|The Gods are deaf|
|Summary:||Cordelya and Markus both curse the gods for their present situations. Slowly, calmer heads prevail and bellies are fed with stew and ale.|
|Related Logs:||Volmark, Rise|
|The War Camps|
|The chaotic area between the war camps, eventually leading into the Flint tent.|
|Thursday, January 26th, 289|
// "The gods are deaf to hot and peevish vows: They are polluted offerings, more abhorr'd Than spotted livers in the sacrifice." - Troilus and Cressida, Act V Scene 3//
There comes a time when holding vigil by a sick bed isn't healthy for either the wounded or their keeper. Nearly 24 hours straight and Corrie's barely left Anders' side. She's not eaten, done little to care for herself, and only slept a few hours. It was a few quiet words from her maid and the assurance that Niamh would watch over her husband while she got some air and cleared her head. Perhaps seeing the night sky would stop the tears. So, the Young Lady of Flint's Finger only now is coming out of the Charlton tent, carefully weaving her way back through the camps towards the Flints tent. Anders needs new clothing anyway, and perhaps a few other things from his site, since she has no clue when he'll be mobile. She probably should be worried that she's lacking a guard, but no one really much minds a woman in dirty commoner's clothing, even if her hair is no longer covered and she's washed the smudges clean from her face. She takes another ragged, quiet breath as she steps into the Flints campsite, trying to orient herself through bloodshot eyes.
There is little fanfare or celebration in the Flint Camp this evening, as news as begun to travel about the state of their Young Lord, whom many amongst the men here had followed South for the sake of glory and honor to their Stark overlords. Markus is not one of them, no matter the friendships he might make amongst the retinue, but he is somber all the same. There is little honor in such a death, and how much more in the life he'd have if he survives? He's not on guard, the Riverlander that has taken up amongst the Northmen of Flint's Finger, but he looks up from his meagre fire all the same at the sound of footsteps into the camp. He keeps a glance on the sound until whatever or whomever it is resolves into the firelight.
Cordelya might not be -immediately- and easily recognizable, but then she is also hard to miss. Not many people have a face like Corrie's — that small nose and mouth, wide forehead, pale green eyes. She's certainly a remarkable looking woman, if cutely charming when in good spirits. It's odd to see that face atop the commoner's clothing and among the rough spun men of a battle field. Still, she walks with ragged purpose towards the Flint's head tent, even if it takes her a moment to realize where that might be. Everything has shifted in the marching. She slows in her walking and then just stops, looking around for several aching, quiet moments. Looking as horribly lost and miserable as she feels.
"Gods damn it…" he mutters beneath his breath when he catches sight of her, not mistaking those features for anyone but his Lord's Lady, his mind already turning over with the hows and whys of her presence. Markus gets up off his spot on the ground near the fire easily enough, hands brushing his backside quickly as he steps over towards her, a moment before she is challenged by one of the Flint's Fingers men on duty. "Corrie," he says as he approaches her, giving her some time to recognize him before he closes.
The sound of a voice she recognizes draws Corrie's jade eyes almost immediately. They're glassy with tears and still completely bloodshot from lacking sleep, but she's aware enough she doesn't miss his tone. In truth, though, Markus has never seen her like this. She looks half wild, or perhaps half dead, so pale and ragged around the edges. "…Markus…" She breathes out softly, lips lingering open, lost for words. She used to be quite so sure and stubborn of herself. Now she's just lost.
A look is shot at the young man that somewhat gapes at the woman's state, and it is impossible to say if the lad puts together whom she is or not, but it seems that glance from Markus is enough to send him somewhere else, leaving them a modicum of privacy amongst the tents. "I had no idea you were here, else I'd have made sure you…" The words turn to ash on his tongue, and he knows they are inadequate. "Damn. I'm sorry, Corrie." He lets out a long breath and takes a step closer, as if he might put arms around her where no one can quite see. "He's tougher than all this, you know…"
Cordelya blinks against that slight stinging in her eyes. Again. She cannot cry again. Aren't there a finite amount of tears? She brushes the back of her hand against her eyes again, dragging in a slow, tight breath to the back of her throat. "…I…I wasn't here. I snuck after. H-hid… hid with the Charltons. I knew he wouldn't let me come but… fuck… I had to be here…" SHe breathes out that curse word like it's one of the only things that actually describes the situation here. She's so flustered, so drawn and exhausted. "Gods… thank gods I came… and… what if it's not enough? Fuck, Markus… Fuck this!" She hisses out between her teeth. Well, anger is better than tears?
