|Summary:||The smallest member of the Camden retinue is lost. Comfort and consternation seem to go hand in hand on Damara's way to do her duties.|
|Related Logs:||Precedes: Flesh and Bone|
|Stables and Kennels — Four Eagles Tower|
|The Tower's Main Stables are nestled into the corner of the courtyard near the portcullis to facilitate quick, easy exits when required. The rear of the structure is backed right against the interior wall of the castle with the heavy wooden roofing gently sloped down towards the slate out front, the floor of the stables kept to dirt. Thick wooden beams are plunged into the ground and serve as a base for the walls between each stall. Hay serves as most of the flooring in the area with a large stack of it off to the side. Each stall has a thick layer on the ground to serve as bedding, with most of the space dedicated to horses though a few have pens of dogs and hounds. An enclosed structure at the end serves as dry storage for riding equipment and saddles.|
|15 Aug 288 AL|
The dread heat of a Roost summer, is a terrible thing to behold. It's only in the evenings, just as the sun's rays disappear down below the horizon, that for a short while, one might be recalled to the fact that winter is, indeed, coming. The courtyard is never quite quiet, but it is less than it has been, most of the guests still at their dinners and leisure, before venturing out into the slightly cooler evening.
One that has already escaped the confines of the tower, is the youngest of the Camden ladies, Liliana, slipping out of the entry doors, a small bundle held in her hands, quick eyes searching for sign of the Tall Oaks Falconer. "Damara?" The soft call close to the stables, as she approaches the building.
Having taken herself away from the meal, Damara is indeed near the stables when she hears the call. Her head tilts and she looks up from saddling her horse to gaze to the entrance she stands near. The satchel is at her side, the strap crossed over her front. Stepping back from the gelding, she pats his whither and steps away to turn and head in the direction of the entrance. Stepping out into the fading light, the falconer offers a faint smile upon spotting Liliana. "My Lady.." She says gently and dips her head to her. "Why are you not in with the others?" A brow lifts in her question.
The confines of the tower is just that: confining. Once dinner is past, Dafydd takes his leisure in the form of heading to the stables to creep out this night to the taverns. He's ready, finally, to taste of the sweet wines that are available, and not only in the alcohol-forms. Gethin needs to be tacked up, and quickly, so he can make it before full moonrise.
A form moves, however, and Dafydd follows the movement to the stables. It's a form and figure he recognizes, and he has to pause to consider what could be for her in the stables that she would sneak out so?
Liliana's progress is followed, as he has business in the stables anyway, and as he enters, he blinks momentarily to adjust to the lighting before,
"My Lady.." The voice isn't Damara's. "Mistress?" All questions are in the simple words..
"The others will be there when I return. Some things…are more important than sharing courteous words after a meal." The stables are not so dark, that she cannot make her way towards the falconer, pausing a companionable distance from her to offer over the package. Simple linen, wrapped, but within, a delicately woven swatch of silk, decorated about the edges with leaves very reminiscent of the leaves of the weirwood of Camden's godswood. "For the smallest of ours, who will not go home again." Her voice is soft, wavering slightly, holding all of the tears she has not yet shed. Her head turns, at the sound of a voice, but Liliana will and does show no embarrassment or shame in where she is, or the task to which she has come. "Lord Uncle."
Damara is taken aback by the offering of the package and slowly the Mistress takes the item, slowly unwrapping it little by little. The silk within catches the dim light in the doorway and she smiles some. "My Lady..it is beautiful.." She starts to say and then lifts her head from the item and her thanks goes silent as Dafydd approaches. "My Lord." She dips her head again in recognition of his presence and draws the silk to her side, her thumb brushing over it. "Both of you out and about…" She says in mere observation. But her gaze moves back to Liliana and she smiles to the Lady of Camden.
Blue eyes look over the package in Damara's hands as he approaches, his head canting. "I don't know why Lady Liliana is out and about, but I know my reasons." Which Dafydd will keep to himself.
It's after dinner, the sun laying low in the sky. The stables seem to be a place of meeting now; Lady Liliana out for a specific purpose— seemingly to check on Mistress Damara, Dafydd looks on his way out (but needs to tack up his horse first), and Mistress Damara seems to be getting ready to depart the building?
The Captain has an idea of what could be occurring, and interrupts, his voice low and measured. "Mistress Damara. I will repeat a suggestion. Perhaps it would be better if he was brought home with us, rather than to remain in a land that is unknown to him."
"It is not so well as he deserves, Damara. He was a noble, honourable creature, who served well the House." It may well be, that in the minds of some, Gein was little more than a service animal, but Liliana knows how dearly Damara feels towards her charges. But Liliana does steps back a bit, as Dafydd approaches, allowing him to speak unfettered, to the other woman. But the smile she returns to Damara is a genuine one.
Fingers coil around the soft elegant silk and though she will not show it openly, the gift is something that means much to her. Damara rests it against the satchel which holds the lost friend. But it is to Dafydd she looks, a brow lifting. "We are to away to Hag's Mire after this…he will not keep. The Gods have taken him already and I aim to return him wholly to them…..besides, unless you wish to hold on to what is left of him..then can deal with the smell." Offers the Mistress.
