|The Dangers of Pride|
|Summary:||At the coastline, Lady Cherise and her uncle Ser Harold share their impressions of the Terricks.|
|Related Logs:||Is that food or swords?|
|Coastline, Cape of Eagles|
|The Cape of Eagles looms out over Ironman's Bay, a vast, blue ocean inlet, that spreads its watery depths out beyond the horizon. The path that leads down to this coast winds down behind the towers for several hundred meters before arriving at the rocky water's edge. Rather than sand, the coast is covered with innumerable smooth and rounded stones about palm-sized. They stretch up and down the coast in all directions with the battered remnants of driftwood scattered about. Above the beach, one every mile or two, are towers with a large bell and mallet atop them which are to be beaten to warn of an incoming invasion. A small dock is being constructed of thick northern timbers, with mooring space for two large ships, or perhaps a half dozen smaller craft.|
|Sat Jul 28, 289|
While the lady Charlton's presence was not required for her husband's peace offering talks, the blonde haired Westlander took to the coastline with a small contingent for escort. One lady's maid had accompanied her with three men at arms, curtesy of Lord Aleister's need to exercise caution. Once arriving to the edge of the Roost's land which had descended into the sea, the reins of her mount were passed over as she took to enjoying the sights beneath a veil of freedom. A deep red and gold shawl coated over her arms, entined between folded limbs that were pressed beneath the woman's bosom. The sea air was welcomed, a certain fragrance in the air she was all too familiar with as a child aging within the Crag. Some few paces behind her was the woman's handmaiden carrying a small basket packed with possible foodstuffs for a leisured outing.
Ser Harold stood with his trousers rolled up to his knees, right there on the surf with waves crashing in against him in sprays of frothy white seawater. His squire stood a little further out, holding a blunted spear and trying to thrust it against his master's shield while keeping his balance against the current and the waves. "Steady now, boy," barked the grizzled veteran's voice over the rolling din of the ocean, easily flicking aside every thrust. "Keep your balance. Breathe. Don't let yourself get frustrated. Your mind on the task, and nothing else. I don't expect you'll ever stand in a shield wall, but you might just have to teach some smallfolk how to do it. In a shieldwall you're alone. There's people all around you, shoving you. Your friends are as likely to knock you over as your enemies, and then trample you to death in their excitement to get at the enemy. So keep you damn balance. That's it. That's—" he broke off with a rough guffaw as the boy lost his balance and went vanishing beneath the waves. "-Not- how you do it."
The faint disrupting sounds beneath the chorus of birds flying overhead and waves crashing against the rocky coast had drawn the lady's attention elsewhere, away from the mysterious waters and towards the sight of kin. The corners of her mouth curled inwardly. "Mistress Magda, do see if my dear Good-Uncle and his squire could benefit from quenching their thirst hmm?" Cherise ordered softly enough over the shoulder to her handmaiden. The middle-aged woman, a bit on the portly side, bobbed her head then grabbed a fist full of linen skirts before hoofing her way down for the waters. Cherise held back for sometime, waiting up above as the men posted as her guard remained as they were, seeking threats elsewhere and not from "blood".
"Ser?" Magda's voice would call out while a large basket was anchored in the crook of her elbow. "By the Seven! BOY!" Perhaps once a mother the handmaiden's eyes widened as she watched the young male get swallowed up by the waters. She displayed more fear than any swimmer might. The squire's fall had drawn Cherise's eyes to close briefly before soon deciding on joining the others near the splashing waves.
"Oh hells, you're not supposed to stay beneath the waters," Ser Harold muttered as the squire steadfastly refused to jump back up. With a grunt he was forced to bully forward a couple of steps and then sink his powerful arm down beneath the waves and drag the skinny teen up by the scruff of his neck, spluttering and coughing, tears from his eyes and snot from his nose, and whole rivers of water sloshing off his lanky frame. "Lost my spear, Ser, and couldn't find it. Think the current took it" Came the apologetic response.
"Huh. Guess we're done for today, then." He gave another bemused snort, before turning his head around to acknowledge the speaker of a moment ago. Harold's features were rinkled up with a good natured - if slightly gruff - expression, smiling lines extended like crow's feet from his eyes. He was a man who looked older than his years, honestly. "Aye?" His eyes went beyond Magda's shoulder to where Cherise was advancing, tipping his head in a welcome greeting. "Niece. Enjoying the view, are we? It's a good one, alright. Poor in just about everything, these Terricks, but they've got their pride and they've got their view."
