Page 165: Vairy Vert And Sable: Tall Oaks
Vairy Vert And Sable: Tall Oaks
Summary: The Ironborn make their approach upon Tall Oaks Keep
Date: 29 Dec 2011
Related Logs: Concurrant to Vairy Vert And Sable: Dafydd
Sarojyn Dafydd Tiaryn Damara Tylur Elinor Horde 
Courtyard - Tall Oaks Keep
The long rectangle that makes up this courtyard is softed at its edges with a faint curve to the walls. The ground though cobbled is over grown with moss and older vegetation that mostly stays to the outter edgings, feeind up the walls of flint and stone. To the fore rests the great hall, simple but picturesque in its make with great King Oaks to frame it. To the right rests doorway in the wall that leads to the dungeons, as little as they are used. To the left is another practice area and small stables to store those of House Camden's mounts. The wall, lined with a walk is made so that the crenelations are spaced for archers. Stairways lead up to them on both sides. The courtyard gives the idea that if the need be, the entire town could fit within it's walls. Should it become necessary, the courtyard can be sealed shut by large wooden doors that have been reinforced with thick beams.
29 December, 288 A.L.

Afternoon had taken it's hold upon the land with sharp slivers of light breaking through the canopy of the tree's, while a light wind caused the leaves and branches to rustles amongst themselves. The sounds of birds and other animals can be heard above the wind and while this is all very normal, the sounds of terrified screams are not. With advance warning having been received that fifty reavers march to the keep and the town proper, Sarojyn had rode from the gates and to the square, along side of Dafydd. There, every able bodied man had been rounded up and armed with a hunting bow until they numbered a peasantry force of fifty large. Twenty of which had accompanied Dafydd, moving off to the west to harry and harass the Ironborn, giving the Keep time to prepare.

At Sarojyn's command, the remaining thirty men had been ushered back to the keep where they were split between the courtyard walls and the parapet of the keep. Those smallfolk not able to fight were lingering in the courtyard, huddled in small groups, whimpered and crying amongst themselves as the terror of the situation began to sit in. Sarojyn stood upon the keep steps, now dressed in what armor he had and a longbow in hand and those few men at arms that the keep employed, all stood around him, "We have people outside the walls, so we must leave the gates open for as long as we can. Only when they begin to draw near will we seal ourselves within." Those within the keep now wait to hear from the messengers that were sent out with the initial group.

Figures move swiftly past the clearing, one lingering back on horseback as there are many more on foot. Damara, Elinor, as well as their escort and those fleeing from incoming ironborn are racing for the side entrance through the stables to get to the Keep. "Lady Elinor, please go ahead with your guard. I am going to make sure the last of those on foot make it in side. Take one guard with you, I will keep the other and my apprentice." She says and dips her head to the noblewoman. She reaches for her bow, just in case and sets an arrow to its side as she keeps the mare moving with the press of her knees.

"Come on! Hurry! Through the stables!!!" She is ready, looking to make a bolt once the people on foot have progressed into the Keep. Her eyes lift and she is looking towards the far treeline, the distance through the clearing would be enough to give some warning of the armed men that were heading their direction - yet there is nothing that she can see so far. A silent prayer is lifted to the old Gods to keep them back long enough for those smallfolk not yet within the walls. She edges her horse closer to the keep, but making certain she can offer some cover with the guard and her apprentice.

Tylur has finished doing a round to check on the defenses and the men positioned all around, and walks quickly back to Sarojyn. He is in his full knight armor, which is well kept and shiny, though clearly humble and not terribly expensive. He has a rather fancy sword on his side, the finest piece of equipment he has. "We are as ready as we'll ever be, My Lord," he reports to Saro with a not. When the horses begin approaching the gate, he moves to the door, watching the treeline behind Damara as she and her group approaches.

Elinor's labored breathing equaled that of her mount when she and her retinue had returned to the keep, following Damara in haste. After the Lead Falconer had rushed out her commands the lady had enough sense not to feel slighted. Her gaze scanned over those rushing the keep in their panic as gloved hands held tightly onto the reins of her unsettled mount. One of the guards with him assumed the task of escorting the noblewoman, and her maidservant, further into the keep. Before they parted from the woman Elinor issued a concerned, "Your Gods be with you, Mistress Kells." Then onward they pressed into the safety the keep awarded them. Unlike most, if not all, of those in the Oaks, this was not her first reaver raid.

