|Of Wives and Trees|
|Summary:||Able to speak alone for the first time in a long while, Anders reveals some of his frustrations and plans to his accomplished sellsword.|
|Related Logs:||Ironborn Invasion, others|
|The Young Lord of Flint's Fingers' Pavilion|
Breakfast has been cleared, and from the sounds of it, the Flint encampment is coming back from their 'down'. There's more laughter than morose, even if there are now the muttered complaints around a cooking fire regarding the new training on the waterfront. Snippets can be caught from the air, 'almost broke my ankle on those rocks..' and 'I haven't had my boots dry in days!'.. though every time a serjeant may walk by, the grumbling ceases. While there may be complaints, there isn't a man who doesn't understand, now, why their Master at Arms is doing it- with the full approval of the now mobile Young Lord.
The entryway is open to the main Flint 'hold', the interior neat and tidied. The map table now has a small pile of books on various subjects, and the chair beside it has a candle that is burned half-way, hinting that perhaps some measure of time is now taken for the more leisurely pursuit of reading. Anders is standing near the table, fingertips of one hand resting lightly upon its top, and slowly, he's turning his head, wincing as he does, making the attempt to get some more range of motion— slowly but surely. If he doesn't, he knows well that it won't come later.
The sound of booted feet announces the presence of the familiar sellsword, attached to the Flint banner since the beginning of the campaign and not at all unfamiliar to the men about. He's become better known around the camp, certainly not one to keep to himself, and through several battles has earned the respect of some of these Northmen, though there is only the one whom he might be said to really need the regard of. "My lord," he calls from the entrance, in far enough to see the Young Lord of Flint's Finger, but not enough to intrude if he's not wanted.
Timing could have been better in that his sword's approach catches him on a turn of the head in a different direction, so he takes the moment to finish before turning fully to face the newly arrived. The bandages are off now, revealing a pink.. gash in the side of the Young Lord's neck, though some of the insult is hidden by his hair, and slight collar of his tunic. "Ser Markus.." A lift of the edges of his mouth is given, a hint of a smile, is coupled with a slight gesture of his hand. "Come in." Beat. "You're not interrupting anything."
He comes in once he's gestured at so, ducking his head slightly as he steps fully within the tent. "It's good to see you on your feet again, my lord," Markus says, halting a polite distance from Anders, hooking his thumbs into his belt for want of something to do with them. "I know the men feel much the same way."
Anders' smile grows a little and he gestures outside, "You mean you can discern the pleasure in their grumbling? Seems now that I'm up and around again, Master Fenrir has started working them harder for the landing." He chuckles and turns about, setting the books right before returning his attention, "I don't doubt that the men would rather see home again rather than invading the isles, but at least they understand the sea and know what's coming. Though, even if we weren't part of the invasion," here, he lowers his voice so it won't carry, "I would have another use for them which would still keep them from seeing home. But only those who are single, and give those who are family men the opportunity to choose."
Markus barks a bit of a laugh at the first bit, answering while the man orders his books, "Oh, they're glad to see you up, but now have gone on to finding something else to grumble about. That's the way of men, I'm fairly certain." His lips quirk in a smile that eases when Anders turns back and offers those quieter words. "What do you have in mind, my lord, if I might be so bold as to ask?"
"Fairly certain, yes," Anders agrees easily. "And I think it is in Master Fenrir's relief that he works the men so.. so I see it as an all around 'win'." He chuckles again, "Though I'm not certainly the Lady Cordelya quite understands it.. but no matter." The thought is waved off, dismissed before he returns to the topic that he'd broached. "I was considering speaking with the Lady Liliana and getting some land on the shore for us." He pauses his speech, but he begins to walk slowly; not quite a pace. "So when this is over, I will still have need of you, if not more."
Even so small a revelation as to his Lord's plans causes Markus' brow to climb, though there is quiet consideration in his gaze. "She's the other surviving Camden, is she not?" Markus inquires of Anders. "Does the territory of your own holding extend close enough to make such viable, then?" He chuckles, albeit quietly, and adds, "I'm afraid my geography is not the best, least of all without a map to consider."
And there's a great deal behind the scenes that must be done, beginning with his Lord Father's approval— and that's only the beginning of the work. "Lady Tiaryn is a Flint by marriage. She married my cousin before the war, and was widowed before an heir could be given. The Lady Liliana is the daughter of their second son." He's got a handle on his southern neighbors. "So, we have taken it upon ourselves to give her a home for as long as she wishes." Anders continues his slow pacing, moving carefully, but a little more freely. He's been down on his back so long, he likes being up and moving. "But I know we would have the Lady Tiaryn's blessing for a port. And as the Fallen Oak's northern neighbors, we border upon their north woods. So there is little question that all would be accessible." There is a pause in his step, and he cants his head, his teeth clenching for a moment in the action. "We sail for a good portion of our trade, so a port is logical. Trees are useful to us.. and the Lady Liliana would be assured there were friendly faces in the trees for her rebuilding efforts. It would take coin and manpower.. neither of which she has, but while coin doesn't come as flowingly as, say, the Roost, it does come. And we have a pool of tradesment to work with."
"I won't pretend to be so knowledgable in lordly affairs, so forgive me if I misspeak, my lord… but her rebuilding efforts?" Markus glances down at the map on the table to see if that might've been what Anders was pouring over at some previous point, but looks back up soon enough at the man. "My understanding was that the reavers took the place and butchered everyone. If there's no people, then who and what is she rebuilding for? The vanity of a more or less dead house?" He shrugs. "Have you the men and willpower to project your rule over these Fallen Oaks, should you not just make it so? Who would stand in your way?"
