|The March Hare|
|Summary:||Bruce is a troll. Awesomely.|
|The Stone Bridge — Stonebridge|
|An ancient bridge crafted of shaped stone, built in the long lost days of the River Kings. Narrow- only wide enough for a single large wagon at a time- it is of double arched construction, leaving a lane to either side of the river's center for boats and barges to pass beneath. This bridge marks the furthest point upriver which a masted vessel can reach. The best crossing between Seagard and the Twins, the bridge is well worn, with the newest addition being a row of six pikes mounted into the arch of the bridge, each displaying the tarred heads of Ironborn raiders.|
|May 7, 280 A.L.|
Never let it be said that Mallisters don't know how to do 'polite.' Kamron Mallister first sent his squire to the Tordane encampment, to inquire earnestly of one of the sigil-less guards if the Lady Tordane would be willing to spare a few moments to speak with Ser Kamron Mallister, and what might be a convenient time for her to do so. And then Ser Kamron himself arrives at the appointed time, dressed in his own mourning garb — black dye must be at a premium in the Cape these days. He presents himself to one of the guards as well, inquiring after the man's health and ease-of-watch, but not even attempting to inquire as to where he might be from. Just idle small-talk to pass the time until the widow Tordane may receive him.
The guards are a rough hewn sort, well mannered and polite to the Mallister Lord, but distinctly distant. At the appointed time, the small figure of the Widow Tordane emerges, dressed in her mourning blacks as is proper with a guard at her elbow. "Lord Mallister," Danae greets mildly, looking up at him with polite interest as she dips into a curtsey. "I do not believe we have met in full, I am the Lady Danae Tordane and I understand you wish to speak."
Kamron counters the curtsey with a bow, "Please, Lady Tordane," That's either a very good sign, or a bit of politeness, either way he keeps his voice just on the friendly side of formal, a bit of a crooked grin touching one corner of his mouth, "Ser Kamron or Ser Kam is more than enough." He gestures down along the east bank of the river, so that they may evacuate the bridge itself, "I certainly don't wish to continue to dredge up grief or discomfort, Lady Tordane. I simply wanted to speak with you myself. I knew your late husband but a short time, but I came to see his cause as one of my own, and I'm curious how you see yourself continuing it — or striking out on your own path."
"Ser Kamron, then," Danae agrees with a polite smile and a mild nod. Agreeably, she cants her head at his gesture and gathers her skirts in one hand so that they may walk a ways along the river as they speak. "Let us walk, if we may? I find the air is good for this conversation as any." Her guard followes behind them as they move, distance appropriate but wary. "I am sure that my husband as thankful for your support of his cause…even in his final minutes. A man only has so many friends in the world, it is the difficult days that seem to cut them slim." A pretty smile warms her mouth as she looks up at him, ugly green bruise still lingering on her cheek. "I would, gods willing, like to continue as my husband intended with Stonebridge returning under the Tordane name. As the King intended as well…I suppose. She is a thrieving trade city, that is always where my own skills have laid in interests of administration."
Kamron moderates his pace to match that of the lady, smiling and nodding his head a little as she accepts the less informal mode of address, "Walking is certainly agreeable to me, Lady Tordane." A slight chuckle lifts to his lips as he adds, "I've been finding several things I never much liked to be quite enjoyable recently — walking, finding clams," a wry smile curls up one corner of his mouth again, "building houses." His smile fades as he listens more seriously to her words, "I bet that Good King Robert is rather wroth with the Naylands at the moment — or at least will be when he hears of this mess." The fingers of his right hand tap idly at the outside of his thigh as he strolls southward, "Please forgive me for asking, Lady Tordane, but what do you plan to do if you are not with child?" An apologetic smile shadows his face, "I know you have had a rough time of it lately, and I honestly do not want to cause you any further grief, but I believe the question must be asked."
"Clams, hrm? You must have been out by the shores, Ser Kamron. I cannot say I have done such since I was a girl…" The thought softens the harsh cut of the Lady Danae's features somewhat, although they never shift to less than cordially polite. "He does not seem a man to take the refute of his choices lightly, no. Although I cannot say how deeply this one would cut him, however tighty the Naylands are clinging to their own." There is a slight pull at the corners of her lips as she looks towards the water, considering his question. "I believe I am with child, Mother bless. There's…something of a woman's inuition in it, sure. If, however, I am not then I have no legal claim to Stonebridge and I shall find something else to do with myself. Certainly pockets of the Riverlands would breath a sigh of relief at that, I had someone suggest Dorne recently as a choice."