With things the way they are, Tia has her own bow, a quiver of arrows, and is dressed for ease of movement. She's not the one to be leading the herbalists and chirurgeons, nope. Though she might be sorry for that, before today is over. Her heart is in her throat, more or less, as she simply stays in the courtyard for now, working to calm the small folk, and maybe get them helping out with the necessary tasks in preparation. She pauses to talk to one young child, kneeling down briefly, so she can do so. "Stay strong, Renna, we are all doing what we can." And then she ruffles the child's hair and moves to continue getting the small folk ut of the way and to someplace safe. Though truthfully, she'd like nothing better than to go hide under her bed and perhaps she might yet.

Sarojyn is edgy .. antsy and clearly out of his norm here. War is not something that comes to Tall Oaks, for it's something they take pains to avoid and yet, here it was. Almost lingering upon his doorstep. Tylur comment is heard and it earns the Knight a nod of his head and a quick, "Very good, Ser." Then, he's waiting, eyes focused upon the entryway to the courtyard and it's only when Elinor makes it through, with Damara taking up the rear, that the Lord is looking to two of his men, "Secure the gates. Close them on my command and my command only. We will give my brother a chance to reach the safety of the Keep before they are sealed shut." The guards nod and move towards the gate, standing ready to close them. It's then that he looks towards Tiayrn, "Sister, we must get you inside. Mikah and Seryl will remain out here." There's a quick look back to distant Damara and then to Elinor, "Lady Banefort. Mistress Kells. Quickly. We must get you inside the keep."

"Yours with you…" Damara echoes with a look to Elinor before she is lifting a scarred hand to motion the people forward. "Move fast…come on. There is room for all!" It's a tone of reassurance, but her own eyes are giving that treeline a wary glance and she looks to her apprentice. The falcons had yet to return, though the matters of those on the ground and their flashing steel really do not matter anything to birds hunting. Though as the last few of the smallfolk trail in past the gates, a lift of her chin has the mistress motioning for the last two with her on horseback to get inside. Bow still in hand, she turns the horse with a lean and press of her knee, clicking her tongue to edge her inside at a trot. Her gaze flickers to Sarojyn as she is addressed. "I would like to stay outside and man the walls. I can be of help with my bow." She is slow to dismount, staying astride until she can flip the arrow to rest paralell to the bow so she might grab the horn and slide free, letting the horse be taken by one of the wide eyed boys.

Tylur moves to help Damara off her horse, his eyes still moving back to the treeline outside the gates every few moments. He turns to Sarojyn, "My Lord, she's quite skilled with the bow. We lack in numbers. If she's willing, I would suggest we let her. We can place her on the second parapet, she's least likely to be injured there, My Lord."

The Banefort woman shared the masks of fear worn by many. When in the courtyard, the guard appointed to stay nearby aided the noblewoman's dismount, the hood of her cloak fell back. Ambryl, her maidservant was quickly drawing close to her lady's side. All three had turned their gaze towards the Lord of the Oak's voice, the guard bowing his head and making a gesture for Elinor to follow where her eyes linger upon Sarojyn longer than the moment would allow. "My lady," Ambryl urged, her voice heightened with worry and that sparked Elinor's hurried movement into the keep. "Mistress Elise and Thalia should be inside, when we are indoors see that they know I am here and safe."

Tiaryn's attention is caught by her brother and she nods her head. "Though I would like to be somewhere that I can shoot, if need be," she says, simply. She'll go hide, sure, but, really if she can help, that would be far better, far as she is concerned. She moves towards the keep, hoping that the reavers don't make it into the courtyard, wanting everyone to be safe, and yet wishing to help. She stops at the door, waiting for the Lady Banefort to enter, willing to follow her so that her brothers can at least know that she is safe, and yet - at the same time she very much wants to help defend her home.

Careful consideration is given to the requests made and Damara is the first to receive an answer as Sarojyn gives her a nod of his head, "Very well, Mistress Kells. See to the walls and work with my son to coordinate the men as needed." Then, it's to Tiaryn, to whom he's nodding as well, "Then lend your bow from the parapet of the Keep, Tia. You will be safe there." Eyes then play to Elinor and to her guard, including the two Camden's that are in tow with her, "See to the Lady Elinor and her servants. Take them to the third floor of the keep. We will seal each floor as we go." Finally, as an aside to Tylur, he's offering, "Ser Greymantle. Remain outside with the two guards at the gate and two others. If they breach the walls, you must -not- allow them into the keep."

Thanking Tylur, her frame tense with the incoming attack not so far off behind them. A pat to his shoulder and the woman is waiting for the decision. When it is given, she dips her head respectfully. "Yes, my lord." She is motioning to the stablehand. "Pull free my arrows from the saddle quiver and fetch me one for my back." She turns about than, catching her apprentice up short. "Free the falcons should they make it through the gates, no need they should remain, they will return in their time and we will greet them if we can. But now, go get my sword." She says softly, meant for him and he is off, racing as the stablehand is getting her quiver ready. She does catch the small exchange between Tylur and Sarojyn, though what is said exactly is not clear. But the mistress is soon moving to join Lord Mikah and Seryl in the defense of the walls.

