|What the Gods Think|
|Summary:||Bruce, Jarod, Kell and Senna consider the question but don't come to any firm answers in the wake of the taking of the Street of Ropemakers.|
|Related Logs:||Street to Street|
|Low District — Seagard|
|The lower class residential district of Seagard, just inside the city walls, with all the worst smells of the fishmonger's trade and the tanneries mingling together. The roads are paved with cobblestones, but the avenues which wind between buildings are of packed dirt, reek in the heat and turn to muddy morass in the rain. With little of worth, and only enduring occupation for a scant few hours, this quarter of the port city is largely intact.|
|Thu Jan 26, 289|
"I think it has to do with the axe that got swung in it last night." Observes Bruce wryly from his bed, his eyes still close and his breathing deep and steady.
Having fought with the Nayland men when they advanced to the Market Square to root out the Ironborn in the buildings, Kell feels a little more comfortable venturing back to the Nayland lines. Either he is here to look in on Ser Bruce who took a vicious wound during the battle, or perhaps Senna for more of her healing touch. The Hedge Knight's hand is bandaged, though probably not professionally, just clean cloth wrapped around the hand tightly.
Jarod emerges from the section of the low district where the Terrick men are bunking. He's not bandaged. At worst he looks like he's sporting the remnants of a monster hang-over. He heads toward the Nayland area as well, perhaps also to pay a call on Bruce since he's on the same trajectory as Kell.
"Do you? We might make a healer of you yet, Ser Bruce," Senna murmurs with absent humor, taking a closer look at the wound. She's on a stool next to Bruce's bed, her supplies neatly arrayed around her as she sees to the knight's wound. Ever gentle, she washes away what remains of the last healer's poultice.
"I know a thing or two about treating wounds, in the field." Ser Bruce says, his tone a bit defensive. "We all learned. Lord Hoster insisted." Still, the Nayland man grits his teeth at the feeling of his wound being washed out. "I've never had one like this. Big scar?"
Kell's steps slow as he spots Jarod also arriving in the Nayland territory, recognizing the knight. "Ser Rivers." He greets the other man with a respectful nod of his head before looking back to the camp as if trying to see where Ser Bruce may be situated or to see if he could catch a glance of Senna milling around the camp.
"Ser Kell. How's the head?" Jarod asks the hedge knight with a quick grin, albeit one that doesn't quite reach his green eyes. "Here to see Ser Longbough? It's this way, one of the pikes told me." He gestures with a thumb, and heads in that direction. "Hope he's still kicking. Seemed like he'd pull together yesterday, even hit bad as he was."
"Mmm, probably a very impressive one," Senna agrees with Bruce's assessment. "I hate axes. Vicious things. And you get the weight behind them crushing things as much as cutting them. I can stitch up the wound easily enough," she adds, matter-of-fact. "But you're going to need to be very careful if you want to keep full range of motion in your shoulder here."
Bruce is in the biggest, sturdiest building, functioning as the 'hospital' and headquarters of the new Nayland area of the line. Like the others in this sector, the Naylands have pushed up a few blocks past the fated Street of Ropemakers and occupied a new compound. "It's my job. I have to. If I need to be careful, I will. Maester Vyman said the same thing. Axes and morning stars were the ones he hated. I guess the marrow didn't break?" Finally, his sleepy blue eyes open.
Smirking, Kell shakes his head before glancing down at his hand, "Head feels a lot better than my hand, that's for sure. After all this is over though, will need a lot of ale though, enough to perhaps cause my head to split." As Jarod reveals that he knows where Bruce is resting, the Hedge Knight nods to the other knight and looks ready to follow, "Lead on then, Sir Rivers. I hope the same, I've seen men die from less. And despite what I had said during the heat of battle, that Ironborn Noble did deserve his last wish." The last it is spoken with a quieter voice, not wanting it to be heard beyond Jarod.
"I guess, if they're sworn real true to that Drowned God of theirs, they have an Ironborn priest hold them down into the water, until they lose their breath," Jarod says as he leads Kell along toward the big, sturdy building. In he goes. "Then, when they're close to drowned, are taken out and have it breathed back into them again. So they figure they've been near offed, once. And what is dead, cannot die. Except when it finally does." He finds the spot where Bruce is bedded eventually, though he knocks on the wall before barging in.
"You're still alive, so that seems unlikely," Senna answers Bruce, finishing cleaning off the last poultice and leaning down to take a closer look. "But I don't think there's anything to be gained from a closer inspection of the bone. A whole lot of pain and not much in the way of certainty, with a high chance of further damage." She glances up at the knock, arching a brow down at Bruce before calling back softly. "Come in, if you don't mind a bit of gore."
Bruce winces at the idea of his wound being called gore. Normally, that's reserved for other people. "This is the worst I've ever taken." He repeats. "Been jabbed with spears, cut with swords… but not like this. Do what's best." His eyes dart over to the knock. From where his head is, the eyes can't fully reach it, and he seems unwilling to move while Senna's working on him.
