|Tracks and Trails|
|Summary:||Ser Bruce Longbough leads the Army of the Cape boys on a small scouting mission. They find something ominous. But does it portend to bears or raptors?|
|Related Logs:||General Harlaw invasion stuff|
|Wilderness — Harlaw Isle|
|Rocks, ominous tracks. Perhaps raptors.|
|Thu Mar 08, 289|
As the sun begins to get low, there are some men getting together at the farther entrance of the camp, looking as if they're getting ready to go out. Ser Bruce is among them, a brown cloak thrown over his armoured form, the hood still down. He's got a small satchel over his chest, too, and is putting what looks like bread and other goodies in it for the walk.
Jarod is one of the men assembling at the far end of the camp. There's a hunting bow on his back as well as his usual big sword. "Ser," he offers to Bruce, idly picking up a swirling the waterskin at his belt. He nods in satisfaction. Yep, full. "Fine day for a stroll. Though the scenery could use improvement."
Deciding to volunteer for this mission instead of sitting around camp waiting, and waiting, and waiting, which is usually the greater majority of what a siege is, Kell is headnig over to the farther entrance of the camp. He is armored and kitted out for what could be potential combat, as well as a dark heavy cloak wrapped around him, covering most of the chainmail he is wearing. "Too many rocks if you ask me." The Hedge Knight comments sourly, as the terrain is certainly not to his liking.
"Aye, now? You'll hurt their feelings. I like rocks, personally. Nice solid things they are, make good ground for a man to stand on and poor cover for his enemies," Tommas returns easily, glancing towards Kell. His thick fingers string a — what might be a horsebow in another man's hands — large bow with an easy motion. The Groves man is dressed for the terrain, best as he can be. His carved hammer hangs on one hip, belted in neatly and opposite a skin and pouch of his own.
Hardwicke is a predictably quiet presence in the group with the others, tugging and settling his cloak about his shoulders while the others chat. He checks his weapons next, sword and daggers and whatnot, although his stats are way too low to justify him bringing a bow.
"Even the Iron Isles look pretty at the sunset, you know." Quips Ser Bruce, grinning handily. "Okay, lads. Tonight it's a small party, which is the better for us. We're going about on foot, cause we make less noise and aren't as visible that way. I did a little walk around earlier and now the light is a bit lower, but still bright to see the ground. We're stretched thin on the line, you all know that, and especially at the backside of the Gardens in the last few days we've been only doing patrols, not picket. So we'll go there to see if there's anything worth seeing. And, maybe have a sniff about." He pauses, looking from face to face, his own darkened a bit by some dirt he's smeared in his non-bearded areas. "Anybody got any questions?"
Keelin got voluntold by Lord Ser Martyn, so he's here. Armoured, with a dark cloak, and he's got his bow with him this time, as well as his sword, a belt pouch and hopefully his light feet. Well, he can try, right? The man arrives with as much quiet as he can, though whether or not it's quiet enough is another story entirely.
"They're very solid, and they remind you when you go to sleep on one." It seems like a small rock has somehow snuck into Kell's bedrolls one of these knights and rewarded the Hedge Knight with an aching bruise, more an annoyance than anything else. As Bruce begins the impromptu briefing for the group, the knight goes silent until questions are entertained. Having one, Kell asks out loud, "If we run into Ironborn, do we fight or do we observe quietly? If we can nab ourselves a prisoner, we may learn some secret to this place."
"There are lots of rocks here. I'll give the Iron Islands that," Jarod quips to Tommas with an easy grin. Though it doesn't quite spark merriment in his green eyes. He's at work. He shakes his head, as to questions. "Sounds simple enough, Ser. There's got to be some side entries to this place that aren't watched at all hours. It's a damn maze. I'd like to spot something like it, but the whole thing looks like such a pile of rock it's hard to tell what's what."
"Maybe you can all convince King Robert to change the currency of the Seven Kingdoms to rocks," Hardwicke comments in a dry voice. He looks to Bruce as he lays out the plan and jerks his head in a nod. No questions here.
"Lots of rocks. Less Iron for a place so named than you might think, unless you count the weapons," Tommas opines slowly with a shake of his head. He looks over to Bruce as he speaks, then waits to hear the response to Kell's question. No questions here either.
