|Summary:||A simple day in Tall Oaks. The Lord and his Falconer enjoy company.|
|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.|
|Mon August 1, 288|
The hot summer day is lessend so by the tall trees that shade the area of Tall Oaks. The cool air flows in from the shade of the wood, but a bead of sweat still trails down Damara's face as she stands with the tethered bal on a woven string. The boy, her apprentice stands back away from the roosts as a falcon rests on the long log perch. Eyeing the bird of prey, she lifts the string and slings the ball into the area in a slow moving circle. Arms pull in to keep the path of its circular movement tight, heaving throught he air. Feet spread wider and the falconer whistles three times. The falcon parts it's beak and puffs up, lifting off as it moves in the formation, not at the same speed, but circles as commanded around its trainer.
Whistling again, Damara slows the swing of the ball till it skids and rolls across the ground. The falcon caws out and dips down, wings spreading as it then dives to snatch up the 'prey' without breaking its path. It swerves up and Damara begins to let out slack.
The entry way to the foyer of the Great Hall opens, allowing Sarojyn to make his way out and into the Courtyard. He's clad in his typical leather jerkin and on this particular day, he's got his bow strung across his back, along with a quiver of arrows. Making his way further out and into the yard, it's that whistle that draws his attention, a sound that he's all too familiar with and it only takes his eyes a moment to locate Damara and the apprentice that is with her. A smile touches upon his lips and after a moment of simply watching, he begins to make his way over in their direction, though he says nothing for the time being.
Damara gives one more sharp whistle with just the press of her lips together, her green eyes concentrating on her task, she does not see Sarojyn. Brows furrow as she lifts her gloved hand, waiting for the falcon to bring back the prey to her. As it lands, her strong, worn arm gives little, only to help cushion the land. Smiling some, she nods and removes the ball from the talons before reaching into her side pouch for a bit of meat. She holds it for the beard to catch, her hand showing a lineage of scars from the times the falcon caught her skin.
She smiles as the boy steps forward, can't be more than twelve. He stares. "How come he doesn't get the ball when I skid it?" Damara nods with a smile, "Well you must keep it moving, you must give it something to chase…it is a hunter..like us. It must be living to draw attention." She instructs. "Remember, command comes in confidence and that will come in time."
"Not only will it come with time, but it will also come with practice. Something to which we must remember well," offers Sarojyn as he finally begins to draw closer to the pair, hearing the tail end of their conversation. The smile remains upon his lips and when he looks to Damara, he's offering her a nod of his head, "Such a wonderful day for training, is it not?" Then, he's looking to the boy, that smile remaining as he motions towards his teacher, "Heed her lessons well, young man, for there is much that you can learn from her."
"My Lord." Damara intones as she hears him speak. Her head dips and the falcon shifts on her glove, the bell sounding from its leg. The young apprentice turns and dips a bow, skillfully executed. He rises and nods his head, "Yes m'Lord…Mistress Damara is a good teacher." He says and then moves to do as he is bid, taking up the ball and string to practice as Damara nestles her knuckle to the chest of the falcon and pet him. He preens and plucks at his feathers before puffing and tilting his head at the lord with a blink of his eye. "What is his lordship about today?" The falconer asks of him, turning her green eyes upon Sarojyn.
Sarojyn can't help return the offered bow from the boy with a slight one of his head, the smile warming just a little more as he offers, "Yes, she is." Then, as he moves to take up the ball and string in an effort to practice, the Lord of Tall Oaks is shifting his attention back to Damara as a hand motions in the direction of the stables, "I was thinking of making my way to the practice fields for an hour or so. It's been some time since I've had the opportunity to simply relax in such a fashion. After that?" His shoulders lift to a slight shrug, "I think perhaps it might be time to reach out to the neighbouring Houses. It's been far too long since we've met with them over matters of the land."
"Ahhh so you are getting out in the sun." It is a light jest but the mistress quirks only a faint smile. Damara then hesitates, "If my Lord pleases, I could join him. I need to restore Gein to his cage so that the boy can train without worry." She starts to turn to do just that, her long braid swaying down her back in the simple vest and blouse with pants. Boots kick up dust as she walks and she gazes over her shoulder, waiting for his leave.
Sarojyn's own lips quirk to a slight grin as he gives an incline of his head to her, "I suppose one could say that." Then, at her hesitation, he's lifting a hand to give a way, an action that's followed by a soft chuckle, "You know that you are always welcome, Damara, and that you needn't worry about asking. Go, put the bird in his cage and then we will see how your skill with a bow is coming along." Those words are offered with a hint of humor, a jest of sorts for he knows she's skilled with a bow. When she begins to make her way to the roost, he's moving towards the stables, though his pace his unhurried.
