|Planning a Hunt, Part 3|
|Summary:||Kamron passes his plans for hunting bandits along to Hardwicke.|
|Related Logs:||Bandits in Terrick lands, Planning a Hunt, Part 1, Planning a Hunt, Part 2|
|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.|
|24 April, 289 A.L.|
Whatever supplies House Terrick may be lacking, water isn't one of them, and so despite his full day helping reconstruction efforts in The Roost and talking business with various parties, a bath and a change of clothes has Kamron Mallister looking like a knight — even a nobleman — again. His hair is still wet, slicked back into disarray by a careless scrub of his hands, and now he's back in motion, seeking out the Captain of the Terrick Guard. Directions from those he encounters guide him toward the courtyard, and he descends the steps from the Keep, running both hands back through his hair as he scans about for his next victi — discussion partner.
Hardwicke is just returning from a trip through the village, and is only now making his way out of the stables. He's pulling off a pair of leather riding gloves as he goes, sliding them distractedly into his belt. "Straighten up," he barks at one of the guards as he goes by who has made the mistake of slouching. Silly guard.
… And that is enough to let Kamron be certain that the man he thinks he recognizes from descriptions is indeed Ser Hardwicke Blayne. Turning his steps in that direction, the Mallister raises a hand in greeting, "Ser Hardwicke. Might I have a moment of your time?" Apparently assuming the taller man won't stop for more than a heartbeat, Kam stops himself as he approaches, already starting to turn as if to walk alongside the elder knight.
Perhaps unnecessary: it's possible Hardwicke recognizes Kamron, even if the reverse isn't true, for he slows his stride for the noble in case he demands a halt. "Ser," he says, which seems to be an — affirmative?
Kamron gestures slightly for the other man to keep walking, a faint smile touching one corner of his lips, "I've been meaning to speak with you about coordinating what patrols you're able to make with those of the Mallisters present." The smile broadens into something easy and light, "I know most of the Guard is concerned with the safety of the Keep and the Roost, but coordinating efforts can only make the suppression of banditry come to be more quickly."
Oh, good. Hardwicke will just keep up his usual stride then. He arches a brow at the man, considering him briefly before turning his gaze ahead. "How many present do you intend to offer?"
Kamron fits his own pace to the other man's, which probably means he's walking pretty quickly, since he has shorter legs. "All of us save those who are needed to guard Lady Muirenn, Ser Hardwicke. Five knights, our squires for those of us who have them, and four men-at-arms. It's not as many as I'd like, but it's all we have here."
Hardwicke purses his lips as he turns over these numbers in his head. "Not as many as I'd like, either," he says, "but it's more than we have without you. I don't have enough men to spare to send as many patrols as we need to secure the roads."
Kamron nods his head, "We can't secure the roads, but we can dissuade the bandits from becoming too bold until their encampments can be found, ser." His own lips purse then, a frown flashing across his face before he banishes it once more, "That's where we probably won't be able to help you too much. We know Seagard better than these lands. I asked Master Trevelyan if he might be able to find some people in the village willing to trade time scouting for assistance with rebuilding their home or business. Is there anyone you can spare for searching, or do you have a plan that we can help with in some way?"
Hardwicke tips his chin downwards with quiet thought. Each of his responses is measured before being offered. "If you have something to offer them, they may be more willing to volunteer," he says. "I can spare a — small number," he says, slow and careful. "Men who would know the area."
Despite his obvious desire to be acting, to be -doing- something, Kamron seems to be doing his best to not just take control and gallop off toward the horizon. There's a measure of holding back, making sure he doesn't try to take command of things here where he's an outsider. "We've already brought what we could to the Keep and the Roost thus far. But Ser Martyn, myself, and some of our other men have been working on rebuilding efforts when we can." And there's that crooked grin back, as he adds in a self-deprecating tone, "We're not skilled, but we can lift when bid, and hold things in place while those more skilled than us nail them in place. We're happy to provide labor specifically for any scouts willing to help." If the nobleman distastes the offer of labor for labor he's offering, he doesn't show it. "House Mallister has a duty to House Terrick as our bannermen. We mean to see it through."
"I imagine some of them will say yes just to say they saw a nobleman work," Hardwicke says in a rather dry tone.
Kamron laughs lightly at that, nodding his head, "There's been some surprise, indeed." His grin fades away, his tone becoming serious again, "I've told Lady Anais and others this, but we," somehow, a slight gesture that starts out toward himself and then flicks out implicates 'House Mallister' "are here to help you," again, a gesture to Hardwicke and then to the Keep itself, "however you need the help. If you think this search and these patrols are a fool's errand, and your Lord agrees, we'll focus entirely on rebuilding. If you think there's a better way to go about the search and patrols, we're open to your ideas, Ser Hardwicke." And then a bit of humor slips through his solemn tone once more, "After all, you've been doing this a bit longer than us, ser."
"So I have." Hardwicke takes in a slow breath and then takes his sweet time exhaling. "I've been running possible patrol routes," he tells Kamron. "Best to sit down at a map to go through them. If you have one Terrick scout with each party that's familiar with the land, they should run smooth."
Kamron nods his head, "If you don't mind, I'd like to bring in Ser Martyn for the actual planning as well, ser. The patrols though… I'm not worried about them. They're mostly along the roads thus far. I was hoping that the Terrick men might be able to find where the bandits have been camping, so that we can crush them directly, where they can't just avoid armed and armored knights, but if you think that they would be better suited leading patrols off the roads, I'm sure that will work fine as well, ser."
"Knights do tend to move loudly," Hardwicke agrees blandly. He lifts a hand to scrub his fingers briskly through his hair. "We'll need quieter men for that."
Kamron nods his head, "That's what I'm worried about." A dry grin quirks up one corner of his mouth, "Of course, they only move loudly if they have armor. Ser Jarod means to go to Seagard to explain himself to Lord Mallister. On the off chance that Lord Mallister isn't too wroth with him, I plan to suggest that House Mallister employ him for a time for his knowledge of the area around the Roost. That would give us a dedicated outrider to search out the bandit camp — knowledgeable of the area, but without other responsibilities." There's a pause, and then an honest question, "Do you think that Lord Terrick would take that as an affront, a blessing, or something in between, Ser Hardwicke?"
Hardwicke's lips thin. Considerably. "I don't think that House Mallister needs to sully itself with a ruined knight stripped of his honors, and I don't think that Lord Terrick would look kindly upon it."
Kamron nods his head slowly, "I know that Ser Jarod loves this land and these people. But perhaps you're right." Reaching up to rub at his jaw, the Mallister man nods again, "I was afraid of that." His jaw clenches for a moment, but he nods yet again, "I'll abandon that plan, then, and focus on patrols and efforts to free men of the Roost to search for the bandit camps." He holds out his hand to the other man, "Thank you, Ser Hardwicke. If you need anything of us, please don't hesitate to ask."
"He made his choice," Hardwicke says with a distinct note of finality to his voice. He does stop to turn back to the other man when he offers his hand, though. He jerks his chin in something of a nod and reaches to clasp it briefly. "Ser."
Kamron nods his head at the other man's note of finality, evidently agreeing with the sentiment despite his earlier suggestion, "And it was the wrong one." He might be dissembling, trying to curry favor, but if he is, he's damned good at making the words seem natural and heartfelt. But he says no more on the subject, clasping the older man's hand, nodding as well, and then turning to move away, back towards the Keep itself.