Cherise kept her distance for the imperative need to remain pretty and presentable. The spray of ocean moisturized her cheeks, drawing the smile a touch deeper just as she glance from boy to Harold. "The Crag is no better off." She shares of her maiden house as both arms shifted within the shawl as it's lengths fluttered along the gentle winds. Magda, seeing the boy is alright, visibly appears to be relieve then begins stepping aside in order to retrieve a couple of cups from the basket as so ordered just moments past.
"I've wondered Uncle, for all the years of training a man had endured as a squire, some part of them must enjoy the retibution upon their own." Large blue eyes stole a glance of the boy before returning to Harold. "Would you care to sate your thirst?" Just as she asked, a cup of wine, from the stock brought with her, was offered by Magda.
The teacher and student waded out from the waters, one drenched completely and now shivering a little as the wind blew in against wet clothes and wet skin, while the elder didn't seem much bothered at all. That was despite having dunked his sleeve to the shoulder to retrieve his squire, and been generally accosted by the constant shower of fine droplets while they were training, leaving glinsing pearls of moisture in his beard and in his greying hair. His naked toes dug into the sand there at the lip of the ocean, and only the most ferocious waves managed to get so much as a touch to his heel this far up the sands.
"It seems to me that a good view has a bad habit of coming with enemies. A beautiful ocean, with reavers beyond. Or the beautiful Mountains of the Moon just east of our lands, with the savage hilltribes waiting." He raked his thick fingers through his hair, ruffling out some of the seaspray, then coughed out a quiet chuckle.
"Ah. Hah. Some truth in that, I'll have to admit," when it came to inflicting the pains of squiredom upon one's own. "Still. It's also true that an ill prepared squire reflects ill upon the knight. I'd rather he live a long life, well perpared, than be comfortable in a short one." With an honest looking show of gratitude, he accepted the cup and took a lingering swallow. "Now that was good."
There was a measure of pride in playing hostess, part of her tasks now even if their meeting was well below formal. "Interesting." She muses over his impresions of beauty. "Then you are a believer that with beauty an equal measure of risk accompanies it?" Cherise waits, receiving her own cup though choosing to rest it against her chest for now, almost cradling the flavored vintage. "I am pleased you enjoy it." She returned, adding, "By the looks of what one must endure I am grateful to have been born a woman." On a thought she asks, "Is your wife here is as well?"
A long swallow washed down his throat, making his adam's apple bounce beneath the scruff on his throat, and gave that pleasent warm feeling to the belly. The cup was empty, and he passed it off with a bit of a shrewd smile. "Always, my dear." His eyes flicked in his squire's direction, and with a casual motion he unstrapped the practice shield off his arm and threw it at the young boy. "Off you go. Running will keep you warm until you can get dried off back up in the Four Eagles." Without hesitation the squire took off, sand kicked up by the force of his sprinting.
"Indeed, she is. Though we weren't intending to stay very long. Infact I had expected to be back in my own lands by now, to show her around, when my nephew asked if I wouldn't have a talk to the Terricks about hunting."
Cherise drew a slow sip from the cup, listening as her Gooduncle spoke. Cradling the drink once again she responded after a small look was given to the sprinting squire, sympathy for such a submissive lifestyle. "The hunt in our lands?" She asked and after a breath she tacked on a vocalzied thought. "Had the talk with the Terrick's been fruitful? I am lead to believe otherwise for their warm welcoming."
"Hah. Not really. They were planning a hunt in Tall Oaks while Aleister's rights were still in doubt, and offers have been made to let them continue to do so, for a price. Word was sent up into the Eagles for terms, but they've yet to respond. Then you all showed up with food, so I think it's like to end up on the darkside of things for now." Harold let his broad warriors shoulders roll in a dismissive shrug. "Though I can't say I can complain about their greetings, at least to me. They've been right welcoming. Though whether out of friendship, or just wanting to drag out every little bit of detail they could out of me, I'll leave up to the Seven." Though he'd never been known to be particularly pious. Honorable, perhaps, but not pious, and the shrewd glint in his eyes suggested that he'd already made up his mind on that account.