With Sarojyn's reply, and the information that he will be within the keep as well, Tiaryn murmurs something softly under her breath. "Good luck to all of us," is what she murmurs, soft enough that perhaps nobody will hear it. In a louder voice, she says, "Take care, everyone, as we do our duty and what needs to be done." She simply enters the door to the keep proper, swiftly making her way up the stairs to the parapet, and taking up a position there. Her bow is strung and ready to go, as she adds a leather glove to her wardrobe with a bracer for easier shooting.

All around her, come movement from those scampering into the keep, clutching loved ones. Elinor and Ambryl are locked arm and arm, until they reach the doors and pass in through the safety the walls will grant them. She turns to Tia, hearing that the woman would wish to participate. With no time to make inquiries or dissuade her otherwise, "Lady Flint. Do be careful." Elinor says as she and her maidservant make for the stairs, gathering the others of her retinue in heading towards the third floor.

Tylur lingers just a moment as Sarojyn orders him to guard the keep. It's not fear, or even hesitance to do what he is charged. Rather, he is uncertain leaving his Lord's side is the wisest of move. If no one else survives, Saro must, and if he is not near him to ensure that… Then he nods, "Yes, My Lord." He turns, and quickly taps the two men who are most capable with blades to join him at the doors to the keep. He then moves to the two guards at the gate, and instructs them the moment they close the doors on Saro's orders, to join him and the other two men at the entrance to the keep. He moves quickly then to his post.

Before Sarojyn can say anything further or move into the keep himself, a teenager with a wound to one arm comes barrelling through the keep gates, calling out in a mixture of terrifed and excited tones, "We got one .. retreating now .. someone hurt .." The kid is almost breathless and although his voice is mixuture of terrified excitement, his eyes bare that haunted look of having seen someone die. The Lord's eyes snap in the direction of the teenager as a frown begins to crease upon his lips, "You have done well. Rest a moment and let someone look at your arm." Now, he's looking over towards the gate guards, his voice lifting, "Prepare yourselves. If they are on the retreat, they will be within sight of the walls soon enough." Now he's looking to the others that move about with Damara and Tylur each afforded a look and a nod of his head. His brother and son each receive a longer look and a nod before the Lord is turning to follow with his final two men-at-arms, into the keep and up the roof, where he can make use of his skill with a bow. Behind him, the keep doors close for the time being.

Damara is strapping the quiver around her back and than the belted sword about her waist. It's hardly a large thing, but it is something. Her gaze follows the back of the nobles and family that take to the keep and she hesitates a moment. But a shake of her head is given when there is a question offered. "No no, you go, take shelter where you can and have a bow ready to help those at the gate.." Her apprentice turns and goes. The Mistress is getting aid to climb the wall onto the walk. She is checking arrow supplies with all those and than giving a call for them to be readied for another round. She is moving to the edge to get a better look towards the main gates where Tylur waits on the inside.

As Sarojyn passes into the keep, Tylur gives him a nod, "We'll see you soon, My Lord," he says, with a confident smirk, before returning his gaze back to the treeline outside the gates. He notes the injured man, and draws his sword, stepping to the front of the group of guards at the keep doors, so he is first to engage, his fingers drum the hilt once as his adrenaline begins to surge.
Tylur has partially disconnected.

Tia pauses on her way up to offer a smile to Elinor. "From the parapet, not out in the courtyard," she says. "I will be fine." Because really, Tia will be somewhat safer than even Elinor, one level up, and all. With that, she's up to the parapet, scanning to the edge of the forest, looking for her brother and the men he's got with him, worried that they are out there, outnumbered, and in death's way. It's not a good feeling. As she has a few moments to prepare, she checks her bow again, and finds a spot that seems to be to her outof the way.

Elinor would see that her maidservants were all gathered and in her chambers, Ambryl the most scared of them all was already shaken in tears, "I am too young to die here!" Thalia, still recovering from her bedsickness slowly shuffled into the room and claimed the nearest chair. "Bestill yourself Ambryl, show some faith in the men of this keep." Thalia also snorts, "Their women taking arms." Elinor had closed the door behind them, moving to remove the Banefort cloak from her shoulders. The guards that followed her remained just outside her chambers. "The Oaks lack the numbers of an impressive army, the women chose to fight because they are needed." Elise comes close to Elinor, offering to take her cloak and says, "You may be one of them my lady, you know how to handle a bow." Elinor sighs, "In practice yes, my efforts to catch an Ironborn will simply waste good arrows. Perhaps one out of twenty at best." Elise smirked, "Now is the best time to learn my lady." Thalia shook her head, "we must remain here." Ambryl said, "What if they breech the keep? They will take me!" Elinor raised a hand to her forehead, rubbing against the headache her maidservants were causing.