Kamron nods his head, "I've been staying at Four Eagles, helping the Terricks with their recovery efforts." He nods his head at the description of her options by the Lady, offering a smile, "I don't know that it would be quite necessary to go that far, Lady Tordane. I'm sure that your skills as a trade envoy would still be more than useful, at Seagard or elsewhere on the Cape if not in Stonebridge." He draws a long, slow breath, "And if the child is a girl, Lady Tordane? Would you then try to find a match for her and continue to stake a claim on Stonebridge? Or would you abdicate the claim and live your life for yourself once more?"
"An envoy's skills are only so useful when directed for the house which backs him, Ser. It's the goal of a decent envoy to warm relationships and find inroads for trade, which perhaps I might still do in Seagard, you are not incorrect in that. How fares the city with its own rebuilding?" Danae wonders sympathetically, well aware of the battles that occured there. His idea of living for herself draws a crooked smile to her lips as she demurs, "I think you think too much like a knight and a lord, good Ser. A woman rarely has the opportunity to live for herself. My life would still be for my child, although my heart longs for a boy — if only in memory of his father. I would seek to hold it for that memory though, a daughter's claim would be weaker but not without precedence."
Kamron nods his head, accepting the correction on the envoy's task, and adding in, "When I was there last, it was recovering at least as well as could be expected, Lady Tordane, although I bet it will still take a year or so for it to be fully rebuilt." The mention of the differing roles of men and women causes him to laugh softly, holding up his hands slightly as if surrendering a point, "You have me there, Lady Tordane. I only have experience being a knight — I've none at all being a lady." The words are accompanied by a broader version of his crooked, mischevious grin, evidently meant to lighten the mood — at least until he brings the most serious question about. The words are spoken lightly, but the grey-blue gaze of the Mallister loses its dancing quality, taking on something closer to the sharp stare of a sea-eagle, "And I presume that you mean to continue with your late husband's intention to confirm House Tordane's fealty to House Terrick? I have heard from the Terricks that they had it in writing."
There is a significant amount of dust being kicked up in the distance, from the direction of Stonebridge. The cloud moves slowly, but any man who's ever seen a formation of troops on the move will know immediately that there are a large body of men moving.
"You may borrow one of my dresses any day that you have cause to wonder, Ser. If only you'll lend me your armor in return…I have a sword of my own," Danae offers sweetly, casting a look up at the Mallister Knight as if considering which dress would fit him best. She raises her brows lightly, meeting that eagle eyed gaze unflinchingly with her own of calm sea blue. "In all honesty, Ser Kamrom, I know not what I intend to do with that nor what they will chose to do in regards to me. It seems without point to both to make estimations of what is to occur when I have no spoken to any but one, since the day of the duel…" Her words still a little at the sound and dust kicking up from Stonebridge.
Kamron laughs softly at the offer, "I don't think that even my armor would fit you, Lady Tordane. Let alone that of the Terrick giants." To a man just over average height, the six footers of House Terrick and those sworn to Seagard must seem like giants. He nods his head at the words that trail off, his own eyes going to seek out the rising dust and then to try to find the men causing it, "Perhaps we should walk back to your camp, Lady Tordane. As we do, let me hasten to assure you that I'm certain Lord Terrick would be quite happy to host you at the Roost if you would like to speak with him directly about it. I know that his friendship with your late husband's father was very important to him."
The group of men are moving in a column ten ranks deep, five across, it can be seen as the men get closer. They're also obviously armed with pikes, which swish through the air as they march. Any other details, whether sound or uniform, are very hard to make out from the Tordane camp.
They're moving from Stonebridge to the bridge.
"It's just as well, your ankles would be exposed by my gowns, Ser," replies the lady of slightly less than average height with a smile. They make for a contrasting pair, to say the lease. "I think that might be best, yes," Danae agrees of Ser Kamron's suggestion, eying the Nayland party with interest as they move back towards the Tordane camp. She glances over her shoulder to look to her sworn.
Danae's guard likely does not mean offense where his first reaction is to draw his sword slightly from his scabbard, inches of finely hewn steel showing where Alek steps towards Danae. "We should return to the others, now. We have more men at camp," he murmurs lowly for her, fingers gripping his sword, ready.
Kamron turns about on his path along the east bank of the river crossed by the stonebridge, walking back northward toward the bridge and the Tordane encampment. He nods to Danae, but his attention is up on the approaching soldiers, and a moment later, he notes grimly, "You don't have enough men to face them if they're coming for you, Lady Tordane. If they're -not- coming for you, someone has chosen a damned poor route for a march, if you'll excuse my language." His left hand goes to the hilt of the dagger at that hip, but then he releases it, looking over to Danae, "If they are coming to arrest you for some reason, Lady Tordane, do you wish the protection of House Mallister?" Granted, there's only a single Mallister present, as compared to a much larger number of unknown guards in the Tordane camp, but the offer is apparently given in all earnestness.