Those arms do go around her, unless she protests, and Markus draws the woman close enough to offer the meagre security of a pair of strong arms devoted to her house. "You're here now, and that's what matters," he tells her, whatever he might actually think of her being here, and how it might've been more merciful that she was not. "Fuck all the rest, that's what matters."
Cordelya is tense and wound as a bowstring, her small, tall frame one long line of stress. The feeling of his strong, long arms around her draws a touch more of a tremble to her voice and her body. It makes the tears even harder to fight, some of the biting edge taken off of her abrupt anger. A small, catching breath exhales against his throat as she leans there for a moment or two. "…I…I hope… Gods…I hope… I don't even know w-what… more I can do…" Though she's not the sort of woman to fall into sobbing, he might feel the damp brush of a tear that's streaking down her cheek.
"We all do," Markus assures her, offering her that comfort despite how tense and wound she might be. "You must be exhausted, hungry…" he says, when he does draw a bit back from her, assuming she is permitting him to insert that bit of distance. "I can show you to his tent?"
Cordelya leans there a few more tightened breath moments. She just shuts her eyes, trying to push back the last few tears sos he doesn't look like the foolish, fainting woman who cannot handle a battlefield. Then he's gently drawing back and she doesn't fight it. She straightens herself up once again, trying to brush away what is left of the tears before he can see them. "That… that would be most helpful. I should get him some things, at least. He's still at the Charlton camp. We… we didn't want to move him, until absolutely necessary. His… his neck is bad… "
Markus nods in a crisp, affirmative matter. "So we've heard. It's wise to keep him in place for as long as is possible," he concurs, offering her hand a faint squeeze from his calloused hand as he draws himself back and gestures for her to follow him. "I could also see if Mistress Senna can be spared to take a look. She's not a Maester, but she's one of the best field medics I've known," he suggests to Cordelya.
Cordelya keeps her hand in his. Having someone close and familiar whose life isn't in her hands is a certain reassurance, especially someone as strong and reliable as Markus. She squeezes his palm shakily, blinking back a few more bits of moisture from her eyes. "…Aye… she and I… seem of a level, but it is possible I… I cannot see this clearly. I don't know." She admits weakly, walking hand in hand with him, trying to look as noble and strong as she possibly can even in the dirty old clothes and not having slept much in two days.
In other moments his thoughts might turn down interesting avenues to find his Lady holding fast to his hand, but tonight he makes no comment upon it, instead wordlessly and swiftly leading her through the alley between tents to the larger pavilion that serves as her husband's site. Markus squeezes her hand as they near it and then does make a bid to free it as they step into the firelight and into the sight of several of Lord Ander's men. "Our Lady has come, and wishes inside her Lord's pavilion, that she might bring supplies to him." He motions to one of the young men that do the job of a squire for the Northmen cavalry. "Bring wine, and a bowl of tonight's stew for the Lady. Do not tarry."
Cordelya tries to avoid the shocked looks from some of the men, partially that she is here and even more so for how she is dressed. She looks like a common camp follower, not the Young Lady of their house. But she's drawn herself up, walking graceful and proper, her chin lifted and expression as strong as she can manage. She nods greeting to the men. "It seems my husband will be staying another night or two with the Charltons so… I shall be bringing him a few things." But once inside the tent with Markus, in the warmer torchlight and surrounded by more familiar scents, some of that strong shell is beginning to crack. She hasn't quite yet let go of his hand, but she looks around the place, trying to think of what she needs. To just gather her mind.
"…Clothes… and some more drink… perhaps a book or two… Gods. This… " Corrie shakes her head, lost for words again. She's still not let go of Markus' hand.
