|Summary:||Liliana and Cordelya find each other again.|
|Related Logs:||The token and the banner: Not Forgotten. Most Tiaryn is rescued and Tall Oaks falls related logs.|
|Courtyard — Four Eagles Tower|
|The Courtyard of Four Eagles Tower is floored with a fine grey stone that match the color and tone of the interior structure of the castle's yard. Plants have been potted and placed around the entrances to add some color, the greenery accompanied by several trellises of flowers that climb the support columns. The most prominent structure in the area is the set of large slab steps that lead up to the great oak doors of the Great Hall. Several hallways and accesses lead off into different sections of Four Eagles which makes this the hub of noble activity when court is not being held.|
|18 Jan, 289 AL|
Afternoon at the roost, and the work of rebuilding continues. Both within the keep and without. But here and there, there are still pockets of quiet labour, if not of peace, and so has one small seating area of the courtyard been set aside for Liliana and her dearest Eli. The both of whom seem hard at work on what looks to be a banner. Only the broad strokes, for Liliana, the more gentle work being done by her lady's maid.
Having plans on walking about the town, assisting where she could again, Cordelya has finally truly woken up, slightly eaten, and prepared for the day. Better late than never! Apparently, Corrie's been up late many a night since they came to the Roost. She's in an elegant, low waisted gown of deep emerald, tied low on her hips by a silver sash. Clearly not pregnant in a dress like that! But it makes her look svelte and elegantly long instead of awkwardly thin, as she often does. She's about to pass by, when she does a double take, recognizing the Lady sitting at the banner. "…Lili…" She breathes out, hopeful and uncertain. It had been so long.
Lili'a head rises from the painstaking work. Or better to say the work that for her is painstaking, but for some women with more skill with needle on cloth and less needle on skin, might be simplicity itself, at the tentative sound of her name. The figure she almost doesn't recognize, looking little like the adolescent of muddy feet and skinned knees as once she was. As once they both were, ranging willy-nilly through the swamps and woods of their two lands. But the voice, even grown warm and deep as the child she knew grew into the woman she is, is unmistakable, "Lyly?" It is, and the banner is quickly dropped, Lili rising from where she sits to brave the distance between herself and Cordelya. Eli, as is her wont, makes no protest, but moves only to pick up the work her mistress leaves behind.
"Oh… Lili…" Cordelya breathes out as she sees the woman's face, studying her closer, and hears that voice. She had heard that Liliana was in the Roost, but was starting to believe she was deceived. Now hearing the woman's tone, seeing her grown elegant figure, Corrie's heart cannot help but break a bit to know exactly how much Liliana has lost, combined with how long it's been since they last met. She dashes forward, wrapping arms shamefully tight around Liliana's slightly shorter frame. A tight cling, breathless and tender, improperly full of emotion but she's never cared about that. "…Lili.." She whispers again against her cheek.
Lili returns the hug, not much caring for proper and improper, at least for a little while. And for that little while, she takes comfort in the presence of her friend, now returned to her after so long. "Come, you should sit." Lili sighs, releasing the taller woman's frame, "And take your ease. You've travelled long, and the journey has not been easy for you." Better to focus on others, rather than herself. It's always been Lili's way.
Cordelya clings tight and close, rubbing her fingertips up and down Liliana's back for a few heartbeats before the woman mentions that she should sit and pulls back. Corrie frowns a hint more, worry all too clear in her pale, thin features. "Oh, Lili… I've no need to sit, I am perfectly fine. It is you I… I worry over. How much has happened. I… I am so, so sorry, luv." Her lips part, searching for other words, other comforts, but there simply isn't anything near adequate.
"Everyone is sorry, and it is much appreciated. But it does not make the pain any less." Liliana, regardless of Cordelya's response, does lead her back to sit at the place she and Eli have set out for themselves, hands settling back into the banner they seem to be trying frantically to finish. "Mother, father, my uncles, Wren, Ava, Alyse, Seryl…all gone, if your husband speaks truly. I have spent nights crying, and it does not ease the pain of their passing. Or the thought of what…the ironborn might have done to them. Only…I am glad Tiaryn is safe. She was with you, your husband said, you were caring for her?"