As the men approach the bridge, it becomes identifiable that they are seperated into four marching groups. Each group has a small banner held by a man; orange, green, red and yellow, corresponding to the colours of Nayland and Tordane. A familiar sight to those who served in the Rebellion. The men aren't armoured or even dressed uniformly. There are also some other soldiers, four at the front and four at the rear. These men /are/ dressed uniformly, mainly in mail shirts and steel helms. At the front, a taller man carries the square standard bearing the banner of House Nayland of Stonebridge, arms Nayland and Tordane quartered. Another has a bugle. As soon as the first boot hits the stone bridge, the bugler begins to play what sounds like a marching tune. Their pace is slow and purposeful.
One of the men moving at the front is a 6' behemoth of MUSCLE - kidding, it's a 6' man wearing a surcoat with the house Nayland colors over a suit of mail (that's anything but nice). A sword belt with a nice looking blade hanging from it. Daerd doesn't look back, knowing the men are following their lead and by the look of it - he's had a bit of practice doing and expecting that very thing. About the most he does do is glance over toward Ser Bruce and a crack of a smile as the sound of the bugle begins to play. Something about being familiar with this duty, and that classic tune always seems to strike a funny bone with him. Maybe nostalgia?
"I—" Danae begins and breaks off with a baffled shake of her head at the marching men and her sworn's words. "Yes, of course…" It is difficult to tell her response was to the Mallister's offer or her sworn's insistence. She moves with her sworn and the Malister knight quickly towards the camp. If it is merely a march, they will pass them by…
"You are right, of course, ser. If they are coming for her, you have to promise me you'll get her away. I'll stay and hold them off as long as I can." These low, harsh words are directed towards the Mallister, an almost pleading look in grey eyes that settle for a moment on Kamron. Alek's fingers have caught at Danae's arm, keeping himself close to her and his other hand on his sword. "Listen, my lady, get on a fast horse with the lord here and ride, if you must, towards somewhere else."
"Smile, men, smile! To your rear is the town you fought and shed blood for. To your sides, the heads of those barbarians who tried to rape your women and burn down your town. To your front, the future. And I know what I see in your future!" Ser Bruce Longbough yells, his voice gruff and happy all at once, as the bugle ceases its playing. He's at the complete front of the formation, but has turned around and is walking backwards as he speaks to them. It's doubtful the men in the last two Quarters can even hear him over the din of footfalls on the cobblestones. He rights himself, turning once more in the direction of travel.
Kamron slows slightly as the trio approaches the Tordane camp once more, slowing to study the marching men, "The Stonebridge levies." Whether the words are for Lady Tordane, her guard, or his own curiosity, they are not ascribed to any one of them, "And Ser Bruce's Guards." Alek's words draw a frown, and he shakes his head at the man, "That won't solve anything, and could be dangerous with Lord Daemon in town." There's a slight relaxation in his shoulders as he hears Bruce himself bawling out at the men, and he speaks once more to his companions, "Ser Bruce is a good man." A sudden light takes his eyes, and he grins wildly, stepping close enough to Danae to speak quietly to her despite the tromp of boots, although he quite carefully keeps his hands out at his sides so as to not spook her guardian.
"Lady Tordane… if you receive the levies as Lady Tordane… like you're reviewing them…"
"And what, Ser Kamron?" Danae replies with a wide eyed whisper, looking incredulous. "It is unlikely that my order would be seen well over that of the man who drilled them."
"Cadence!" Comes the call from the six foot man as the horn is coming to a close and the camp is nearby. The call is echoed down the first group of levies, with the actual soldiers sure to shout it - with the possible exception of the front row. Daerd turns about to face the group of them, walking backwards so as to make sure the first group can hear the words to repeat. His head turns slightly, flashing a devilish grin toward Bruce before he starts up. He pauses at the end of every line so that the men can repeat it back.
"Your left, right, left!"
"My back aches!"
"My Belts too tight!"
"My BALLS shake!"
"From left to right!
"I don't know, but I've been told!"
"Ironborn Pussy is mighty cold!"
"Sound off, 1, 2"
"Sound off 3,4"
"Theyre already plotting to kill me," Danae notes dryly, slim hands curling into tight fists as she does her best to hurry along with the men. Blue eyes dart up to her sworn, looking to Alek with concern as the protest that lingers on her lips is not voiced. She does not move to break his hold. "And what…if they'll try this now with the Tully representative…?"
