|The Felling of Oaks|
|Summary:||The attack on the Camden entourage takes too many.|
|Great Hall — Tall Oaks Keep|
One side of the grandhall had been converted into a small recovery area for those that had survived the trek back to Tall Oaks. Amongst them in the quite early eve is Damara. Her wounds having been addresed, what little sleep she has gotten is from the herbs mixed into her tea she was forced to drink. There only six others, the rest having perished or died shortly after arriving from loss of blood. Damara was nearly one of them and now, the herbs wearing off, she turns to her side, wincing a little for the scar on her torso, her hand lowers to brush the floor, her thoughts elsewhere. The foggy haze from the drugs stealing over her makes her blink a few times to try to clear it.
While some had made it back, others had not and it's for that reason that Sarojyn had first scene to a party of men and women to be dispatched. To find and locate the bodies of those who could not return and if possible, to bring them back so that they may be buried beneath the trees to which the lands had been named for. From what little has been told to him, he knows that his parents did not survive and while it comes on the heels of the loss of his wife and child, he manages to keep his thoughts focused on those of living.
Making his way into the Grand Hall once the party has been dispatched and affairs are tended to, Sarojyn moves to that recovery area so as to speak quietly with those that are awake. Words of thanks and encourgement are offered and when he reaches Damara, the daughter of someone he knows, or rather, knew quite well, he takes a knee beside her 'bed' so as to murmer two simple words, "What happened?"
As if her thoughts were not torture enough, the Lord kneels beside her and bid her talk of it. Damara turns her face to look up at the Young Lord, made Lord. "My Lord Camden.." She whispers. "We were attacked on the road to King's Landing. At first I was not sure who…but I thought I saw Targaryen colors…" Swallowing, "Why they attacked..I do not know..save to say they did not have mercy for any…" It is then that she remembers, the heavy trek back, Andre in her arms.
"Many fell." And she barely remembers getting anywhere near Tall Oaks. "It was so quick..someone fell on me. I was spared some pain. But when I awoke…there was barely anyone left. They were dead, My Lord..your family." She looks apologetic as she turns to lay on her back and look down the line of cots. "My son?" She asks, her head slowly angling back to gaze up at him.
Although bits and pieces of the events had been heard as the wounded had been tended to, it's entirely different to hear it from someone who was there and as Damara recounts the events, her words seem to bite deeply at his heart and soul and for a moment, it shows on his face and in his voice when he begins to speak, "Targaryen's … why? We were not there to fight .. merely to talk." It's an idle statement and he doesn't appear to want an answer, for a hand is lifting to rest lightly against her arm as he continues, "I am sorry, Mistress Kells, but we were not able to save your son." We, as if he was responsible for the loss. "I will see that he is put to rest beneath the Oaks."
"I do not know, my Lord…" Damara whispers in response. It is a gentle thing but as she waits for news of her son, that color that had returned fades away. She bites off the beginning of a soft wail in sickening sorrow. Slowly she feel her numbness set in, it hits her so hard but he can't breathe, can't move.." She lets out a breath, tries to focus and can only see Andre, bleeing in her arms. "He's all I had left.." She whispers. "I picked him up…he was so ….limp. I just picked him up and carried him.." Her gaze is distant, remembering and then finally she focues on Sarojyn, her hand lifting to touch his, "Please…bring them home…all of them." Tears leak from her eyes slowly and she does her best not to sound off in the night with the edge of her sorrow. "He will rest well there.."
Her sorrow was to be expected, for she had lost more then he in a fashion and so, nothing is said until she's finished speaking, Sarojyn's head only nodding to indicating he's heard her. He doesn't shy from the touch of her hand to his and at the mention of bringing them home, there is a slightly more intent nod then before. "Well I can not promise revenge or retribution for those that Tall Oak's has lost, I can promise you that those who were left behind will be brought back. For this, a party has already been sent." There is a slight squeeze of her arm before his hand is pulled away, "I will see to it that he and the others are laid beneath the Oaks where they may return to them and watch over us. There, they will find peace that we truly seek."
Swallowing past the loss and keeping her grief for herself, Damara nods her head slowly. "I trust in your House my Lord, your family has always been wise. The people will be returned and we shall carry on." Carry on in spite of loss. As he draws his hand away, she rests her's over her stomach, sighing as she closes her eyes. The time to mourn will come, not now. "At least they are without pain." It is a gentle statement and one that brings relative piece to the woman, her sorrow making her more numb than anything else.