Within the keep, Sarojyn had paused long enough to secure his bow and his quiver before he'd proceeded to the third floor. There, he had paused long enough to check on Elinor and her retinue, enough to see if they were settled and to inform them to advance to the parapet. Then, he left, moving to the rooft to join the others that were up there, either for it's viably as an archers stand or for the safety that it offers. Looking to the two Camden guards, he gives them each a nod of his head, "We have longbows and will be the first to fire, for our range is greater." Then, it's to Tia and the five archers that are joining them, "Remember your range is shorter. Don't misjudge and let your arrows fall short." He doesn't need to remind them, but he does anyways. As an arrow is drawn from his quiver and brought to nock upon the bow as he begins to move towards the western edge, eyes now scanning the horizon for the approaching armies.

Above the cries and murmerings that happen amongst those within the Courtyard and Keep, the distant chorus of Ironborn battlecries can be heard.

Standing atop the wall, Damara looks from those below ready to take on what comes through the gate to those ready to offer resistance before the Ironborn can get close enough. She watches the line and than as Dafydd and his men are seen falling back through the village, she lifts her voice. "Open the gates! OPEN THE GATES! We have men returning!" She cries loudly and motions down to Tylur. She waves her hand into the air, as if to signal those retreating that there is definitely note of their coming. She looks to the archers on the wall. "Nock your arrows. Be ready to cover them with fire, but make sure you do not strike any of them."

Tylur glances at the two men beside him, "Don't move from this spot." He moves to the gates, and steps outside, preparing to help defend any as Dafydd leads his remaining warriors back towards the gate.

And the Captain of the Guard is returning, more than half the men he'd gone out with gone, and those that return having gained injury. One has a leg wound that needs tending, though it's not in danger of killing the man, and others have cuts along their bodies— but nothing that would prevent them from fighting again. Dafydd himself enters with a wound to his stomach, but the damage to his armour is testament that most of the force was taken there, and he moves easily enough without real treatment. With the hew and cry of command to the gates, Dafydd and his remaining men come through the gate— there is no sign of the Ironborn in pursuit, so either they were lost, or they gave up chase for some other reason?

"Sarojyn!" Dafydd calls out, moving into the keep proper immediately upon return. "Saro!"

Tia watches as Saro arrives, and listens to his words with a solemn nod. New to all of this, really, it has been some time and who knew that such an attack might come? But now that it is upon them, she squares her shoulders, her bow at the ready, even if not a long bow. Though perhaps she might be better squirreling one of those out of Dafydd instead of a horse. Thoughts better left until after this day is survived. The cry from the wall below can be heard, and Tia moves to look instinctively, gaze looking down to see what is going on. "It must be Dafydd," she murmurs. And then as the youngest Camden brother is into the courtyard, she breathes a bit of a sigh of relief, temporary as it might be. "Close the gate now," she adds, though from where she is, they surely cannot hear her.

As the three, well, two of the Banefort maidservants are going back and forth one encouraging Elinor's participation as the other is arguing against it, citing proper protocal a noblewoman should adher to gravely. Poor Ambryl was at the far side of the chamber, away from the windows and hugging herself, unable to bring an end to her tears. Elinor stood, arms crossed, as she paced her quarters. Muted shouts from beyond her walls she could hear though what was being said could only be her guess. Thalia addressed the Banefort lady, "You have no place out there my lady, here you may offer your prayers and hope the Seven's blessing will reach these lands." Elise shook her head, "These lands are of the Old Gods, the Seven have no place here." Elinor, in her pacing, spied the quiver with a matched set of arrows with feathers the colors of House Banefort, standing near one of her trunks, the gift for Anais. While her maidservants continued to bicker back and forth Elinor, ignoring them, moved to retrieve the quiver. This caused a moment of silence from Elise and Thalia, the later spoke up, "Those are for your sister my lady." Elinor retorted, "The purpose they serve here is far greater than it's intended." The lady shoulders the quiver and makes for the door. "See that the door is locked behind me, I will return when I may." Both Thalia and Elise made their protests however Elinor was already leaving the chambers and heading for the parapet.