"Then the Tully representative will see them for who they truly are. As long as you live, it will only strengthen your claim," Alek replies, flatly, though his attention is for Ser Bruce and his gaze lingers on that man as they come back to their own camp. A small smile is held in the corners of his lips, even, though there is a distinct lack of humor.
Kamron replies in a whisper, "Not order… just review them… they're marching past anyhow."
Kamron exchanges a few more murmers with Danae, and then steps away once more, "The levies would be in uniform if they were here to make an arrest." The words are spoken to the Lady's guard this time, and then the Mallister steps up to the side of the road as the levies march up, calling to their leader, "Hullo Ser Bruce. Damned queer choice of marching routes you've chosen…" The words are raised to be heard over the tromp of feet, but tinged with friendly teasing more than anger.
Ser Bruce is completely silent as the Ser Daerd leads them through some bawdy cadence. As soon as he'd finished speaking for, his smile'd faded off and so his face remains neutral. The men have finished their singing once the last man is off the bridge. Following the road, they begin to approach the Tordane camp. Bruce speaks up. "Drill! Glorious, mind numbing, bruising, sopping with sweat drill. That's the only bloody thing that's ahead of you in your future, lads!" He continues to yell, only pausing for a moment as he gives Ser Kamron a nod. "MILITIA! EEEEEYYYESSSSS…. RIGHT!" As the order is passed down from Quarter to Quarter, echoed by each Serjeant, Ser Bruce and the Guardsmen pull their swords out and… salute. There are knights and ladies in the camp, afterall, and courtesy is courtesy.
The cadence done, he turns back around resuming his forward walking position in line with the rest of the front-line. He doesn't move otherwise until the next call is given by Bruce. The blade is pulled free from the sheath, a singing of the steel as it hissed free of the confines. Then brought up to salute the camp to the right, his body and head turning only as much as he had to while the rest of him continued on course. There's something to be said about a gleaming sword in sunlight - especially a well made one.
Alek draws his sword as well, but it certainly is not to salute the men who have marched into their camp. It is held with long ease, a practiced hand that speaks of his vast experience with it. He remains silent, however, as he lets the Lord speak.
Despite his words, Kamron tenses just a little when the swords come out. When they raise in salute and the block doesn't begin to wheel, however, a smile returns to his lips, and he takes half a step back and to his left, subtly directing attention away from himself and to the Lady Tordane even as he — lacking a sword or other weapon at the moment — brings his right arm up and across his chest to return an unarmed salute. The flash of steel from the other side of Danae catches his eye, and he growls under his breath, doing his best to not move his mouth, "Return the salute, gods damn it."
Expression softening pointedly, Danae returns their…salute with an incline of her chin. She does however remain where her sworn has placed her, demur in her widow's garb. "My, we are getting quite the consideration today…It is fine to see the levies of Stonebridge out, if in such uncommon colours." Blue eyes scan each of the men with their shining blades in turn, lingering on Bruce several beats longer before she slips into a respectful curtsey. "You men do Stonebridge a fine service."
At Kamron's growl, Alek's blade twists reluctantly and rises with a sharp gesture to salute the men, though that crooked smirk lingers on his lips.
"Militia - Eyyyyyeeeeeesss, FRONT." Bruce calls after a moment, the men snapping their view back at front. In all it was a well practiced gesture, and the formations remained remarkably well ordered, only just barely drifting off of the road. "Serjeant Turner, the men are yours. I'll be up to join you all shortly. Remember, one league east on the Mire road and that's where we'll set up for lunch and drills. Carry on. Ser Daerd - on me." The Captain wheels right so that his sword arm is facing the formation of militia. He continues his salute, looking in on them, but replaces the swordin its scabbard as soon as he's cleared the road. Serjeant Turner, a grizzled man in his mid thirties croaks out a, "Ser!" and keeps the men moving. Bruce dips his head at those assembled, coming to stop at a safe distance from them. His shield is painted solely in the colours of House Nayland, though his surcoat are arms Nayland and Tordane quartered. "M'lady Danae. Ser Kamron and Ser Alek. Good day to you." He lifts his sleepy blue eyes, then, to regard them.
Daerd hears the calls and as Bruce calls for him to follow he does just that, a step behind and to the right. A step after Bruce puts his sword away, he does the same, making it a very practiced and uniform movement between the two of them. The scabbard makes a distinct click as the sword is again returned to its rightful place and securely positioned in his scabbard. Between Bruce and him, Daerd's armor looks worse his shield, a teardrop kite rather than a tower, but his colors are the same all around. He stops with the Captain of the guard and dips his head as well, a simple quick gesture of required respect of people in their position.
