Page 181: Take A Breath
Take A Breath
Summary: Anais and Muirenn pause to assess the state of the siege.
Date: 14/01/2012
Related Logs: Siege logs
Anais Muirenn 
Entrance Hall — Four Eagles Tower
The Entrance Hall is more than two dozen feet high with ornate columns hefting the fresco ceiling above all. Plush seating is arranged around one side for visiting nobility while the other has less comfortable slab stone or wood benches for the peasantry. Alcoves dot the walls for more private discussions and sworn Guards patrol this hall at all times and especially during court. Several hallways and doorways lead off to different areas of the castle with a spiral staircase carved neatly into one corner that winds its way up.
January 14, 289

It is some days after the Reaver attack and those within the castle are still trying to recover and brace for another attack some feel sure is imminant. In the Entrance Hall, the portion set aside for the wounded is still, unfortunately, occupied with soldiers still recovering. The maester, Muirenn, Liliana, and a few others have been working 'round the clock in an attempt to get the fighting men back on their feet.

Currently it is the brief few minutes in between rounds with the patients, and Muirenn has a bit of a break. Stretching out her back she moves towards one of the buckets of water and begins to wash her hands and arms thoroughly with the harsh lye soap available. The delicate once ivory skin is pink and becoming chapped with so many washings and such treatment, it does not seem that she minds though.

Anais has been a constant presence around the keep ever since the beginning of the siege. And in the last week or so, she almost seems to have come into her own as a lady of the house. Rather than slipping out for rides or hiding away from Lady Evangeline in girlhood dresses, she's started wearing finer clothes, even a few jewels, and taking care that she looks as immaculate as possible at all times. Finished with a round of speaking with the smallfolk, she stops by the makeshift infirmary for a moment, checking in on patients and healers alike. "Muirenn," she greets quietly, offering a small smile.

Glancing up as she dries her arms and hands on a homespun towell, her own gown more or less a ruin, the beading about the only thing salvageable upon it. "Anais.." The Mallister girl flashes a grin at her friend. "It is good to see you. I have a moment or two, would you care to get a bit of air?" She unpins her sleeves and tugs the material down to cover her harshly treated skin, her cheeks flushing a bit in embarassment…or perhaps it is joy for being able to breathe a bit of air that is not tainted as strongly with the scent of blood, waste, or ill humors.

"Absolutely." Anais steps forward to loop arms with the other young woman, heedless of the state of gowns or skin. You can put her /in/ nice clothes, you just can't make her worry about them. She waits until they've drawn away from the infirmary to speak again, looking over to Muirenn. "How are you holding up?" she asks gently. "I know you've been working hard with the injured."

With a soft mmm, Muirenn gives a shrug as she hugs her friend and strolls towards the door "I will live. The Septa has dosed me with almost as many herbal teas as we have any of the wounded to make sure I do not get ill." Though she grins and gives a giggle, there are dark circles around her eyes, "These men fought hard in their battle without complaint and won. Really, in its way now it is my turn to battle…the maester and healers to get these men back on their feet, because unfortunateely they will be needed before all of this is over." She smiles, "You look quite fine Anais, I have been watching…you have been coming into your own. The smallfolk are coming to rely on *you*."

"What other choice do I have?" There's a faint flush to Anais' cheeks, but she's been better composed of late, as well. "I can't just be a girl right now. I can't do what pleases me, or run away from the things that don't. I have to be what they need." She quiets for a moment, catching the inside of her cheek between her teeth as she thinks. "It's not the siege, necessarily," she muses. "I mean, we've dealt with Ironborn at the Banefort my whole life. It's…Well. There's a big difference between being one of the youngest daughters of the house being the wife to the heir, you know?"