"Lord Dafydd, your brother is in the Keep!" She is calling down. Damara remains on her perch and once the men are in, she nods to Tylur. "Bar the gates, keep them closed…" She is keep her archers at ready, though the foe has yet to be seen entirely. The mistress exhales and lifts her bow, not drawing yet but definitely ready for the first sight.

Upon the parapet, those with bows have now taken their place and as activity draws his eyes near the courtyard, Sarojyn is looking dowards to see the entry of Dafydd and … six men. That draws a faint wince and a slight shake of his head before he's lifting his voice to carry down to those below, "SEAL THE GATES!" Pause. "SEAL THE GATES!". Now, his bow is brought to the ready, but not drawn back, though it's lowered as he hears something behind him. A turn of his head and he's all but blinking as Elinor comes to the parapet, "Lady Elinor .. you should be in your chambers."

Tylur is the last to reenter the gates, and nods as the two guards follow Sarojyn's orders and seal them closed. He moves to rejoin the other two guards at the keep doors, remaining at the front even as they are joined by the two gatekeepers. He looks at Dafydd, attentive, awaiting to hopefully overhear any report he might share. His parent's homestead lies between here and the shores, so he has unaired concerns he swallows down.

Dafydd gets the report of where his brother may be found, and before he takes to the stairs to rise and give his report, he gives instruction to those of his men that remain. Most of them have very little heart for the fight, though a couple of them still can find it within them to draw their bows for the defense of the keep. They are hunters, not warriors.. and deer do not come with a battle cry towards them, wielding sword and shield, wearing armour. And to see good men fall? Stuff of nightmares.. and something, they know, their Captain of the Guard will have to live with as well.

Giving up on the idea of taking the stairs, Dafydd finally shealths his sword, but keeps his bow strung. In a loud voice he calls up while wrapping a hand around his damaged armour and cut, something everyone can hear. "We lost 12 good men.. Four columns of Ironborn, totaling about 50 men. We killed one man, injured a few more.. but the hunters bows won't do enough damage, truly. If they take care to aim, perhaps.. but we must still use them. One column chased us and we fought twice; Now, they have given up pursuit of us.. if they are not here by now, they have fallen back for some reason unknown to me."

The keen-eyed will see it first: at the south western treeline, just out of bowshot, a dozen or so mailed warriors with painted shields emerge from the woods, and eye the keep. After a moment, one of them, with a shield emblazoned in distinctive green and black vairy approaches alone, armed only with a sheathed sword, his red-rimmed shield, and a short, bone-white branch topped by a white piece of cloth. The remainder of the Ironborn wait at the treeline. The warrior dressed head to tow in maile raised his voice to bellow as he steps into range of a good longbow shot, "Treelord!"

Lord Sarojyn and Mistress Thalia shared the same mind in that regard. Elinor stood on the parapet, removing the quiver of matched arrows. It was extended to Sarojyn, "I know my lord, I do not mean to…" She turns her head as a voice cuts through the air, addressing Sarojyn.

Tia blinks too, as Elinor makes it up. As Saro bellows though, she glances at her brother and a momentary smile crosses her face. Total non sequitur, but she might have to immortalize that look on her brother's face somehow. "Lady Elinor, are you too coming to assist?" She notes the woman has the arrows no doubt intended for her sister, and promptly takes a swift look around. The incoming aren't noted at all yet, not by Tia, nope. She does hear Dafydd though, and the sound of his voice at least is a relief. Thank the old gods that he has so far made it though. She turns back to Elinor, and may be the only one to say, "Stay if you wish, m'lady Elinor. It may well be that your shot is needed."

Even as Elinor is cut off and that word sounds through the air, Sarojyn's head is snapping back in the direction of the voice as he calls out, "HOLD!" Eyes then focus upon the warrior and it takes but a moment to place the green and black and then the markings upon the shield, "You bare a white flag, Lord Baelor Blacktyde, so I will give you a moment to explain yourself."

As the man steps forward, Damara along with those with longbows, draw back in ready. The creak of the wood sounds but she does not release. The call between the lords is heard and the mistress eases some of the tension, though the arrow seems ready to fly at any moment. "Steady…" She murmurs lowly to those closest to her. Let the men talk, but the arrows would change the deal should the tide turn.

The ironborn nobleman's steps pause as he is acknowledged. "You know me, Treelord," he observes not without a passing measure of surprise. "Then you will know that I do not lie: in one hour at most, my father the Lord Blacktyde will come before this keep strength. I come to bid you open your gates, and flee south with your smallfolk before that time! The massed might of Blacktyde isle comes against you, and you are without allies! without armies! If you stand and fight, the entirety of your line burn to ashes with you! Though you honor the heathan faith of the First Men, I wish to slaughter your warriors, not to massacre your feeble and your children. Flee, Treelord! Flee and save what will otherwise perish!"