Kamron nods his head as Alek salutes, drawing in a breath and letting it out. A dry smile crosses his lips as Bruce comes out of the dust-cloud raised by the levy's boots. He waves one hand to keep the rising dust from his face, blinking slightly as Bruce names the sworn guard a knight and offering, "My apologies, Ser Alek, for my hasty words." Turning back to the Nayland knights, he offers up, "Ser Bruce, Ser…" No name is forthcoming from his brain for the other knight, so he leaves the title alone, "No good marching to the south, Ser Bruce?" Because west would be toward Terrick lands, and that would be bad in itself, and north is a flood plain.
Farrell arrives from the East Walk.
Farrell has arrived.
Danae's gaze flits briefly towards Alek as he neatly salutes the Stonebridge levy, hands folding neatly at her waist. Fair and small, she is dwarfed by the gathering of men around her: Ser Alek and Ser Kamron to her sides and Ser Bruce and Ser Daerd across, while they stand at the mouth of the Tordane emcampment. Incling her head, she waits on Bruce's response to Kamron.
Ser Farrell Keane whistles a carefree, off-key tune as he moseys on over the bridge from Stonebridge proper. He pauses as he takes note of the gathering of men, eyebrows raising in interest as he walks to skirt the edges of their gathering casually.
"We march east, along the road to Hag's Mire. We move from Stonebridge lands to Hag's Mire lands, Ser Kamron." Answers the Captain of the Guard as the men, somewhere between one hundred fifty and two hundred pikemen, march by the Tordane camp on their merry way. "I'd like to talk to you, if you're in Stonebridge later. Bandit stuff, Ser. I already talked to Ser Jarod about it and.. oh! This is Ser Daerd Blackarrow, my apologies." Ser Bruce motions with his now empty sword hand to the man next to him, smiling. "He was a Guard Sergeant on Pyke, and I knighted him a couple of weeks ago. My second in command now."
Daerd's head nods once more to them as he was addressed. He doesn't smile, just stands mostly at an attention. Once Bruce finishes discussing his position he addresses them as Bruce had done earlier, "M'lady Danae. Ser Kamron. Ser Alek." It was an addressing that waited for his own introduction by the man who was still his superior by seniority and overall position in the house. His eyes look between the three, trying not to linger on any of them for too long.
Kamron quirks a crooked grin at Bruce, "And the fact that near enough to two hundred pikemen under the harpy and heron would give everyone in this camp here a fit didn't enter into it at all, is that what you're trying to say?" A chuckle rises to his lips in the wake of his words, as if he hadn't just been planning to do something brave and stupid. The mention of the bandit-hunting plans draws one of his eyebrows up, but he's distracted by introductions, "Ser Daerd. I'm Ser Kamron Mallister. If you were on Pyke, I'm sure you earned your spurs the hard way." Returning to his role as the gallant, he half-turns to Danae, "Lady Tordane, have you met Ser Daerd Blackarrow? Ser Daerd, the Lady Danae Tordane." Well, that pretty much makes the earlier use of her title more than mere courtesy.
"Indeed I had not. Well met, Ser Blackarrow," Danae greets directly with a soft smile and a nod of her head at Kamron's full introduction. It is as much regard as she give any knight, if slightly warmer than the look cast towards Bruce at the moment. "And my congratulations on your spurs. The accounts of Pyke I have heard…they are harrowing."
"He did." Bruce says of Daerd's knighting in his usual gruff, 'I'm a soldier' tone. As for Kamron's idea about giving people in the camp a fit - the Stonebridge Captain simply chooses to say, "We march on our lands to train in defense of our lands. I don't have a bone of guile in me, Ser Kamron, you should know that." He nods at Danae. "Aye, m'lady, it weren't pretty. But Westeros stomped the Ironmen in their throats and knocked their air out for a good long while."
"The Bloody Keep. One foot at a time, over the bodies and blood of the Ironborn, Ser Kamron." Daerd responds to him, his eyes shifting toward the Captain of the Guard for a moment. As they move away from him they turn to Danae who greeted him more fully. He responds to her directly then - adding, "Took their blood and boiled it for the iron in my spurs, Ser. I thank you, Lady Danae Tordane, for the congratulations." His face doesn't smile besides that though, keeping the look of a soldier about him - one that fought on the line and followed orders.
There's a cloud of dust being kicked up by a moving band of people somewhere over a hundred people and less than three hundred. The levies from Stonebridge are moving toward Hag's Mire, a grizzled man up front in his mid thirties. Of the levy group, two have split off dressed in surcoats of Nayland and Tordane colors - Ser Bruce and Daerd. They are standing at the edge of the camp in which Lady Danae and Ser Kamron are in. They all appear to be talking. Ferrell is.. derp! I dunno, he gots himself!