"As my Lord wishes.." But it is something always happens, she always asks. Damara turns, carrying Gein back to the cage. With a loft of her hand inside, she prompts the bird from her hand to sit atop the perch. Drawing her arm out, she closes the cage up and turns to her apprentice and hooks the glove in her belt. "Now work on that, when I come back, we shall try again." The boy pauses in his work, "Yes, Mistress."
Turning to angle her way towards the outter stables and that door to lead them out to the side of the practice fields. She pauses and grasps for her bow, sliding it over her shoulders already strung. Arrows are lifted in their quiver and she picks up her pace a moment, dipping her hand to her belt to pull on her leather thong to her fingers.
It's to be an endless 'game' that's to played between them. She asks and he tells her not to. But, it's become something of an expected pleasure, that little banter, and it draws the smile back to his lips. Once the bird has been deposited and she's claimed her bow and quivers, his pace quickens as well, so as to move through the stables and into the fields beyond, where he's pulling the bow from his shoulders. "I think it almost time for a hunt, Damara. Your bird against my bow. We shall see who can gather the most game to fill our tables."
The game will ever be something that gives comfort to Damara and as he throws a challange to her, she keeps pace with him, slightly behind. "I think your bow will feel the sad sound of defeat when Gien returns with a sizeable feast." Her green eyes flash but her smile is as reserved as it always is. They crest the stable doors into the sunlight again and she blinks, sight adjusting. Her step carries her to his side and he straps her quiver around her waist, letting it rest there as she hmmms and liftsher hands to draw the bow free from her shoulder.
A warm laugh sounds from Sarojyn's lips as he dips his head towards her, "We shall see then, Damara, but no matter who wins, it shall always be good fun." As he steps out into the sunlight, his own eyes blink slightly as he takes a moment to adjust. Then, the bow is simply drawn from his body, his quiver strapped to his back, rather then his waist, "When the day is done and it is time to eat, join us. I'm sure Alyse would enjoy your company." Drawing the string back on the bow, he tests the tension to ensure that it will not snap and when he's satisified, one hand lifts over his shoulder to claim an arrow from the quiver.
Damara sets one end of her bow to the edge of her foot to test it, make sure the string is in place and not going to rebound. She looks up at his offer for a moment and smiles faintly, "My Lord, you honor me." She doesn't say whether or not she will take his offer but the mention of Alyse is noted. Her hand draws up the bow and tests it with a pull back. "The Lady must be doing well, I heard she was growing in her skills. The Maester says her calligraphy is beautiful." It is an idle topic with no commitment and she gives a toss of her braid back over her shoulder as she rises and steps to the mark of the shooting line, drawing an arrow.
Sarojyn moves to the shooting line as well, his arrow coming to notch into the string as the bow is lifted upwards. As the shaft of the arrow come to rest along his hand, he's sighting down the length of it as he offers, "She is taking to her teachings quite well, to which I'm quite happy for. I must admit that I was not sure what would happen when she lost her mother and then her grandmother. But .. she has proven strong, and for that I am grateful." There's a flit of his eyes to the side so as to catch Damara in the corner of his gaze, "Take your shot, Damara, and let us see how well your own practicing as come along."
"I am glad to hear it, my Lord, she has your spirit for such matters." Damara comments and then nocks her arrow. She draws back slowly, string creaking as she sights down it, cheek pressed to the fletching. She makes no note and as he bids her, she holds her breath and releaes. The twang sounds and the arrow released, flies forth. It is true and straight and slams dead center into the target as she smiles and steps back. Green eyes flit up to Sarojyn. "On you, my Lord."
"She'll make a good wife to someone, someday. For that, I take comfort." Then, Sarojyn is falling silent as she begins to prepare her shot and when that arrow is released, he's following it's path to the target and when it strikes dead center, there's a slight nod of his head, "Well .. I can see that you have been practicing. Nicely done." Then, he's going quiet. The arrow is drawn back, his breathing shallowed and as it's held, he's releasing his grip on the arrow, sending it forward. It's flies true and strikes the center circle, but it's off to one side and not quite dead center.
