|Summary:||Dominick has some ideas regarding the siege. Jarod is only a little sensitive regarding terminology. Brynner daydreams of Rosie throughout the awkwardness.|
|Related Logs:||Seagard combat logs|
|Streets of Seagard|
|Streets. In Seagard. Under Riverlands control, phew!|
Since the last encounter with the Ironborn, Dominick has spent his hours back and forth between the camp and the advanced front line, the time outside dictated by how long he can stand on that injured leg. His little nest at camp is a mess of papers and a few instruments he brought along to keep scale. Poor Brynner may not be getting mush sleep with the engineer up at all hours doing this and that.
And many hours it does take, coming to one conclusion and then scrapping it. Then another, and another. Until finally tonight, which finds the Groves retainer in front of a wall in the low district. Just standing there, arms folded, looking at the mud-streaked stone as if it had something to say.
Jarod emerges from a ramshackle building in the low district. It's too gutted for it to even hint at what it once housed, though at present it's serving as the quarters for the Terrick men with the Army of the Cape. He idly rubs at his jaw, which looks freshly shaved, though he's not presently much means to clean himself up apart from that.
Young Bryn handles the interrupted sleep like a soldier, tossing and turning and hopping up each morning determined not to let it affect him. He comes jogging by, perhaps doing some squirely exercise to keep his fitness up, or perhaps pretending he's performing some other important squirely duty; his eyes are narrowed as he peers in abandoned windows, fists balled at the ready. You know. In case of ambush.
Dominick scowls at the wall for a moment longer. He leans forward at the waist, picking at some dried mud with his finger and then wrapping on the stone with the backs of his knuckles. Then his ear's up against the stone, once again rapping. Maybe the wall is talking.
Jarod spots Dominick's behavior, crossing his arms and squinting at it. Unable to figure out precisely what the man is doing via visual inspection, he heads in that direction. "There, er, something wrong with the wall, Master?" he asks.
Might Jarod ambush Brynner? The knight earns a narrow-eyed glance, on his way over to… "Oi, Dom!" Bryn turns, shifting his course so that his squirely jog takes him back over toward the pair. "There a secret tunnel in there?"
"Yes," Dominick smiles slowly as he answers Jarod, sounding quite satisfied. "As a matter of fact? There is." He straightens up, hearing his name, and glances over his shoulder. A glob of mud coats the shell of his ear. "Oh, Brynner. Come here, come. No tunnels, but for once that's actually a good thing." His green eyes flicker back to Jarod. "Pardon me, Ser, I don't mean to be rude. I saw you in the fighting, didn't I."
"No rudeness taken. Just…wasn't sure what this was all about," Jarod replies. "Aye. Ser Jarod Rivers is how I'm called. I'm one of Lord Jerold Terrick's men. You were fighting with the Groves lot, if I recall right. The leg all right?" Brynner earns a nod and slight grin. "Squire."
"Ser," says Brynner crisply, hoping that his tone and the way he stands up straight and tall at Jarod's address is enough courtesy; he's not real well-schooled in these things. That done, he's quick to turn his attention to the wall, peering at it curiously while he lets the other two converse.
"Groves, yes," Dominick acknowledges with a nod. "Dominick Augusten. Pleased to meet you, Ser Rivers. You seen to know Brynner here and his collection of scars." He pats Brynner's shoulder with a faint smile. "Anyway Ser, I build things for Groves you see…with the purpose of keeping people out and making sure that people who get in uninvited have an unpleasant enough experience to not wish to return." He raps the wall again gently with the back of his hand. "I was picking around near the front lines last night and I think I might know a few things to be of help. Unfortunate that Ser Longbough is so injured. But perhaps you are in a position to make use of it." This last is a mix between statement and question.
"You're own lord'd do as well as me," Jarod says. "Though I can see what Lord Jerold's men can do to assist if it's worth doing, and perhaps bring it to Ser Longbough if you've not the time. Got to pay him a call later today anyhow. I've been trying to inventory the arms and armor we could get off the fallen Ironborn, to make use of with our own men, get it distributed where it's needed and all. Ser Bruce is down, but I think he's still trying to coordinate matters for the Nayland infantry much as he can. Anyhow, what've you got in mind?"