Dafydd knows he's been heard even if not acknowledged, and now, before he takes to the parapet, catches the parlay, even if he couldn't see the initial approach. "Damara, stand down. Accuracy will go up if you give. Be vigilant for the order." Now, he takes a path up the stairs, his steps quick, taking them two by two as his minor injury will allow.

Tylur simply waits, listening. Perhaps, honestly, glad this is not his decision…

The words spoken by the Ironlord bring a strong confliction to Sarojyn's features but he doesn't let much time pass before he's calling out, "Bid me to open my gates?" The sound of forced laughter might reach the ears of the Lord of the Isles below. "If I were to do such a thing, Lord Blacktyde, there would be little left to stop your people from slaughtering mine. How could I trust that you would allow them to leave, unhindered and unharmed?" Fingers tighten upon the center of the bow while his other grips the already nocked arrow, though it remains pointed downward for the moment.

"I an my dozen men will not hinder you, Treelord. On the Warrior I swear it. I can give no oath for my Lord Father, nor those with him, who even now advance through your wood! I was commanded to take your hall; I need not do so over the burnt corpses of your women and children. Their lives are in your hands, Treelord!" With that, the ironborn begins to withdraw back to him knot of men.

Elinor looks to Tia, having been address though no words are able to pass through her lips after the Blacktyde's proclamation. Listening the exchange between lords, the lady shakes her head at their offer, "They're words must never be trusted." She said lowly.

Tiaryn is slow to catch sight of the ironborn man with the white flag, but once she does, she too can identify the heraldry, though Saro's identification of the fellow himself, that draws a glance over at him with a bit of surprise. Very nice, that. She nocks an arrow but does not yet draw, waiting on the discussion to finish one way or the other. "And they would have immediate access to this keep, making it far more difficult for anyone to root them out," she murmurs, not that Saro needs her help, but well, she might was well say it. Tall Oaks, built for the defense of its people, in the hands of the Ironborn - that is not a happy thought. And apparently she does actually listen to her brothers every so often. Not that she'll admit to it.

Easing with word from the Captain, the mistress listens to the exchange. She gazes to the people, those cowering inside the walls and those standing atop it. As Blacktyde takes his step back towards the others, the willing along the walls are shifting, speaking softly to each other. Damara turns her head, gazing up at the parapet. Flee of fight, it looks as though a few are speaking of leaving, or wanting to but the mistress turns her attention to those about her. "Hold…we hold." She says firmly and than looks back upward at the top of the keep.

"Brother.." Finally, Dafydd reaches the top. "We would not be able to make it through them. He doesn't carry the weight of his father— this is his word and no other. In that, he's truthful. But, if he cannot guarantee passage, there is no decision to be made. Even if we wish to send our people through, they may be slaughtered. So, here is our decision?" The Captain looks serious, his expression sober and understanding his brother's plight. "We are ready to fight. I saw fifty men. We can hold the keep against them.. if we are careful."

A choice. That is what the Ironlord comes to offer and it's a choice that draws consideration from a Lord that is committed to peace. The chance for his people to live. To flee southeast to Stonebridge. It's a tempeting thing and one that draws consideration. Eyes begin to look amongst those gathered in the courtyard below and when Dafydd and Elinor speak, he's looking to each so that he might offer them a nod. Then, as his eyes begin to lift back to the retreating figure of the Ironlord, Sarojyn is lifting his bow, his head tilting to the side to sight the arrow as it's drawn back. "May the Gods guide my arrow on this day." A breath is then taken, his aim steadied and when the arrow comes to be released with a soft *twang* of the string, he's calling out to the other five people with longbows, "Now!"

When the call for fire is given from the parapet, Damara turns back to the line she has, the longbows ready. A nod is given and the bow creaks as she pulls. Her breath releases slowly and than catches as she takes the time to aim down the shaft of the arrow. Setting her sights on the Blacktyde leader as well, she releases. The fletching catches her cheek in a whisper as the arrow flies. She whispers softly as she draws another arrow, nocking it and not hesitating as her bow has the reach needed to keep firing. "Hold your bows…ready when they move.." She states to her line who have hunters' bows.

Tiaryn listens and watches with everyone else, her bow at the ready, standing where she can see the Ironborn. She too spoke her mind, but as the others also put their own input in, she looks to each. Dafydd. Elinor. And Sarojyn. A silent prayer, the sure knowledge that this is not going to be an easy day, and Tia's usual calm cheer is supplanted by a grim determination. Given she has a clear shot, when Sarojyn lifts his bow, she too lifts hers, drawing and sighting. The moment or two of delay between his lifting the bow, firing and calling for the additional shots is enough that she has time to draw, sight and let her own arrow fly with a twang of string.

