|Sitting this one out|
|Summary:||Anders gives Einar the bad news… he's sitting out the battle in the morning, and gives reasons.|
|Date:||6 January 2012|
|Private Tent - Flint Pavilion - Stonebridge|
|Within the large, cabin-style tent, there are hanging oil lights from the cross-beams, to give light to the interior. There are several portable tables, one longer than the others with the dark and light grey colouring. Barrels of provisions are tucked into a corner; bread, cured meat and ale, as well as heavier suits of armour and weaponry— no doubt belonging to the Young Lord. There is a fabric that hangs down in the back; privacy screen. Behind that, a mat.|
|06 January 289|
It's probably true that -most- lady's maids in this town, if not this world, are harried. Noble women are not easy things with which to deal, and Cordelya is no different. The reed-slender woman stalks ahead quickly, having left her rushing maid a fair amount behind, as the young lady searches through the crowd in quiet hopes of finding her husband or her once-charge. She's in her deep forest green dress again, though she's abandoned her cloak somewhere. Slightly wild haired and wide eyed, the woman ducks her head into the tent, looking around to find her husband who has been nigh unto impossible to track down over the last days. War is a busy thing, it seems. "Ser? Lord?" She inquires hopefully.
Anders is back in the tent, though only by a few minutes. It doesn't take long to take the distance between the Command Tent and the Flint Encampment, but in that short distance there were many things to consider. So, he's seated at the portable table, leaning back in his seat, his head rolling back across the back of the folding chair, relaxing all but with his eyes closed. A half cup of ale is held loosely in hand; he's been giving himself half rations since they'd given some to the Mallister on the first day. If the Young Lord doesn't, what hope is there for the others to do so? The sound of Corrie's voice brings his attention around, even if he doesn't move in his posture and position, "Aye." Here.
Einar had been tending to the horses, it being that time of day, but with that done he'd spotted Anders making his way back across camp and so had quickly washed his hands before heading in the direction of the pavilion. Sticking his head inside he gives Cordelya a respectful nod of the head before turning his attention to the Young Lord himself. "Ser," he says, earnestly, "what news of the march?"
The echo of her husband's voice makes Corrie relax just a bit more and she ducks the rest of the way in. She heads straight over to his side, thin arm winding it's way around the back of his shoulders. At least travel has made her affectionate? "There is another day before you march, I hear? We have another night then…" She's about to say something more, that mischievous sort of grin dancing across her full lips, but then the sound of Einar's voice is heard and she straightens just a bit. She's still holding onto her husband, but she isn't quite in his lap any more. "Squire." She greets gently.
The second voice that he catches is that of his cousin and squire, and even after his wife's gentle touches and reminders, Anders finds his mind returning back to his conversation with Lord Rygar.. as much as perhaps he'd thought of nothing but the smell of his bride in those few brief seconds. "Cousin," Anders changes the tenor, "We march tomorrow." One more night. "House Flint in aid to the Frey / Nayland contingent and not subsumed into it." Meaning, the commanders they brought down are still in full control of their contingents. "There is also news of the rumours I'd heard from Ser Rivers." Finally, Anders rolls his head forward, and reaches out to touch his bride's arm to let her know that she can remain, is to remain, even if she's not seated on his lap.
Einar steps fully into the tent now, given there appears to be news. He nods at the appropriate points, and smiles at the implication about command structure. Nothing quite like not having to give over your commands after all. "This is good news Ser, but what of the rumours you mentioned? Is it true that there is an Ironborn column in the area?" If so, then that leaves the defence of Stonebridge to be considered, but then that's surely a matter for the Neylands.
While the conversation turns back to war, Cordelya manages to stifle her frown mostly. She shifts from leaning against her husband, half ready to go into his lap, to standing behind him quietly, her fingertips shifting up onto his shoulders. If one thing can be said for her studies of medicine and the body, it means she is quite good with her hands. Tiny fingertips shift across the back of his neck and his shoulders, finding those familiar knots there even has he discusses business with his squire. Einar's mention of an Ironborn column in the area makes her frown a touch more, but she keeps that worried expression mostly hidden behind her husband's head.