"That's situational. We're not here to get into a tussle. Ideally, if we run into them, we get back here quick if they see us, and watch 'em if they don't. If the opportunity presents itself, though, well… guess we'll decide then." Bruce offers a shrug, smirking at the antics of the other knights. "Remember, though, if we get too close to 'em to find their gate, Ser Jarod, well… they can see us. And shoot us. It's still bright enough out for that. That's by design. We'll be able to see better too."
Keelin nods to the instructions, glancing around and looking to find some dirt if he can, to make his own face a little less easy to pick out. "Sounds good," he says simply. There's not usually too many questions from the common born Mallister fellow. He does nod to the reminder that the enemy will be able to see them and shoot. Means they can only get so close, but hopefully it'll be close enough.
Jarod nods to Bruce. "Aye, Ser. I've not terrible wish to be shot. Not a pleasant sensation." He's out of questions.
As explanations are given, Kell nods his head understandingly and seems to have no further questions, "Understood." He says easily enough before looking at the assembled men, atleast it will be a recon in force type of situation so they wouldn't be easily ambushed. Looks like there are other bored men than just the Hedge Knight.
Having reassured himself of the security of both weapons and armor, Hardwicke glances between the others, taking them in with a sweeping glance.
Rafferdy wanders up to the party, checking the two crossbows hanging on his side as he glances at Bruce. "Sorry I'm late. Was writing a letter.
Tommas presents himself as a very fine target if they do happen to be seen, what being at least a head taller than the rest of gathered fellows. He settles his gear into place and nods readily.
"I think we can both agree on that, Ser Jarod." Bruce rubs his back over the cloak, right around the spot he took an Ironborn javelin a few weeks back. Lucky it missed anything important. He dips his head to Rafferdy, smirk staying in place. "M'lord, glad you could join us. You might want to leave one of those, but it's your choice. Anyways, if that's it, we'll get moving." Without waiting for any more questions, and likely assuming they'll be queried on the march, Bruce steps off at the brisk walk of someone who's used to frequent road marching.
"Who you writing, Lordling Nayland?" Jarod asks Rafferdy, grin quirking some. He's carrying a hunting bow today, for his part, along with his sword and knife. He follows after Bruce, though he still looks curious to hear Rafferdy's answer as he walks.
Hardwicke snorts at Jarod's question, but doesn't add to the comments. Instead, he turns to follow Bruce as they begin their little scouting sortie.
As the others move out, Kell moves along with though he remains silent for now. The question from Jarod does have the Hedge Knight turning his head slightly though for now it seems like idle banter as the head out to begin the scouting.
Rafferdy glances at Jarod, and teases quietly, "Your sister. She's quite tender with her hands…" He then shoves the man gently, "You know who I'm writing. Knock it off." And he laughs.
Tommas is silent near the front of the line, his feet moving near silently for such a large man as he picks his way along the ground. Ears and eyes open to what might be out there.
Keelin quietly listens to the conversation, gaze moving from knight to knight as the conversations slowly ebb off. He arches a brow as he watches, settling in wherever makes sense, and just concentrating on staying silent as he can.
"Don't even think about my little sister," Jarod says with a snort. "Or I'll…err. Nevermind. Scouting time." He clears his throat, kind of losing his steam for that train of threatening. Though he's still grinning when Rafferdy says he knows, and he nods some, making a fist and sort of pumping it in the Nayland's direction. Good on you, mate. After that gesture is complete, he does scan the terrain.
"We're going to clip around to the west here, around some of these little hillocks. They won't see us that way. Best, I think." And Ser Bruce dips to the group's collective left, taking them off of what little of a path there was out the front gate of the camp and looping around the Grey Gardens. Within a few minutes of walking, hopefully not turning ankle on the shifting, rocky, uncertain terrain, the stronghold itself is invisible to them. Ser Bruce pauses a few times, momentarily, glancing about as if to keep stock of his bearings, but he's quick to resume moving. The terrain is the same, boring Harlaw standard - lots of rocks, small, undulating hills. At least one can't see the sea from here, even if they can still hear it. "We'll stop at the first picket outpost. I think it's being manned by the Northmen today. They'll be the ones sending out those patrols to cover gaps on the back."
