|The Heads of the Maids|
|Summary:||Cherise, Cordelya and Danae all flee the campsite a day before the fighting begins. In the carriage, conversation turns to more instructional discussions on the privileges of marriage.|
|Related Logs:||Ironborn Invasion|
|The War Camp|
|A teeming war camp between Stonebridge and the Roost|
|Friday January 13th, 289|
"The heads of the maids, or their maidenheads; take it in what sense thou wilt." - Romeo and Juliet, Act I Scene I
The camp was a flurry of motion, men preparing to march in the next day which meant those of the delicate nature needed to leave as soon as possible. Cherise had prolonged her stay to the last moments. After breaking the morning meal, she stood just outside the Charlton pavilion, overseeing men stacking her trunks and arranging them onto the carriage. Four of her handmaidens were present, the women standing in quiet as Cherise moved towards a nearby chair. "Go and see if the Lady Flint and Lady Westerling are ready to have their belongings secured as well." The woman was told, dropping into a muted curtsy before scurrying off to inquire with the other ladies.
Well, Corrie isn't exactly leaving the camp in the most dignified manner. Tossed over the shoulder of a Flint man, her maid scurrying after and another guard to be certain anything untoward won't happen, she's -still- squirming all the way from the Flint tent. "But there will be injured men here! Mistress Senna and one Maester will not be enough to handle all the wounded that will come through! I can be of use here, I swear it!" She cries out, her voice breathless and frustrated. "If my husband would just see that! If I could just speak with him five more minutes!" She begs of the stony faced soldier that carries her. But he's not hearing it. Her things are put up on the carriage by the other knight.
That voice was enough to carry over to the Charlton campsite, eyes turning in both interest and curiosity. Cherise's own pale blue stare was one of them, stunned by the manner on how the lady was conducting herself. She pressed to the arms of the chair, standing slowly and carefully in order to .. yes the woman was being carried over the shoulder. In her most stern and appalled voice she cut through the snickers of laughter, "Lady Flint! What is the reason for this?"
Cordelya is unceremoniously plopped back down to her feet, or her buttocks if she refuses to hold herself up, but she manages to catch herself as the knight puts her directly in front of the carriage and the now standing Cherise. Corrie's face is splotchy with tears and temper, making her look even younger than her normal years and she's baby-faced to begin with. Seeing Cherise and hearing that tone in her voice, Corrie tries to draw herself up a bit more, arms folding across her chest now that she's free. At least she's not darting back for the Flint tent like a completely half mad child. "I simply think I would be of far more use -here- than twisting my thumbs back in Stonebridge. There's barely a maester here! What… what will happen to the wounded?"
It was a rough hour for all, for those who did not wish to part from their loved ones a second time since the arrival of reinforcements from the various houses. Cherise barely turned her head over the shoulder, addressing one of her handmaidens. "Prepare some tea before we depart." She tells the woman, a hinting glare from her eyes pointed in suggestion to Cordelya whom had then received the majority of her attention once more. "There in lies your first problem Lady Flint, you are not to think." Relayed sourly, for she too shared the woman's sentiment however her own demeanor needed to remain in check. At least for appearances. "The wounded will receive the care that is needed. Beyond that what the men do is out of our concern." Cherise sighs then , gesturing with two fingers to another hand maiden. "Give the Lady Flint a handkerchief for her face." The order was complied, one sheepish looking maid servant neared Cordelya then retrieved a softened linen handkerchief from her pocket in offering. Cherise looked to the chair she had previously occupied. "We are not children, we are ladies and as such we must compose ourselves to a higher standard. How do you think Lord Anders would wish to remember leaving your presence? As a bawling fragile child? Is that what you wish him to see? Or perhaps a proud woman with unquestionable faith in his return?" While speaking the noblewoman slowly sank into her chair, her own tear wells were dry for the time being. Had she been crying there was no evidence of it upon her face. Powders were wonderful in that manner.
