|Summary:||Jaremy battles Oswald. Liliana arrives and shows no compassion for one, but extends some to the other.|
|Related Logs:||None yet posted.|
|Training Yard - Four Eagles Tower|
|There are weapons, and dust, and many, many straw men.|
|12 Aug, 288 AL|
The back end of the courtyard to Terrick's Roost is normally quiet in the early hours of the morning, but on this morning, Ser Jaremy Terrick has descended upon his well-loved training area to build his muscle back. With repeated clacks of metal against wood and straw, Jaremy is punishing himself with swinging a heavy, weighted, and blunted tourney sword against a positioned straw dummy. Sweating from the hard workout, he grits his teeth and puts his weight behind every blow, doing everything he can to win back some of the muscle lost from a week laying in a bed.
"You won't win your strength back that way," comes the soft voice into the silence between one attack swing and the next. Moving with all the skill of silence she has at her command, Liliana's figure follows soon after her voice. From the looks of it, she has the morning to her own devices, as she's dressed more in the manner of her woodland kin, than in her role as a Lady of Four Eagles Tower. Closely cut trousers and jerkin, all of leather, over a homespun cotton shirt. And over all of it, the leather ranger's robes the Camden sworn seem to favour. But there's nothing of disguise it in. She looks like what she is. A woman, born and bred to field and forest. A child of Tall Oaks.
Another good, solid whack of the tourney sword against the dummy has Jaremy nearly bent over, trying to catch his breath. He's still coming out of the last of the sickness, though by the looks of it he's weathered the worst. A drop of sweat falls from his eyebrow, forcing him to mop his forehead with his sleeve. "It's what got me stronger in the first place. Well, that and eating all of the meat I could find." He pauses, closing his mouth to breath in through his nose, collecting himself. The sight of her in her ranging gear is nothing new to him, though he rarely catches her leaving as early as she does. "After this I'm heading to the coast to lift stones. What, you've a different idea, Liliana?"
"I can understand that you want to get yourself back into shape." Liliana pauses, arms folding across the top of the wooden pole that marks the boundary of the training yard. Her tone is gentle, bearing always that compassion she seems to have in unlimited supply, "But you must take the time to rest yourself. Your muscles are weak, you hurt yourself when you work out, more than you would if you were in full bloom of health." A considering look, before she continues, "Go to the shore. But use the time to take a swim in the ocean, work your muscles more gently. Visit the maester, ask him to massage your muscles. Then, after a time, you will be ready to attack that dummy, or lift those rocks. Doing too much too soon will put you lame, even moreso than being abed for a sevenday."
Seeing reason in her words, Jaremy resists the urge to rise again and attack the dummy. Instead, he turns the blunted sword over and presses its tip into the straw beneath him. Rising, he steps over to a rack and slides it into a holder and then turns. Passing her, he gives her a quaint look of unadmitted defeat before he dunks his head into the rain barrel. With a soft splash, he pulls his head free and whips his hair over the top of his head. "…I feel like I've lost a year of my life. It's like being in a different body after coming out of that room." He mutters to her, frowning. "The world won't wait for me to be ready, though I'm no good to anyone lame."
"I know, Lord Terrick, how much it hurts you to feel yourself so…reduced. You refuse the maester and run off almost before the dawn is breaking, so that no one will see you in such a state." Ever that gentle manner, for all that she looks as though she were preparing to go out and bring back something furry and probably bleeding. "The world will still be there tomorrow, next week, or next month, however long it takes for you to recover yourself." Liliana finally disengages herself from the railing, reaching into a pocket of her robes to remove a jar of some sort of unguent. "If you will not return to the maester, then let me tend to you. That, at least, I am accustomed to."
"Though all of Westeros will be here tomorrow…I've sworn an oath to be there at a moment's notice. You may find it an overreach or you may not, but things aren't as safe in the region as they used to be. There's tension." Leaning up from the rain barrel, he plants a hand on its edge to balance himself as he lowers his eyes to the jar in her hands. Glancing between her face and the jar, he moves to sit on a small, wooden stool near the bucket of swords. Rolling his arm in the socket, he scowls to avoid grumbling audibly at the tensed muscle. "What is that stuff?" He smirks. "You steal that from the maester's tower?"
"And all of Westeros will find you father and your family awaiting them. The Young Lord you may well be, but you are not a man alone and you never have been. There is as much strength in standing alone, as in accepting that there are people around you who want nothing more than to help and support you." A sniff, at the question, "I have no need to steal from the maester's stores. And besides, the herbs I use in this grow far in the north of our lands, nearly to the bogs of the Greywater." She moves, coming up just behind Jaremy, "The shirt, remove it please." The request might seem unseemly, if it were not for the tone in which it is requested. The tone that many a healer has mastered.