"… is not what any of us wanted, but you'll endure. For his sake, if nothing else," Markus finishes for her, his voice firm. It's not quite a command, but it could easily be mistaken for one. He's about given up on retrieving his hand from the woman, though one could speculate at how much he really wanted to tear away in the first place. "And I'll help you bring him whatever you need, once you've gotten something to eat and drink, and bloody well sit down for a few minutes."
His insistance of her sitting and eating is enough to mostly draw Corrie out of that fretting head space. Eating. Yes. She should do that. Even as her brain processes that it's a wise idea, her lips part to protest at him. A protest which dies the moment she sees that stern determination on his face. It probably isn't wise to argue right now. "…I.. could have eaten… back there… " But there's a chair right here, at her husband's war table, and before she really knows what she's doing her knees have buckled and she's sitting. At least she's let go of him. She exhales slowly, rubbing one hand across her face, finally nodding to the other chair. "…sit too… eat with me… tell me what… What all has happened?"
There is a knock at the wooden frame of the tent's front, where the flaps that make a doorway are laced and held upright. "Come," Markus barks, not expecting Cordelya to be in a state to worry for such. It's the requested food and drink, set down before the Lady at her husband's war table. A cup of wine is poured, and a bowl of stew produced for the woman, a second cup is then poured for the brusque-sounding knight. Once the lad departs, he does take her invitation to sit, and reaches for the cup of wine. He'll not eat, but then he only ever asked after the one bowl. "Eat," he suggests, gentler, especially for her, before adding, "And I'll share what I know."
Ever demanding tales from him, it seems, though this war story is in the present and that's enough to set anyone's nerves on end. Corrie reaches her small hands out for the bowl of stew, ignoring the wine for now and actually obey her suddenly rumbling stomach. It's been too long since she last ate. She reaches the spoon down into the meat stew, taking a few bites before looking back over to him and smirking with an expression that says: 'Happy?' without actually voicing it. "Thank you, Mark… by the way. It… it's good to see you." She confesses before she goes quiet, settling for the stew and the story.
He waits, good on his word, until she's had a few bites of dinner before he says, "Always good to see you, Corrie. Though shit on these circumstances." Markus seems willing to let that hang in the air a few minutes before he begins to relay the tale of the effort so far. "We rode up on Seagard not long after the damned Ironmen took the gates of the city, and the Mallister forces treated back to their fortress and a few defensible districts. Fighting was fierce amongst the infantry, and they'd dug a ditch that was well disguised… more than a few knights tumbled in, or just barely avoided it," he says, lifting his wine for a sip. "Including yours truly."
Cordelya takes a few more bites of the food, not avoiding it any more, her stomach and her head needing fuel entirely too much or she'd not be functional soon. Slowly, a the stew works it's warmth through her body, she relaxes inch by inch. She doesn't look quite so much on the edge of tears or screaming. Most of the shock is wearing off too, for good or for ill. "Shite. Are…are you alright? Nothing broken or twisted?" She asks, looking down to examine his legs. She didn't notice a limp but then she's not been quite in her right mind. "…Does… it look like you'll be able to take the city back? Anders said that the Riverlanders didn't bring enough men but… I don't think he's thinking straight."
Markus shakes his head a fraction, "Oh, no, I made it out without a fucking scratch this time. Your husband acquitted himself well with me on the field, we both kept our horses," he points out, somewhat dryly. Perhaps another sip of wine will serve to make that a touch less so. "As to the city, I believe so. We've quite the numbers here already, and should we need to, we could hold out for the sake of the King's force to join with ours. I am optimistic, Corrie."
Cordelya relaxes a touch as he confesses not having been injured in the least. That was reassuring. She takes another bite of her stew, at least finishing the whole thing up fairly quickly. "…That…that's good news. Very good news. We'll be fine. I… keep telling Anders that. He's so worried that I'm here but… I'll stay behind the front lines, with the other camp followers. I'm just here to help…" It makes sense to her. And with those comforting words, the pair fall into silence as she eats, and he drinks, and some little comfort is taken in the quiet moments between the chaos of war.