|Summary:||Tall Oaks prepares, in their own way|
|Date:||10 Nov 2011|
|Large clearing — Tall Oaks|
|Far enough away from the rising Oak Hall, the clearin can still barely see the top of it. The large clearing opens up, shafts of light streaming down in through the tall trees that circle the area. The wild grasses and rush grow thick here but there are logs with rope attached for laying it flat whent he time for celebrations or small tourneys are in need. A simple small wooden pergola lines the right and a gentle stream cuts through the area. Torches are kept protected and it appears as if all manner of festivals take place in the field.|
|10 Nov 288|
The day, waning as it is, is still bright here in the clearing where Damara oversees her apprentice and a few of the smallfolk's children. There is a sudden flare of giggling and laughter as the two younger one's roll int he taller grass, sending up what is left of the seeds of the wild flowers. As Aben lifts her arm to the air and releases his falcon, Damara stands back to watch as he guides the falcon back to his arm with a whistle. Smiling, she nods and gives a gaze of her eyes towards the younger two who have calmed enough to watch as the falcon alights after the sharp whistle had cut through their play. "Good, again." SHe instructs evenly and moves over out of the way to take a seat and pull one knee up, resting her weight back against one hand as she watches Aben begin the instruction. Though she watches, her gaze is distant and lost, soon staring forward with unspoken thoughts.
Barrelling out of the side grouping of trees is a small grouping of men on horseback, their chargers moving at full speed. They take to the sides where the large bits of wood lie in wait to be used for celebrations, and as they run, each horse, one by one, soars over. Their riders, however, one isn't quite so lucky. As the horse takes flight, the rider is with him. As the horse lands, however, the rider isn't part of the team any longer. With a loud *whoof*, a young hunter turned cavalry lands on his back and is still for a long moment. (The longest in his life, certainly!)
The youngest of the brothers Camden sails effortlessly over his jump, and catching the fall of one of his charges, wheels his horse around, and takes the distance quickly. He pulls a leg forward and dismounts rapidly, landing just near the fallen hunter. The others have a slightly harder time reining in their steeds and finally manage it at the opposite end of the large clearing.
Dafydd doesn't catch the figures in the tall grass as of yet… for all intents and purposes, if they're not field fowl, they're given as much consideration as such.. if only for the moment, as his attention is on the rider in the grass.
The thundering hooves are heard, waking Damara from her thoughts and making the two children in the grass rise quickly. Rising to her feet, the falconer looks to her charges. "Back and out of the way…let the falcon go for now, Aben.." But she is drowned some as the hunters come rushing into the clearing. The loss of one rider from his horse has her shifting and moving towards the small scene.
But it is the Lord who finds the rider and so the Mistress seeks instead the riderless horse who has slowed now without the weight that had once been upon his back. She lifts a hand, shushing the horse and moving in slowly before reaching out for the side of the bridle. Taking hold, she calls to her apprentice. "Take the horse, keep him ready…" She hands over the reins to the young man and then turns, starting towards the fallen hunter and the Lord.
The sound of the grass parting as she moves through it precedes her. But her voice clips outward, "My Lord, did you need some aid?"
The young hunter on the ground pulls air as if testing his lungs for the first time, and Dafydd is kneeling beside him when the Mistress of the Hawks arrives. He's got his hands out, ready to help the man to his feet when ready. Twisting around at the sound of the grass rustling, he looks up from his position. "His breath was knocked from him. I don't think he even needs the Maester's aid." He pauses, then, "Is his horse caught?"
"When I saw you at his side, I sought the horse. It awaits when needed, my Lord." Damara intones as she steps back and to the side to allow for the hunter to rise to his feet when ready. "It would be best if the Maester still saw to him to ascertain of such…" She advises, but keeps her tongue otherwise. The children are edging closer, watching curiously as they eye the back of Dafydd's red head. They whisper to each other as they come closer to Damara, the young boy first as his sister hangs back.
Twisting back around, the Lord rises slowly from his crouched kneel, his words for the man on the ground. "Rise, Bleiddyn. You're well enough to take to your feet."
With a groan, the younger man begins to sit up, slowly. He looks up at first Dafydd, then Damara.. and for her, offers a game smile. Fine. Really.. ow..
Reaching out to offer a hand, Dafydd waits until it is clasped, and he heaves up. The now named Bleddyn is a bit wobbly on his feet, his face is flushed, and there's the care given with each move now that he's on his feet.
"Ah there, see?" Dafydd eyes the man briefly, and once the other is on his feet, he turns his back to him to search out the horse. "He's fine. Nothing but a moment's breath taken." Bleddyn, however, looks a little more doubtful, though he's careful not to show such to his Lord. "Bring the horse."
The younger charges now making themselves a little plainer takes Dafydd's attention, albeit briefly before, "New charges, Mistress?"
Smiling in return to the younger man, Damara watches him closely, taking note of how stiffly he moves as he stands. She lets out a breath and doesn't say a word at the Lord's insistence that all is well. But the look she gives the hunter speaks a few volumes of her own opinion. But the boy at her side draws a look from her and she lifts a hand to shift through his hair.