"My Lord is as good as ever.." Damara comment with a faint smile and then reaches down for one of the arrows she had stuck into the ground. Drawing it up, she nocks it and spreads her footing a bit, rocking a moment as she draws the string across her chest. "She will, my Lord. A rather lovely daughter. Have you given thought as to who to wed her to? The time is coming, she is not young anymore." She reminds him and lets out a breath to steady her hand before releasing, her own arrow skidding in along his and between them both. It hits and sticks and she lowers the bow.
Having already drawn another arrow and notched it on his bow, Sarojyn gives only a moment's pause and when her arrow is released, so it his. This time, it strikes the true center of the target, slidding in along the side of the first shot she had taken and the sudden grouping of the arrows draws that smile back to his lips. Then, the bow is lowered and he's turning his head towards her, "It would seem that your time with the birds hasn't dulled your skill with a bow, Damara." There's the hint of a grin with those words, "But back to Alysa .. I do not think I will pick an intended for her. In the end, the choice will be hers and any House should be proud to have her."
Pausing after their timed shots, she looks over at him a moment. Facing him from the way they stand, his back to her, Damara changes hands to try to work the release with her left. Taking up another arrow, she hmms, "I do not think that is a wise thing, my Lord." In regards to Alysa picking for herself. She draws back with a creak of the string in complaint. A breath released, she aims and lets go, the fletching brushing her cheek as she then lowers her arms, back to him with the slow uncoil of her muscles. "I think she needs her father's guidance. I will not speak against our way of life here..but the other Houses are not as we are. I worry that your daughter will make an ill informed choice."
Drawing another from the quiver as she speaks, Sarojyn is notching it, drawing it back and then immediately letting fly. Unfortunately, it goes a touch off it's intended back and misses the middle ring, striking the second one instead. A frown slips upon his lips and he gives his head a slight shake before looking over his shoudler in her direction, "She will always have my counsel, Damara, but should I chose an intended for her, it will be a political move. We have a long standing run of avoiding political marriages and when marriages are arranged, they are typically from lesser houses so to not position ourselves in such a position. It's for this reason that I have not sought to re-marry." The end of his bow is lowered down to rest on the tip of his boot for a moment. "Seryl, though, is another matter. To ensure Camden remains as it is, I must find an intended from a House that shares our desire."
It seems the talk is eating at both of them. She lets out a sigh inaudible as it is as she continues to test her left hand. Another arrow drawn up, that telltale creak of the bow as she takes the moment to aim. The whoosh of the arrow releases and the loose fletching of her arrow cuts her cheek a soft sratch reddening some but Damara does not note it other then to rub it faintly. "My Lord…there is no House that is not invovled in some way. I think we are rare in how we preceive things. I still advise that it would be best to speak with your daughter about choice she can make. To be close to home would be safest so perhaps Greywatch.." She hazards. "Those south of us are in some sort of power battle and it would be unwise to gather ourselves into that." She is lifting another arrow but does not nock it before she looks to him. "The Lord…yourself sir, should remarry. To have more heirs is best, the future is unknown and Seven keep the Young Lord safe, but we all must prepare." She has no children either, has not remarried and she is teaching another not of her blood to take her family's charge.
Watching as her arrow doesn't fly as true as the last, Sarojyn can't help but offer the softest of chuckles, "It would seem that we are both dancing around the target, Damara." He then listens before offering her another nod of his head, "Oh, I will speak with her on her choice and perhaps offer suggestions, but she can choose still. Even if I were to choose, she could always refuse, though I do not think she ever would." The mention of him remarrying draws a soft laugh as he lifts his bow back up while his other hand claims an arrow from the quiver. "And to whom would you suggest that I marry, Damara? As you have said, those to the south of us are in a power struggle and it would be unwise to venture to there for a wife." Notching the arrow once more, he sights down the shaft and as his breath comes to cease, the arrow is released and sent biting into the center circle of the target once more.
Distracted by something or perhaps it is her left hand, her next shot is not as true again, almost failing to stick. Damara lets out a breath and narrows her eyes. "My Lord…if I were to be the one to suggest, one of the various Frey's would be best of a lesser son. It does not tie you so tightly and she might yet be in favor of your home." It is just an advisement. She draws another arrow up and doesn't draw juts waits before sending a look out over her shoulder. "My Lord…many a Lord remarries..if we are to continue, we must adapt and bend in some ways. Besides, for his Lordship to be unattended is shameful. It is a show of …weakness. Though we do not get involved in conflict, to show weakness invites it. We must be stable and strong, to test the storms that grow around us."