Bryn shows off his latest papercut as Dominick references him, proudly pulling back an unarmored sleeve to reveal an almost-healed shallow slice. Other than that he sticks to silence, keeping his keen ears open instead, blue eyes darting between the other two men.
"Their weaknesses," Dominick replies. "I had a handful of our men go sneaking about near the Keep." As he talks he retrieves one of his city maps from his satchel, snapping it open. The wide parchment is handed to Brynner. "Hold this for me, will you? Now, from them I've seen that these Ironborn bastards have settled what could only be called a tiny token number of men here…" His finger raps the paper. "…at the eastern wall. Most of what they have is strung out through the Market quarter." He traces the area in question on the map. "And mostly facing us, with about, oh…I'd say a quarter of their men placed to threaten the Mallister keep here. Are you versed in siege formations, Ser?"
"Are they all of them bastards, Master Augusten?" Jarod remarks wryly, though it's more rueful than anything else. "Busy, those Pykes." He noses over to get a better look at the map. "Aye, fighting in the market's still fierce, when you get out've the areas where we're dug in. Wish there were some way to cut through them, join up with the Mallisters. We'll break them eventually, but they seem to intend to make the retaking of the city as ugly as possible." At the question, Jarod shrugs. "I'm more familiar with cavalry formations, and swordfighting in the open. Most of my experience since the Rebellion is in the field, against bandits and the like, and raiding parties far smaller than this particular shipment of Ironborn."
Brynner is nothing if not obedient, and he takes the parchment and holds it open between his two hands not quite table-flat, and chirping a cheery, "Ayep." The comment from Rivers about bastards sees a bit of a tightening about the squire's jaw, but for the most part he just watches as Dom's finger flits about the paper.
"I'm here to fight for Seagard, Ser, not terminology," Dominick replies, making a vague gesture. "Anyway, yes. Well. This is absolutely terrible siege deployment. There's nothing about this that makes it good for a waiting game at all. They aren't even restricting all movement in and out of the Keep. Though there is a much stronger presence on the waterfront. But the point is that there is a big flaw in their defense and that's these." The last word is punctuated by his finger tapping the wall.
"All right," Jarod simply mutters, as to Dominick's terminology. He doesn't dwell on the subject, though his manner is a little brisker than before. He directs his attention to the map, thoughtful frown coming to his face. "The squids don't tend to fight with much of a plan from what I've seen. Just hit hard as they can, fast as they can, and rip down and burn whatever they're at risk of losing before it can be retaken. Their advantages in this invasion have some from surprise, treachery and our own lull during a time of peace. Question, to my mind, is how to keep them from tearing Seagard down into a heap as we drive them out." He eyes the wall Dominick's tapping at. "How's that, Master?"
Brynner shifts his feet at the little interchange between the other two men, and keeps his eyes down. On the page. That he's holding. He's probably thinking sweet, innocent thoughts about Lady Rosanna about now.
"There is no way except to do it as quick as possible." Dominick scratches gently at his lower lip, leaving a tracking of mud across it. "Every wall is not a wall. An effective wall, I mean. I've watched them in the streets…they treat every building as a solid barrier and that's a bad mistake. Do you see here, Ser? Bryn?" He opens his hand, using it to circle a part of the merchant district. "These are warehouses, and this row stretches from here…up to here." His finger indicates an area that would essentially punch a hole through the Ironborn forces behind that ill-advised barrier. "And they're under-defended, considering. If you could get enough men to go through those warehouse walls you could punch a nice hole in their lines. And there are a few of these spots, not just right here."
"Rip down Seagard's walls ourselves?" Jarod asks, looking up from the map to Dominick. "I'll confess, spent a good part of my youth in this city, the idea of planning to take it apart sits not well with me. Nothing about city fighting is pretty, though. I do see what you mean, about making holes in their line. It'd allow us to flank them, trap them between our forces if we worked it right, not just push at them from one side."
Dominick smiles, the right side of his mouth a little moreso than the left. "You aren't going to like anything I say, are you, Ser." A bit of the mud on his lip finally finds its way to his tongue and he makes a slight face, turning to spit lightly. "But I am not…unfamiliar with being unclaimed. Or with Seagard." He glances at Brynn, satisfied the man's still daydreaming. "Regarding the latter, I would rather four wooden walls be broken to serve purpose than an entire city razed to serve none. I can tell you this — if you have men do so and remember well which pieces they destroyed then report it to me after. And I will see to it with my own eyes they're repaired."