"Right now, I've word the reavers have left, but I haven't seen their device anywhere. Blacktyde, Lady Tiaryn had said. So," Anders chuffs, "do not ask me if I believe it." He so obviously does not. "I know that she has nothing, nor would I imagine the Terrick's to undertake that for her as they've been ravaged. So, she is a Lady without a house. But tell me, is that so different from Oldstones? And it is out of consideration for my goodcousin that I inquire.. and that I respect the Young Lord and Lady of Terrick's Roost, the Fallen Oak's neighbor to the south." A hint of a smile peeks, and he inclines his head. "I do, Ser Markus. Remember, we are three houses of one family. While I am under one roof, there are two others with whom I can speak.. and that is not to mention that we have a good relationship with Lord Stark." Good enough, anyway. "Within consideration, anyway." He'll temper that, certainly. "And willpower? We have the will, and Master Fenrir will be sure we have the way." Anders begins his pacing again, "And there is the consideration of Lord Aeric Mallister. He cares for the Fallen Oaks, though why, I don't know.. and the Mallisters are put upon as well.."
His lips quirk a fraction. "Ah, see, here's where my lack of knowledge of lordly politics comes into play. I think like a warrior," Markus explains. "You talk of relations and consultations and honoring others… but if you've the might of men to hold whatever part or all of the Fallen Oaks you want… why not just reach out and take it? No one is going to shed blood for the sake of trees without men or hold upon it, not after all of this."
"Because, Ser Markus, Fallen Oaks had no allies. No one would even consider coming to their aid, even if they could." Anders is being flat and honest, as far as he's concerned. "Lord Tully thought nothing of them. Lord Frey?" A derisive laugh comes, followed by a quirked smile.. and he'll not say a word as to his opinion of Frey. "If we move in, it is a Stark bannerhouse moving south.. and it would cause difficulties, should it be seen as an aggressive move." Taking a slow, deep breath, the Young Lord is on the move, "I would rather not be friendless for such an endeavor." He offers a touch of a shrug, as far as injured mucles will allow for at the moment, "There are others, I'm sure, with designs upon the land. It may well be that it's carved up into sections and taken as spoils.. but I want that port."
"Well, I don't doubt you could have it, with the will to see it done. I think there would be few who could think to stand in opposition, and fewer if any with the will to do so," Markus tells him, following that with a faint chuckle. "I've got to survive the invasion of the Iron Isles first, before I put too much thought on what comes after, but it's interesting to see better what my lord's mind is on matters like these."
Anders chuckles softly now and nods, "Time to survive the invasion. If my lady wife has any say in the matter, even if you are on your deathbed, she will see you walking again." There's something of a shadow that crosses his face just after, but it flickers.. and is gone. "She is with Lord Aleister, undoubtedly, even now. She sits vigil with the least as well as the greatest." A tight smile comes of it, and the pacing ceases once again, bringing him near the table. "I think the notion of being in one place for a good time will do wonders for her."
His eyes follow the Young Lord as he paces, and settle well enough when Anders ceases his moving about. "My Lord's wife seems quite wide of heart, with all the good and the bad that can come with such a thing," he opines, adding a touch lower, "But when I came upon her and her friend Jael, after your injury? Well. I've seen women in the aftermath of battle, I've killed my share of husbands. It was plain to me, whomever else she tries to care after, it's my lord who is foremost in her thoughts." He smirks a touch. "Pardon if I overstep, but I reckon it's something I'd like to hear, were our places switched."
"My lady wife … " Anders pauses before he shakes his head gently, and looks down, ".. was not raised to be in a position in which she finds herself and struggles. She's quite cross with me on it, too. And Jael?" The Young Lord raises himself to height before he turns to look at Markus, his expression .. irked. "She had come in to inform me that she was sent by the Lady's father to keep an eye on her for him." Dark eyes narrow at the inward thought, "When I inquired as to whether or not she would take my counsel and move the Lady Cordelya, she responded that she would only do so if her Lady agreed." Made him singularly unhappy. "Unless she changes her words, and I receive word from Lord Reed that there is no concern as to the welfare of my wife, Jael," not even the benefit of 'mistress', "she will not be hired by my house for a maid for my lady. As it is, I have received a handmaid from my sister that does the job.. impeccably." He may back off on the word from Corrie's father, but.. just the thought of the exchange annoys him.
Markus' mouth opens, as if he might say something, but then closes again. When the sellsword speaks, it is only to say, "Well, my lord, such matters are about as far from being any of my business as it might be. I do not envy you the situation." Whatever else he was going to say, that is kept behind those brown eyes and left unspoken.
Anders didn't really expect any other response, and nods his acknowledgment of the reaction. "No, I don't suppose you do. It is unenviable, from any direction. It will have some resolution, one way or the other, however. Though not in the form that she'd suggested last night— his sending her away? "I need to check on the men, Markus.. but you continue to hold my good will and faith as a sword to this House. I will give credit where it is due, certainly.. and you have our thanks." Now, however, comes the requirements of his station before the ignoble nap. He's still regaining strength, and pushing himself more each day. "Know that after the battles, I'll still have need, so consider your future."
Markus offers a bow of his head and shoulders to the man. "Very good, my lord. I will think on your words. If you've need of me in the meantime, you need but ask," he remarks, and once he is given leave, will turn on his heel and depart the pavilion and leave Anders to his own duties.
Thank you for visiting.