Fingers curl into the silk and looks from Dafydd to Liliana.
"Pardon, 'scuse," comes the beginning of the commotion from towards the tower. A blonde man, large in height and strong through the shoulders dodges and ducks his way through a short parade of Terrick soldiers. He could have gone around, but instead, he found himself in the middle of them. Earning nothing but contemptible glares, Stragen finally manages to extract himself without causing too much disarray in the squad's ranks. Once free of the collision, the barbarian-looking man, wearing Terrick hireling colors, checks his jerkin by patting along the sides. Apparently satisfied, he turns to glance around the courtyard.
"Lady Liliana, I've been wondering where you got yourself to," comments the man, strolling over, one hand resting on the hilt of his sheathed sword at his hip. "Glad you chose not to go for another swim without me. Don't think you're strong enough to brave the cove by yourself just yet." His grey eyes scan over the collected folk, not recognizing any of them.
A momentary scowl creases his face. This particular journey isn't so much an envoy as a mission with purpose. Women can only slow it down, and…
Dafydd will have to speak to his brother about it when next he sees him, and it's a topic that he certainly won't forget to broach. "Then if he will not keep, we can ride some distance out and find trees that he may know from the air and return him there. Away from this strange land." It's very.. matter of fact. Logical, and something that seems wholly obvious to him.
The approach of a man, a hireling from the looks of him, sets his back straighter, his eyes narrowing as he appraises him. He checks the placement of hand upon sword, and directs his words to his niece. "Lady Liliana.. and this is?"
A slight wince, crosses Liliana's expression, though whether it is at the quarrel seemingly starting again, between Dafydd and Damara, or the sound of the approaching man, who looks like some fearsome cross between an Ironborn, a Valeman and a small giant, she will not reveal here. "The trees and the good green earth will be good for him." A dip of her head, to Dafydd, before she turns to Stragen, "I would not venture into the water in such darkness, you have no need to fear on that regard. My Lord Uncle, Damara, Master Stragen Stone, sworn to House Terrick. Ser Jarod has set him as my sworn protector. Stragen, my Lord Uncle, Dafydd Camden, Captain of the Guard at Tall Oaks. And Mistress Damara Kells, our House falconer." As for why the man has braved the darkness to find her, "Have they begun to ask after me already?"
Damara says nothing to the contrary for the moment and she keeps herself measured and true. "I had planned to do just that my Lord, quietly so as not to disturb the evening repast…but it seems I am to be found out." She sends Liliana a gentle smile and then looks to the man that accompanies the voice that approaches them. The Mistress dips her head as she is introduced but there is a rueful look between the Lady and her sworn guard. A faint smile touching her lips before she hmmmms faintly.
Green hues regard Dafydd then and she considers him. "My Lord, you said we should ride out. Are you offering to come along?" The fact he had mentioned the task as he has…touches her. Rather surprises too and it shows on her countenance.
There isn't much of a posture change from the barbarian-looking man, although he does give a polite nod to Dafydd, and a small, closed-mouth smile and a slight bow to Damara. By all appearances, he carries himself as a common sword. His words, though, come across with an elegance that do not fit his outward appearance. Some of his consonants are a shade on the gravely side, as if he never fully healed from a throat injury; nothing is unpleasant about it, though.
"My Lord Camden, Lady Camden," he says in turn to Dafydd and Damara. "A pleasure." Looking back to Liliana, offering her a growing, mischievous grin. "Well, I was just making sure you didn't slip out and start another brawl in the Rockcliff without me. Wouldn't look good in front of Ser Jerod if you got in trouble again." Eyes pointedly glance back to Dafydd for his reaction; the grin persists.
Dafydd's gaze remains upon the now identified personal guard for his niece, and says simply in response as greeting, "Master Stone," and there is no more.
His attention moves, then to Damara, his lands Falconer, and keeps his regard even. "I am dressed for an evening ride. I am in the stables ready to tack Gethin. Shall we ride out and give them their loyal and true servant?"
The words regarding Liliana's poor behavior reaches the Captain's ears, and brows rise as he turns his head to study first his Lady niece, and then her sworn, and back. He ignores the title offered to Damara; she's undoubtedly correct the man for giving her a title that isn't warranted. Instead, "Brawl? In the Rockcliff." The words are repeated, questions in every one of them. "Trouble, my niece?"
"You started a brawl?"
The shocked voice that immediately answers is not, in fact, Dafydd's own. It belongs to Alyse. She has apparated out of nowhere behind Liliana and is staring. Hazel eyes snap to Dafydd. "And where are you taking my Mistress Damara, Lord Uncle?" The girl simply has to know EVERYTHING.