"You'd do best to hold your tongue about the Lady Lucienne," Hardwicke says in a low, rumbling voice that holds something akin to a growl. It is particularly dry when he adds, "My lord." He does not lose steam for threatening. Probably because he doesn't have a sense of humor to get in the way. He follows Bruce's lead as they make their way through the terrain.
The casual and friendly byplay between the Lordling and the Rivers Knight has Kell chuckling slightly despite this being a rather rocky and uninviting island. As the scouting mission proceeds and Bruce begins to direct the group on their chosen path, the Hedge Knight grows quieter and more serious as business is at hand now. The rocks and more rocks certainly aren't pleasing to Kell but he keeps any complaints in check for the time being.
Rafferdy chuckles at Hardwicke. "Relax. I meant his OTHER sister." He looks at Jarod, "You have like… ten." He smiles widely.
Jarod smirks, somewhat ruefully, at Rafferdy. Out of banter on the subject of sisters, it seems, though he still looks wryly amused. He shrugs his cloak a little around his shoulders. As much to cover the sheen of his armor as to ward off any particular chill, though the Iron Islands aren't exactly a tropical paradise. He's wordless now, and nods to Bruce, eyeing ahead to trace the path around the hillocks.
Keelin grins at the interchange, but doesn't say anything to it, since he doesn't, far as he knows, know any of Jarod's sisters, even if the man does have 10. He follows the group around and behind; out of sight is as good a start as any. His gaze tries to see if there's anything moving or out of place to the sides and he even remembers to take a look behind the group every so often.
They're walking for about twenty or so minutes before the Stonebridge Captain comes to a halt. He raises a hand and falls to a knee, slowly, listening. It's still another minute before he deems himself satisfied and rises with a shrug. "Alright, to the Flints." He turns to charge up a hill. At least his shield and sword aren't out. That's a good sign, right? On top of the hillock is a small outpost, hastily constructed and maintaining shelter from the elements and some sleeping areas. Bruce was right; it is the Flints manning it today, and they look bored as everyone else who's ever done sentry duty is. "Ickabod Crane Says Hello." Calls the short knight, parotting the days nonsensical password to the men. "Oi, lads. Any points of interest for us you seen while patrolling?"
With one final snort, Hardwicke leaves off on the conversation to draw his focus to scouting. His gaze flicks and slides about them as they move, dark and observant of anything of interest they might come across.
As the signal to halt is shot up, Kell pauses in his feet and crouches down to a knee as well, following suit of the lead knight on this scout mission. His eyes are looking about the rocky terrain and ears listening to what he can. In a way, he feels like this is just like how he would listen for noises in the wilderness for game for a sense of direction before going about looking for tracks to follow. When they move again, Kell follows as well though he doesn't get too close to the soldiers on duty since Bruce is the one that will be doing the talking.
Gedeon stays in the back of the little group of knights, watchful and quiet. Arms cross lightly over his chest as Bruce calls out to the watchmen and he waits to hear their reply.
A pause, and Keelin stops, keeping to his rear guard, watching the sides and back behind them, even if it seems not so glamourous as the job of watching in front. You just never know, after all.
Jarod offers the men of Flint a polite inclination of his head, though he lets Bruce do the talking. His own eyes turn in the direction of the Grey Garden, scanning the skies above it as well as the terrain around it. Squinting a little against the lowering sun.
Stilling in position, Tommas keeps his hands folded over his bow, gaze raking over the dull scenery of the Ilses that is warmed by the sunset.
No whistling, no nothing, but another one of the Groves men seems to come melting through the pack. Something wiped off his hand before he's shifting his arow bag, and the hilt to the sword he's trucking. A shake of his head before Raylan is coming down to squat by Tommas-though the giant doesn't need someone smaller squatting next to him to look taller. A faint snort as his eyes aren't so much on the gathered Flints as much as it is on the legs of other men. He'll stand in a minute, right now he's resting his legs.
One of the men, a gaunt youth with straw coloured hair, says, "Aye. The mud was all churned up in between here and the next picket post, but they were stirring in the Gardens, and they'd seen us… we didn't want to stick around to long, Ser." He's got a very pronounced Northern accent that makes him a bit hard to follow.