Farrell came in from the Bridge damn it! He's walking somewhere near the back? Yeah, he's near the back! <— Daerd bein' a dork.
Kamron nods to Daerd, "I was not too far upstairs, dancing with Rodrik Greyjoy." There's a self-deprecating smile alongside those words, and his left hand rubs unconsciously at his abdomen, "It was a hot day for everyone on the isle, but we got it done." Evidently, he's not going to go into more bloody detail with the widow Tordane present. Flashing his grin at Bruce again, he adds, "Either that, or your the best liar this side of the Free Cities, Ser Bruce." Once more, there's a chuckle to his words, intended to draw any insult out of them. Finally, he looks back to Danae, "The Stonebridge levies do march well, don't they, Lady Tordane? A tribute to the town…"
Well! With the interested parties broken off of the main group of soldiers, Farrell has an easier time taking notice of the more important people. He gets a little grin as he takes notice of Kamron, making his way to approach. "M'lady, Sers," he greets politely enough on his approach, making sure to bow his head to the proper stations as he nears and nodding to the regular ones. "Ser Farrell Keane. Ser Mallister, still lookin' for men to take on that brigan' problem by the Roost? Been wonderin' when I'd find you again. Apologies if I'm intrudin'."
For the most, Danae stands quiet and listens to the men discuss the war with interest, pale blue eyes flitting from one man to another to mark his feelings on what he speaks. She smiles politely at the Ser's jibes. At Kamron's question, she dips her head in a delicate nod and looks approvingly towards the lines. "Indeed, they do. Ser Bruce has done excellent with with them, they are a credit to his leadership, Ser Mallister. Do you not think?"
It has been a strange turn on the day as Saffron Banefort and her ancient minder Mistress Morla Fielding had their casual walk diverted by the marching of men. Dust gathers up around the hems of their mourning dresses and the taller and younger of the pair of women is frowning a bit. It is hard to comprehend what has her vexed as she continues along until she happens upon the strange cluster of still bodies admist all the moving, tromping, marching, stomping levies. She is still in approach, though she catches the name 'Lady Tordane' through the sound of stomping feet.
"A tribute to the men, and those men who instituted the levy system. I tell you, Ser Kamron, that it is a novelty." Ser Bruce doesn't go into specifics about that. "I will seek you after, if you're still around, Ser Kamron. We've some mutual interests to look on, I think, and we can both help eachother and more importantly, we can help the Cape of Eagles. Bandits plague all of us, and do not stop for borders or banners." His sleepy blue eyes turn to Danae. "M'lady, I worked with what I was given. I am not an innovator. I regret to cut this short, Lady Danae, but we really should be rejoining the men. M'lady. Ser Kamron, Ser Alek." He dips his head respectfully at the assembled, before half turning and nodding at the new man. "If you don't find employ with him, Ser Farrell, seek me out in town. It makes no difference, we're both at the same ends. Ser Bruce Longbough, Stonebridge Captain. C'mon, Ser Daerd."
"It was a bloody day indeed, ser Kamron." He responds shortly. Daerd nods again to each as a sign of respect, no more than is necessarily required, and then turns to leave with Ser Bruce. He walks behind and right of hte Captain of the Guard.
Kamron returns Danae's smile, "Not many towns would sit still for such a thing, Lady Tordane." Which is to say, he knows Bruce is Captain of the Guard and has probably heard that Ser Stiffneck usually drills the levies. As both Farrell and Bruce suggest a meeting on the bandits, Kam laughs softly, shaking his head with amusement, "If we keep this up, we'll have more men hunting bandits than we had hunting ironborn on Pyke." Still, he nods to the hedge knight, "Ser Farrell. A pleasure, I'm sure. Ser Kamron Mallister." The introductions don't appear to be strictly necessary, but he makes them anyway, including Danae with a slight gesture, "The Lady Danae Tordane." The approach of two more dresses against the background of marching men draws his eyebrows up, and he gives a little bow to the still-approaching women, then a slight wave of farewell to the Nayland knights as they move off to rejoin their column. "I'll be in town for a few more days, Ser Bruce. At the Crane."
"I see," Danae replies to Kamron softly, returning to her listening to the flow coversation. She inclines her chin in a brief nod to the approaching hedge knight, looking beyond him to the approaching ladies to extend the greeting to him as well. "Well met." Lifting her chin, she offers her farewells to the Nayland-Tordane contingent with a graceful gesture. Her gaze tarries on their backs for a long moment, brow frurrowed briefly.
"Aye then, Ser Kamron. Gods' speed to you all!" Bruce looks at Daerd with a stupid grin. "Alright then, time to earn your money you daft bastard. I can tell from your horsemanship you're no cavalryman. You're a foot slogger like me. Let's GO!" He breaks into a sprint towards the column of levies. They're easy to follow, with that dust cloud moving to the east.