Cordelya flickers bloodshot jade eyes across her shoulder, the brief debate in her reddened features of simply running back. If they left without her, she'd have to stay, right? But there's still a knight there, probably charged with ensuring she got on that damned carriage, and she is trapped. She takes a slightly hiccuping breath, trying not to sound as if she'd shed tears, but she no doubt has. For all the great leaps of composure Cherise has, Corrie has none. She mutely accepts the kerchief, dabbing at her cheeks but not really putting herself together yet. "…I always think, Cherise. I… I think I would -die- if I stopped thinking." She admits gaspingly. "And… and of course… he will return. He must… but there will be others… they could use my hands." But her voice is growing softer. She knows she's fighting a losing battle.
Seated Cherise lays a hand along her stomach as the other lounges along the arm of her chair. She had known some of the ladies would be distraught however this woman was shattered to pieces. Unfortunately the tea was not ready yet and in staring to the carriage, her transport to return she, the broken Flint woman and herself to Stonebridge she idled in thought. "And what of Lady Tiaryn Flint?" She asks Cordelya. "Is she not in need of your hands and companionship? From what I have heard the woman has lived through quite a terrifying ordeal."
Cordelya doesn't really wait for tea. The small steel flask that she almost always keeps on her person is drawn out of her a side pocket hidden in her skirts and she tugs open the top, knocking back a few sips of whatever mix is inside. It calms the head, somewhat at least. She then stares back to Cherise, rightfully scolded as she's reminded of Tiaryn. A slow, shaken breath is drawn in as she studies Cherise's face then looks away towards the long road beyond them. "…Yes… she is… and she has… but… Gods, Cherise, I… I do not know how to heal a mind or a heart… I know how to stitch and tend to a body." She breathes in forcibly deep once more. "But yes. I've.. done a poor turn by her. She needs companions as well… " Corrie now just looks torn and half sick.
"Then you will be given that time to see it is rectified." Settled on that Cherise eyes the arrival of her tea and one is also offered for Cordelya consisting of herbs meant for relaxation. Something the woman has been plentifully tapping into. "I suppose it would start with listening. Being there and seeing they are not walking alone in this time." The cup is lifted to her lips for a few small sips.
Cordelya does accept the cup of tea offered in her direction, though she pours a touch more from her flask into it before sealing the top and replacing it in her skirt's pocket. She sighs softly, "Aye… I will be there for the Lady. And I have listened… but… He's my -husband-…" She protests weakly, however most of the fight has left her. She looks from the lady to the carriage, gently bowing her head. "…Shall we? How…how are you feeling?" She asks softly, mostly in control now and calmned. Trying to be a proper lady.
Quietly drinking, subdued by the wonders of particular herbs, Cherise returns her gaze to Cordelya slowly. "I have managed to maintain a few meals for the past day or so, very well in fact." Proud of this the woman offers a small smile, extremely small as she looks to the carriage. "My cousin Danae will be joining us. I would prefer to wait for her." Both hands embrace the cup, its warmth passing onto her palms. "How is the Lady Tiaryn related to you? A cousin of your husband's?"
"The wife of my husband's cousin, so… No true relation at all, other than in heart. She married Connel Flint. But… with the loss of so much of her family, I think we are all intending to be double family to her now. Sadly… Connel was killed in the last war as well. The poor, poor Lady…" Corrie shakes her head, some distant sickness in her own stomach at the thought of all of Tiaryn's losses and how much war takes from the women. "She… she has lost too much. Hopefully, when all this is settled, we might find her another husband… Someone to give her happiness."
Cherise nods slowly, "Such a sad tale." Remarked with sympathy the woman stares down into her cup, the remaining liquid within. "The Camdens correct?" Her brow lifts as her gaze latches upon Cordelya. "Terrible. Just terrible. We were fortunate here our men are so brave and skillful." That small smile returned, "My husband would not allow himself to be struck down by a barbarian blade. I doubt Lord Anders would as well. As for the rest of the men this is what must be to defend the safety of all of us. They have the numbers and they have all that is needed. Had they required us we would be marching with them." Cherise lifts her cup, "Besides if you are going to throw a fit and march along side them I will as well. Though I doubt that will be fitting for a woman in my condition hmm?"