Bruce squints, as if trying to puzzle what the youth just said, and then nods gravely at him, patting him on the shoulder. "Alright. We'll go around the back way and take a look. Oop. Let's go. Good luck, lads." Without waiting any longer, Bruce is moving right back down that hill, and continuing the loop around the keep. There's more boring walking, interspersed with occasional pauses that the Stonebridge knight uses to get his bearings and listen for anything. "Keep your noses to the ground."
<FS3> Kell rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Jarod rolls Alertness: Failure.
<FS3> Raylan rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Tommas rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Rafferdy rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Gedeon rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Hardwicke rolls Alertness: Good Success.
<FS3> Keelin rolls Alertness: Good Success.
The people with good eyes, they see after walking for a further ten or so minutes evidence of disturbed earth, right at the spot the Flint lads mentioned - in between the two picket outposts. Those with even better eyes might notice that it looks like something was dragged for a few yards, churning the earth, before being picked up again. Then, there are those like Jarod, who don't notice anything, because they're too busy staring at the pretty sunset.
Moving quietly across the terrain, Hardwicke actually breaks his silence to point out what others besides distracted Jarod may have already noticed: "There's been activity," he says. "Looks like something was dragged through." He draws nearer, though careful not to disturb the remaining evidence of activity, to get a closer look.
Gedeon troops along with the pack, pausing where the earth is kicked up and crouching down to get a better look at the marks. His blond head cants to the side as he considers. "Drag marks," he notes, pointing out the proof amid the mess. There's a small nod towards Hardwicke as the Terrick Captain comes to the same conclusion.
As the orders to move out is given out again, Kell begins to walk with the group as the little trip through the rocky area hasn't proved to be less boring than sitting at the camp. Atleast he is moving around though, which is better than sitting around at camp. However, things may have taken a turn for the better as when they proceed further on their scouting mission, Kell sees that Hardwicke sees, "Tracks… something is certainly being dragged somewhere." Drawing nearer to the tracks, the Hedge Knight goes to a knee and inspects it though not stepping on it or messing with it by hand. He also doesn't do anything silly like taste the dirt either.
Keelin nods to the Flints at the guard post as they pass, not disturbing them at their duty. He's been there often enough. And as they continue along, his eyes find the same things that everyone else sees, but he just goes to one knee, careful to not muddy the trail, and has nothing to add to the conversation.
Rested so close to his knee, Tommas gives Raylan a familiar sort of tap to the back of his head with two fingers but does not speak to the other man. Hello there. I see you. "Aye," Tommas agrees succinctly, ambling forward to get a better look at what the others have already noted. "Whatever it was was either picked up or hauled off there though," he points out, gesturing towards the end of the markings.
"Oi here we are.." comes Raylan's thick country accent. Sadly, he is no man of great words. Still there's a motion of his hand as the archer follows the track out. "Can' bae too big now can it? Bloody marks end there.." A sucking in of his cheek, before he's chewing down on the edge of his tongue. A glance given back to the Nayland knight as he's moving to inspect the tracks closer, as if he can glean something else up from the churned mess on the ground. "What'd they be haulin' you think? A boat- or some shite that'd help em one way or the other…" a snort and he's reaching up to scratch the edge of his nose. "Hnnh"
Jarod narrows his eyes at the sky. The sunset, indeed, is pretty. But he sees little apart from the colorful clouds. Hardwicke's noticing of things makes him blink more attentively at the ground, however. He stays clear of the tracks, to avoid treading on them as the trackers go to work, though his now-more-focused gaze tries to follow the marks. "Something? Any idea what they were dragging?"
Upon approaching the churned up earth, if one were to look very, very closely in the fading light, evidence of footfalls, two abreast and of an uncertain number, is plain to those with any inclination to animal tracking. There's two sets of these - ones leading directly towards the Grey Gardens, and ones leading away. Its the latter set of tracks where the churned earth is. The object must have been as wide as two men, but there's no real evidence as to what exactly it was.
Ser Bruce looks back at those men who seem to know what's going on. "Gods, I'm useless at tracking. Happy to have you lot along. May as well let you all lead, then. I mean, whoever's the best at tracking." He steps back, grinning, though his grin fades when he spares a glance for the Harlaw stronghold. "But as much as I'd like to follow that and see where it leads us into their keep, they're going to be hauling arrows and stones at us. Let's see where the other one goes?" He motions to the tracks leading away.
