|Marriage of Minds|
|Summary:||A tense time in the Flint Camp.|
|Date:||1 February 2012|
|Related Logs:||With New Eyes, The Self Was Not The Same|
|Flint Camp - Common Area|
|The main camp ground of the Flint contingent at Seagard.|
|February 1st 289 A.L.|
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds…
— Sonnet 116, Shakespeare
The afternoon boils on, far too hot for men used to summer snows and frozen death come winter. Many of the rough men of the North have stripped out of their tunics, going about in only breeches; in a few places, mostly away from female eyes, not even that. But work continues - work always continues in the Flint encampment, especially after the Ironborn raid that came so close to routing them entirely and left their Lord bleeding into the dirt. Serjeants make their rounds, checking equipment, and a work detail is busy constructing a crude palisade around the central area of the camp from pilfered boards and felled logs. Elsewhere, men practice the art of war, standing in lines at the archery butts or sparring with heavy blunted weapons.
Once more setting the example for his lads, Fenrir Viiding is stripped to the waist and facing a much-heavier opponent in a sand-drawn circle. The pair are armed with wooden knives - sturdy enough to raise welts and even break the flesh, but not heavy enough for fatalities. The two men weave around one another, hunting for openings; Fenrir's knife is held high in a dagger-grip, his other fist cocked and ready to strike. Fluid as water, the two men merge for an instant, dust kicking up from their heels. The bigger man strikes overhand, with an ice-pick grip; he is met by Fenrir's free arm, smashing into his wrist - the master-at-arms brings his dagger swiftly into the man's bicep, then reverses his grip deftly and drives it hard into his exposed short-ribs. All of this happens in an instant; he hooks his foot around the other man's ankle and heaves his shoulder into him, knocking him into the dust.
"/No!/ Never use the outside attack, Jory, I've told you a dozen times. -Always- inside, cut cut cut. You're too damn impatient for knives, bucko." Disgustedly, Fenrir turns away from the other man, looking out toward the men who surround the ring. "Listen, all of you! Strength /always/ matters in a fight, yes! But if you're going to fight like Jory here, the best way to win a knife-fight is to slit the other bastard's throat!" As he's talking, one of the other men slips into the ring behind him, picking up the felled Jory's wooden knife and advancing softly on his leader, a mischievous grin on his face.
One of the few that doesn't take the liberty of roaming the encampment without a tunic is the Young Lord himself. He wears a light-weight grey tunic, black breeches, boots.. and the concession to his injury is the bandage that covers the insult to his neck given by the Ironborn. He walks slowly, carefully, and those that pass around the impromptu fighting circle makes room for him, acknowledgments given as they pass. Stopping at the edge of the spar, Anders catches the young Jamys grabbing the knife but doesn't stop him. The young man is still learning at the side of his cavalry, and soon enough he'll learn yet another lesson, if he knows his Fenris. Standing, then, he raises his arms, crossing them before him, watching and waiting to see what comes to pass.
A short distance from the circle of sand and those who currently occupy it, a solitary figure observes, unnoticed. Or so she assumes. Having completed numerous tasks this morning (among them reorganising the main pavillion, clearing a serviceable area upon one end of the main table for her Lord to read or scribe his letters, complete with waiting parchment, an elegant quill and a rather curious stack of mixed titled, laundering her Lady's dresses - the ones whose seams she has managed to repair anyway - and cooking a stable favourite for lunch in the manner of thick rabbit stew.. whew!), Orlagh is taking at least a few moments respite and observing the lesson with an odd amount of interest. -Not-, unlike some of the lesser servant girls who have gathered more brazenly close, ogling over the Master-at-Arms or his companions, stripped of their finery.. but actually listening.
With her slender arms folded across her midsection, one shoulder leaning lightly to a supporting post of an open-sided tent, the girl seems content in her solitude, again in contrast to others of similar years. Her white-blonde tresses remain swept neatly back in their usual thigh-length braid, only the strongest of sea-breezes enough to set the tresses astir, with a few errant wisps trailing lightly against her cheeks.
The sight of the Young Lord within this motley crew, however, draws her attention. Blue eyes linger thoughtfully upon Anders, safe in the knowledge that he doesn't see, taking in his carriage and stance. Evidently his being out and about still worries her. Even if it's not her place to say so. But what can be done? The men need their leader. Warily looking back to Fenrir, she tries to resume her undivided focus upon what he teaches.
Surprised pleasure stamps Fenrir's lean features as he sees Anders approach - he grins, bowing slightly to the Young Lord before wheeling with a beautiful grace, his foot catching poor Jamys around the ankle as it sweeps out and sending him sprawling to the dirt. Almost before the man has struck, Fenrir is atop him, sprawled out, his hips catching against the other man's to prevent wriggle room.
