alliances for mutual benefit. And Lord Patrek Mallister has great need for mutual benefits to rebuild Seagard. I have seen the need there. And he has had time to see his mistake. He will find a match for his cousin that will serve his House and I do not blame him for it. It was a dream, a girl's dream. I am not that girl any longer." And still Liliana does not seem saddened. Like as not, as has always been her way, her tears have long since been shed, and now, in true Camden fashion, she soldiers on, "That is why I must do this for you, Auntie. Don't you see? You must have that girl's dream for both of us. That would make me happy."
Tia listens quietly, but she cannot argue, whether she wants to or not. After all, her own tears are not shed where others can see them, at least not in quite some time. "I was not looking for happiness and it may have found me," Tia says, still cautious, since there is no contract signed, no marriage in sight as yet. "But if you would help, then do speak with Anders, Lili, and perhaps he will intercede with his Lord Father on my behalf. I will speak to him as well, of course, but I cannot quite manage quite the discussion you may wish to have?" She pauses, and then she adds, "And only - even if you do not look for happiness, do not forsake it. It may find you again, where you least expect it."
"Of course I will speak to him. That I know how to do. And if I cannot get to him, Lele will. She cares for you, and will want only the best for you as well, I know. If it is my power to bring you the joy you hope for, I will do it. And if that does not work, we will kidnap him and sail you both off to the Free Cities." There's that humour, cutting through the clouds, "By hook or by crook." That thought of that certainly does cheer her, and she seems content to think on it while she works the knots.