The explanation of Ironborn rituals has Kell smirking again with an added snort as he steps into the large building after Jarod. "They die easily enough, though some are tougher than others. But they can easily be ridden down by our cavalry and has been on the field of battle before." However, bringing up the subject of mounted cavalry has the Hedge Knight wincing as he remembers Horse. Kell does remain quiet as they approach where Bruce is, waiting to be admitted in case the man is sleeping and resting. As Senna allows their entrance, the Hedge Knight chuckles, "If we mind gore, we're in the wrong business, Miss Senna."
"I've seen more of it than I care to these last days, Mistress, but at least I'm growing accustomed," is Jarod's reply to Senna as he steps in. "Ser Bruce. Still alive?" The question is asked with a boyish grin that's at odds with his stubble-y jaw and still-somber eyes.
"It may be the worst you've ever had, Ser Bruce, but I've seen worse," Senna assures the knight with a small smile, resting her free hand on his uninjured shoulder in a reassuring touch. "All of your limbs are still attached, aren't they?" There's a brief smile for Jarod and Kell both. "Sers," she greets, before she lowers her eyes to Bruce's wound once more, using a pair of thin metal probes to get a closer look.
"Aye, they are. Thank the Gods on both counts, Senna." Bruce even begins to gain back some of his normal joviality upon sighting the two knights entering in. Or, at least, he forgets his pain for a few moments. He grins. "Heya, boys. You lads did it." Despite all, he seems very, very tired.
Raising a hand to give both Bruce and Senna a motionless wave, Kell is use to using his right so the bandaged hand is revealed. However, it doesn't seem to be bothering him as his eyes look towards the former, eyeing the wound. "We did what we had to, though watching you take that blow was a bit scary." The Hedge Knight then glances at Senna as she goes to work on the wound, "Will he recover, Miss? The Ironborn will certainly miss him if he is stuck in bed."
"I'm figuring on making some effort to organize an inventory of the gear we picked off the fallen Ironborn from the Street of Ropemakers," Jarod says to Bruce. "Figure it can be spares for the army's weapons. Might be able to melt down what metal's not worth much for repairs, or the making of horse shoes or arrow heads and such. I can get you a proper ledger, soon as I've got it sorted." He looks to Senna at Kell's question, waiting on an answer to that.
Senna smiles faintly, not looking up from the wound as she shakes her head. "I'll do my best to see that he lives, boys," she assures the knights. "Honestly, if he didn't bleed out when it happened and it doesn't go bad, then there's no reason he won't live. I'm more concerned about strength and mobility in the arm and shoulder in the long term." She sits up then, setting the probes aside and drawing a small tin out of her satchel. "I'm going to go ahead and put in some stitches," she explains to Bruce. "This should help numb up the skin a bit. I don't want you wriggling around and making the collarbone worse."
"As soon as I was struck, I didn't think about the pain. I thought about whether my cry was just or not, you know. The no quarter. Did some Gods think me unjust, and strike me down as a lesson? Or is that hubris to think the Gods would take notice?" Bruce says, to no one in particular. "But I didn't deem us with the time ready to take prisoners. Maybe now, it would be different…" He trails off, quiet until Jarod talks about looting Ironborn. "Aye, I thank you, Ser Jarod. I would like to ,when you've the chance." He turns his gaze to Senna, not nodding, but saying, "Aye."
"I figure the Warrior would approve, Ser. The Mother would not. The Father might find it justice for their sins, but judge us worse for it when our time comes. What the Stranger thinks…guess we'll all find out someday when the quarter's not for us." Jarod shrugs. "Or all that's septon bullshit. I don't know. I wish we'd been able to do it another way, but our men got off pretty lightly hurt, and we won the day. Ugly sort of fighting you get into, in houses and alleys like that. Don't figure there was a way to do it good."
"It's war, Ser Bruce," Senna murmurs as she gently taps some of the cream onto the edges of Bruce's wounds. There isn't much even in the tin, no matter how carefully she uses it. "I doubt they'd grant much in the way of quarter. Besides, any man you don't kill is one who can come back and kill you later." Cheerful sort, isn't she? As she screws the lid onto the jar again, she looks up to Jarod. "How's Rowan?"
Kell did hear the call for mercy and the follow up of no quarter, which warred with him on the inside. But apparently the rage against the Ironborn was just too strong, overiding his knightly virtues as one who is usually with honor. "It is a judgement call and one that we had little time to dwell on. Who knows what would've happened if mercy was given, the Ironborn has shown in the past to show that they have no honor. Slaughtering innocents at the Roost and massacring all at the Tall Oaks." There is a pause as the knight runs a hand through his hair, "To be honest, I almost turned on you, Ser, to hold your blade… but red anger in me followed your orders and my blade sang on for more blood."
"Aye, you're right." Bruce seems to be fading out. It seems like his little monologue took quite a bit out of him. He observes Kell for a few moments, silently, his expression mute.