His hand locks up the other man's dagger-arm, twisting painfully, as he drives his own knife repeatedly into the man - first the inner thigh, then the hollow of the ribs, twisting his 'knife' so that it would slide unperturbed through bones, then across the gut, then -finally- rapping against the arteries at the sides of his throat. "You," he murmurs drily to his opponent, who is doing his best to curl up into a ball of agony, "are very dead. Next time, mind the sun - your shadow hit me."
He bounds to his feet with a ceaseless energy, looking around. "What, none of you lads want to give it a shot? At least Jamys and Jorah, they've got nerve, eh? What've you boys got? A pair of.." He cuts off quickly, looking toward Anders apologetically. "Sorry, Lord." And over his shoulder. "Carry on for now, you buggers." Exiting the circle, he makes his way to Anders' side and salutes with a clenched fist to his chest. He doesn't seem to have spotted Orlagh, too busy catching his breath and trying surreptitiously to brush dirt from himself.
Anders offers a nod in acknowldgment; and with the necessities out of the way, he watches what he know will be poetry in motion. The grace, the style.. and the deadly effeciency is a joy to watch, and it's not something he's willing to interrupt. His gaze moves past, catching the form and figure of Orlagh standing beside the door of his 'pavillion', such as it is within the city. There's a different posture to her; rather than the ogle and giggle, there's an intent, almost studious expression. Filing that away, his gaze shifts back around to catch Fenrir making poor young Jamys an ex-Jamys.. in spar, anyway.
A smile grows on the Young Lord Flint's face, and he allows his hands to lower slowly to his side. He waits for the salute, once again acknowleging it before he laughs. "Well done, as usual, Master Fen.. You will, of course, replace poor Jamys so his work can be done."
Even the servant girl, standing in the shade of the tent across the way, cannot help but smile slightly at the display. She doesn't gasp or cry out in feigned shock, as the small gathering of her fellows closer to the action do. Of course it was coming. What lesson would there be in seeing the Master-at-Arms defeated with such a simple and ungainly move from his opponent, other than foolish tactics make for victory? No, no, no. Fenrir was always going to win. What interested her was how.
Perhaps thankfully, for her own sake, Orlagh remains unaware of the Lord's glance in her direction, so engrossed is she in the sparring. But when it's over, at least for the time being, she pushes away from the supporting pole of the pavillion and turns toward the small pot she's been tending, still slung upon an iron spit over a merrily burning campfire. Though a larger quantity of broth was provided for, at Fen's request, she has kept the richer stew set aside and ladles some now into a simple clay cup. Well, if Anders -will- insist on venturing outside, she can at least see to it that it's on a full stomach. Honestly, wasn't it meant to be his Lady wife she was assigned to chase down for such tedious tasks as eating? Shaking back her wayward strands of blonde once more, wrinkling her nose in defiance of the lively breeze picking up across the flat plains near the sea, the girl sets a brisk stride toward the two men. Though not hurried enough that she will ruin their opportunity for pleasant, masculine discussion. Her lengthy skirts sway about her booted feet and across the long grasses, but don't impede her stride in the slightest.
"Aw, give him five minutes, Lord, and he'll be back to it! No need to coddle the runt." Runt. And Jamys, in his youth, already approaching Fenrir in his full growth. The master-at-arms finally succeeds on getting the worst of the dust off his scarred torso, grinning at Anders as he brushes hair back off his face. "Gods have mercy, but I do love a knife-fight, Lord. I hear in some of the Free Cities, the way they handle a duel is to tie a rope to two men's wrists and hand 'em a pair of knives, and off they go."
There is a faint longing in the man's voice; whether to see such lands or to fight in such a manner is unclear. He follows the man's gaze to Orlagh, and the oddest thing happens - the man flushes a beet red, all the easier to spot due to his fair skin. He doesn't seem bothered by the fawning female sycophants nearer to them; perhaps he's already intimately familiar with their foibles and charms. Coming to himself, he says, "Anyhow, Lord. I got some basic defenses being put up, just to keep the lads busy - and to get them in the habit, for when we travel to the Isles. I got men feeding the horses, and we've checked over every man's kit. Also had some stew laid by - we can thank Mistress Orlagh for that - for all the wounded. Something better'n stale bread, at least. With your permission." His tone, familiar as it is, borders on an equal addressing an equal - or an older brother to a younger - but he does his best to maintain propriety, not daring to offer opinions on anything but the minutiae of running a military encampment.
