|The Songbird That Lacks A Song|
|Summary:||Alys goes to visit her personal guard Ser Jac in the dungeons of the Tordane Towers. She finds the usually jovial and song singing Ser Jac far more somber than she would have liked.|
|The Dungeon — Tordane Tower|
|There is a scent that seems to never want to leave your nose, is awful in the Dungeons. The smell of sweaty bodies, and excrement is strong. Dark and dank, and not a happy place to be.|
|Sun Jun 10, 289|
Things are not pleasant down in the Tordane Tower dungeons. They had been taken down into the pits by the spiral stone staircase, shoved about as if they might put up a fight. They have been scattered in somewhat equal numbers about the cells. The dungeons are dirty with grimy walls and floors and there is an unfortunately and thankfully indistinguishable cocktail of odor that wafts about the air. They are offered food and water, of course, but that tends to do look to uplift the spirits of the caged men.
Amongst them, seated close to the door to his cell, is Jac Caddock. He is still quite filthy, perhaps even more so than Alys would remember even on their journey from the Hollyholt. His back is rested against the interior wall, his legs squat to keep him from actually sitting on the ground. His head is rested back, eyes half-lidding. He sings something under his breath, though this time he does not belt it in hopes of irritating the guards. No, he's quite sombrous today.
Having heard the guards during one of the rotations mention a knight in the cells singing at the top of his lungs as a warning to the others, Alys knew it was Jac. The very next morning she donned her sunny-yellow gown, perhaps not the best of color choices. Her guards wait at the top of the stairs as she descends, she lifts her skirts after brushing an unruly flaming red curl out of her face. The smell is nearly unbearable, but she chokes back the gag and wipes the tears from her eyes before she reaches the bottom. "Ser Jac?" She says nodding to the guards at the bottom. "Ser Jac?" Her skirts are still lifted as she makes way, checking every cell as she passes by, listening for the sweet music that she was so used to listening to ever since leaving Hollyholt.
There are again some rumblings from the various cages as if to direct Alys to where the Songbird resides. He looks up from his contemplations at the sound of his name, and with a bit of an ache in his legs, he hauls himself up to his feet. "Little Lady Bird," he half-calls, half-sings so she would find him. Her bright yellow is enough to make him smile, white teeth between dirty lips. "Hello, little Lady Bird," he says once she is able to see him. He bows at the waist, and the handful of men who share his cage scramble to do the same. He drops down into a squat again, but this time facing out to look up at her.
She eyes the others down in the dungeons. "This is dreadful," she mumbles under her breath. Though when she finds Jac she smiles and curtsies to him and turns around curtsying to the men behind her too. Waving to one of the guards who happily comes to her. "I should require a seat, Ser." The guard nods and grabs one of the chairs that nears the entrance of the dungeon. Wiping it off with his hand he sets it in front of Jac's cell. "Oh, Ser Jac. It pains me to see you in such a state. Are they at the very least treating you well?" Alys' brow furrows with concern.
Jac smiles broadly up to the young Lady, and he inclines his head dutifully at her question. "As well as one can expect when iron and naked floors are involved, My Lady." He continues to hold his squat, even as the chair she is brought allows her to look upon him with greater ease. "And how are your gracious hosts treating you? Nothing that I must avenge for?" He asks these questions in a soft note, comforting all the same. He folds his fingers loosely together, criss-crossing his knuckles with familiarity.
Alys sighs, "I wish you did not have to be here." the sad look that sits on her face is not at all comforting. She turns her head to the others in the room. "I wish you all did not have to be here." She looks to Jac, "They treat me well. I am not as watched as others in the Tower, but I am the only one that has a guest right. A poorly kept one as I -am- a hostage." she shrugs. "But they treat me with kindness, and besides being restricted to the towers, all is well. Though I should say, nothing that needs avenging, Ser Jac." She smile softly, at least that is reassuring. "Lord Riordan may take me on a horse ride soon." That does make her smile brightly, she loves her horse. "So I suppose I am part guest, part hostage."