It may well be, that at this very moment, Liliana is making use of every gift of courtly deportment she has ever learned, not to turn and stab Stragen with his own sword, but, nothing of that shows on her face, or in the tone of her voice, "As I recall the event, Stragen, Uncle, it was not I, but a group of smallfolk with more drink in them than sense who attacked us, myself and Stragen. And, as I also recall, we acquitted ourselves well enough to escape with no harm to myself, and only a small wound to yourself. Ser Jerod was well enough impressed to choose you to be my sworn." So far as Stragen can be hers, as he is bound to Terrick. But then, so is Liliana, after her fashion, "No Alyse, I did not start one. But I did make certain that one was ended." Liliana dips her head, "But if you have come, then they must have need of me back in the tower. Stragen, will you go with Mistress Kells, and lead her by the safest roads to such a place as she sees fit for her duties?" A glance back to Alyse, "Gein has been lost. They go to send him to his rest." But she will try to make her escape.
"It would serve Gein well to find a place amongst the trees and fields, to return him to the embrace of the Gods." Damara agrees with Dafydd but also gives Liliana a long look of amusement. "Oh, life is never dull.." She murmurs, feeling Dafydd's pain even if they are almost always at odds. Her lips make a thin line and the silk, gifted to her by Liliana for Gein's burial makes her smile some, her gaze softening. "Ser Stone…." When she finds a lull in the conversation, "I am not a Lady, I am Damara Kells..please, Damara will do." She offers him.
But it is the approach of Alyse that has her turning some to regard her. "My Lady.." Another dip of her head in respect, but there is a warmth for the two young women that is obvious. "Your Lord Uncle was to see me out to see to Gein.." She realizes the young Lady had not learned of the occurrence and she adds a bit more soberly. "Gein is to be put to rest finally and rejoin the open air in his own way.." No longer on wing.
"It's best to assume that every woman I meet is a Lady, Lord Camden," Stragen offers in response. "For one, I am but a common man. No nobility to speak of - at the very least, none that I'm aware of. So to assume that a woman in service to a great House is a Lady is better than not offering the proper title and getting one's head cut off. Two," His grin grows. "Someone as lovely as your falconer here could easily be mistaken for a maiden that belongs high up in a gilded tower." (Oh, puh-LEAZE.) He inclines his head again to Damara.
"My Lady Camden," Stragen says to Liliana, turning to face her. "I'm sure someone is missing your presence, but that's not the reason why I came out here. Not to fetch you. Just to ensure your safety. Honest." And, knowing Liliana knowing Stragen, she knows that he's full of it. "If you like, I can escort Miss Kells to a place where she can… do whatever is required of her gods." Not his gods, mind you, but he chooses his words carefully. "With your leave, of course." He favors Liliana with a wink that (hopefully) Dafydd misses.
It would appear that Liliana's word is good enough for Alyse, and she narrows her hazel eyes on Stragen. For a long moment the Camden woman stares at this monstrous hulk of a man as if he was no bigger than a naughty child that needs a spanking. "I do hope, Master, that you are not spreading tales about my dear cousin," she says slowly as she slips her hand into Liliana's own. "This is my first trip outside of the lands of Tall Oaks… I do so hope that it shall be a pleasant one."
Suddenly, news of Gein sinks in, and her face falls dramatically. "Oh no… Poor Damara.." she murmurs, seemingly at a lose for words. She moves to the Falconer and hugs her tightly. And yes, she's still holding on to Liliana and likely dragging her along for the hug.
"You were in a tavern, with drunken folk, with someone who was not your sworn at the time." Dafydd's brows rise at the translation of the story, as he understands it. "But because of the fight that ensued, and the results, Ser Jerod made Master Stone your sworn." It doesn't sound particularly good in the recount, and before she can say any more, he raises a hand to forestall. "I don't wish to hear any more until the morrow. Then, we shall sit and break our fast and you shall tell me all." Yes?
Turning now to take a step towards his horse's stall, he rests his hand on the latch. "She and I are taking a ride, Lady Alyse, and will be back.. undoubtedly after the time in which you find your bed." And now, apparently, Master Stone too?
It's all he can do to juggle the three.. and if he does begin to turn grey before the years demands, he'll understand exactly why.
"Shall we—" Oh for…
Dafydd stands now, his expression falling into one of infinite patience.. not. From the laying it on thick, to the women's sewing circle group hug..
He clears his throat, the sound meant to break through the rising estrogen levels, "May we tack up, Mistress Kells, so we can get out?"
"Then you have done your duty to rights by me, Stragen. I am well enough." Liliana's hand slips into Alyse's easily enough, tightening to offer what comfort she can, before she finds herself drawn towards the falconer, Liliana offering her own hug in turn, though it is, of necessity, one armed, before she steps back, gently disengaging herself, "Though I would like nothing more than to accompany you, Damara, I will return to the tower and make your apologies, Uncle, and make my Lord Uncle aware of where you have gone. Should he follow, I do not think it will be difficult for him to follow behind you." As Dafydd speaks, she nods, dipping her head in respect to the man, "Of course, Uncle. I would be glad to break bread with you. I have dearly missed your company." As awkward as Liliana might well be, in sharing her affections with this more ungentle Uncle, that she loves the man is clear enough. But with her duty set, she moves to slip back out of the stables.
~ Scene faded for time constraints.