Anders laughs softly, carefully, and a smile remains behind. "No coddling. Just want to be sure the work assigned is done is all." His hands find their way behind his back, fingers lacing as he stands, his weight shifting. "I'd heard of that, you know. I've also heard of men too cowardly to do it themselves, and so tie dogs together for the same end." But, he'd not admit that it's almost as good a show, two snarling, deadly dogs fighting for supremacy because of nothing else but pure wild instinct.
The glance beyond to the newly arrived maid gives Anders pause, his brows rising as he looks to follow the glance. "You do, hmmm?" The discussion continues, but he has the funny feeling that all she needs do is to say a word, and that train of thought will be derailed, even if briefly. "We should be ready for anything. I've not seen the Isles, myself, but I understand it's rocky soil. Work on footings on the wet rocks, perhaps.. teach them balance." As if Fenris hadn't thought of it? Chances are better than even that his Master has considered it already and works to put it into the work routine.
"You've seen her, then. The maid was sent by Lady Lise; and I regret that I may have to thank her upon our return home." The smile quirks lopsided, the look certainly conveying a message to those who know and understand the intricacies of the Flint Household. He simply waits, then, to see what the Lady does so he can hold it against her and thus not have to thank her. As the mistress approaches, Anders turns his body to watch her approach, keeping an eye on his friend, confidante and Master at arms. This.. should be interesting?
Is the girl paying any heed whatsoever to the exchange between the men? Who knows. It'd be safe to assume not, simply because it isn't her place. And Orlagh most certainly knows her place; no argument there. Keeping her blue eyes demurely downward cast as she approaches, she misses the flush of warmth across Fenrir's skin, as well as the lingering gaze of the Lord Heir. Those things are the very reason a well-bred young woman should keep her gaze averted.
Upon drawing closer, Orlagh drops one hand from its steadying clasp about the clay cup, grasping gently at her skirts and sweeping them to one side in order to bend in a smooth, practiced curtsey toward Anders; as usual almost taking to a knee, though today it would be in the grass and earth. "M'Lord." Her rise back toward a stand is slow, leaving plenty of chance for her new employer to halt or rebuke, should she deserve it. Unpredictable creatures, nobles. But she also murmurs a greeting toward the Master-at-Arms; respectful if not so reverent. "Master Fenrir."
The blonde will speak no further until invited to, nor will she raise her gaze. It might seem odd, to some, to maintain such delicate subtleties in a place like this. To Orlagh? Being in a place like this only makes it all the more essential. She waits in polite silence.
"I met her, aye. Competent, Lord. And I always said, your sister has a real.. eye for ability." His tone is careful - Anders might be able to speak freely, but Fenrir is still just a soldier, no matter how willing he might be. Under his breath, Fenrir remarks softly to Anders. "I'll have to thank her too." He grins a bit bashfully at his Lord, rubbing at the back of his neck as the young woman approaches. "Mistress Orlagh! I saw my lads bringing in rabbits. Hope they were enough for your broth, eh? I owe you a favor for that." Fenrir grins amiably, if a bit anxiously as he glances aside at his lord and master.
"Wet rocks, Lord.. That's not a bad idea at all, really." The man scratches at his neck thoughtfully, gaze absent for a time as he contemplates the matter, no doubt constructing exactly the regime that his lord proposed. "We'll do it on the wharves.." He pauses, looking back at Orlagh, manner brisk and business-like. "Mistress, I know it's not your task, but.. Could you see about laying in some supplies for me? A stewpot, just like that one there, but with as many tea-leaves as you can spare. Just constantly burning. I'll have to train them at night, see.."
"That she is, and she does, Master Fen.." is quietly agreed. Orlagh in one breath, Lise in another. Anders casts a glance to the side, with no little difficulty— the moving of his head is still problematic, and he shifts in order to do so. His voice drops, "And I will tell you if she succeeds in not deserving gratitude." And no doubt run interference simply because he'd get away with it. "Take the favour, Orlagh." Anders raises his voice again to conversational level.
He's actually a touch surprised that Fenrir takes the idea; that it hadn't been thought of? Anders nods, and unlatches his fingers behind him, allowing his hands to move freely once again. "Wharves are good. I'd like to watch, so let me know when it begins." In between the studying of maps, potential tactics for meeting with the 'other captains'. "I'll be sure Lord Einar'll be there too, to attend and practice." His squire. As the request to Orlagh begins from his Master, he falls silent before he adds to the new maid, "Make sure you gain aid where you need it. Tell them that the lord bids them do what you require. If they balk, they will be brought to me."