"There's little to like about the present situation, Master Augusten, I intend no offense, and I gave you no insult. And I asked not about your private life." Nor does Jarod seem interested at all in pressing about it further. "I was agreeing with the merits of your idea, though I'd hope you'd seek to do it in a way where we did as little damage as possible to the city. Where would you suggest we strike? For my part, I'd like to have it done in a way that allows us to join up with Lord Mallister's men quick as possible."
Is Brynner daydreaming? About Rosie, maybe? Or is he just conscientiously ignoring the two men and their continuing argument re: the term 'bastard'? Whatever the case, the lad snaps to soon enough, and blinks his eyes wide. "You - ah." He shuts his trap as promptly as he's opened it.
"This is as little damage as possible, Ser," Dominick replies easily. "We could tunnel, in theory, but it would take longer and be much riskier. These are where the best spots would be. Here…here…and here." The areas are outlined on the map, which on paper doesn't indicate anything but a wall. "I'm no tactician, but if Lord Mallister's men have come up this way then I'd suggest these upper two. Shorter distance between you and and them and also a shorter gap to guard when it's done with."
"How much longer?" Jarod asks, all about tactics, if still not particularly jolly. "I figure we've days, not weeks, to get this settled. Presuming we just break through, would we need any sort of equipment? Battering rams or such?" Green eyes flick to the three spots Dominick's identified. "That'll need to be talked over with the various commanders within the host, if they're of a mind to try something like this. Though for my part I figure the sooner all our forces can meet up, sooner we can bring our collective hammer down on the Ironborn. Doing it piecemeal'll just give them time to ravage the city further."
Bryn squints down at the page as Dom points here, here, and here - but it's Jarod who asks the question he wants the answer to. Rams? And such? The squire looks enquiringly over to Dominick, and cracks a grin. "Are you gonna make 'em go boom?"
"A tunnel that length would easily take a week or more, from a safe starting point." Dominick's dark blond brows furrow as he considers the map. "Depending on the ground. These warehouse walls, knowing the wood they're made of…" His eyes flicker back and forth, thinking. "Wouldn't strictly need a battering ram, no. They aren't reinforced, not in this district. If you have one it'd certainly be welcome but you could get away with hand-axes, a little time, and something to keep them from noticing the noise. A distraction elsewhere, for example." He looks over at Brynn, picking at some of the mud caked all over his ear. "Oh how I wish, Bryn. We might get away with it in a field but not in here."
"Boom?" Jarod's more wary than enthusiastic. As for the bit about axes, he nods. "Axes we've got. The army's large enough that we could hit with one force more straight-on while another worked on the walls. Or it was. The Northmen were hit pretty hard and I'm not sure how much fighting they'll be able to continue in. Anyhow. I'll take this idea to my lord. If it can break us through to Lord Mallister sooner, I figure there's merit in it. If the other commanders're willing to do their bit, the Terricks'll do ours to see it works."
"Oh," says Brynner, his face falling and the light in his eyes snuffing out. Even his shoulders droop, and the map moves accordingly. He draws a breath in rsolve, and breaks into his smile once more. "Well. Nevermind, ay? Next time."
"I'll make some more of the floating fire for you when we get back, Bryn. How's that? Get through all this and you can take one to Lady Rosanna this time." Dominick promises the lad with a light clap on his shoulder. Then back to Jarod. "Aye. Ifs and ifs. Well, that's all I can really say about it apart from good luck. We'll be there whatever's planned." He starts to peel the map away from Bryn. Leggo.
"Aye, Master. Good luck to us all, for we all need it. Squire." With that, Jarod turns and makes his way back toward his little corner of ramshackle-ville.
Brynner is a little reluctant to let go of the map, only because he's busy grinning to himself about floating fire and Rosanna. But mostly about Rosanna. Dom said her name, after all. "Oh," he says again, and lets go. "Sorry. Ah. That'd be great, ay? Ser. Good eve!"