With a nod, Muirenn smiles "Yes, there is a vast difference. You have had to grow up." Laughing, she pats her friend's arm. "Or else this situation, as horrid as it is, has helped you find your niche here at The Roost." She pauses at the doors opening onto the courtyard, pushing one open enough to get a flow of fresh air in, warm though it is. "I have had lots of time to think. I am thinking that I may see if Liliana would like me to accompany her to Tall Oaks, whenever we are told it is safe to travel so that she can assess what has happened to her family and her home." The redheaded teenager pauses for a moment before adding softly, "It might help her to have a friend there to lean on."

"I think she would appreciate that a great deal," Anais agrees, the words gentle as she steps outside. "And even if she doesn't, she'll need it. That…looked like a very large fire. Hopefully that will at least mean there won't be much to see." She draws a deep breath of the fresher air, her hand tightening slightly on Muirenn's arm. "Elinor was supposed to be there. I haven't heard anything since just before the attack, but…Well, we're not in much of a position to get word at the moment, are we?"

Nodding, Muirenn gives her friend's arm another gentle squeeze. "I had not forgotten…and yes, Liliana may not appreciate it now but you are right…she will need someone." She strolls and says quietly, "I hope my parents made it to the safety of Seagard, their keep is a bit further inland and not nearly as well fortified as Uncle Jason's." Her brow furrows, "I work so hard I think so that I don't worry as much." Her lips twitch faintly into a wry smile. "As do we all I think." Looking up into the air she shakes her head, "Somedays I do not understand how the sun can keep shining, it feels like the whole world should be grey."

"I like the rain," Anais admits, looking up as Muirenn does. "Everything feels…cleaner, after. Fresh, and clear, and cool. And a good rain would make it much more miserable for the Ironborn in their tents outside the walls than it would for us inside." She shakes her head then, lifting one shoulder in a shrug. "Not that we've any control over the weather. I hope your parents are safe, Muirenn. I'm sure they'll have done whatever they could."

With a nod of her redhead, Muirenn gives a smile "Oh, I know they would have…and Mamma watching the each battle with a china cup of tea in her hand the whole time. That woman could float an entire flotilla for Uncle Aeric with the amount of tea she drinks. She walks around the entire keep with one of her china cups in hand sipping tea. Sometimes she forgets she has it, makes a gesture and it goes slopping out all over the floor." The girl gives a soft giggle at the memory and then a wistful sigh. "Ahh well, I am sure I will see them soon enough."

Anais' lips quirk at Muirenn's description, the smile showing more in the crinkling at the corners of her eyes than anywhere else. "My mother always used to make my father and my brothers line up for a kiss before they were allowed to run out to the attack," she says with quiet amusement. "I asked her why once, and she said it was to give them enough time to think about what they were going to do when they got there."

Thinking on this for a moment, Muirenn nods finally "That is a wise thing." She smiles and slowly rounds a corner, "If ever I have my own family, perhaps I will do that." She sighs, "I wonder how much longer this war will continue. Has Liliana said how the food stores are holding up?"

"I've been keeping an eye on them," Anais answers, pressing her lips together briefly. "And Lady Evangeline's been seeing to their disposition. I recommended we plan our rations for the possibility of being under siege for two months." She fiddles with a bit of embroidery on the hem of her sleeve, considering. "We're not going to starve just yet," she finally says. "Though I'm afraid we're getting low on meats and fresh greens."

"Perhaps…though thankfully the garden is still producing." Muirenn replies, "Surely help is on its way and we shall not have to last for that much longer." she adds encouragingly, trying to think positively. She stops and gives her friend a hug, "I must go back inside. It is time for me to help the maester give a dose of milk of the poppy to some of the patients."

"Of course," Anais murmurs, returning the hug and stepping back. "We'll be fine, Muirenn," she promises. "You just worry about the men who need a little extra help."

"In a way I am learning more than I ever did at home, but I wish the price for such knowledge was not quite so high." The girl says over her shoulder as she flashes a smile. Pinning up her sleeves again, trying not to glance at the rough skin of her arms, Muirenn heads back inside to the heat and smell of the makeshift infirmary and living area.