Another arrow is claimed and as it's notched, Sarojyn merely waits as he listens to her speak. It would seem something that is said strikes a chord with him, for when that arrow is pulled back and then released, it's flying entirely off course and striking only the outer most ring. That draws a slightly shocked expression from the Lord and he simply looks at the target for a moment longer before turning his attention over towards Damara, "You are wise behind your station, my friend." The bow is lowered and the tip settled back on his foot, "I will consider a Frey for my daughter and see what arrangements can be made." The smile then returns, his head dipping towards her now as he continues with, "Those who would think us weak would be mistaken. But, perhaps you are right. Perhaps I should look at remarrying. But then the question becomes .. which House should I approach with such a proposal?"
As his arrow goes wide, Damara turns her gaze over at him a moment, curiously peering before she is drawing another arrow to nock. "I do not claim to know much of anything regarding the lives of nobility, but I know how animals attack. They go for the weakest and my Lord has no alliances for his children and no wife in his bed. That is a cold and silent den…waiting to be sought out." The creak happens, she draws back and she narrows her gaze, aiming with a hold of her breath. She releases and it again catches, her cheek dripping blood before she brushes it. "I need to teach him to fletch better.." She murmurs and looks over the next arrow to make sure that the feather bindings are secure. "For you, my Lord. I would leave that only to you. It would do no good for me to choose you a wife."
"You know more about your ways that you think, Damara. You've spent much time with me over the past years." The smile remains upon his lips and as his words trail off, he's lifting a hand to claim an arrow from the quiver, though it's not immediately notched. "Cold and silent .. that is an interesting way to refer to things, I must admit." The arrow in hand is lifted and then given a slightly wave, "Come now. I did not ask you to choose for me, my friend, I merely asked for your opinion on such matters. Surely you would not deny me your insight on things?" It's then that he's shifting and notching the arrow, a faint smirk dancing upon his lips as he steadies his hand and breath before releasing the arrow. "Is the fletcher failing in his duties or are you having another tend to such a thing?"
At her words being repeated, Damara regrets them instantly. "My Lord, forgive me….it is not cold and silent in your hall…but you are lonely." She merely states and then she turns back, nocking her arrow after running her fingers over the fletching. She aims before drawing and then says, "If you want my opinion, I would recommend you speak to Lord Hoster Tully and find out what he knows of current passings in the Houses. He is the best one to seek and with him as your liege-lord would be obliged to aid you." The woman shifts, drawing back with a creak of her bow string. Lonely. Her green eye narrows and she sights down it to finally releases.
Once her arrow is released, Sarojyn simply claims another one from his quiver, one of the few remaining. Then, the arrow is notched against the string and as it's drawn back, he allows only the hints of a smile to cross his lips before it's released. This one flies truer then the last few, striking home in the center ring, though off to one side. "Do not apologize, Damara. I have come to value your thoughts and advice and appreciate that you speak them freely when asked." Shrugging the quiver from his back, he's moving to rest it on the ground as he turns to face her. "You speak of loneliness in my hall, but what of your own? You live alone and have not sought out or made roads to remarry."
"I give my words because you ask the of me, My Lord. My family has ever been in your service and so will I." She pledges as she draws back her arrow. Damara sights down it and tries to follow the path of his last. She tilts her head and then releases, the smooth flight nearly hitting center, but not close enough. She lowers her bow slowly and falls to silence. But she lofts a smile, "Ahh my Lord.." She looks over her shoulder. "I am not a man…to remarry? Folly for a woman. Besides, I have my duty to House Camden. I am married to that and it sees me well. I have an apprentice who is devoted to me and that is all I ask. I have a kindly Lord who lets me speak. It is a rare thing to have such blessings, so I never ask the Seven for more than what I am already given."
With a roll of his shoulders, Sarojyn bends to claim the second last arrow from the quiver that now rests on the ground. When he stands and the arrow is once more notched, he's listening to the words that she speaks. Something there strikes a chord within him and it takes him a moment longer to steady his breath and as it's held, the arrow is released. Again, this one wavers in it's flight, striking only the second ring in and leaving the Lord shaking his head just a touch. "Your family has served my House for many generations, Damara, and I would hope that they continue to serve it for many more." Now, he turns from the line so as to face her more fully, "Should I lose you, what then will I do? There will be no young one to continue the tradition to which you've been born into."
Drawing up her bow, the creak of it sounds as she aims again. But as the Lord addresses losing her, she releases with a sharp breath and the arrow goes off rather far to the side. Still in the circle, she sighs and lowers her bow. "My Lord worries over nothing. I will not be lost and my apprentice is learning swiftly. He will take on my mantle when the time comes and House Camden will always have a falconer…besides. Even to have a child now….it would not be soon enough, I will look for another apprentice to add to the one I have if that would give my Lord relief." She offers. Her arrows exhausted besides one, she doesn't look at him with that.