<FS3> Raylan rolls Tracking: Good Success.
<FS3> Keelin rolls Tracking: Good Success.
<FS3> Tommas rolls Tracking: Good Success.
<FS3> Kell rolls Tracking: Good Success.
<FS3> Rafferdy rolls Tracking: Failure.
<FS3> Hardwicke rolls Tracking: Good Success.
<FS3> Jarod rolls Tracking: Failure
<FS3> Gedeon rolls Tracking: Success.
To those paying attention to the tracks leading away, they appear to loop around the hillock that the group just came around and push further out away from the Grey Gardens, before sharply turning. Their direction - back toward the outpost, though further away from it than the merry little scouting party's original path.
Hardwicke snorts quietly and moves on ahead of Bruce, although he doesn't fight for the lead tracker position. AKA he is decent, but doesn't have ideas about being the best tracker present. "Can't really tell," he says to Jarod's question. He follows along the second pair of tracks — the one leading away from the castle and dragging something along.
Keelin moves at the question, in agreement with Bruce on the idea of getting closer to the keep. "It doubles back," he says, as he looks along, frowning. "Seems to loop back and head back to the outpost, though out a ways." His deep voice is kept low, as he doesn't really want to be the one to start any ruckus with any loose canon ironborn who might be wandering about.
If Raylan was a a dog at this point he would be baying after catching the scent. Instead he's reaching his elbow over to nudge Tommas before he is nodding off. "They're going off thataway' it seems- See!" and he's moving on with the tracks pausing to look on ahead. " A look back towards the Groves' Knight before a brow is raised. "You think they're tryin' to come round back of the outpost? There a river back off there someways?" Though He can't recall if there was one. "Whatever they are smugglin' has got to be worth comin' back round our way.."
"I'll take rear guard," Jarod volunteers. Since he appears to also be less-than-useful at tracking of things. If there are no objections, he moves back to assume that position among the men. He nods short at the plan of following the trail that leads away from the Gardens. Suits him just fine. His eyes continue to occasionally scan the clouds. Maybe he's doing something practical, like checking for ravens. Or it's the pretty clouds. Anyone's guess.
Gedeon's quiet as he follows after the others, watching the tracks but letting those with greater skill take the lead. He does, as he passes, give Jarod a quizzical glance. "Expecting a message?"
Likewise Tommas doesn't step up and attempt to take that glory of head tracker, although he does fall into step beside Hardwicke. "Whatever it was must have been least as big as two to carry it, which rightly saying could have been a boat…but I don't know much about all that. I don't know much about arms they might have been hauling elsewise," he offers looking from Hardwicke to Bruce as Raylan hares off. His fellow Groves man catches his attention when he speaks.
Rafferdy glances at Jarod and chuckles, "Ser Jarod, taking up the rear. Saw that preference coming…" He gives a playful wink to Jarod, and then waits to see what those who are good at tracking think.
By continuing to follow the tracks, the group will notice that whatever object they were dragging quickly disappeared, after only fifty or so yards. The footfalls are much deeper into the ground right there, indicating that whatever it was, it must have been heavy, and they must have picked it up to carry it, since the tracks continue to be deeper in the rocky ground from then on. However, they continue on past the outpost by a few minutes, before turning sharply towards the ordinary patrol route. From there, it looks like whoever moved must have done so when there were no patrols being mounted, and tried to hide their tracks within the cavalry's churned up hoofmarks. Whatever they were carrying also seems to have been shed, though it disappears all of a sudden. There's no real sign of whatever it was around the group.
Ser Bruce falls to the side of the group, his senses tuned to an entirely different pursuit - that of sniffing out possible danger. He looks on edge, but there's nothing around them.
"I prefer to go in the front door, Lordling Nayland. Just ask your sister," Jarod quips to Rafferdy with a cheeky grin. A take-off on the joke about his 10 from before. Probably. On a more serious note he replies to Gedeon, keeping his tone low, "Sort of. Been trying to watch for ravens coming and going from the Gardens, and have our men watch for them. One of the lads shot a bird the other night. Turned out just to be a crow, though. Would love to get some idea of what in seven hells they're up to in there."