She sampled more from her cup on occasion as Harold filled her in to the workings of the Roost, details that the ride with Tiaryn and Saethwyr had lacked. Once finished a thoughtful sound was made behind a pair of pressed lips. "From what I have gained by their welcoming in the past, it is filled with warmth if you have something they desire and the Eagles are drowning in much of it." Wasting what was left in her cup, the object had been held out for Magda to collect and do away with it. No longer a concern of hers. "If there is anything to be said of my husband, it is that he is consistant." Post cranial injury. "Not so much may be said about the rest of these Riverland houses." As a gesture the blonde's crown mutely pointed inland where in the distant each great House may be indicated. "They should remember their grounds for bargaining are weakened."
There was a crooked smile Harold's lips, cynically bemused. "Often when a man loses everything else, it's his pride that takes over the role as the most valuable of posessions. In his mind he refashions the past, so that this was always so. These lands might have been ravaged, but the Terricks still see themselves as merely suffering a minor setback. In their mind they're not weakened, they're merely soon-to-be-strengthened." With a quiet chuckle he started to roll down his pants, until they washed against his sand covered feet. The boots were a little ways off, along with his swordbelt.
"Delusions are ever harmful." She tells him, curling a smile in the corner of her mouth before Cherise shakes her head, holding back the threat of soft laughter. "I would say I do not wish for you to remain if only for family. My husband would understand if you desired to return home, with your wife." Geninue words for genuine concern as it seemed trouble tacked its self upon the Charlton shadows. "In truth I wish I was, in Highfield." For different reasons.
"Aye," Harold replied to delusions. He was meandering over to his belongings, his gait relaxed and unhurried. The way he belted his sword back on spoke of an act of such long familiarity that he didn't even need to give it any concious thought anymore. The sword settled against his hip much like a natural extension of his solid frame. "Don't worry, my dear. I don't mind a few extra days. A chance to have a chat with my nephew and share an ale or fifty." The boots he just propped up beneath his arm, unwilling to soil them with his wet feet and all the sand that would inevitable get in and become a real nasty chafe. "Really? For your son's sake, or other reasons?"
Watching as Harold began retrieving his belongings Cherise responded in king where appropriate. "The opportunity would not be missed by my husband. He has always thought well of his kin." The Lady Charlton stepped away for a moment, clearing the threat of the stretch of ocean water that creeped up the coast's bank. "My son." Of course, even the word possessed a particular tone of motherly embrace. "He is a strong little boy, very attentive to his surroundings. Always happy."
"Good for him, while it lasts," Ser Harold said, then perhaps realizing that there'd been toos harp a bite of cynicism to his words, added: "A happy childhood is as much as anyone of us could ask for. I'm glad you're all settling well into Highfield. It can be rough on a new settlement, everything still shifting." He swept a passing look back over his shoulder at the ocan, but it seemed he was done with the surf for the time being, and only lingered now because she was here. "I've been meaning to come by, but I always get obsessed with things once I've been gone from home too long, and I was after the Reavers came. Truthfully my man keeps things well in hand, but I'm never quite satisfied unless I've made -sure- of it. Hah. I'm glad I don't have to work for me."
Compared to her latest forced residency options, "Highfield is perfect." She meant it, finally having a place to all home that was not under the watchful of Lady Keera. Her joy in this was practically glowing. "That seems to be a quality among the Charltons. Tasks are not properly done if completed another hand beside your own." Damn everyone else, their efforts were subpar. But the woman smiled, not appearing to be phased by his opinion of childhood happiness, even as Harold felt the need to clarify it. "Then I should hope, on your return to your lands, that you may seek reprieve in Highfield, from the journey."
"If not on the way home, then certainly I'll make the journey before too long." Harold said amiably, before giving a glance up towards the Four Eagles. "Well. I've held you long enough from your ride, Cherise." A bit of a wry cast entered his flinty eyes as he added: "And I've got some business to attend to. I'm glad to see you again, niece. Enjoy the view while you can, and I'm sure you'll be some safe and sound soon enough, with the boy doing his best to drive you crazy. Just like boys aught to do." His neck gave a little, yielding her a fondly familiar show of parting respect, before he started to trudge his way back up. Still barefoot.