Cordelya turns a slightly shocked, more wide eyed look in Cherise's direction with a momentary dip of her eyes to the woman's stomach. "But… but that is not fair, Lady. You are carrying a child. Another's -life- depends on you! You… are in an entirely different situation than I… No one's life but my own is on my shoulders, no matter how I might try…" There is guilt and worry behind those words as well. Tiaryn's husband died without an heir, no doubt something that rings in her mind every time she thinks of Anders going off to war. It's happened to the family once already. She takes a small, distracted sip of her tea, her fingertips still just slightly shaking, making the liquid tremble with her own restlessness and worry. "And… y-yes… the Camdens. I am certain they were brave and skillful as well. The Gods are just… as cruel as they are kind, at times."
She maintained a low tone in her voice, seated within the Charlton camp with Cordelya standing near by. In the distance though not too far away was the carriage being loaded with various trunks belonging to all three of the ladies. One of Cherise's handservants was dispatched to retrieve Danae and inform that her things would be ready for loading. "How is it not fair?" She asked innocently. "You may be with child yourself. Only time will reveal it. I would be struck dumb to believe that you have been as untouched as a maiden since arriving to this camp. Would you risk the chance then? If so, then shall I." Cherise returns her eyes to the carriage, overseeing the arrangements of their trunks.
Cordelya is standing before Cherise, not sitting, looking restless and worried. Her face is still a bit splotchy from tears, it seems, but she's mostly finished with them. She's got her hand around a mug of tea, though Cherise's words now bring her other fingertips to the flat of her stomach. There's a small touch of hope with her brushing hand, worry, lacking certainty. The commentary of her being untouched as a maiden doesn't make her blush, but it makes her smile just a hint with almost hungry memory. "…No.. not untouched. But.. I… I do not know. I feel as if I would know if I was. The Gods would give me… a sign. Or even just a whisper. I… very much do not think I am with child, and yet we know you are. It…it is not safe for you. I could manage it here…" She murmurs quietly, but her heart has grown feeble behind her words. Cherise has won this battle, it's just a matter of getting in the carriage.
It takes a little time for Danae to work her way back through the busy Charlton camp, when she does her cheeks are flushed and a skirt is kitted over her wrist to keep the hem from being too muddied. The small blonde skips over a rut in the ground, guard trailing after her with a tempered smile. She stalls on the edges of the ladies' conversation, brows rising at Cherise's comment upon 'untouched maidens." "Lady Cordelya, Cousin…" Does she need to come back in a little bit? Danae is more than capable of doing all the blushing that the married pair of women do /not/, cheeks flushing brightly. "Good afternoon?"
"Nonsense Danae." Cherise smirks at her cousin's arrival, instantly having reason to rise from her seat. "I was wondering if I would need to drag you from Lord Riodanal's tent. But I see that you will be able to make it after all." Her eyes turn to the hand servants, "Get everything ready we will depart shortly." The Charlton lady had already issued her goodbye to her husband, the man perhaps already with his men in ensuring some final preparations. Returning to the ladies she makes a gesture to Cordelya, "Lady Flint here and I were just discussing the possibility of her pregnancy. That is all."
Goodness, the Lady Cherise is good at making even the normally unphasable Corrie blush and feel a hint awkward. She might not be nearly so socially aware as either lady, but the 'possibility of her pregnancy' is enough to bring a hint of uncertain discomfort to her features. She shakes her head gently in denial to both of them, "No, no… Lady Danae, it…it is good to see you. I am glad you ride with us." She offers gently, trying to be as polite and socially proper as possible. SHe's still not very good at it. "Ah… and… I was assuring the lady I am fairly certain I am not with child. I… I just think I would have that feeling. I do not."
"I think Cousin, that there is very little need to drag me anywhere that is away from the Lord," Danae replies sweetly, eyes too sharp for true humor. "In truth I would not miss the chance to ride with you, my cousin needs her tea. The pregnancy leaves her humors most delicate." The smaller of the blondes brushes her hands down her skirt and regards Cordelya with a gracious smile. "It is not uncommon for it to be an unforcasted delight, my lady. I should wish that you might be so delighted, I am certain your husband would as well."