Dafydd doesn't have time to launch an arrow at Saro's command. Instead, he turns and makes his way back down the stairs rapidly to take a position downstairs on the ground. He and his brother are of the same mind, apparently, once again, and Tall Oaks could be better served with him commanding the contingent on the ground in tandem.

Elinor's eyes widened a touch as the command was issued, the archers with their longbows at the ready which certainly makes this not her place to be. The lady backsteps, off the floors of the parapet and into the stairwell nearby.

<COMBAT> Guard 01 attacks Baelor with Longbow - Serious wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Tiaryn attacks Baelor with Longbow and MISSES!
<COMBAT> Sarojyn attacks Baelor with Longbow - Light wound to Abdomen (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Damara attacks Baelor with Longbow - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Baelor passes.

The Ironlord half turns when he hears the shouted word 'Now' from the parapet, one arrow whistling clean past his head before a second pierces the maile and tranfixes his arm. Baelor Blacktyde screams in pain and anger, as arrows continue to strike into his hauberk, stumbling to one knee, before scrambling back to his feet, shield raised in a token effort to protect himself as he staggers toward the treeline.

Even as the other archers begin to fire, Sarojyn's hand is lowering down to pull another arrow from the quiver. This one is quickly nocked upon the bow and as he's lifting the bow upwards, he's already pulling the arrow back. Again his head tilts to the side, his eyes sighting down the shaft of the arrow as he adjusts for distance and wind. Then, without any further words, the Lord is once more letting loose with another arrow as he calls to those that are firing, "Again!"

Prickled with arrows, but not -quite- fallen, Damara's one target brings up his shield. Her gaze narrows and she draws back on her arrow. Fletching to cheek as she holds her breath. The mistress aims at the ironborn. "Leave these lands…" She mutters to him even if he can't hear. The hovels outside the keep's walls are given a look once the arrow is let loose towards the nobleborn man of the isles. She is not hesitating, drawing another arrow than. Her hand is shaking some, her targets have always been unmoving or animals. Not men. There is a vacant coldness though to her expression despite that.

Tiaryn managed the first shot, though she missed her target. A wasted arrow, that, no doubt, but she does give it another shot, gamely. Liliana would have put an arrow through the beast's eye, but Tia's skills have ever been elsewhere. She nocks her second arrow, draws the string and makes an adjustment since she missed last time. "Come on now, hit something good," she murmurs and lets fly.

<COMBAT> Guard 02 attacks Baelor with Longbow - ARMOR on Head stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Guard 01 attacks Baelor with Longbow - Moderate wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Tiaryn attacks Baelor with Longbow - Moderate wound to Left Hand (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Sarojyn attacks Baelor with Longbow - Moderate wound to Left Arm (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Damara attacks Baelor with Longbow - Critical wound to Chest.
<COMBAT> Baelor passes.
<COMBAT> Baelor has been KO'd!

The second volley of arrows from the keep land with deadlier effect on the reaver. The white branch with its white cloth affixed lies on the ground beside him as Baelor Blacktyde falls forward with a slowly spreading pool of blood seeping through his maile, and six arrows standing from his back. With outraged shouts, some among the dozen men who had watched duck behind their shields and hurry forward to drag their captain's body toward the treeline.

Lord Blacktyde will not be pleased.

Even as his second arrow is flying through the air, Sarojyn's hand is lowering to claim a third from the quiver and he's immediately nocking it and lifting the bow upwards in preperation for another shot. This shot is delayed, for as the second volley all strike home, he's taking but a moment to watch the Lord fall to the ground. It's only when a couple of the reavers move forward to claim the body that the Lord Camden is drawing back the arrow and with a brief sighting for max range, he's releasing it. It lands but a couple feet short, but it's accompanied by the call of, "Take the son to the father and tell your Lord to return to the Isles, otherwise his fate will be the same."

There is a cheer that goes up from those along the wall and Damara lowers her bow as the rest are out of reach. The mistress catches her breath, having forgotten she held it. At Sarojyn's words, the woman lowers a moment, grasping the side of the wall as her right hand still shakes. Each of her arrows had struck, the man most definitely dead now. Her gaze lingers, watching him dragged off, a dower expression despite the relief felt by those at post. She turns away and looks down to Tylur, leaning. "Water…they aren't coming just yet but we will need water up here for fires…and for drinking. Can you get people to start gathering it?" She asks of the knight.