Jac smiles up at her as she goes through the motions of her tale, ever patient with the young Charlton. "Never you worry about me, Lady Alys… I have been in far worse situations. I wouldn't mind to see a bit of sun, but you and Lady Cherise both manage to bring me some by your mere presence." Flatterer. He arches up his brows at the suggestion of Riordan taking the girl on a ride, and something vexes his brow. "Will you ask that one or two Charlton men are brought with you, My Lady? I would say that I trust the Naylands, but I can never tell a lie."
A sobering look comes to the girl's face and she nods looking to her hands. A small blush rises in her cheeks as he speaks, "You are too kind, Ser Jac. And I would like it very much if you could see a bit of sun. Though I do not think they will allow Charlton knights to accompany me, especially since it would be more guards of Nayland sort to come if so. They would not allow you to bare steel dear ser."
Alys looks saddened to have to say that. "I could see about getting you moved, perhaps to the servant quarters if they cannot give you a room. I am sure Lord Alric would not mind having you in his room with him. I just wish I could do the same for you all. You are my personal guard, I am most upset that you are not allowed a bit of freedom." She lifts her eyes and lands her gaze on a few of the other, very dirty, and very saddened men before resting them back on her songbird of a guard.
"If kindness is speaking the truth, than I am the most kind man in all the kingdoms," Jac says with a touch of a smile. It lasts only a moment before he sobers once more. "I would only bare steel if it was required of me, Lady Alys. If you are indeed under guestright, I should have no cause to do so. I just would feel better if I could watch over you, as I promised your father I would." He glances toward the others who share his cage briefly, and then back again to the firey-headed lady. "I would even take a moment to stretch my legs properly, perhaps run about the tower… they can put me back in the box afterwards."
"I know, Ser Jac. I will do what I can in regards to having you back in my service. As for getting you some freedom, I will do my best. I might be able to afford you an afternoon with me about the Tower. I will talk to Lord Riordan the next time he calls on me." She smile softly and reaches her hand through the cell for his hand. "Take comfort in knowing that you are not forgotten. Nor will any of you be, I would not be a faithful person if I would."
The Songbird Knight accepts the comfort, gripping gently at her own fingers with his own dirtied hand. He smiles to the girl, fond and paternal in air. "You don't press if it will upset your hosts," Jac says in a slightly firm voice. "But thank you for not forgetting about your old watcher." His mouth tightens a bit, as does his eyes. "You will forgive me… that I was not here when you were confined."
"I promise, I will not upset them. From the look of it, I do not think that I can. Perhaps it is my sweet demeanor?" Alys chuckles a little with an added smile. "Of course not, you are all in my thoughts and prayers, always." Alys raises her other hand dismissively. "I will not hear such words, I did not know they intended on doing this. I had a feeling, but, I did not know, nor could you have. Do not apologize for things out of our control. Ser Riordan told me of my captivity just before the rest of you were captured I imagine. There was no word that I could give, nor receive. I am just sorry I caused you worry."
Jac offers a smile to the girl, and another gentle squeeze to her hand. "Just know that I will always do what I can to serve and protect, Lady Alys." The Songbird bows his head to her gently before he starts to stand once more, looking off toward the stony stairs for a moment and then back down at the girl. "You should go back to the Tower, My Lady… a visit is welcome, but I do not want you down here long." He offers her a small smile and nod of her head toward wence she came.
"I have never forgotten that, nor would I." Alys gives his hand a squeeze and lets it go. She looks to the guards that stand at the bottom of the stairs. "Aye," She says looking back to Jac. "I should think they would not like it too much anyway if I stayed much longer. I will come back to see you if I can, please, stay strong." She leans in to whisper, "And sing so loud I can hear you in my rooms above, it helps me sleep at night." she says while pointing to the ceiling, a small chuckle coming forth. Rising she nods and curtsies to all those present, "Sers." with a small dip of her head. "Ser Jac, I will see what I can do. "
"I know ways to keep my spirits high, Lady Alys… I am an expert." And he has to grin broadly to the girl before he clasps his hands behind his back and bows deeply at the waist to the young Charlton woman. "Seven Protect You, My Lady."
"And you Ser Jac." She smiles and sends a small wave heading up the stairs and leaving the Gods awful smell of the Dungeons. She might have retched when she got to the top. But only the guards would be able to tell him that, from there it is into the tower and back to her rooms.