Unless Liliana actually tries to fully pull away, Cordelya will walk quite close with the woman towards the benches where she and Eli were sitting. Not worried about banners, only worried about Liliana, Corrie keeps her arm across the woman's back and shoulders. She holds her near and warm as they settle back in. Nodding quietly, she wordlessly confirms the womans commentary about what her husband has said. "Reports from your Aunt… not just my husband. But yes. As soon as we found Tiaryn, I did not leave her side until she was well healed and resting safe in Stonebridge. I wasn't going to let anything happen to her… just as I won't let a thing happen to you. I love both of you, Liliana… and… we're all practically family, even if through marriage."
"And yet you cannot stop what is going to happen to me, Lyly." Liliana does not fight Cordelya's touch, but it seems important to her to have the feel of fabric between her hands, and she takes back up the banner. "Only…I would be glad if your family would continue to care for her. I have no home or safe place to offer her. I shall not, perhaps for many years to come. And there is much work to be done, before I can rest. If the gods should see fit for that day to come."
A touch of confusion dances across her pale, small features as she looks over Liliana. "What… what do you think is going to happen to you? You have people were whom care for you, who will help you. Families to protect you and help you rebuild. The Gods would not leave you with completely nothing… they will help guide your hand." She squeezes Liliana's shoulders tenderly. Cordelya rubs her fingertips up and down her opposite shoulder afterwards, almost trying to give her warmth when she might not otherwise feel it. "And…of course we will take care of her. She carries the Flint name. She will always be welcome with us. As would you, luv." Whether Corrie has the right to offer that, who knows, but she's the lady of her house and she offers it either way!
"War has come to these shores, and there are many homes which must be rebuilt, all along the Riverlands. How could I ask any of those I know, to set aside their own people to aid me? Would my Lord Uncle have wished me to do so? You know he was not a man to put himself before others. I am not without thoughts of how I might rebuild, though it will be slow and painstaking, but I am not giving up hope." A shake of her head, "I know the Flints would not turn me away, or your own family, as often as I found refuge in the Watch, but I must go home, to do what must be done."
"Aye… you must go home, and go home you will. But it cannot be tomorrow. Perhaps not even in a month or two. Not until these damned raiders are cleared and sent home with their tail between their legs. As strong as you are, Lili, you cannot fight a war by yourself." Cordelya explains in a gentle, understanding breath, but still heavily worried. "Until then, remain with us… or here at the Roost. Either way, you will not be alone. And preparations will be made to help you rebuild, just as this village will be rebuilt, and so much less the damned Ironborn have taken." Somehow, in her adulthood, Corrie has grown far stronger. Self confident, tenderly protective, but also focused and clear. She's not twitching at every shadow or speaking to voices that are not here.
"We do not even know, yet, if the ironborn remain at the Oaks, and I am not healed enough and well, to travel there unnoticed. But I cannot keep waiting to know. And yet, there is no one who has the resources to go, or would be willing to offer them. If the ironborn remain, then they remain a threat to both stonebridge and the roost. If they have departed, then Tall Oaks might yet provide needed resources to help rebuild the Roost and all the land the ironborn have destroyed." Liliana is ever quite, no longer the girl more likely to be found ith leaves in her hair than a veil, barefoot then properly shod, "And war comes again, in only a few days time. And all will be departing."
Both of them have changed so very much. Corrie continues that slow, gentle stroke of her fingertips, not certain if it's reassuring but she is trying her hardest. "…Aye… they will march to war and leave all us ladies alone to worry and fret…" Corrie is trying not to look as sickly worried as she feels, but there is a rock slowly forming in her stomach of ice, when the last one just melted a few days ago. "So… we all must be strong. Hold each other up. Wait, pray… and know the Gods will bring them back to us."
"It does no good to worry and fret, the gods will bring them back or not, as they choose. They do not make promises. And they do not always listen to hope." A hard truth, but a truth nonetheless, "Tiaryn knows that better than any." Barely married a few months, when her own husband was taken in Robert's Bebellion, leaving her without even a child to remember him by. "I am trying to focus only on the work that I can do." A hand shifts the banner, which elicits a sniff from Eli's who's still working diligently. "And not look for things which I cannot control."