What to do, what to do..? Anders can't and won't ask Cordelya to leave the tent to let them speak, and won't allow her to take her leave. If she is to be the Lady of Flint's Finger, she's got to at least become comfortable with such discussions, even if she has nothing to add. "What I am to say must not reach the ladies in the keep." That's specifically for his bride before he returns his words to his squire cousin. "There are bands of Ironborn outside the Roost, from a score to a century. It is one of these that are believed are on their way. As to what provisions will be made? There was no word, truly. Which is why," even in the gentle ministrations of Corrie's fingers upon his neck, he has to move to look at his cousin fully, even if it means sitting up. "I will need you to remain here, and if you have to take the ladies, do so."
Einar has the decency to look a tad embarrassed as he realises just what might have happened had he not been so hasty to enter the tent. Still, better when he did then say ten minutes later. He flashes a faintly apologetic look to Corrie before paying attention to Anders' words. "You have my word," he replies at the mention of word not getting out, not that it'd be likely from him, but still. He listens to the rest, frowning slightly at the information, right up until his instructions are given, at which point he protests. The lady is temporarily forgotten, even if she is right in his light of sight. "But Cousin," formalities mostly out the tentflap. "My place is with our column! At your side!" His expression is one of genuine shock, this really is not what he'd expected at all, but it quickly gives way to one of hurt. "I know I'm not the greatest swordsman," he confesses, wondering if Anders doesn't think him capable of the fight, "but you know I'm more than a match for most with my crossbow and if it's a case of action against infantry than my I'm good enough from horseback to make up for what I lack in raw skill. You know that, you taught me most of it."
The woman behind Anders might be still fairly young, and sometimes rather delicate seeming, but one should never forget the strong intelligence that lies beneath the surface of her almost innocent eyes. She listens close as the men speak, though her fingertips never leave off the quiet ministrations against Anders' back, body bending a bit as she puts some real elbow into a particular knot between his shoulder blades. "The ladies will hear nothing, I promise." She assures him quietly, but now her eyes are hooded with thought. "It is good to leave some men behind, but if they send a whole century of men, a handful of knights and squires will not be able to protect us without a plan. We will have to make proper evacuation plans and know them. Be able to follow them at the drop of a hat." And then her jade eyes raise to the protesting, pouting Einar, a touch of severity crossing her pale face. "…Einar. If they march on this tower once the other contingents have left, it may very well be you and a handful of others that keep us from going the way of Tall Oaks. Or worse, end up prizes of the Ironborn. I have read the stories of what they do to their women. We would be lucky to die before they fucked us." Yes, among family language gets a bit… Looser.
"You are more than capable for the fight, Einar." The words are immediate; absolutely no hesitation there at all. Anders grunts at the muscle being worked and pauses in his words after, just as he rolls his shoulders, feeling out the loosening muscles. "You will be, as Corrie says, the one man who can save this tower should they come in when we depart. Do you think for a moment they don't have spies watching the encampment? Gods, cousin.. I am handing you a gift— above and beyond protecting this tower and our ladies.. and your goodsister, the last of her line, unless there is another that I've forgotten. That is, you need not march with Freys." How's that for 'happy birthday!'? Reaching up to touch Corrie's hand, he keeps a light touch so as not to have her cease. "You are that man, Einar."
Einar does not look entirely convinced by Anders' reply, although he does tone it down a bit now he actually remembers that Corrie is in the tent too. The points make sense, but it still smacks of not being trusted in a fight. He wasn't in the last war, he's older than most squires and now, with a chance of battle and his knighthood within his grasp, he is to be left behind the lines. Talk about a kick to the self-confidence. He figures it's worth another shot though. "If you think me capable then let me prove it by riding with you. There are others in our train who would be more than up to the job of," babysitting, "guarding our interests here."
Cordelya presses a faint smile to her lips at the brush of fingertips from her husband, though she doesn't actually stop in her tough, disciplined massage of his back. She doesn't give the affectionate rubs of ladies and camp followers just trying to spur their men on. She gives the sort of a massage that will leave him sore for hours after, but ensure the muscles are cleansed and ready for the battles to come. She frowns a bit deeper as her husband's rather flowery reassurances are not bought by his squire. Her expression is just a touch dark now, looking over Anders' head to Einar. "If he does not wish to stay behind and be one of the last few standing between the ladies here and assured torture, then I do not think I want him here, Anders. He's too much the coward to risk a fight he does not know he can win… and it will be a fight, if they decide to come. The… stories Tia told about Tall Oaks…" Corrie shakes her head, looking half sick in the memory. "…we need men to stay behind who are the most valiant and capable that you have to spare. Not some squire looking for glory."