Slowly raising her eyes, her features gradually upturned to the sunlight, Orlagh offers a distracted smile toward the tall soldier at his rush of thanks and further request; initially replying with a gentle nod to convey that she has taken note. But, as etiquette dictates, it's to their Lord that she directs her attention, first and foremost. Smoothing her dark skirts with a last light sweep of her fingers, she then reclaims the cup she carries within both palms, offering it gently toward Anders as she speaks. "..pardon my interruption, m'lord. But I thought.. perhaps some stew might be easy upon your throat, while you are seeing to matters around the camp." She doesn't presume to suggest that he ought to be resting; she's not a maester. He must do as he will. But even the smallest sip of the hearty concoction would find it to be seasoned delicately, to his preferred tastes as well as in compliment to the meat and vegetables that comprise it. Clever girl.
With the unspoken permission to converse a little more freely, the girl returns her gaze more levelly now toward Fenrir, even as she addresses their master again. "I shall, gladly. The favour of a Master-at-Arms is not to be sniffed at." The tone of the remark is pleasant, even tempered a little with teasing. "I have a few spares set aside, Master Fenrir, which you are of course most welcome to. And tea-leaves of various flavor. Have you a preference?" Tilting her head a little askance, she arches a brow in polite, curious enquiry. She's never been taught what he approves of, after all. With the suggestion of further help, though, her attention flits - only a little derisively - toward the other girls, who are beginning to stray back to whatever tasks they -should- be attending; her answer as polished as ever. "Thank you, m'lord. I shall see that the work is spread evenly, I assure you." Looking after Cordelya, of course, takes up rather a large portion of her day. One has to know when to delegate. Anders receives a grateful smile for the thought, all the same.
"That'd be good, Lord. In fact.. well, I got to sort of -insist- on it, Lord, begging your pardon. It does Lord Einar good to get wet with the lads.. and it does the lads good to see it." Fenrir speaks rather boldly, bracing himself for a rebuke, but this is his expertise, after all. He scratches his neck, continuing. "Aye, tea will do. And fires to dry them off. We'll drill them at night, by sections, Lord; if they can handle a fight in the dark, they'll be able to handle it by day easy enough, and they'll learn to feel their way better without good vision. I'll have them wading ashore from the wharves as well - give them a taste of what it'll be like when they hop off their longships." He's obviously thinking as he goes, eyes alight with the challenge, a tradesman contemplating a new task.
"As for what flavor, Mistress Orlagh.. whatever you reckon will warm them and keep them sharp both. It's miserable, fighting wet - I done it before, and it always drags a man down. Still, sweat in training so we don't bleed in battle." He beams at the young woman, not noticing her glance toward the other maids - or at least, not commenting on it. "If you need any lads to do the heavy lifting, of course grab them. And expenses.. well, for things like tea, come to me direct, Mistress." His smile has an edge to it as he continues, glancing between Orlagh and Anders. "It won't hurt your influence over the other lasses any, either. You'll be setting a grand example for them - virtues of hard work and all."
"Yes, I think that might be a good idea." There is still weight that Anders needs to put on in order for his armour to fit properly once again. He doesn't like the idea that the leather strapping might need a couple new holes for the buckles— any reason to add weight is a good one, right? Stew, and a crust of bread will be perfect. Not too heavy, and filling. Follow that with a cup of ale? In regards to the matter of the other maids, he knows exactly from whence she .. doesn't speak. Lax would be an understatement, and finally to have the time to settle, to pause, to breathe.. and fix the problems before they get out of hand is time to be taken. "Do so. And it is as Master Fenrir says."
Truth be told, Anders allows the latitude simply because he relies on the man to think in his absence. He relies upon the counsel, and there is none that would dare presume to speak as the Master at Arms does. He's aware that Fenrir shares the same goals— a knight must teach his squire, and not just dictate menial chores. It's a solemn contract; education is paramount. "This, then, we are of one mind. Do what is required in my name and get them working." Besides which, there is no way he'd rebuke the man in public; not him, anyway. The need of respect of command is also of profound import.. unless something truly heinous happens.. and then, and only then..
In spite of herself, Orlagh's azure eyes keep drifting back toward the Master-at-Arms as he explains the reasoning behind his schemes for training the men. It makes sense, when put more clearly, why he would choose to have them fight after dark. And why he'd have need of tea. That did seem a little out of sorts, at first. Her mind is already at work, mulling over which herbs and spices would be best suited, and such musings perhaps distract her attention - just fleetingly - from her Lord. But his voice is enough to jolt her from the almost-reverie and she dips again in a curtsey as he accepts the cup from her hands. "As you wish, m'lord. And my thanks, Master Fenrir. I shall not hesitate to inform you, if I require anything further for the supplies of the camp."