Rafferdy smiles, "Please. You'd have better luck convincing Rowan to sleep with you than Rowenna," and he rolls his eyes.
Gedeon only has a faint snort as he overhears the 'ask your sister' comment. But he offers a small nod for Jarod's words and then a faint shrug as he watches the men ahead of them decipher the tracks. "They're liking doing-" he pauses to lift a hand and cough into it rather wetly. Some sort of cold that's taken grip in the wet of the island and made itself at home in the blond knight's lungs over the past pair of days. Clearing his throat, he continues, "likely doing what anyone would to is a siege. Hunkering down and looking for opportunity."
The route taken by their hares are easy enough to follow, even as the footfalls seem to sink further into poor ground. And the Groves archer is content to follow along, as this makes more sense to him than waiting outside a bloody keep. Though when they near the ordinary route that they've been taking Raylan is turning back to head over to where the churned hoofmarks are. Squatting back down and setting his bow down as he is letting fingers touch into the hoofmark, so as to figure the time in which that was made.
A look up and Raylan rubs his jaw as he snatches up the warbow. "Huh." And then he's back to chewing on the side of his tongue for a few seconds. "Well whatever they had they don't have here…" muttered, before eyes are looking on to the scenery around them. Did they just find a trap? He'll wait for the other trackers to either confirm or deny any suspicions.
Jarod snorts himself at Rafferdy, smirking, but if he has anymore quips about the Nayland's kin he saves them up for later. Perhaps to compose them for maximum wit. There are Ironborn games afoot to concentrate on, anyhow. He falls quiet, a sense of readiness coming to him quickly despite the earlier easy good humor.
Keelin considers the situation. "Could they have passed whatever it was they were carrying to someone on horse? Or someone heading along with the horses?" he asks, considering if they were trying to get anything out of the keep, where might they send it. He's looking around though for any clues to verify that thought or to find a trap, if there is one, moving to look at the tracks a little closer.
"What are you thinking Ray?" Tommas wonders, coming to a pause near the other Groves man. He isn't in the dirt like his fellow is. He looks towards Keelin at that thought, tipping his head in a short nod. "Might have."
The hoofmarks, and the tracks themselves are quite old. Likely made before dawn of this day. They continue on towards the camp, now. It's likely the Ironborn who took the stroll that the patrol is now following wanted to conceal their movement within the day's routine. It's another good fifteen minutes walk before they veer off again, oncemore away from the keep, in an effort to put distance between them and the sentries around the camp. The camp is very close now, and the tracks are moving to go around, towards the Rivermen's own back entrance.
Bruce seems inclined to snap something to the two men who're speaking out of turn, but stays himself when they both fall quiet. He continues following along to the side of the patrol, watching for anything untoward.
"I feel like we've walked into a trap.." Raylan offers back in hushed tones. "Whatever they had is lost, you can see it in the' changing of their footfalls. Not so deep in. And th' ground's just as bad." Screwing up his face for a moment. Hand moving up to run along the back of his neck. "Could be wrong, but the detour back here- And." Silence before he's catching the tracks again. "They're older.." And like that he's standing a bit. A nod on up. "Headin' for our arse." Or rather the rear of the camp.
Now falling silent the Groves man is content to stick to silence from here on out.
These are very interesting tracks indeed and from the looks of it, Kell doesn't like it one bit at where they are heading towards. Any concerns though he is keeping at bay for now, his attention fully on their surroundings and the tracks they are following than any sort of banter present.
Jarod is all of focus now, as he too gets an increasingly bad feeling about all this. His eyes sweep over his shoulder, endeavoring to keep a proper bead on whatever might or might not be lurking out there.
Keelin's said his bit and he's now quiet, as he keeps an eye on things, watching. Something is fishy, but it's hard to figure out exactly what. So, thinking, watching, and more watching seems to be the main thing, at the moment. He's straining his ears trying to hear anything other than his own breathing, but he's listening as well as looking every which way he can think of, in a slow easy pattern trying to see anything out of place.