"It is my job to worry over things, Damara. But I don't speak of losing a Falconer. I speak of losing a family that has been like friends with mine for many generations." Bending once more, the last arrow is claimed from his quiver and as Saro begins to lift back up, his eyes shift down to look upon the targets. "I have complete faith in your ability to ensure that Tall Oaks always has a Falconer. It just saddens me to know that after you, there will not be another of your family to continue the tradition." Standing at the line, the last of the arrows is notched in place and with only a moment given to steadying himself, it's released, only to strike true and center with the other two arrows.
fShe does not take up another arrow, rather listens and stands with her bow gripping in hand. Damara manages a faint smirk. "There is a beginning and end to everything, mourn it as you will, my Lord. But I do not have the need for heirs like you. You can not teach nobles, they are born. But I can give you a Falconer, but not of my blood. For that I am sorry." Sorry for more than just that reason. The Mistress takes up her last arrow and nocks it, keeping silent now as sore topics had been brushed upon. She releases and steps back, her gaze lingering on the target. "Are you arrow's spent, my Lord?"
Once more, the bow comes to be lowered, the tip planted against the top of Sarojyn's foot as he gives a nod of his head, "Then I shall need to settle for knowing that your skill has been passed on and will be passed on, for generations to come." Eyes follow her movements as her last arrow is claimed and when it's released, he's giving her a quick nod of his head, "I am afraid they are, Damara." Bending a touch, the quiver is claimed and moved to be slung over one shoulder. "You did well today," is offered once he's situated and it would seem the sorer topics are now left to the breeze.
Lifting her bow, she slides it over her shoulders across her chest, the string down her back. Damara looks to him. "That is all I can offer my Lord." She dips her head in reference to her apprentices. "Thank, my Lord…let us retrieve what we can." She intones and starts forward. Her thoughts are elsewhere but she responds to him. Sore topics may be lost for him, but they linger like the faded memories they represent. The falconer reaches the targets and begins to pull out the arrows, gritting her teeth a she tugs at them with a centered sort of concentration. Emotion underlying the tugging of them out.
That dip of her head is returned by Sarojyn and when she moves towards the targets, he's simply watching her for a moment. Then, there is a faint shake of his head and he's moving to follow, making his way towards the target and then moving to start tugging at the arrows that rest in the outer rings. He lets the silence linger for a moment before he's stealing a glance in her direction, "I'm sorry that our conversation strayed to such topics, Damara. I did not wish to dredge up memories that have been laid to rest."
Damara does not look from her task at hand, she answers him, "There is always something that will remind one of the loss of loved ones, my Lord. It can not be avoided so your apology is not accepted - it is no needed." She struggles with one bury deep. She looks over at him and shakes her head, "My Lord should always feel free to speak as he wishes, the days of mourning are over. Just faded memories." She dips puts her hand to the arrow and twists it, digging it out with a tug that allows her to slide it back into her quiver.
"But it is offered none the same, Damara, and while it is a Lord's right to speak as it wishes, a wise one would do well to remember the feelings of those around them." The arrow he works on is given a twist and when it finally slides free, he's slipping it into his quiver. Then, Saro's hands move to another. "And while the days of mourning are over, memories of loss still bite deeply." Of that, he can speak first hand. Thankfully, this arrow slides free easier then the rest and it's quickly slid into the quiver, "When the arrows have been claimed and returned to the fletcher, would you care to join me for a drink?"
Wise indeed and Damara gives him an appreciative smile. SHe says nothing but finishes with her arrows finally and his last question makes her tilt her head. "My Lord, I do enjoy your company, but I do need to tend to my apprentice. Your offer is welcomed but I should decline if you are to have two falconers anytime soon." She muses and then takes a step to the side, still looking at him down the length of her shoulder. Her head dips.
Another arrow is plucked from the target and promptly deposited into the quiver as Sarojyn offers her another nod of his head, "I suppose I can not fault your words when you offer them in such a fashion." Then, another arrow is freed, though this one draws his attention for a moment before he's placing it into the quiver. "I shall leave you to your apprentice, then, and bid you good speed in his training."
Lingering, Damara looks to the Lord as he speaks and then when he relents she dips her head. "My Lord…I will do only my best." She pledges and then turns, taking her leave of the training field. Long strides draw her back towards the courtyard and her charge, arrows rattling in her quiver.