|What We Do Now|
|Summary:||While Muirenn checks in on her patient, Kell, Jacsen and the Ladies discuss their next moves.|
|Related Logs:||Follows some small time after: Among the Pines and Nettles|
|Lady Liliana's Chambers — Four Eagles Tower|
|Simplicity in all things, even to the accoutrements of the bedchamber set aside for the Lady from Tall Oaks. The walls are kept bare, accented only by the window hangings usually kept pulled back to allow a view of the land beyond and in the distance, the sea. A neatly appointed bed, set with coverings of blue and white, with a storage chest at the foot, is matched to the dressing table and small chair by the easterly window. The hearth is well-tended and neat, wood for the fire and kindling set to the side. A old, but equally well-tended rug covers most of the floor for warmth and comfort.|
|29 Dec, 288 AL|
It's only been a few hours, since Muirenn sewed up all of the places where Liliana's stuffings were threatening to fall out. Between her other patients, she's been in and out of the Oaks Lady's room, leaving her to sleep between visits, Avinashi seeing to the administration of the milk of the poppy. Enough to leave the girl relatively pain free, but not enough to completely addle her mind. And in those times between the visits? Liliana's eyes are focused on the window, as if she could see, even from her bed, something more than the patch of sky and hint of ocean horizon the angle allows.
The sleeves of her gown have proven inhibiting and usefully only for sopping up blood. It is not long during the course of the morning that Muirenn uses one of her small chiurgeonry knives and cuts the material off to the elbow. The once beautiful silk is now tattered and irrevocably stained with blood and other fluids that do not bear naming. Somewhere along the way the Mallister maiden has conscripted a hedge knight of her acquaintance into assisting with some of the heavy lifting, her attempts at moving the much larger knights that were seriously injured an impossibility. It is at a point now that the worst of the injuries have been tended, the dead placed respectfully downstairs in the cellars to be kept cool until proper rites can be performed, and everything as ordered as it can be. The maester just gave Muirenn permission to check her patient upstairs. Glancing over her shoulder as she reaches the door she murmurs to Kell, "I appreciate all of your assistance this day. Hopefully we will see Lord Jacsen soon so that I might introduce you and get you assisting someone who can put your skills to better use than I."
With his own wounds bandaged up since they were only light wounds from a bludgeoning weapon, Kell seemed a little lost in the Hall where other injured people were being tended to. With the fighting over for the time being, there are no hedges nearby for the knight to duck behind so he was easily spotted by Muirenn and conscripted to do the work fit for a man, due to physical strength. It is better than doing nothing and just waiting for time to pass until something else happens, less strain on the mind when the body is working. "No problem, M'Lady, glad to be of service. I am surprised that you are able to work in an environment like this… not many would be able to in your position." He does nod at the thought of being introduced to Lord Jacsen though he doesn't seem to be in a hurry to meet, since he knows the Lord most likely has more important things to do at this moment than talking to a Hedge Knight.
At the door, is Lili's faithful Elise, settled onto a chair where she's working on her embroidery, the door cracked open at an angle that allows her to look in on her mistress, and still guard the doorway. Not that the slip of a girl looks as though she can fight anyone, but her expression is slightly glowering. That fades of course, as soon as she catches sight of Muirenn, and returns when she sees the unknown knight behind her, not only unknown, but wearing no House colours she would recognize. But back to cheerful, as she rises, dropping a curtsey, "Lady Mallister, thank you ever so much for helping my Lady. You should come and see her, I'll let her know you've arrived." Eli's prompt to push open the door, "My Lady, the Lady Mallister and her manservant." The sound of the door opening, and the announcement brings Liliana's head around, slow, but certain, "Lady Muirenn, please, come in, and thank you."
"It is too long a story to explain how I got interested in chiurgeonry and herbs, but suffice it to say that my Mother did not mind me learning to be prepared." The young woman's tone is dry, "It is her dream that I be the Lady of a large keep and she wanted to ensure I knew how to take care of it no matter the situation. I know not what she will say when she learns that I have put the knowledge to good use. More than like she shall berate my Uncle for taking me away from the safety of our home and sending me here." Muirenn's lips curve into a grin as she adds before opening the door and walking into Liliana's room, "I am not too proud to admit that I am frightened, but I have faith in the Terrick men and honestly feel like I am living for the first time in my whole life."