Eventually, the tracks end in a rather deep gully, some few hundred yards away from the back entrance of the camp, hidden from the eyes and ears of both the camp itself and the rear pickets. And there they dissapear. It's certain that whoever was walking around spent some time in the gulley, but where did they go after?
Bruce nods in agreement with Raylan, a deep frown setting its way on his face. He looks even more morose, sporting his beard.
Gedeon walks along with the others, coughing now and again, but otherwise quiet. A corner of his mouth lifts in a wry smile as he glances down into the gully. "Well," he muses, "who wants to climb down first?"
Keelin glancse at the group and then suggests, "someone good at moving quietly?" He's willing to give it a shot, but really, quiet isn't his strong suit.
Tommas gives Ray a light pat on the shoulder. The big man frowns at the fact that it could very well be a trap. Silently, he follows the others through — minding his steps along the path — to come to a pause near the Gully. "I might be able to lower one of you down…"
"Spies from the castle, you think?" Jarod asks in a near whisper, gesturing a finger to the gulley. As for moving quietly, he frowns. "I tend to clomp. I can cover them better for it." He eases the bow off his shoulder. Not quite so easily as he does with a sword, but he's not thumbs with it.
"With armor on, it's hard to stay too quiet but I have had some success in hunting for food in the wilderness from time to time, so I'm not exactly loud like a drunk giant." Kell offers his own tidbit about his own skillset to the group in a hushed tone. Being the first one down is risky though, especially when they don't know what's down there.
"We'll jump down as soon as you call for us." Bruce adds his bit into the conversation, pulling his shield off of his back and slipping his off hand through it. It's got a leather cover on it, covering the normally bright orange and green colours. He keeps glancing back behind them, and down the gully itself. "Someone who's quiet, take the plunge." He whispers.
"Oh, for the love of…" Gedeon smirks faintly and shakes his head. "I can move quietly. I'll go." Glancing to Tommas he adds, "with your assistance, ser, if you'd be willing." And then, more generally, "Those of you handy with bow and arrow, I'd greatly appreciate if you shot anything that tries to kill me."
"I don't know." says Raylan, as he is eyeballing the gully for a bit. A look back over towards Tommas, as he offers a faint shrug. "If they are down there, then they could be spying, or Hell. You think they could be mining under the camp?" Why someone would mine under there? Though it is a siege so nothing is off limits. "If you wanna send me down, I'll go." That way, Gedeon is not all alone down there by hisself.
"They aren't Dom, Ray. I doubt these squids have such…imagination," Tommas replies dryly, shaking his head at the thought. Dominick would attempt to mine under them. Looking to Gedeon, the big man dips his chin in a firm nod and slings his large bow over his back. "I am at your hand, Ser."
"I've your back, Ser Rivers," Jarod says simply, easing an arrow on the string. It's not even cheeky.
Keelin takes a moment to pull his bow off his shoulder and check that it is still ready for shooting. He follows Jarod's example, though he doesn't as yet aim the arrow anywhere but the ground.
Bruce's eyebrows go up as he waits for the others to take a move.
There's a glance to the gathering Terricks before Raylan is nodding to Tommas. "Makes me wonder why we ain't mined under em yet." That'd be something. Still given situation if Gedeon wants another fellow down in the gully with him, He'll scramble down and leave the warbow with Tommas. If not? He'll stay up here and notch an arrow.
"Thank you, Ser, but I think you may do be greater service with your bow than your close company," he says to Raylan with a small smile. Jarod gets a glance and a faint nod, and then he walks over to Tommas to see about a means of getting down that's a bit safer than 'jump and hope'.
Rafferdy moves next to Bruce. "It does us no good to all get ambushed here," he offers quietly. "I'm going to see if I can get some high ground to watch from. Provide cover fire if necessary. If things go bad, they'll need to know back at the camp."
Bruce pats Rafferdy on the shoulder. "Aye, m'lord, good idea." He goes back to looking down the gully, though.
Rafferdy slips off into the darkness.
"I've a bit of rope in my kit…" Tommas notes, hand slipping into a pouch on his belt with a frown. "It isn't enough to get you down all the way, but a bit more of a safe drop than we'd get just dangling you down." He looks over the gully with a frown, trying to spot a decent point of entry.
The point that they're at is as good a spot as any to rope down into the gully, really.