Dafydd watches and exhales, turning his back on the walls and leaning heavily against them for a moment. He runs a hand through short hair and glances up at the parapet where his brother stands now. "Damara. Ravens?" He looks to his side, and up as she's on the walls. "We need to get messages out." Beat. "To warn the others."

From the stairwell Elinor had been silently invoking her prayers, broken by the cheers heard from the parapet and beyond which draws her gaze upwards. She steps out into the landing, turning her gaze over to see that the men were retreating into the trees. She looks to Dafydd, quite neutral in her facial expressions before looking to the others. "I will gather my maidens and we shall see to the wounded."

Tylur makes his way to Dafydd. "Do we have some kind of plan, My Lord?" He shakes his head, "How bad were things in the woods?"

The bow is lowered down and Sarojyn is turning from the parapet's edge at the moment, his eyes shifting to Elinor so that he can give a slight nod of his head, "Not so many wounded right now, Lady Elinor. Those few who returned will have been treated. But, your maidens skill will be needed soon enough, I'm afraid, my lady." Now, the bow comes to be handed off to a guard as he begins to move across the roof and towards the stairs, "We will not get much time to rest before they regroup. We should see to those below, while we still can."

Dafydd continues to lean, his gaze looking inward at the keep, and into the middle distance. Did he miss anything? What did he see that he didn't notice that would be of any help? Raising his gaze again towards the parapet, he sighs and pushes himself off of the wall. "You heard what I saw, Ser. Fifty men, four columns. That lord was not the one that I engaged in battle, so that is a different group. If that is all there is, then we can hold off easily, and be victorious. If there is more, we are in some danger. I'd like to see the ravens fly for news elsewhere, and to give warning. But, pay heed to the Mistress. Water."

"Ravens, my lord…" Damara is getting a hand down from the wall, and looking him over. "You need to be addressed, I will send for the Maester to ready his notes. The falcons will do not good with this." She admits and than reaches out to him. "Tell us what to do, you have to be seen to or you willb e no good." She tells him, her gaze flickering to Tylur before she stops a passing servant. "Get to the Maester, make sure the Lord Sarojyn words the warnings to be sent to our people."

Dafydd continues to lean, his gaze looking inward at the keep, and into the middle distance. Did he miss anything? What did he see that he didn't notice that would be of any help? Raising his gaze again towards the parapet, he sighs and pushes himself off of the wall. "You heard what I saw, Ser. Fifty men, four columns. That lord was not the one that I engaged in battle, so that is a different group. If that is all there is, then we can hold off easily, and be victorious. If there is more, we are in some danger. I'd like to see the ravens fly for news elsewhere, and to give warning. But, pay heed to the Mistress. Water." He shakes his head towards the mistress now, "We need shifts on the wall. We will not have everyone up at all times. Begin shifts.. Eight hours on, eight off.. and sleep."

Tylur nods at the water instructions, but then asks Dafydd another question anyway. "My parents' homestead is a short ride through the woods. They haven't shown here. Were you far enough out to have seen their place, My Lord?" he asks, a little worry finally showing on his face, perhaps explaining his ignoring of the water request for the moment.

Elinor holds both hands before her, overlapping one another as she made for the stairs, heading for her chambers to deliver what new information she may to her maidservants. When arriving, they all wore their fears upon the faces as she explained what just happened. "Mistresses…" Elinor starts her address. "Please gather all my threads and the excess fabrics I had brought me as well as my needles. Prepare all of those you have brought with you. Burn everything with the Banefort crest or colors upon it. All of it." Even the new cloak gifted to her baring the colors of Camden and Banefort.

Giving Tylur a sympathetic look, Damara doesn't say anything, but nods to Dafydd. "I will see the word gets passed along the wall and to your brother and nephew to see that they are set to watch." The mistress steps back and away from the two before turning, moving to spread the decision for a watch with the noble lords on the wall. The courtyard is now a flurry of movement, men slowly being charged tasks, water, shifts, food, everything that can be done is being done. Arrows are being brought and torches are being lit and put in braziers now for the fire arrows.

Tylur's question comes to Dafydd's ears and he looks to the young man. "If they're not here, Tylur," he forgoes the title for the moment, "Then it means that they didn't want to leave.. for whatever reason." Now, he begins his walk into the keep proper once again to take a seat within the Great Hall.. and consider their position…. quietly.

Tylur remains standing there as his Captain moves on. A great weight slowly presses on his shoulders, and he blinks, forcing a very hard swallow. His brow furrows very slightly, and he looks upward towards where Sarojyn was. Another swallow, and he turns to go fetch water in silence.

** The scene fades there and 45 minutes later, the Lord Blacktyde arrivs with 49 Ironborn reavers, only to be re-inforced by an additional 30 some few hours later **