With a smile, the redheaded Mallister smiles, "Elise, I have come to check on your Lady." She hides her smile at the introduction but as she enters says, "Lady Liliana, I have come to see how your stitches are holding. Forgive our intrusion. This is Ser Kell, I have conscripted him to assist me with the heavier lifting through all of this until I can introduce him to Lord Jacsen." She moves towards the bed, though her gown and apron are stained her hands and face have been washed and her hair absently knotted at the base of her neck.
It isn't only that Muirenn knew how to sew flesh together but that the Lady isn't passing out at the sign of blood, lots of it, but Kell keeps that to himself, not wanting to sound offending, especially now. "Your mother is wise, M'Lady." He does arch a brow when Muirenn admits feeling excited and alive due what happened this morning, finding that to be surprising. The Hedge Knight does manage to catch the glance that Elise gives him, one he is use to when it comes to some nobility due to who he is. As introductions are being made, Kell dips his head respectfully to Liliana, "I wish you a speedy recovery, M'Lady." He then inclines his head to the maiden as well.
"I have not moved since I was set on my bed. And I cannot feel most of my body," likely a side effect of the draught given to her, "So I think that I have not damaged my stitches, though I have not yet looked at them to see how truly serious the damage is." Women, after all, have different concerns when it comes to bodily injury than men. "You are not an intrusion, but a welcome respite from the stillness of the room, and the ceaseless noises from without. It is good to meet you, Ser Kell. And I thank you for your well wishes." Elise wrinkles her nose, at the description of the man as a knight, still looking at his lack of House colours. It may be, that the handmaid is tempted to stick her tongue out at the knight, when he looks back at her, but, thankfully, she masters herself. Dutiful as ever, she turns her attention to pulling a pair of seats over closer to the bed for her lady's guests.
There is a certain calm that has come over the Tower, insofar as it might be compared to the noise and chaos of the battle that preceded things. There is the constant sound of motion, as people move from one place to another, seeing to the wounded, apportioning supplies, and seeing to the readiness of defenses. Still, amidst that calm, consistent background noise is a sharper sound; a cane, rapping upon the floor in a steady rhythm. To those more familiar with the Roost, they will know that sound as the surest way to find Lord Jacsen Terrick. He halts at the door to Liliana's suite, whether it be open or closed with such recent arrivals, and raps lightly upon the door frame.
"There will be a scar dearest, but my embroidery practice has served me well so it should not bee too bad." Muirenn smiles as she brushes a hand across Liliana's forehead. "You did not injure any nerves so I imagine it is the milk of the poppy that is numbing you." The sound of Jacsen's cane is very familiar and Muirenn doesn't even have to look over her shoulder to see who the visitor is, instead merely saying in the gladdest of tones to her friend, "Greetings my Lord." With a wave of her hand she instructs, "Elise, please stand between myself and the gentlemen while I check on her ladyship's bandages."
The Hedge Knight is in decent shape, as the bandaging is mostly hidden by his clothing and maile armor. Kell had left it on just in case of emergencies, where the time between donning his armor again and then rushing to battle could cost lives or worst, could've prevented a breach. To him, this is more or less a war again, not just some simple raid, as the keep is under siege. His mail is still in decent place, though an area on the left arm, the links are broken or shattered, as is a couple of spots on his chest. He will tend to it later.
Kell is also well behaved as well, not making faces at Elise or scowling at her for her lack of warmth, his attention focused on Liliana for the time being. Instead of taking a seat from the chair pulled out by the maiden, the knight does hear the sound of the cane approaching the room and turns slightly to glance at the doorway, not in alarm but in curiosity as there are no shouts of battle or clashing of swords outside. Once Muirenn greets the new arrival as Lord, Kell can guess that he is a Terrick Lord, as he dips his head respectfully to Jacsen, back turned so he won't be looking at the injured Lady as she is tended to. "M'Lord."