Just as Fenrir is here to oversee the best possible training of men and weaponry, so Orlagh's place is to whip this place into shape. Abruptly, needs be. Exactly how long have things been allowed to remain so.. chaotic? Chancing a look to the Young Lord, seeing as he's busy addressing his trusted retainer, the girl quietly observes his expressions, gauging his pleasure or protest whether he voices it or not. That he made no comment upon her briefly apparent opinion bodes well.. in a way. It means he has noticed. And it might imply subtle permission granted to rectify the situation. Good.
"Just so, my Lord. I'll start them in sections tonight, then." Unspoken is the judgement that Fenrir himself will be giving up the chance for much sleep; but then, that's the role of master-at-arms. He eyes his boss skeptically, head tilting to one side. "You better eat every drop, Lord," he remarks - in a much lower undertone, though his voice is half-jesting. "Or I'll have to spoonfeed it." He winks aside at Orlagh, before ducking his head again to Anders.
"Lord Einar is shaping up quite nicely," he adds with a judicious tone to his voice. "Boy's..Lord's..not exactly a -soldier-, yet, my Lord, but we don't need him to be, eh? That's why you keep dogs like me. But he's brave, and he's -willing-, and I'll trade that for a killer any day." Scratching at his chin idly as he considers Orlagh, his eyes narrowing a bit, the man adds "Another thing I'll be wanting, Mistress - three fresh pig carcasses. Bled, if you can get them. Skinned or not makes no matter. Closest thing to a man, pigs."
While the Lady Flint did spent most of the night with Anders and in the Flint Tent, once the morning came, Cordelya said some gentle, apologetic words, took some breakfast, and disappeared to make some rounds. Apparently, though, she's learning her less. Into the afternoon and she's now coming back home, still in those plain gray skirts and that black bodice, mostly clean for the messiness of leeching a noble and caring for a few other wounded. She looks half slept, better than she did before, and her hair is still in the braids from last night thought they'd fuzzed out a bit for wear and tear. She arches a brow at the scene, a slight smirk of amusement dancing across her tiny, elfin features as she slips around to her husband's side…"Quite the show this afternoon…" She mutters casually.
Of course Fenrir will get little sleep; the nature of the beast. And if Anders had the ability, he'd keep almost the same hours, but he simply doesn't yet have the stamina. He relies on a good showing against the other lords in their noble pissing contest. Well, that, and while he's assured that Fenrir will do the best with what is given, he actually enjoys watching the preparations. He's proud of his northerners. The quip, however, given by is Master is met with something of an amused, lofty expression, followed by his eyes narrowing and he holds it out, "Perhaps I should hire a food-tester first, oh Master Fenrir?" He's not long in the gesture, however, before he takes it back to himself and spoons some of the thick broth with some bread. Before the bite, however, he offers it over again.. before simply taking the first bite. "None of you is interested in my brother taking the throne," a jest.
"And Lord Einar is doing well. Willing and brave, aye. I wouldn't have one unwilling, nor am I interested in taking on more than one squire, as others do." Anders smirks at the slip from Fenrir, but says nothing, moreso because of Corrie's approach. Turning fully, Anders looks at the package that is his lady wife, and he offers something of a bow in greeting, "My lady Cordelya.." before he lowers his voice, his tones deadpanning, "Young Jamys was killed today."
Orlagh's eyes widen further and further as the Master-at-Arms details what he wants. She's not magical. Looking decidedly dubious, she glances aside toward the Young Lord, clasping her newly-freed hands lightly against the weighty wool of her brown skirts. If she's looking for help or inspiration, she finds neither. So, ever the diplomat, she ventures her own suggestion. "..with permission, I could arrange a hunting party..?" Flitting a slow look across the horizon, she takes stock of the sparse little spots of scrub and forest dotted about the landscape. "Mayhap we could scare up some wild boar? Though, if I may speak plainly, Master Fenrir, those would be better used for feeding the men." Returning her gaze calmly to the taller man, she affords him a shy smile. "..what about the stores of the Ironborn? One.. might expect them to have salted meat, given their choice of travel?" Well, well. She's not entirely without sense. Remarkable.
The approach of the noblewoman, however, puts an end to this outloud speculation; Orlagh dips once again in a respectful curtsey toward Cordelya as she appears by the Young Lord's side. "M'lady." Even as she's rising again, her gaze wanders, not in any unkind way, over the woman's hair and attire. Better. Much better. And, while she wouldn't be so impolite as to openly contradict Anders, she does smile faintly, offering the gentlest shake of her head in amused negation, lest Corrie take the dry jest seriously. No wonder the woman takes off into the midst of blood and gore, if her husband teases her with it when it's not present!