"Very generous of you, Cap'n. I'll make sure to do so," Farrell speaks to the departing Bruce with a nod of his head in farewell before grinning back to Kamron. "When you eat by makin' war, Ser Mallister, you still need t'keep eatin' even after the wars are over. Banditry's as good a reason as any. Me and my associate, Ser Bluekite, take whatever work we can get. Bandits are nothin' new to us, especially next to the Greyjoys. Tho' I guess the only difference was in who had the better gear." He also nods to Danae. "M'lady Tordane."
Saffron cannot seem to lose her frown even as she approaches, coming nearer still to the only familiar face at the moment — Kamron Mallister. Mistress Morla is looking on at the marching men with a kind of sternness that would turn flesh to ice; the minder is brushing away recent dust that is stark against the black canvas of her skirts. The pale eyes of the Banefort daughter continue to follow the levies and then the men departing Kamron and who she assumes must be the Lady Tordane. "Ser Kamron," Saffron says just as the men take off at a sprint. Morla nods her head stiffly to the Knight, though at least she has softened her gaze a touch. Kamron's efforts to make nice with the Banefort guardian is at least making some strides.
Kamron nods to Farrell's words, "I can understand that, Ser Farrell, even if I have not had to live it myself. These bandits may not be so far removed from the Greyjoys though, truth be told. Some of the rumors we've heard is that they're remaining reavers." This close to Stonebridge, however, he's not likely to note that others of the rumors suggest that they're Nayland men. Saffron's arrival gives him an introduction for Danae that doesn't, for a wonder, include a 'ser.' Lady Tordane, may I introduce Lady Saffron Banefort and her esteemed chaperone Mistress Morla? Lady Saffron, Mistress, the Lady Danae Tordane," oh, no, there he goes breaking the streak, "And Ser Farrell Keane." He offers the Banefort and her minder a brief wink, "I do hope, Lady Saffron, that you were not taking such a proper personage as Mistress Morla after the sound of marching feet…"
"It's a pleasure, Lady Banefort, Mistress Morla," Danae greets warmly, sinking into a ladylike curtsy and rising elegantly — it would be as at home in hall as it is in a field. "You are a long way from home, Lady Banefort. How do you find the Riverlands now?" She inquires of the woman, flashing the Mistress a brief smile before turning to speak to her charge.
"M'lady Banefort, Mistress Morla," Farrell again greets the new arrivals with the requisite amount of respect. He again turns his attention to Kamron, nodding in acknowledgement. "That so, Ser Mallister? I think we took care of all the good ones, I'm sure we'll make short work of'em, once we get organized an' such. I sent Ser Bluekite ahead to camp near the Roost, we'll be ready whenever you're callin'."
Saffron blossoms with a dimpling smile to Danae and she drops a small curtsey; Morla actually looks relatively pleased as she also greets the Lady in proper etiquette. "Lady Tordane, it is a pleasure to finally meet you," she says, as if she hadn't seen the terrible aftermath of her husband's death. She continues to hold her smile though a small smirk threatens the corner as she looks back toward Kamron. "Are you suggesting that I would chase the levies, Ser Kamron?" She tilts her head with the smallest quirk of amusement in her coppery brows. Then her gaze returns back to Danae, and she gives an even broader grin. "A very long way from home," she agrees in earnest, "but I've been very lucky to be so warmly welcomed by my cousin Lady Anais. It has made being so far from home much more bearable." She then starts to laugh a bit. "The Riverlands are… quite busy, Lady Tordane… it seems as though there hasn't been a chance to breathe since I arrived, what with the homecoming of the knights and soliders from the Iron Islands and all the… excitement around the Roost and Stonebridge."
Kamron presses one hand to his collarbone at Saffron's question to him, "Gods forbid, Lady Saffron." Looking back to Farrell, he nods, his crooked grin fading away a bit, "That's one of the rumors, Ser Farrell. We'll find out which of the rumors is correct whenever we find where they're operating from and get down to the business of making sure that they don't trouble anyone anymore." He moves slightly around the group, to ensure that he can talk to the hedge knight and Danae and Saffron can speak without entirely crossing conversations, inquiring, "You said you were on Pyke, Ser Farrell? Who's banner did you fight under there?"
A slight curve of a smile settles on Danae's mouth as she listens to the Kamron and Saffron's banter, blue eyes flitting towards Mistress Morla to share that amusement. It softens slight as she inclines her head in acceptance of Safforn's acknowledgement. "It is well to meet you as well, my Lady. There are few enough Westerlanders in the Riverlands that it is always delightful to see another. I only have a brief knowledge of your cousin, but her kin are kind. I am glad they are seeing you well." At the mention of just how exciting the Riverlands are, that smile quirks a little at the edges. "You have come at an exciting time, Lady Banefort. Most of all the soldiers return…I hope the war did not take the Banefort lands too hard?"