Elise does as she's bidden, almost visibly fluffing herself up to what little girth she can manage, like a bird, ruffling its feathers, as she gets herself into position. But being both shorter than and smaller than both men, it only does as much good as the two gentlemen allow. "Yes, My Lady." As for Liliana, there's that look of relief, as Muirenn gives her consolations, "I was afraid, because of the wound," she lifts a hand, gesturing in the general direction of her chest, "When the time comes…" But she doesn't finish, as she catches sight of Jacsen just outside her open door, "Jace! You're safe. I didn't know, where you were, I hadn't heard. If your father safe and well?" Lili has not seen the Lord of the Roost since he carried her out of the fray of battle. "And your Lady wife? she is also safe?" Anais did help Lili inside, but she too, was lost track of. "I am sorry, Muirenn," the lady finally offers, settling down and holding still, for the examination.
Jacsen's expression is nothing if not somber as he steps into the room, leaning heavily upon his cane. "Lady Muirenn," he rejoinders at the first voice to take up greeting, "I am told I've much to thank you for yet, not least of all for keeping our dear Lady Liliana in one piece…" The hedge knight, though unfamiliar, shows the signs of battle. That is enough to earn a nod of respect from the Young Lord of the Roost, his Terrick status confirmed by the signet ring that weighs heavily on his right hand. His demeanor does relax, a touch, permitting a faint smile when he hears Liliana well enough to pepper him with questions. "In good time, Liliana… they are both safe. Let Muirenn have a look at you." His eyes flick back to the armored man. "I take it we owe you a debt of service," he begins, "If your condition is any sign. Might I know your name so I might be more appropriately grateful?"
"Sorry for what Lili?" The maiden shakes her wildfire head and smiles as she lifts the covers and proceeds to carefully check her handiwork to ensure the stitches are still sound. Muirenn lets Jacsen deal with the introductions as she pays careful attention to the wound in the Camden noble's thigh. Quietly she says, "You are more alert now so I can tell you. The worst injury was to your leg, it went into the muscle itself. You may have a limp even after it has healed, the maester would be able to foretell more perhaps. The wound on your chest is not as deep and while it will scar nothing is…" the young woman thinks over her words and says, "damaged that won't heal." Bending over, she murmurs soft words into Liliana's ear. Straightening she smooths the covers down and turns to Jacsen with a brilliant smile, "Your Lady wife was absolutely amazing. I liked Lady Anais from the moment she made me welcome here, but after today she has my highest esteem. As for your thanks, there is no need….you are family." Her smile softens, "And we do what we can for family. I do; however, have some news to tell you that is perhaps quite important."
Muirenn whispers: One breast is untouched, the other will scar and might suffer some impairment but is not completely damaged so will function well enough. Personally, I would think your husband to be might enjoy such a roguish scar from his heroic wife. *the last is added with a soft giggle*
"Kell Drakmoor, no house for I am a Hedge Knight, M'Lord." Kell inclines his head respectfully once again as he introduces himself, pausing for a moment before continuing, "And there is no debt owed, M'Lord, it was my duty as a knight to assist in the town's defense. I only wish I could have done more or arrived sooner." By the time Kell arrived on scene, the Terrick guards were being pushed back to the Keep's main gate and a couple of knights had already fallen in the scrambling defense. "I was escorting a merchant on here from Stonebridge, had him turn around and ride as fast as he could. So perhaps word will go out of the situation here and help will arrive soon." Now if it is some large scale invasion, that may end up being unlikely. Kell does grow silent again as Muirenn speaks, especially when she notes that she has something important to share.
"I'm afraid I expect little help to arrive via Stonebridge, but word should at least reach what friendly ears are there," Jacsen says, his manner remaining a touch restrained, and even distant, ever the Lord first in a situation such as this. "Still, you've my thanks Ser Kell, for what you've done and what you may yet need do." His gaze shifts to the women, and then back to the hedge knight. "Might I ask, what task is it that has you here in the Lady's suite now?"
Jacsen seems wanting to ask further, but Murienn's words steal his attention. "I am all ears, my lady, the moment you've finished your work with Liliana." As to the compliments paid his wife, he's silent for now.
"For being your patient." Liliana pauses, considering, "I should have gone with you into the keep, used my skills to treat the injured. But there were so many, so many so quickly, and our guards were few. I had the means to help and I did what little I could, but…" It's a hard thing, choosing between two duties, to defend and to preserve. Liliana pauses, her eyes falling to study somewhere in the area of her feet, as the examination continues, though again, that look of relief at the Mallister Lady's softly spoken words, her own head turning to whisper back to the woman, before she looks back to the group, awaiting Muirenn's news.