"Thank you, Ser, but I think you may do be greater service with your bow than your close company," Gedeon says to Raylan with a small smile. Jarod gets a glance and a faint nod, and then he walks over to Tommas to see about a means of getting down that's a bit safer than 'jump and hope'.
"Aye Ser, as you say." Raylan spots back towards Gedeon, before he's reaching back for an arrow, checking the head before he's picking a blunted barbel. Something that can punch through maile or harder stuff, if he hits right. And there's a look back over to Tommas. "I got no cordage.." offered back, before he's moving to find a place where he can get a good vantage on the gully.
Walking over to Tommas, Gedeon nods. "Thank you, it should do well enough." He reaches for the rope, waiting until he's confident Tommas has a sturdy hold on the other end before leaning back and using the rope to 'walk' down the wall of the gully until it runs out. The rope, that is. Not the 'wall'.
Jarod edges to a better position nearer the edge of the gully, peering down into it. Trying to give it the same rapt attention he gave the sunset not so long ago, so he might spot something.
The bottom of the gully is mostly rocks, ranging from tiny pebbles to fist sized, coupled with some sandy undersoil. Unfortunately, that means that whatever tracks they were following are no longer visible. There's no sound, or movement from around Gedeon.
Tommas loops one end of the rope around his wrist, back-crossing it to give him a little more grip. He edges towards the edge as Gedeon moves down, digging his heels in and carefully loosing as much down as he can. There is now slipping, just a stern curl of his lips as he supports the other man.
When the rope can take him no further, Gedeon lets go, dropping down onto the Gully's sandy floor. He scans, for a moment, in hopes of some hint f tracks, but locating nothing of the sort he begins to move, quietly, along the bottom of the gully to se what he might find. He'll trust the men above to keep him safe against the raptorbear cavalry.
Bruce looks down the lip of the gully to watch Ser Gedeon go down, his eyes wide. The sun's almost completely set by now, and it's becoming dark. "We'll follow you along, Ser Gedeon." He whispers. When Gedeon begins to move, so does Bruce, looking down the same way.
Once Gedeon's feet drop to the sandy bottom of the gully, Tommas slowly begins to wind the rope back up and around his wrist. He watches the man at the base a moment, then pulls his bow from his shoulder. Raptorbear ready.
Jarod squints in the dimming light, not that that helps him much. His eyes follow Gedeon's form, and that of the other men, searching for shadows he can't put to the party of Westerosi knights.
The bowstring is kept slack as the arrow rests just above his forefinger. As Gedeon begins to move, the archer quietly seeks to follow along one of the gully's walls. After all he is going to keep the other Ser Rivers covered. A half grin remains on Raylan's face as eyes dart down the trail that the knight is making.
Gedeon makes his careful way along the length of the gully which stretches, perhaps, a few hundred yards. He loops back to return to the point where he landed before he glances up and gives a shake of his head. Nothing.
Bruce's face twists oncemore into a deep frown. He grunts something inaudible, then ventures, "Well. No more trail."
Jarod frowns, arrow loose on the string, though he doesn't put down his archery equipment. "What now, Sers?"
"Return. Tell the others what we've found and strengthen the guard in the rear," Tommas suggests. He does put his bow aside and begins the process of unwinding his bit of rope and bracing himself at the edge. Gedeon'll still have to climb up a bit of the ways for it.
So, climb Gedeon does, grabbing hold of the rope when he's able and using it to get back up to the top of the gully. "My thanks, ser," he says to Tommas before puffing out a soft, frustrated sigh.
"Leave it t' the ironborn t' try an bugger us like sheep." mutters Raylan as he lowers his bow back down. There's a nod towards Tommas as he is moving to head on towards the Camp. He can easily run along and pass the word on, unless Bruce has other uses for him. "Least we found this much before they put our legs in their boots."
The Stonebridge man nods at Tommas. "Now, I think, we go back to camp and make our report.Not just in the rear, though, Ser Tommas. Everywhere. And double the pickets, even if it means that we get less sleep. Increase our clearance patrols, range out here and past as much as we can. Including at night." Ser Bruce suggests, sticking the bottom of his shield into the grount in front of him and leaning on it, at a crouch. "Aye. We better get back, before we find something we don't want to.