Oh, shit. The boss's wife. Fenrir turns around, roaring to the collection of men in the vicinity - the veins on his neck stand out, and his voice carries like a bullhorn, well-trained for the field of battle. "You hideous little sots! Get your tunics on -now-, you wretched stone-headed idyits! Lady don't want to see that!.. Jory, toss me my tunic." He keeps a straight face throughout, as men scramble to make themselves more decent. Maids are one thing - the Lady Flint? Something else. His tunic is underhanded to him by a snickering Jory, and he quickly shrugs into it before making a clumsy bow toward Cordelya. "Lady Flint! I.. uh, I apologize, really. Just a hot day, is all."
At Anders' deadpan comment, Fenrir grins - his expression growing more like a wolf as his teeth flash. He turns to look at poor Jamys, who is still limping from the nasty blow to his groin and cursing as he struggles to get his tunic over bruised ribs. "Killed…five times over, I counted, Lord. But the boy'll learn to mind his surroundings, or I'll keep killing him. Aye, and kicking him while he's down, too. And I promise, Lord, I got no interest in Lord Anselm replacing you. Nice enough fellow, but.. well.." he trails off awkwardly, aware that he's extended himself too far. "I think, Lord, I've just got used to having you in charge, is all." That nicely leaves much unsaid.
His expression falls a bit as Orlagh very gently points out that she is not, in fact, in possession of magical summoning abilities. "Well.. well, if we can't get fresh pigs, I suppose the salted meat'll do for a target. So long as it's still got the ribs in, mind. They got to get used to jamming their spears the right way, so it doesn't get stuck." These are the sorts of details that occur to you after years of training. "That's a good thought - both. The hunting party and the stores. Other lads'll be wanting that meat, so.. if you go checking, make sure you take Jory and five others. For hauling and cracking skulls both."
Cordelya slips up behind her husband, if no one stops her, and she very gently begins to reach her small, long hands to the back of his neck. She doesn't start with the neck yet, but focuses her fingertips upon his shoulders, where the lighter knots will be resting but not the worst of the matter. She blinks as she realizes that Orlagh is curtseying to her, something Corrie is still not accustomed to seeing. "Up, up, dear… as you were, Orlagh, really. Relax. I'm not… not like that. Just relax." It really is that awkward for the Young Lady Flint. She then blinks down to her husband with a moment of worry, before she catches sight of the deadpanned nature in his features. "You lie. Jamys would never let himself perish so quickly. He still has things to learn from Payter's wife." She dead pans as well, but it draw at least two howls from the men at the sides of the camp, considering the other things that have been said about his wife. Corrie grins to the crowd and then turns back to her husband's neck, beginning to rub just a bit deeper. The mostly unfamiliar Fenrir draws an arch of her brow as she stares over her husband's light brown hair. "Killed five times over? I have heard that we all long for the little death, but I do not think that is what they meant by the phrase." Oh yes, she's in better moods today. Or she's trying to be at least.
There's no sanctuary from Fenrir's request in the Young Lord Flint for poor Orlagh. If anything, he agrees completely with his Master; there are reasons for all requests, as the new maid is beginning to learn. Once explained, there is the expectation that requests will not be questioned, or even elaborated upon. Clear is clear.
Finally, the piece of bread is eaten.. chewed and swallowed, and after a moment's hesitation for effect, he takes up another piece of bread with which to have the next bite. The call to tunics elicits a grin from the Young Lord, but again.. there is no gainsaying. It is right, it is proper.. and it should be done. "Better you kill him than some mongrel son of a whore," is muttered, the attempt at least made to keep it from the Lady Cordelya's ears.. for propriety's sake. The grin remains at the support for his life and throne, but it's dropped.
Corrie's attending of his shoulder muscles elicits a grunt, pain and pleasure mixed before he tries to take that step forward. Problem is, he knows that once she's done, he feels better.. but getting there is so damned painful. He scowls briefly at her words, but he's not going to say anything.. not yet, anyway. And not in front of Orly. Her comment, however, regarding the young man and the.. wife.. makes Anders choke on his food briefly, and he coughs.. oh.. gods. That's not to mention ..
The blonde doesn't seem to mind that Cordelya beseeches her to rise. She's not going to stop treating the wife of the Young Lord with the respect her station commands, no matter how much she argues and squirms. What does seem to have her flinch a little, though, is the coarseness of tone in reference to Jamys, and the whooping approval from those who, by rights, ought to be doing naught but bowing properly in the presence of their Master's wife. And Fenrir isn't helping. Half naked men and blades through ribs and.. ugh.