Muirenn senses: Liliana's voice is sad, perhaps, adrift, 'Would your Cousin'?
The news is not so important that it cannot wait a moment longer and so Muirenn replies, "my Lord, Ser Drakmoor has been assisting me. I needed the assistance of someone stronger than I in moving patients. I have been keeping an eye out for you so that I might bring him to your attention. Perhaps you have work for him that would make better use of his skills?" Then she continues, her hands wiping upon the least dirty spot she can find on her apron. "Septa Waldsteina is with the boy now because I thought perhaps you might wish to speak with him at your leisure, but my man at arms helped the boy with us into the keep. He is the son of a fisherman who was sent by his father to ring the warning bells. He ran to bring us the news and then collapsed at the side of the road. The child informed me of the reason the bells sounded so weak."
There is a pause as the teenager gathers her thoughts, then the Mallister noble shakes her head, "Remember all of the stories told at Seagard about the Great Bell, how the bells were supposed to ring loud and clear to sound for miles. The bell yesterday sounded like a washerwoman beating her tub…I did not recognize it for what it was. The boy told me that for about two miles in either direction the bells have been sabotaged and the mallets had been cut off. The poor child tried hitting the bell with a piece of driftwood he found until the driftwood broke. It was then he ran for town." The grim news is reflected in the steely grey of the woman's eyes and the stubborn set of her chin as she adds, "This obviously happened prior to the invasion Jacsen. I know my family's motto, but we all had doubts about the Ironborn ambassador…" she acts as if she is about to say something, but glances at Liliana and then returns her gaze to the Terrick Lord, ending with only, "I will let you and your father decide what to do with the news, but if the maester has not sent ravens off then he probably should because it is a fair assumption that no warning has gone along the coast of our situation here."
You sense: Muirenn does not reply only giving you a smile…a sad smile, but does pat your shoulder reassuringly.
Kell nods his head understandingly at what Jacsen says about Stonebridge and lack of reinforcements, though perhaps the Hedge Knight is a tad naive, thinking that perhaps with the threat of a common foe, some Houses may look past current prickly issues. As for him being needed again, the knight inclines his head once more, "I at your service, M'Lord. Their treachery will be answered, tenfold." As for why he is here, Kell does glance towards Muirenn before remembering that she is tending to Liliana so he quickly turns back to Jacsen, hopefully before incurring Elise's fiery wrath again, "I was assisting Lady Muirenn with some wounded as she was tending to them without rest." Mirroring Muirenn's words as the knight was unsure where he was to be and did not want to bother one wearing Terrick colors as they all seemed very busy.
As the story is shared on why the the warning bells did not sound, Kell can only grit his teeth as he can just feel how helpless the child felt. "Ironborn… their treachery runs deep." What could have been a heroic and dutiful moment for the fisherman's family turned into tragedy where a whole town suffered.
"I have shared my own concerns about the arrival of the Lady Harlaw on her fool's errand for the Greyjoys, and my doubts as to the veracity of her story, but I have gotten no good result. Perhaps now, we see the result she intended all along." Liliana is no longer looking at the group, but again out through the window, towards the sky, towards the sea, perhaps towards the Oaks, long and long away. "Surely they are not coming for the Roost alone. I fear…we will find there are many more coming behind those who besiege the keep and our people."
Jacsen draws a faint breath through his nose. "Ravens have long since been sent to Seaguard and Riverrun," he advises Muirenn, and then with a glance at Kell, "And both the Banefort and Stonebridge besides. With luck, the fleet will move from Lannisport swiftly to break the backs of the Ironmen." Of the boy, and the sabotaged bells, he seems to think on that for a few moments. "Like as not, we should have tossed the woman out the moment she arrived. But even with the history of the Ironborn, to think that they would do this…" He shakes his head, lifting his eyes to Muirenn. "This is no raid, this is Greyjoy breaking the King's Peace, something none of us could have anticipated." He shifts on his forever injured leg, wincing slightly. "Should I hear word of Seaguard, I will be sure you hear of it my lady. At the least, we can take Tall Oaks as being beyond the range of these reavers, Liliana."