Cordelya is feeling just a touch -surrounded- now, her small mouth setting into a bit of a line. She wishes to protest more but she knows it would be useless, sadly. Exhaling, mostly steady again, she simply nods. "Well… it's of no matter either way. I shall ride with you both and we will ensure the lady Cherise has an easy time of it together." She shares a small, protective smile with Danae for Cherise, now understanding where the woman got the herbs that fill the tea she's been sipping upon.
Danae's mouth twtiches into a slightly more amused smile, one which does not quite reach her eyes as she looks from the Flint lady to her cousin. "Indeed we shall. Conversation for distraction as well as hands to make sure that Cherise takes a small meal to keep up her strength," she suggests. As well as tea, lots of tea. "Lady Flint — ah. Corrie, correct?" She begins, pausing to ascertain the appropriateness of the nickname ever now, beyond the rose garden. "I understand that you had taken Ser Gedeon Rivers under your care. It seemed to be fairing very well when I paused to visit him the other even, looking in fact for you. How have you found his condition improved?"
Cordelya begins to move towards the carriage with the ladies, having fully given up her protests and hopes of staying near to her husband and the action. It is not a war -she- can win. She finishes off her own tea with a half deep gulp, though Danae's sensitive nose might recognize there is a slightly heavier spice and different mix to the cup from which she drinks (perhaps Corrie added a bit of her own blend?). "Corrie yes, please." That does seem to relax her, far more than proper names. "And yes, I sat with him for many an eve, along with the Mistress Senna. I think between us we managed to get him to turn around. The wound no longer smells and that's the best sign yet. Just time to heal, now." She seems a touch proud, being that the man actually was festering for a bit there.
You say, "He was one of those I wished to remain behind to help with caring for."
As that spicey edge of the scent curls up from Cordelya's cup, Danae crinkles her nose slightly but says nothing of it. "He seemed quite sure that it was likely for him to be returned to Stonebridge as well, my lady. I think you would be better placed to serve him there once moved, would you not? If they should keep him — I am certain that Mistress Delacourt is capable," she offers softly, clapsing her hands at her waist. "I should be interested to speak to further on your skills and perhaps learn a little." She smiles at the other woman, a little bit hopefully.
Probably it's a servant's job to open the door of the carriage, but Corrie really still is rather getting accustomed to having servants. She reaches up to do it herself, pulling the door open for both the other ladies to load themselves inside. She gives the man who was about to do it a perplexed little blink as he just stares at her, but shakes it off and looks back over to Danae. "Aye, Mistress Delacourt is more than capable, but if there are dozens wounded, or worse, she is only one woman…" Corrie sighs, the sound genuinely aching, all the way down to her heart. "But… no one is listening to my words. They will not permit me to stay. So… we shall all ride and simply hope for the best." She gives Danae a half smile, but it's still not quite reaching her eyes. "I would be happy to teach you. I might be as good as a chiurgeon as I am with herbs… or near close. And a hand with healing is always a good thing to have."
Cherise then raises her cup, a cute motion to signify she is drinking her tea with a little kick added to it. "I would believe I am handling this son of ours well. For all the misery he causes." Her gaze briefly lowers to the round bulb of her stomach. "In truth Lady Cordeyla I was not remotely aware for months. I had believed some stomach illness had made its way into my body." She replies easily before they breech the subject of the wounded bastard. "You are right Cordelya, I am not going to listen so in.. in you go." Cherise makes a shooing gesture with her hand after setting down her cup. Drained an emptied. She'll also move towards the carriage as well, the door opened not by a knight but the backwards lady Flint. She said nothing of it while accepting the offered hand aiding her inside.
"It is not the place for you. Nor for many of us," Danae assures, tipping her head curiously as the lady pauses at the door to the carriage. "There are others who move with the force, healers and perhaps a maester. And my cousin insists," she adds the last bit as if referring to an implaccable force of nature. She awaits the other ladies, before helped in by the same hand that aided Cherise. "It would be my honor, my lady. I have had little learning in chiurgeonry, although much with herbs."