With a silent steeling of her composure, her eyes closing a beat longer than a blink, Orlagh bites her tongue, seeing as they are in public. She really isn't here to rebuke the vivacious young Lady, after all.. but oh, she is a handful. Perhaps fortunately, the fair-haired maid seems to entirely miss the comment regarding that lewd turn of phrase. It goes over her head. Just as well. She'd likely blush scarlet, if she understood the implication in the words. "Allow me to fetch you some stew, m'lady. I've kept it warm, for your return.." A subtle, swift curtsey is offered this time to Anders and Fenrir. She won't be long in fetching another cup from near the pavillion, after all.
Fenrir eyes Cordelya, his eyes sparkling with gleeful amusement at the tease she throws Jamys's way - but it isn't right -or- proper that he notice, and so the man officially does not. Still, there is a hint of humored respect in the way he watches the woman now. Looking around at the men standing by and laughing, the master-at-arms puts his hands to his hips. That starts the quicker-thinking ones back to their drills. But the sluggards? "/Oi/! What do you think this is, a hand-fasting feast? Eh? You lads reckon you can stand around 'cos the Lord's going to protect you from me, is -that- it? Well he /ain't/! That's it. Jamys, Petyr, Jak, Tomm. Suit up, -full kit-, meet me back here in ten minutes, you lay-abouts. If you got energy to laugh, you got energy to trot!"
The men's mirth disappears as they turn to run for their kits, grumbling under their breath. Fenrir turns to look back at Anders and Cordelya, a mischievous grin teasing his features. "Sorry, my Lady - I don't mean to steal your audience away, but I wager you'd like some time alone with your Lord Husband. And idle soldiers make for brawls, and all, so I better put the boot to these bas.. blackguards."
Orlagh's departure is noted by the man, his gaze lingering on her back a bit longer than casual acquaintance would dictate, but he tears himself back to business with evident effort. "I'll join them, my lord, with your permission. I ain't been sweating enough today, and.." it goes unsaid, it's good for the men to see their master-at-arms sweating and puking with the rest of them. "..It'll help me keep an eye on Jamys, eh? Idle hands, idle hands.." Ah, the burdens of a troop commander.
Well, they were asking for it! What does it matter that such things are said while drinking ale around a campfire or on a nice afternoon? Either way, Corrie's said her piece and with that glimmer of amusement in her pale jade eyes, she focuses upon her husband's shoulders a bit more than the men gathered around. "Thank you, Orlagh… I will eat once my husband does not feel as if he has rocks atop his ribs instead of muscle." Yes, he's going to get the massage of her fingertips whether he likes it or not. Silently and loyally, she will stand at his side and do what she must to be a good wife. This is proper as well, no matter how painful. She gently digs her small fingertips into the outside of his shoulders, tenderly working her way in. "Just a few minutes, my lord, enough to get the worst of it out…" She murmurs to the back of his head. Yet there is still something in her voice as she address him. Distant. Properly cold.
Fenrir's oddly gentle apology in her direction about taking the audience illicts a small shake of her head and a warmer smile in his direction. "It is no issue, Master. I am not certain it's the sort of audience I should be keeping either. They should be far more enamoured of their drills than their lord's wild wife." She admits with an also sort of apologetic little laugh. "No more than breaking the skin. If I have to deal with a festering wound because you lugs all beat on each other, though, I WILL be cross. Be safe out there, boys." She calls after the crowd, then turns silent eyes back to her husband's neck. Now she's getting closer to the worst area, and she allows her touches to go a bit lighter.
Anders knows quite well what is 'setting Orly off', and there's a twang of sympathy, though it stops before there is any hint of embarassment of his Lady. He's not despairing, yet, as to the education of Corrie, or rather.. the tempering. The offer of stew for the lady is a good one, and her departure to retrieve food for her Lady is met with silent approval.
Fenrir's reaction to the men's reaction is perfect; but it helps, again, that the men are of accord. Each understands their position, their place in the world, as it were. Doesn't mean that Anders doesn't notice the lingering gaze.. and in that, he tries to suppress a grin, instead going for that *ahem* business tone. "Go, Master Fen.. do what needs be done." As if the man wouldn't? "I'll speak to you again about progress and potential directions once we both learn more." He can't move without intel; and they can only train for contingencies and not realities. Still, idle hands are unacceptable.
Under Corrie's ministrations, however, Anders adds a couple of grunts, and in one case, there's almost a yelp as she catches a particular knot. "That.. Cor—" and he falls silent once again. He exhales, and because he's got the stew in hand, he can't necessarily take a hand to keep her from going after the more painful parts. "At least let me sit."