"We fought with the king's host, Ser Mallister," Farrell explains, giving a chuckle afterward. "Suppose he was fine enough havin' us back after the last one, even tho' ol' Bluekite was on the wrong side of that one. The smaller houses aren't too keen of hedge knights, Ser Mallister, but the king never turns us away. Just doesn't care about us too much after we're in it."
Belatedly (because the player was half distracted), Saffron blossoms a smile for Farrel, nodding her head gently. "Ser Farrel."
Mistress Morla is still look quite tense and terse, though at the glance from Danae, she offers her a slight smirk that actually causes the smallest bit of laugh to touch her eyes. She clears her sandpapery throat, nodding her head. "Lady Saffron would know better than to go chasing the levies, Ser Kamron," she states in such a tone that should cause the Banefort to nod her head in genuine earnest and innocence. Saffron just smirks. The expression is shortlived as she is sobered a bit by Danae's inquiry on the Banefort. "We were struck hard by an Ironborn attack, but not nearly as hard as the Terricks'. I have been doing what I can to help with the reconstruction efforts at the Roost, as have the Mallisters including Ser Kamron here." Saffron inclines her head toward Kamron with a quick smile. "In fact, you may be seeing me with quite a few new friends, Ser Kamron. When we return to Stonebridge, I will be taking over minding some of the Roost's youngsters."
"My sympathies, Lady Banefort. I think no where was anyone struck quiet so hard as the Roost, but it is still never easy for your home to bear that brunt of assault. I only received reports from the Crag…" Danae shakes her head in slight sympathy. It doesn't make it any the easier to weather. "It is kind of you to pitch in at the Roost."
Kamron nods to the hedge knight, "Good King Robert is a grand one for a fight." He chuckles softly, "You'll have to tell me some time about the fight for the breach in the curtain wall. I'll trade you for tales of the Bloody Keep." And then a woman is speaking to him, and Kam has to be on his guard. Offering a much less cheeky smile for Mistress Morla, he inclines his head, "That is because she has such eminently sensible advice, Mistress Morla." Saffron's words draw his eyebrows up, and then he chuckles, "I'm sure you will be a most worthy role model, Lady Saffron." He bows his head first to Danae, and then to the Banefort, "If you will excuse me, Lady Tordane, Lady Saffron, I really should be going. Lady Tordane, while I'm sure direct support from my house will hang on the subjects we discussed, I personally wish you the best. If you wish anything of me, you may always ask." And then he's moving to depart.
And so Farrell finds himself alone with two highborn ladies and a few of their servants, a place where he certainly does not fit in. He bows his head to the both of them. "Well then, M'ladies, unless either of you are interested in hirin' on someone for guardwork or some other sorta task, I should let you two alone."
Saffron laughs in response to Kamron's words, and the redheaded Banefort nods her head. "We shall see, we shall see." And there is something in her tone and even faint glint in her eye that suggests she may be turning Kamron into a role model. After all, what better role model is a knight? She then bows her head gently. "I'm sure I will see you about the Crane, Ser Kamron." Then her attention returns fully to the Tordane lady. Even though Kamron drops quite an interesting nugget of rumor-mongering bait, Saffron maintains quite a delicate poise against it. She instead looks out across the view the bridge provides, tilting her head a bit. "Lady Tordane, you mentioned the Crag. How long have you been away from home?" Even while the question hovers there, Saffron looks over toward Farrell with a small laugh. "Oh, I would cause my current guards such terrible wounds if I was to make them feel unwanted, Ser Farrell, but I can always see if Lady Anais believes the Roost could use a hand."
"I am certain that we'll have cause to speak further, Ser Kamron. I do thank you for your kind regard though," Danae replies softly, incling her head in a slight nod and seeing the man out with a delicate curtsey. Her attention finally turns back to Safforn with a mild smile. "Some months, Lady Banefort. Some, long months now." It is a smile that doesn't quite reach her eyes. "I would have to speak with my own guard, Ser. However, for now I must bid you all a good day. Lady Banefort, I would like to hopefully further our acquaintance in the futher. Mistress Morla." The Lady Tordane finishes her farewells with a curtsey, turning to enter back into her camp once released.
"I'd appreciate it, M'lady Banefort. That's most kind. Evenin' to you both, M'ladies," Farrell speaks in farewell as well, bowing his head to all present before he turns to make his way back into town.