"You follow orders in times like that, or the man you fight beside can't count on you," Jarod says. "Or so I figured when it came to it. So long as your conscience can live with those orders. Mine could last night, whatever that says of me. For what it's worth, I'd fight with you again, Ser Bruce, any day." He lets the man fade, on that note. Grin warming when Senna asks after Rowan. "Much better, Mistress." The relief in his tone is evident. "Never was a trace of fever, and he's mended enough to be up and about unaided. You saved his life and I…thank you."
"Good to hear it," Senna nods to Jarod with a faint smile. "And if you want to thank me, keep an eye open for anything useful in healing. I can send you a list, if you like. I'm afraid those supplies are as short as anything else, and we keep collecting wounded at an alarming rate." When Bruce starts to fade, she quietly sets a hand to the knight's chest, tracking his breathing as the paste starts to do its work around his wound.
Kell matches Bruce's gaze, not shying away from the other man's eyes as if to show how serious his admittance was earlier, though when he said he would turn on the other knight, it most likely meant that he would just hold him back or knock him over but he chooses not to clarify.
"Aye.. thank the Gods." To what he's thanking the Gods for is indeterminate. Bruce's eyes begin to snap between closed and barely open. His breathing slows, but remains rather steady.
"A list'd be good, Mistress," Jarod says with a nod to Senna. "I'll keep an eye out, and I can ask the other Terrick knights to as well. Might find more now that we've a bit of the market district. Had to be herbalists and the like here." He looks over at Kell, like he's trying to read the look exchanged between him and Bruce.
Senna watches Bruce fade, lips pursing slightly in consideration. "That's probably just as well," she murmurs after a moment, the hand at his chest moving to smooth the hair from his brow in an absent, soothing gesture. The other hand, meanwhile, is going for the needle and thread. "I'll see that you get a list, Ser Jarod," she adds with a small smile.
As the subject seems to have been dropped, Kell does watch Bruce rest and then turns back to Senna and Jarod, "If the list includes simple items, I am willing to help out." Will certainly help pass time while they are waiting for the Ironborn to attack.
"Certainly can't afford to run out," Jarod says to Senna. "Better for us all if you and the other healers're well-supplied." He looks to Kell. "I heard you lost your steed in the initial push into the city, Ser." He winces in sympathy. Few things worse a knight can lose that don't maim him directly.
Bruce is gone, completely, into the land of sleep.
"I'll see that you get a list as well," Senna nods to Kell, then bends over Bruce once more. She seems a little bit relieved that the man's fallen into sleep or unconsciousness; there is a whole lot of wound to be stitched, and it's always worse when they start screaming. Touch delicate, she starts in on the stitching, careful of where the muscles lie as well as the skin.
Kell can only nod grimly at Jarod's question, "You would be right, Ser Rivers. The Ironborn aren't as stupid as we would hope they are. Dug up some nice pit falls for our mounts to cover their backs, guess they got tired of being chewed up by heavy cavalry. Was my fault, should've been more focused on the terrain than on the reavers."
Jarod grimaces. "The loss of horse all around was grim. Worse than that of the men. If you ask Lord Jerold, you may be able to make use of one of our spares for the duration of the siege campaign, since you're riding with the Terricks. And you stood with us during the siege. Don't know if you could keep it after, unless you found some means to pay for it, but while the fight lasts I figure it'd be worth asking."
"Unless it stays house to house," Senna murmurs from her work without looking up. "Horse won't do you much good in an alley."
"Indeed, sadly I wasn't the only one unhorsed. Lord Patrek was also unlucky as well but luckily, only horses were lost, not knights or lords." Kell says with a disappointed sigh though the thought of asking Lord Jerold to borrow a mount has been considered. "I was tempted to ask Lord Jerold for help, though I am sure many of his own men are in need as well. As long as I am able and have a sword in hand, I can kill the Ironborn." The Hedge Knight does nod at Senna's words, "Indeed."
"Might, Mistress," Jarod says low when Senna mentions more house-to-house fighting. "I hope we can push in more open territory as we get closer to the Mallister castle. Don't like fighting in houses." For more than just lacking in horse, from his tone. He nods to Kell. "Fair enough. Just keep in mind, you can ask. Apart from Lord Patrek our own cavalry seemed to make it through all right." He leaves it at that. "Speaking of Terrick horses, I should be heading back to check on mine. Under-used as he is just now. Give my best to Ser Bruce, when he wakes."
"I'm sure he'll appreciate it," Senna looks up from her work with a small smile for Jarod. "He'd probably also appreciate a stiff drink, but I doubt there's much of that to be had, either." Her hands continue their work as she speaks, practiced and methodical.
Kell isn't a fan of house to house fighting either though he knows it is an ugly necessity when it comes to battles like this. As for the option of speaking to Lord Jerold, the Hedge Knight nods to Jarod, "I just might, Ser Rivers. It wouldn't do our side any good to have a lame knight." As for the other knight heading out, Kell nods again, "Take care, Ser, till we meet again either on the battlefield or before."
"Stiff drink's not that hard to find if you know where to look," Jarod says with a slight grin as he departs. And off he goes.