Jaremy turns his head to watch Liliana approach from the side, again his eyes turn to the jar in her hands. "I was just being careful. The maester is upset with me as it is for pushing myself against his wishes, so all you're saying now I heard yesterday shortly before walking outside." His eyes lift to the windows, seeing no one there, and although he probably shouldn't, he reaches to the tunic and tugs if over his head. His joints, in particular his sword arm, are slightly red with ache. He turns his arm towards her. "So where did you learn all of this?" He nods to her leg. "The hunting, the herbs, the healing? Is this common for women in Tall Oaks to learn?"
It is not as though they are in a private location, but are, indeed in full view, should anyone approach the training area. And this is a hall filled with men-at-arms, "The maester knows well enough my skills." The look she gives the Lord is neither feminine, nor unseemly. She looks at him as any healer would. Nor does she make any move to remove anything of her own. The jar is opened, though, fingers dipping in to pick up a small amount of the unguent, which looks snowy white, but has a rich, green and earthy scent, like fresh moss and deep water. "Then I will not chide you again." The arm she accepts, light fingers applying the unguent, before her hands begin to work it into the flesh. More than enough skill in her hands, as she massages the ill-used muscle, the unguent itself feeling, oddly, both warm and cool at the same time. "Very common. We do not have the safety of stone and walls to guard us. Our lands are dangerous, and our men often range far from the Keep. It is often left to the women to be prepared to defend our holdfasts, if the worst comes. Most all of us learn the ways of herbs and chiurgeonry. Mistress Damara taught me herself, as she taught me the ways of the hawk. We all learn the way of the bow. Some take up the spear, others not. There is good reason why so many look on us as little better than the Crannogmen."
Jaremy is listening, of course he is, but while he's listening he is doing his best to not grunt too loudly as she applies pressure to his sore arm. What tension the sickness left in his bones has been replaced by the ache of workout, and her fingers press in hard against his aching, acidic joints. His head lowers to the ground, one eye cocked wide open as his mouth opens, scowling in one part torment, one part relief. "…fucking sev—sorry…" Jaremy apologizes for his sudden cursing, jaw muscles tightening. "…What about all of that wood? I know it's not exactly the same as stone and decidedly flammable, but I've heard of wooden defenses. While you don't exactly have keeps and stone halls to fill with soldiers you're far from undefended." Again he scowls, lightly tugging his arm back from her in a knee-jerk reaction to the pain. "Do you miss it?"
Liliana has not been raised by Ailith Camden and Damara Kells for nothing, and she does not release the Lord's arm when he attempts to draw back. "Do hold yourself still, my Lord. It will only hurt for a moment." Well, not a moment, but indeed, the combination of the unguent and the working of her fingers are bringing blessed relief to aching muscles, and the painful joint beneath. "Wooden defenses can be pulled down, and Fire, which would splash uselessly against your defenses, would severely damage ours. Unlike you knights, we do not tend to close combat, but prefer to take what enemies we have, at range." As she moves along the arm, and then up to the shoulder, she does offer, "Cursing does not much bother me."
Jaremy sighs as his arm is taken back, held firmly in place. He lets his head lull down towards the ground, at least trusting that she won't put a knife in his back while she's tending to his sore arm. As the moments pass, a warm numbness settles into place, and he gives himself over to the way she rubs his joints. "I think it's working. Though, no…I shouldn't curse in front of ladies. It's not proper." Jaremy replies almost sleepily, no longer fighting. "Mind it or not, Liliana, you're still a lady. What kind of man would I be if I did not allow you to be treated like one. Bows, arrows, salves, or stone walls. Surely though it's a harder place some of those rules still apply at Tall Oaks, don't they?"
Liliana, it seems, is skilled enough to gauge when she can move from arm, to shoulders to neck, working slowly and steadily, feeling for the knots and swelling that indicates the abuse the Lord has caused himself, and soothing them away, reaching in, now and then, to take more unguent from the jar, "It is good of you to be concerned after my honour, my Lord, and I am, indeed, to the best of my knowledge, still a lady, but I am not such a one as should take your consideration. There are others to whom you should be applying your attentions." A nod, though it remains unseen, "Many of them apply, but we are not so stuffy as the other Houses, perhaps. We are one people. Not a Lord and his smallfolk."