Sadly, Tiaryn's heartbreaking tale of the last war has been heavily on Cordelya's mind. Half the reason she and Anders have spent awake the nights they did. She's driven quiet for several heartbeats, trying to swallow her pulse back down her throat as she leans closer against Liliana. "…the Gods have given… so much pain in the last years, especially the last weeks. You would think they… they might finally give us some blessings. Give us reasons for hope and happiness. Surely they are not… so… so cruel…"
"I hope, for your sake, Lyly, that they will be kind. You deserve their kindness, more than most that I know." Liliana lifts a hand, rubbing the forearm closest to her. "A banner and a token I have, to give to a knight riding to war, and yet, when he returns, what could I offer him?" The god are indeed cruel. "But my hope I will give you, Lyly. I keep none for myself."
The woman was about to respond more about her and Anders, that bittersweet, nervous hope upon her pale, elfin features, but then Cordelya sees something else behind Liliana's words. It's not just any knight she's talking about giving a banner and a token, but there is clearly someoen in her thoughts. a slightly warmer smile crosses her lips, head tilting. "…There is a knight in your heart and on your mind, is there not? Who is it? How did you both meet? And… you deserve happiness, Liliana. Love. Maybe… maybe he will not care what you offer beyond your heart. If he is worthy of you… he should not."
"It is a final honour for a fallen House, is all that it is, Lyly. Nothing more." Liliana's shoulders lift in a light shrug, "Lord Ser Mallister has asked for a token, and a banner that House Camden might be remembered one final time. It was kind of him to offer. And Eli will make certain the banner is ready when the march to Seagard begins." Certainly she's better and more skilled than her mistress. "I deserved my family, Cordelya. I deserved my home, my people, the life I intended to live in the Oaks, once my time here in the Roost was done." A glance over to the woman, "Would you be the Young Lady of Flint's Finger if your family did not have anything to offer House Flint? We do not marry for love, but for power and position. I had little of it before, and have none now."
The thin, pale girl of a woman at Liliana's side cannot hide the heartbreak behind her light jade gaze. Cordelya swallows tightly, trying to push back heart and tears down her throat as she shifts on the bench to face Liliana more fully. "…Lord Ser Mallister. Aeric? The ship's Captain?" Corrie's eyes widen a touch, but there is a small flicker of warmth behind them, and fo knowledge. "That was… most noble of him to ask such things…He is a better man than he lets himself realize." She confesses, though there is more behind her words. Some sort of plan brewing. "…And yes. You did deserve all those things. I… do not pretend to understand why the Gods are so cruel. But… perhaps they can be kind as well." The last comment about House Flint makes Cordelya smirk a moment. "…You know some of the Reeds. You know we are secretive, we do not war… have little money. I am the third daughter, Liliana. The only thing that was truly offered in this marriage was a chance to make Anders… happy… for he had spurned far better choices of wives. He showed no interest in marriage… Until me. I do not know if we might call it love, but… I care for him deeply. And he for me. Sometimes… if rarely, a heart can prevail."
If there is some sort of light in Cordelya's eyes, there is none in Liliana's. Ever practical, sometimes to her detriment, "Kindness is often just another face for pity." A lift of her shoulders, as she settles on the second part of their conversation, "I know that the Reeds have little need for money, and that while they may not travel to war, they and the other families of the crannogs have held the Neck for generations uncounted. A feat few other people have ever managed. The seven kingdoms grow and fall, and time passes, but the crannogmen live always in their bogs. That, I know, is no mere coincidence. But I am happy that you have found your happiness with him, and he with you."
Though grown, and far more the lady than she used to be, there is still that foolish hopefulness of innocent youth in her eyes. Cordelya still thinks there might be some happiness in the world, and a chance for fairy tales to come true. She allows her hand to drop to tenderly squeeze at Liliana's leg instead. "…Liliana, I've mer Ser Aeric… he is not a man to have a soft heart or partake in pity. I think… in truth, if he asked you for those things, it is because he respects and honours you." She sighs thoughtfully, "He is a man… lost in his own ways, though no pain can match yours. I think…if you'd have some hope, give him some thought, perchance you could…help heal each other."