Cordelya opened the door, so she lets the two go in before she too follows suit, takes that hand's assistance up and inside the carriage. At least she has good conversation to keep her from tears or fits on the ride back. It was probably a far better idea that she take the carriage with the ladies instead of a horse as she arrived here. Once inside, she settles back casually, trying to look comfortable when it's clear she's still a slight nerves and jitters. "Aye, then such instruction will be a good wayu to keep ourselves busy, Lady Danae." Then her eyes return curious (and still a touch envious) of Cherise, torn between the lady's face and her little pooch of a tummy. "I… I would say you are handling him -quite- well, aye. And… you may not have been aware, but are you as studied in the body as I? I… I have made such studies a large part of my life. I… I just… I feel I would know." Like a child insisting there is some monster in the shadows, or that faeries must be real.
One of her hand maidens would enter, sitting beside Cherise when ever a request to stop was made or for other reasons. Once all four were within the carriage, the man carefully closed the door. A few moments would pass before their transport was jerked into action. Once they were moving Cherise pulled the curtain to a close that was close to her not wishing to watch the camp grow smaller in their departure. "I have not studied the body no. It is different for everyone. Some women feel it others are oblivious. I just know it was almost two months for myself." Against the plushed pillowed seating Cherise tilted her head back then released a slow exhale. "Danae is a wonder when it comes to plants and all sorts of those things. I believe you two will have plenty to discuss or to play in the dirt like children." The woman laughs a touch, laying an arm across her abdomen as she closes her eyes. "This tea is wonderful Danae…"
"It would very much appreciate it then," Danae says with a slight smile, settling her skirts once she is within the fold of the carriage. Her smile brightens at her cousin's praise, even shaded as it is with mild criticism. "I am just happy enough to see you eat, dear one. The little one is taking much out of you."
Cordelya falls just a touch quiet as the women get deeper into discussing the babe and his effects upon the Lady Cherise. Corrie studies, listening curiously, trying to swallow back those thoughts of envy and deep wonder. It's simply not polite. "Two months…" She breathes out quietly, just in shock that it might take so long. Her now free hands lightly fold across her stomach, almost in hopeful protection, but she doesn't dare voice such feelings. She also completely misses the little slight about the dirt, the thought actually making her smile, "Aye, I think we shall have many good times, between Danae and I… it is good to have another with whom one can work."
Cherise felt all too comfortable against the pillowed seats. The carriage rocking just enough to create a soothing environment coupled with the tea used to settle both her stomach and sedate the nerves, it was no wonder that after some quiet time from the lady a light snore would fill the air of the carriage. The handmaiden turned instantly, looking to the Lady Charlton and smiling. "She and the lord Charlton had not slept at all the previous night."
Danae smiles at the Flint lady, dipping her chin in an agreeable nod. "Indeed, I think it will." She quiets, thoughtuflly watching her cousin doze off, brushing her fingers beneath her own eye with a yawn. The maid's…note just causes her to sigh and shake her head with a low laugh. "That I am well enough aware of," she mumbles, a flush creeping into her cheeks.
Cordelya arches a brow at the information from -both- the maid and from Danae, though she also laughs and doesn't really blush. "Aye… I do think that is the… trouble of being a young wed couple in a war camp. There are not many private areas to be found. Andy and I had our own little… incident…" There she blushes, though she also half laughs at the memory. She smiles fondly over to Cherise. "I am glad she and her husband still find pleasure with each other. There are so many couples who simply cease after conceiving a child, when the privillages of a married bed should be as wide and pleasurable as the tools in the box of a courtsean." She states firmly. "But… I am sorry. This is certainly not appropriate conversation for a lady unwed. Though, when your wedding night comes… Do speak with me. There are many other things I could teach you that are not herbs."
"I took a very long walk," Danae quips, somewhat seriously to the lady's reply as she shares a look with Cherise's maid. No sleep, indeed. The slight rose of her cheeks becomes something rather fuller as the lady continues, akin to the warmth of a sunset as she presses her face in her hands. It is a paltry attempt to hide the shift in colour. "No, it is not appropriate," she replies with a bit of a squeak in her voice. "Although, I believe should I marry…the wedding night will havel ittle speaking my lady." Ahem. "Incident, you said?"