"Perhaps not as wise as we should have been, Mistress Kell," comes the soft reply from Sarojyn, though he does give a slight nod of his head before continuing, "But we will endure and survive. We must do so if we wish to bring peace to the realm." It's a noble thought, albeit one that is far more difficult to accomplish then it is to simply say. "For now, though, we will see to our family and friends. Many have reason to grieve on this day and the pain will be felt throughout Tall Oaks for the loss that has been incurred. We will mourn our dead as appropriate and then we will continue our work, to honor that in which they died for."
Damara had lost more than her fair share but she bares it well. A slow not of her head and she opens her eyes. "Yes m'lord. I will rise in the morn to tend the birds.." She says faintly and offers a look of her green gaze. The Mistress shifts, "The Gods will watch over them now…we are the ones that suffer, envy not the living.." She expells another breath, wincing some as she tries to move. A few more tear leak crom her eyes. Quiet and collected, Damara is glad for the numb.
At her words, Sarojyn moves a hand back to his arm as he gives her a slight shake of his head, "You will rest, Damara, and then you will mourn. When morning comes, another will see to the birds or I shall do it. For now, it is not something you need worry about it." His hand is then removed from her arm and he shifts a bit in the kneeling position, eyes playing down the rows of cots before returning back to her. "Should you have want of something, you need only ask a member of the staff. Tall Oaks looks over it's people and I will see my parents memory honored in that regard. Your father served my House well and the least I can do is make sure you feel some measure of comfort."
"It would bring me peace to do something…other than mourn.." Damara insists and then closes her eyes. "But as my Lord wishes, I shall attend to what need attending." Numb. That is the only thing she feels as even his touch is barely recognized. She lets out a long breath. Swallowing hard again as a few more hot tears roll from the corner of her eyes. "Comfort is returning to Tall Oaks, my Lord. I am just sorry there are not more of us to measure that comfort." Those still laying dead, waiting to be recovered.
Sarojyn can understand that need to do something other then simply mourn and that understanding draws a nod of his head in her direction, "Then attend to the birds, Damara. I think your father would like that." Those tears that roll down from the corner of her eyes pierce through his heart, forcing him to look away for the moment, eyes coming to downcast towards the floor. "As am I. My heart aches for those that we've lost. In two days time we will hunt on their behalf. And for their service to Tall Oaks, their names will be incribed by the Maester in our records so that no one could ever forget who they were."
"Records become lost, my LOrd, but they always return to us…" Damara offers her hand to the Lord, wet lashes parting to look up at him. For the moment, she doesn't feel so alone. For now there is warmth and safety. "Tomorrow will be worse than tonight my Lord…the light always makes it harsher as it shows us what we do not care to see…but the nights are lonely. But my Lord, your people are with you…" They are the words of a loyal retainer and her fingers flex to take his hand, whether he look back or not. "It is early and still cold…but the field can be cleared and we can meet for them in silence."
Her words draw his eyes from the floor and with a turn of his head, Sarojyn is settling his gaze back upon her and her offered hand. When she continues to speak, his own hand is lifted to hers, taking it in his and offering a gentle squeeze before he murmers, "And I will be with my people, always, for I would be nothing without them. They are the bough to my trunk. The earth that nurtures and the leaves that shelter." There is only the hint of a smile, though it comes not from mirth, but rather, from shared pain. "And so we shall."
Her smile grows a litte, "Yes..we shall.." She swallows and grips his hand tightly as that smile fades to sorrow again. As her chest tightens and she heaves a breath, she grunts deeply and winces. "My Lord..you should rest.." She says to him and releases his hand as if to send him to his bed. "We will all still be here in the morning, my Lord." Damara promises. But she finally looks like she might start to lose her composure.
Her grunt and wince draws a slight squeeze of his hand to hers, though her words do manage to warm the smile upon his lips just a touch before it fades. "I will rest once our people are returned to us, Damara. Until then, I will stay with those that did return and see that they are tended to." When his hand is released and she looks as if she'll lose her composure, Sarojyn begins to rise. "For now, though, it is *you* that should rest. And while you do, take what comfort you can in knowing that you are safe and that I will be watching over you and the others."
Her voice soft and strained answers, "Yes, my Lord. Thank you….I will rest.." Damara promises. As he stands, her gaze lifts to him a moment. She looks like she might say something more but instead closes her eyes. She remains that way til he moves on and when he has passed, there is a soft humming that comes from the woman, turning to her side as she wrestles with her loss in her own way.