Of course it smacks of not being trusted, but to get his cousin to believe that he's being entrusted with more? Corrie's words.. and Anders closes his eyes, grunting at the muscles being kneaded. It isn't completely comfortable, but he has faith that at the end of it, he will be moving better. "Corrie," the word is given in soft remonstration before he goes back with speaking to his cousin. "If you would like, cousin, take my stead and I will remain behind. You get the Frey's, and I get the job to keep the Ironborn from taking the tower." Anders shakes his head, only slightly due to the ministrations, and continues, exhaling in a sigh as he does so. "There are few who are as capable as you, cousin. I need from you tactical formulation and execution. The other commanders listen to our words and carry out their orders, nothing more."
Corrie's words cut deep, and Einar is in no way concentrating on guarding his expression well enough to hide that. It turns out that he simply can't say anything in reply to that, so he latches onto Anders' words again to prevent himself from just standing there. He almost, /almost/, moves to call what he sees as the Young Lord's bluff by agreeing to the trade in places, but thankfully, his brain catches up with his mouth before he actually says the words. Clamping his jaw shut while he takes a deep breath to calm himself a little he then gives Anders the shallowest of nods, it's barely perceptible really. "I will do as my Lord commands," he states, his tone a changing mix of bitter disappointment and the beginnings of anger. Maybe once he's over the shock of it he'll understand, but for now, he just wants to be somewhere else. "If I have your leave, Ser, I should go tend to your horse." The one horse, singular. Even that hurts, but still, fresh air and not here.
The light admonishment from her husband sends Corrie quiet for a heartbeat or two, focusing her nervous energy into his shoulders. That might hurt a touch! Ah well, he'll be nice and loose for the morning. She drops her eyes to the back of his head instead, especially as she sees that anger in Einar, trying to reel in the habit of pushing those lines she likes to toe ever so much. Perhaps if she were a proper wife this would all be easier. There's a moment of paused breath from her, a brief consideration to speak, but then she just stops herself and keeps her hands going. It's her husband's prerogative to dismiss Einar as he sees fit.
Anders is sure that Einar will understand, and sooner rather than later. Until then, he'll suffer the slings and arrows. "Go, cousin. And be sure you take your measure of ale this night." Does he really need to remind him?
With Einar allowed to leave, Anders takes a deep breath and holds it, grunting in pain as she works the muscle. Finally, he simply can't take it.. and grunts, "Enough.. please, Corrie. It will feel good in the morning, but.. in exchange for pain tonight? How is that a good trade?" He smiles, his gaze moving quickly towards the flap of the tent before returning to her, rolling his head back once again. "Not a word to the ladies.. you know nothing."
Einar takes his dismissal with a brief nod and crosses the short distance to the tent flap. As he reaches it he glances back and takes his leave, briefly, "My Lord," then to Corrie, "Lady." and then he's gone into the cooler air.
Jade eyes watch Einar go quietly, a touch solemn and worried. "Good night, Einar." Would he be sufficient a guard if he didn't even want to be there? Corrie had always trusted the man, but… She shakes off the thoughts, especially as her husband protests the pressure of her hands. That makes her smirk. "It will feel far better in the morning when you can move at your absolute best and are ready for the long march, you know. I should strip you out of all of this finery and do it proper." She half threatens, though her fingertips do slip around to his front, temptingly undoing a few laces. "…As for the ladies… Do you think it's truly a threat? If so, I will not tell them why, but… I meant it, about having a plan for evacuating. It could save lives, dear. I'll be careful about it, I promise."
Anders waits until his cousin departs before he grunts again to reaches to take hold of the errant hands that are playing with his lacings playfully. "If you do that, you'll have to do it properly." Rolling his head back again so it can rest on her stomach, at least press against it, he looks up at the vision before him. "Yes, I do. And you should have a plan, and our cousin needs to be a part of that. If there is any question, consult with him. You can decide when and how to tell the Lady Tiaryn of our plans." So as not to damage the healing process. "And all this, my lady, in my absence. But I won't be gone from you for long."