The horse is brought as requested and when Dafydd looks to the young boy and girl and asks of her, she smiles. "Twins…children of a friend. I fear since I have no children, I must steal from others to teach the Camden's new falconers. They have come to watch as their father has shown interest in having them learn. I will not turn away the willing." She smiles and looks to the boy. "This is Gymen and his sister is Leane." The littler girl hangs back a bit and then moves forward, both of the children in their own time dipping their heads to the Lord and saying curtesies.
Bleddyn checks to make sure nothing is broken, though he's going to be sore. He moves stiffly to the side to gather his horse. He'll be ready to ride, even if he's not.
"Ah.. I see." And Dafydd does. Eyes of blue move from Damara to the children, and he straightens himself, looking every inch a Lord of Tall Oaks. He gives them a looking over, a soft 'hmmm' passing. "Gymen. Leane. Paying heed to the Mistress, are you?" His tones are lofty, set such that they'll not allow any variance from proper conduct. "It would reflect poorly on your father should you disappoint her."
Dafydd brings his gaze back to Damara and exhales. "Teach them well, and as quickly as you may. We may have need for all talents soon, should the rumblings from without hold merit."
Watching the hunter a moment out of the corner of her eye as he takes to his horse, Damara hmms to herself and then nods her head to Dafydd. "That they are…" The boy watches the Lord stand, eyes widening a moment. Dafydd is quite a contrast to Sarojyn and his tones are not at all like his elder brothers. "Yes, of course we are, yes my Lord." He dips his head again and his sister then adds, "But we watch for now…..the Mistress says we have to grow confident around the falcons..that we can't fear them. So we feed them and clean their cages…." She pauses and then adds quickly, "My Lord…" She dips a rather ungraceful curtsey but does her best.
"Rumblings are just that…the trees of the forest distance them further. Let us hope that they remain just rumblings and the storm passes wide of us.." The Mistress says, as if a prayer to the Godswood that lies not too distantly away.
The youngest of the Camdens is certainly different than his older brothers, and it's apparent— moreso when the men are together, but it is obvious even separately. The children are spared now from his gaze as he speaks quietly to the Mistress of the Hawks. "I'm not going to leave it to chance and the Gods." An utterance that no doubt has been spoken many times in the Manor as well as now, in the field.
Now, the children are subject to the scrutiny of the Captain of the Guard once again. "Then I expect that their roosts will be the cleanest and finest to be found anywhere, and properly fed so they return to their Mistress." Certainly no question there.. a statement. Dafydd acknowledges the obeissances, such as they are, and turns to check on his own student that is pulling himself back into the saddle. Once he's assured of the other's seat, he reaches out and whistles for his own steed. The smallish, dark horse pulls his head up, his ears forward, and starts ambling over to where his master stands.
Once again to Damara, Dafydd's voice is low, "I'm not willing to wager that we'll be untouched in this wind should we do nothing."
Pressing her lips together, Damara makes no comment about the God's not having any effect. Her opinion perhaps is a little more mystical than his, the blade more his answer than anything else. Differ as they might, there are others about and speaking up to the Lord would prove not to work in her favor. She clears her throat and looks to her charges as they meet Dafydd's gaze and the girl nods her head as the boy answers. "Of course they will. We take good care of them, the Mistress is going to teach us how to keep their talons at the right length.." He explains.
As the Lord turns away, Damara indicates the two should go, motioning them to join Aben. "I trust you are well..?" She asks of the hunter before the Lord turns to speak to her now that the children have fled. Her brows furrow at his words. "Perhaps you are right my Lord, but do not seek what can not be found.."
Dafydd nods approvingly in the boy's words. "Good," and as the two are dismissed, he watches them run off in obedience to the Mistress' words.
Bleddyn is settled back in the saddle, a little sore— no, more than a little sore, but game to press on. Particularly knowing that it is with Lord Dafydd that he rides. Captain of the Guard. If the young man has any hope of attaining any position within the guard, the fall can't hinder him. Won't hinder him. "I am, Mistress." He's not going to ruin his chances by complaining, either. He smiles, a touch on the pained side, "Thank you for your consideration."
Dafydd takes hold of his horse and quickly mounts from the ground in a single motion. His brows rise in response to the comment, and he half smiles, though not with any amusement. "I see what is plain before my eyes, Mistress. It is folly to seek things that are not there, but it is also folly to ignore things discovered." Here, Dafydd smiles a little more, tightly, "I will pass your counsel on to my brother."
Watching the Lord mount, "Nor should you…but Camden does not bother itself with the quarrels of lesser..imcompetent houses, my Lord." Damara dips her head to that, as if paying him a compliment in that respect. The mistress lets her gaze linger on him and then looks to the injured. She can read his face, if but a little and his front makes her smail all the more, teeth showing as she does so. "But you would know best of these things and the people of Tall Oaks know to put their trust in you." Better to defer after making a spike.
"But there are times when errant children need to be separated and chastized." Dafydd takes reins in hand and raises them, ready to turn his mount with a touch to his neck. After a pause, his eyes studying Damara, he does so and spins such that he's facing his young hunter. "We'll ride, catch up, then continue our path."
"Aye, my lord." Bleddyn doesn't hazard a glance towards Damara as he acknowledges his superior, though he senses the sympathy. He does, however, incline his head when they're ready to head out. "Mistress, thank you for your concern and be well."
Dafydd, too, makes his farewell with a raised hand before he spurs his horse forward into a canter immediately, leaving Bleddyn in a position to catch up..