Cordelya gives Danae a slightly levelled -look-, a fuller smirk touching her lips and a hint of laughter behind her voice. "You say it is not appropriate, and yet you ask for details, Lady. Which is it?" She winks teasingly, though she too seems to have relaxed from her previous tantrum. "And speaking is not important on a wedding night. What you do with hands… and other parts… is what is important. But, sadly, so few that it is an art to be studied. Just like herbs or languages. At least very few in Westeros. All the books I've managed to find have been from Dorne or the Free Cities."
Cherise stirred only a touch in her mild slumber. She may still be caught in the web of deep slumber had it not been for the murmured comment she made, chiming into the conversation. "It is wholly appropriate, that way you are not running and screaming around the room about what is going where and how it fits."
"What I am going to run screaming from is this conversations, my ladies," Danae retorts in a huff, shooting the cackling married pair a look of her own. She shifts in her seat, settling her back against the side of the carriage with a frown. "I know well enough the biological aspects of 'the act'. My mother taught me well enough." Thank you very much. "I need no know details of you…act if that is to what your were referring, Lady Flint," she says dryly. "I was looking for an exchange of subject."
Cordelya shares a brief look, if Cherise bothers to open her eyes, with the other married lady. It's both thankful and a touch worried with a sigh for Danae. The poor girl! So much to learn. "Cherise is correct, Danae. And… ah… " Though now she is blushing just a touch, "Knowing the physical… act… is very easy. It is simply two steps. Knowing how to -enjoy- the act? And do it so the pain is not so much? Do it so your husband attends to -your- bed and not some whore's? That… that is far harder. And often not something mother's teach. If…if I hadn't managed to find those books, I do not know what I would have done when… my wedding night came. We are simply trying to prepare you as friends… " She presses her lips again, though there's a slight grin behind her eyes. "…First lesson — ensure your tent flaps are tied before engaging in the privillages of husband and wife in the middle of a war camp."
She barely opened her eyes a sleep laced glare at the two which may have gave off the impression that Cherise was bored rather than tired. A hand raised, covering her yawn while settling herself once again along the pillowed seats. "You wouldn't run Danae, not with the carriage in motion." Settled with that Cherise pushed herself to sit upright, unhooking the clasps of her cloak and spreading it along her torso. "It becomes quite enjoyable when you learn of your husband's pleasures. Aliester is…" She too blushes when revisiting the memories of nights past. "I'll just say men who command in the field possess and equal prowess in the private chambers." She pulls the cloak up to her shoulders, tucking herself beneath its blanket. "You can ask us anything you like Danae, there's no reason to feel ashamed of it. I'm sure you're a bit curious…"
The door of the carriage earns a look as if Danae is seriously considering whether or not she'd survive the fall, just to escape this conversation. Her cheeks don't seem likely to dim any time soon. Instead of replying, she regards her cousin with a flat look and then fishes a small book and a scrap of charcoal out of a pocket in her cloak.
Cordelya gives a low sigh as Danae gives her cousin that -looks- and appears as if she isn't going to take the valuable advice from the women. "There is time, Cherise… We should not press her too hard now, she does not seem willing to listen. When a husband is found for her, perhaps there will be better conversations." Corrie smiles a bit wider back to Danae. "Or perhaps I should just let you borrow a book or two."
Cherise was resettling herself again, attempting to make herself as comfortable as possible for the long ride back to Stonebridge. While closing her eyes she still offers, "If she will not take them I would like to borrow the volumes." To compare of course, not like she needed improvement. "Now if you will excuse me ladies sleep does call." Within a few moments Cherise was easily returning to sleep.
"Perhaps, my lady…that would be best," Danae agrees dryly, briefly looking up from her sketch to Cordelya. As Cherise settles down to sleep, she settles down to her own work and the carriage quiets companionably.
Cordelya smiles a bit more to Cherise. "Of course. I do not have all of them with me, Cherise, but my two favourites I almost always keep. You can borrow them any time." She smiles wide and proud. But as Danae agrees about the books, she nods, "Perhaps I shall let you both borrow one, then you might switch. You can ignore my notes or study them as you please. Now… rest, Cherise… and relax. It is a long ride for all of us." Corrie then falls back into silence, staring out the window.