As he hisses in pain almost immediately as she touches the spot, Cordelya draws her hand back and fully lets him go. "Yes, dear… Sit, please. Here or in the tent, it is up to you. It'd be better if I could get at the whole area." Which would find him shirtless again. Still, she waits for him to decide where he wants to go an sit, she not getting any stew for herself yet. Instead, she grabs at a heavy towel and ducks into the tent to go to that constantly hot bowl of water she's been keeping. She dips the towel deeply into it, carefully trying to not burn her hands. She ensures it's all warm then pulls it out, wringing it out and coming up behind him. "here…. This will help a bit." She drapes the warmed towel across his shoulders and neck and THEN starts rubbing through it. No one can say she's not good at what she does.
No, Corrie's not getting stew for herself because Orlagh is getting it for her. Soon enough, it'll be given her. Anders is stuck with the stew in his hand; he hasn't gotten the chance to finish it, and while hungry, he also likes being (eventually) pain free. He also doesn't really mind the attention either, mind.. and he gestures towards the tent with the hand that holds bread for dipping into the stew. "Tent.." Which also means that he could possibly lie down.. and try to relax a little more. Hissing a breath, he closes his eyes at the heat of the towel, and hunching his shoulders, pauses before he starts his way to the tent.
Corrie gives him some space to eat and walk into the tent with that hot towel across his shoulders. Hopefully the heat will allow him to relax just a bit without her fingertips, preparing for the work she intends to do. She tugs one of those stools out near the mats, so he can roll over and sleep when he is done if he would wish. "Sit…. relax. No need for you to injure this again because all you do is worry and keep every muscle tight as a stone…" Corrie murmurs gently. She then waits for him to sit, coming up behind him instead, so she can go back to her ministrations. She's quiet otherwise. Respectful and silent.
Anders isn't oblivious. He knows there's something up, and it's undoubtedly a remnant from last night's discussion. He's got no idea that he'd been left during the night, and so assumes she'd been there the entire time. In that, he'd hoped that perhaps a night's slumber would have taken care of some of her pique? He exhales softly, enters and sits down, placing his food off to the side. He'll either finish it, or Corrie will. Either way.. he hopes. It takes him a few long moments to work out his tunic, but he manages to lift it up and over his head, revealing the new scars of battle, and making the bandage at his neck a little more obvious. "I would rather I not worry, but that seems to be my lot.. and so I carry it."
"You worry now? I know your friend is still ill… but the war is won, here. What keeps your heart, And..ers.." No nick names. Nothing improper. Hell, Corrie feels lucky that he's letting her treat his neck at all. She does let him go through the motions of pulling off his tunic, the things he can do to regain his own strength she'd never stop him from performing. She then redrapes the towel over the bandage on his neck and the side of his shoulder, working her fingertips against the skin on the opposite side of his neck and back. Small, delicate motions, tender little circles from her small fingertips. "Eat, Anders… I'll go slow and gentle."
Anders sighs again, pushing the food further away. "Corrie, you're mad at me. I understand that." He would shake his head, but he can't.. too painful, but he does have some motion, thanks to the fingers of his wife. Hissing a breath, he holds his breath before letting it go slowly and evenly. "I'm not hungry. Not until this is resolved." But his position is .. vulnerable. Wrong word and there's sure to be a bit of 'harmless' pain in the guise of muscle kneading. Not that he'd accuse her of doing that, mind.. "I'm more than aware of my chilly reception."
His last words send her quiet for a few moments. While he might think the pain in his neck is because her small fingertips are taking their vengence out upon his damaged muscles, in truth, she would never do that. If anything else, Cordelya is treading even more lightly and careful than she normally would. Where as once upon a time she had the courage to tell him to suck it up and remind him the pain would be worth it after, he's cowed that courage in her. Now she's simply scared of making the wrong move. She says nothing for several moments, trying to figure out how to phrase things in her head and it's just not there. So she tends to him in the only way she knows how — physically. It's not until she's finished the whole right side of his neck and she's moving the towel over to that side so she can get at the more tender area around his wound. "…it is not a chilly reception, Anders. I'm not… mad at you." She whispers, and it's in full truth, though there's a touch of tightness in her voice. "I'm just… lost. You want a wife who will be… proper… and perfect. Lovely at court… who knows the right things to say… I am not that woman. I wish I were… I wish I were like Cherise, or your sister… but I'm not. I… don't know if I can be that woman either. I'm worried I'll lose myself…if I am. I'll lose what bits of my heritage I have left. So… perhaps…" And this is the hardest thing to say. "Perhaps it is best you… set me aside. You can claim the lack of an heir as reason. No one would… say you nay…"