"I tend to see things the same way. We're all connected. There are titles, yes, but we have to stick together and take care of each other. Just as the smallfolk have a duty to their lords, we have duties to them." Pressing his shoulders back against her hands, he growls low in his throat as she uncovers spots he wasn't exactly aware were sore. He decides to close his eyes, weathering the storm. "Liliana. I apply my attentions appropriately. What I meant, though, was that it's just not proper." He cracks an eye open, turning his head to gaze back at her. "Fuck it. Alright, fine, you're not made of straw and you've traded needlework for fletchery, but don't give me cross eyes when I act appropriately around you, alright? We've known each other for a few years, but…I pride myself in being an example, Liliana. It's important to me."
"Would that you had been born to Camden and not Terrick, you would have been well-received in our Keep." There's a ruefulness in the turn of her lips. "I promise," she continues, working her way along the length of his back, though she never strays into area which would be truly inappropriate, as she works back and side, down and then back up again, "I will not look at you cross-eyed. And I know, as well as any other, how important it is to you." Perhaps moreso, given how often she's seen the young lord at his very worst, usually right here is this yard, "But if you cannot be your true self in the presence of one who cares truly for you, what is the point? We must all have some respite from the strictures of duty and place and honour. Times when you are no Ser Jaremy, nor the Young Lord Terrick, but only Jaremy."
"And what if I'm always Ser Jaremy?" He turns his head once more, cracking an eye open to scan upwards towards her face. He can't see her, of course, finding her too far behind his back, so he tries the other side. "Not all men remember their oaths every day. It's a sad truth that not all knights uphold honor in the same way. I do. I was born Jaremy, earned the privilege of being Ser Jaremy, and one day will be honored with the duty of being Lord Ser Jaremy. Seven Liliana, even in m—Gah…" He grunts, shoulder flinching as her fingers find a highly sensitive point at the base of his neck. He slowly calms. "…even in my sleep I'm a collection of my vows. Being a noble is a privilege, yes, but…I've never been comfortable with it being easy." He smiles wistfully. "Maybe I'm just Jaremy when I dunk my head in the barrel."
"You will always be Ser Jaremy. No one and nothing can take that from you. And I would expect nothing less than to know that you follow your vows in waking and sleeping. That is your way, it has been since the days when the vows were not your own, but only something that you aspired to, I would expect. Because that is the way of true knights. But your vows are not you. They should guide and inform you, but not control you. They are not chains, binding you to your duty, but the hands of the gods, lifting you up to make you all that you can be." Liliana is indeed visible from this other side, her expression gentle and calm, settled, as she always is when she is doing these things that she knows best. "Maybe you are, and maybe we should find cause to make you dunk your head more often." Her hands slow, slipping light and warm over bared skin, as a weaver might, feeling the fabric beneath for burrs and imperfections. But finding no knots, and indeed, the unguent and her hands have soothed the aches since waking, she stops, only her fingertips remaining on the flesh of your shoulders, "Is it better now?"
Jaremy nods his head slowly through his sweaty, wet mane of hair that hangs down over part of his face. "Yes. Very." He replies, looking like a pitiful, drowned rat. "Thank you. My muscles are stiff, and I think I need to go up to my room and lay down, get another hour of sleep and, don't gasp, listen to the maester and take a hot, hot bath." He rises from the small, wooden stool, taking his tunic with him. "Perhaps this is enough dunking my head into the rain barrel for today, aye?" He turns, grinning wryly to her. "Thank you, Liliana. I'm sure Oswald thanks you as well…" He nods his head in the direction of the target dummy. "…I haven't kept you too late from your time in the woods, have I?"
Liliana, having done her duty, steps back, finding some small scrap of fabric in her robes on which to wipe her hands. That done, she reseals the jar and offers it over. "You are quite welcome. Take this and ask the maester for oil of peppermint for your bath. It will help to soothe your muscles." A nod, only at his question of dunking, "For today, yes. But if you have need of me, I am never so far that I cannot come to you." A smile, sent to the dummy, before she returns her attention, "Some things are more important than my rangings. Go, Ser Jaremy, and see to your rest."
Taking the jar, Jaremy gives it a slight wave towards her, saluting her with it in thanks. "Oil of Peppermint. Remembered. I won't use too much of this though, seeing as how it came all the way from Greywater Reach. Sparingly is a key word. Sparingly." Too sore to pull his tunic back on, he offers her a soft nod of his head and turns to leave. "You be careful out there, Liliana."
The woman's answer is simple, as she makes her way back towards the woods, walking along the path away from the hall, "It is not the things out there that pose a danger to me." But she neither slows nor turns, slipping through the low grass and into the blessed cover of the trees.