With a nod, Muireen swallows and says only "I try not to think about home right now. There are too many that need what little skill I possess." it is clear though that the news ravens have been sent to her family is welcome. "They are Ironborn and never to be trusted." is her only other comment until Jacsen's words sink in, "Greyjoy? How do you know this?" Her brow furrows, "Surely they would not break the peace…and in such a way as this?" She adds a soft inquiry, "There is fresh willow bark tea downstairs sweetened with mint, would you like me to get you some my Lord?"
As Liliana mentions the possibility of this not being an isolated raid and instead some sort of invasion by the Ironborn, Kell sees the sensibility of such an assumption and his facial expression tightens. It seems like he is worried about the Oaks, the look lingering on the knight's face for a moment before he forces it back down so he has a passive and neutral look once more, "I am sure the Oaks will be able to defend themselves. The Ironborn fight on beaches and the sea, the forest belongs to your Lord Father and your people, M'Lady." He says to Liliana though perhaps some of the words were to reassure himself as part of him wishes to be elsewhere.
"The lands of Tall Oaks border the sea, and are not so well defended as these lands, or yours, Lady Muirenn." To Kell, she offers, "What can two hundred souls, fifty archers and one knight do against a ceaseless tide of ironborn?" The holdings of Tall Oaks are indeed small. Liliana finally looks back, eyes settling on Jacsen, on Muirenn, and finally on Kell. But she won't speak again, allowing the conversation to flow about her for a time, eyes drifting back off to stare out of the window.
"They cannot be ceaseless, Liliana," Jacsen assures him with a gentle tone, venturing further into the chamber and towards the wounded Camden woman. "And you mustn't allow yourself to think such. Ser Kell is correct in his words. The woods are not something the Ironborn understand well at all." He draws a breath. "I say that this must be Greyjoy only because this Ambassador was sent by the Greyjoys directly, and for so many men to be committed to this… I cannot imagine this is some simple raiding party." He draws a breath, and holds up a hand. "But. I should not speculate so. There are details I do not have, and until then…"
Shaking her head, Muirenn says quietly "Your Uncle, the Lord Captain Dafydd, was…" there is a moment of word searching before she continues, "a good friend with that…" there is a bit of throat clearing before the word "ambassador" makes it out instead of perhaps something less appropriate, "..I am sure your home will be well." She lays a comforting hand upon Liliana's arm as she turns to Jacsen and gives a nod, "Your words and suposition are sensible. Unless you wish otherwise my Lord, I will continue assisting the maester Constantine in treating the wounded. Be assured though that I am at your disposal."
Kell sympathizes with Liliana's words and offers no more of his own, not wanting to linger on this subject since it is causing the Lady some anguish as she can do nothing but wait and hope here, a feeling he understands. Wanting to change the subject to something more immediate and away from the Oaks as well as Camdens, the Hedge Knight looks back to Jacsen, "M'lord, may I ask how well are we situated behind the walls of the keep? Is there a plan to mount a counter-offensive? I know that there were small folk and knights that had fallen on the other side of the gate…" It seems like Kell is eager to get back into battle and to see about either rescuing friendly men at arms trapped behind enemy lines or even escort innocents to safety, perhaps getting ahead of himself.
liliana look back, the hand closest settling on Muirenn's. "My Lord Uncle sees both more and less than he should. Especially where the Lady Harlaw is concerned." Her tone is sharp, not at all sympathetic to Dafydd's plight. But her attention shifts to Jacsen, and that hand rises, offered out to him, a simple gesture, "Thank you, Jace. I will pray that the Gods watch and keep them." But Kell brings a serious and important question to bear, and she settles, to listen to Jacsen's answer. There's little more she can do, at the moment.
The hand offered up is taken in Jacsen's own, a gentle squeeze given for the Camden Lady who has for years now been as part of the Terrick Household as any of Lord Jerold's own children. "We shall all pray that, in our own way. And in the meantime, we shall keep each other safe and whole," he affirms to the woman. He does lift his gaze, though, to favor first Muirenn and then the hedge knight she brought along with her. "It must be decided as to the best course of action, something that will be done very soon. Once the immediate need of shoring defenses and seeing to our wounded is done. I can promise you but two things in this, Ser Kell. First, that we will not forget those trapped outside the safety of the Keep, and second…" He gently releases Liliana's hand as his features cool. "You'll yet have a chance to taste of their iron blood. We are battered, but not beaten."
A faint smile touches Muirenn's lips at Liliana's words and tone regarding Dafydd but she remains silent, instead turning to gaze at Jacsen. Listening, she gives an approving nod. "my Lord, it almost might not go amiss if you happened to see Mistress Belle to offer her your thanks. She was quite brave and ran to assist young Lord Patrek and our men at arms in trying to get the portcullis down. It was her final effort that made the difference." Glancing at Liliana, she asks "What would you like me to send up to help make the hours pass more quickly my Lady?"
The straight-forward answer by Lord Jacsen has Kell nodding, glad that there was no beating around the bush and that there will be hell to pay for the Ironborn. This was different than the Battle of the Trident where they were fighting against a Mad King, where there were good men on both sides, depending on which side a House had to choose. This time, it was against the Ironborn, who raid and pillage innocents because it is their barbaric way, "Yes, M'Lord." The Hedge Knight answers, knowing he will be more than willing to offer his blade for the coming fight with brothers that are most likely seething to do the same.
"Thank you." Liliana takes what comfort her brother, after a fashion, offers, before her hand settles back onto the covers, attention focused on the three in the room and the discussion of the plans to come. "Send me a tallying of all within the keep, and the cook's logs. It has often been my duty to handle the recording of the food stores for the Lady Evangeline." Part of her training in household duties, "I can nearly give you a tally from memory. But I could help to develop some sort of rationing, so that no one needs go without, until the ironborn line is broken."
"So long as you promise to let someone else take over when rest demands you," Jacsen tells Liliana, his tone serious. "As for you, Ser, I would like it if you presented yourself to Ser Hardwicke, that he might put you to some effective use in the defense that is to come, as well as any offensive we might ponder. And you, my lady…" for Muirenn, so little seen since her arrival at the Roost, but considered fondly for their time at Seaguard, "Please continue as you have. We'll need more of such skill before this is done, I'm certain." He shifts again on his leg, adjusting his grip upon the cane. "Send that tea to the throne room, won't you?" he asks, recalling the earlier question. "I must attend upon my lord father, now that I've seen with my own eyes that you are both safe." The cant of his gaze includes Liliana in that sentiment of 'both'.
"Indeed my Lord. I will ensure it is sent there immediately." Muirenn replies to Jacsen before she gazes down at Liliana thoughtfully, "Today, I think perhaps an hour or two of going over the records before another rest perhaps. Tomorrow you may do more." Muirenn smiles and says, "I will send someone up with what you require and then will check on you again myself as soon as I am able. For now, I must get down and make sure that all is well with the other patients." Looking over at Kell she gives him a quirky grin that almost begins to light up her face, "You now have other duties and are released from being my strong arm. Your assistance this morn was much appreciated though and you have my gratitude."
Nodding at Jacsen's suggestion, Kell will do, "Yes M'Lord, though the last time I saw him, he was being given the milk of the poppy, I was at his side at the gate when he took a nasty cut by what looked to be the Ironborn leader, at least the leader of this raid. I will search him out though to see if he has awaken." As for being released by Muirenn, the knight can only manage a grin, "Thank you M'Lady."
"I promise. I will not do more than I am allowed." And she honestly means that. It simply isn't in Liliana's way to lie. Not at all when she can help it, and never to family. "Elise will make certain that I follow your instructions. And I will have her bring my stores to you as well. She knows all of them, and you can put them to use tending to those who have need." But it seems all the duties have been decided and tasks assigned, and for the time being, Liliana can rest. "We took one of them with us." Now that Liliana is thinking more clearly, she remembers better, the fight between the ironborn, herself and Ser Hardwicke. And she seems to find the loss of one ironborn from the masses descending a fair recompense for her injuries. "Tell your Lord Father thank you, for saving me." That seems equally, if not more important than anything else, given the earnestness in her voice.
Jacsen draws a breath, nodding once, in a precise manner. "I will tell him as much." He looks about the room once more, and says, "Be alert, overlook nothing, remain vigilant. We shall make it through this, and see those that would bring this violence upon us treated justly for their crime." He turns, and without saying anything else, quits the chamber at his slower, methodical gait.