Page 150: When Ironborn Plot
When Ironborn Plot
Summary: Information is shared and imparted. Plans are formed.
Date: 12/12/2011
Related Logs: Follows Plotting an Escape
Kathryna Nares 
Coastline, Terrick's Roost
The Cape of Eagles looms out over Ironman's Bay, a vast, blue ocean inlet, that spreads its watery depths out beyond the horizon. The path that leads down to this coast winds down behind the towers for several hundred meters before arriving at the rocky water's edge. Rather than sand, the coast is covered with innumerable smooth and rounded stones about palm-sized. They stretch up and down the coast in all directions with the battered remnants of driftwood scattered about. Above the beach, one every mile or two, are towers with a large bell and mallet atop them which are to be beaten to warn of an incoming invasion. A small dock is being constructed of thick northern timbers, with mooring space for two large ships, or perhaps a half dozen smaller craft.
Mon Dec 12, 288

Kathryna is waiting out by the cliffs for him. Yes, the light hurts her eyes, far more than it normally would, but she's never been one to give into pain. She's propped herself on a rather large rock that lines the uneven cliff face over the ocean beyond, looking as noble and rough as she often does, sword hung heavy at her side and blonde hair still a touch of a mess. It's to the point she might think of putting it back in dreadlocks again, as she had when they first met. So much easier to care for upon the waves.

Despite what the salt air does to it, Nares is, as usual, wearing his mail. Mind you, it not only decreases the chances of a local doing something stupid, but cleaning it also gives him a valid excuse to be active around the courtyard, watching the comings and goings. Who knows, -something- interesting might happen eventually. As he draws alongside he takes a moment to take a deep breath of the heavy, sea air then notions down to the part completed docks, "That were they're planning on keeping their warship?"

Kathryna tilts her head to him, a touch of amusement crossing her pale features. "I thought about burning it, you know… But I'd rather they waste warriors fighting us on the seas, where we know how to fight, than keeping everyone on land. And if our people are strong enough to take the ship, aye, we should do so. It would be a nice addition to our fleet." She admits with a somewhat wider smile in the wincing sunlight. She shifts her body just a touch to more easily face him, but keeps most of her front towards the sea and the salt air beyond.

"Saves us the trouble of making a new one ourselves," Nares replies with a grin. "Besides, as your Lord Camden said, this dock will increase trade, and we all benefit from that." There's also the point that if it's burnt while they’re at the Roost then they'll be the prime suspects, but some form of other subtle sabotage might be an option. "I'm sure we could slow it down if needs be, but for now I reckon we let them have this toy of theirs. It'll be all the sweeter when we do break it, if we let them enjoy it for a bit first."

"Aye, it is not worth the risk of burning it now… Best to let them truly start trusting us all. However…. Speaking of the Camdens…" Kate now turns her body back to fully face Asvard, studying him head to toe for a few moments, "Tell me, what you think of a true alliance with them? They have offered to build docks for us that we might trade freely, and also allow us to encroach upon the Terricks' territory from land as well as sea. It would also give us a fallback position." She's trying to keep any emotion out of the question, offering it as a true business prospect.

The prospect of docks for trading seems to be of little interest to the veteran raider in Nares, but the idea of the ability to encroach on the Terricks, well, that provokes a reaction. Tempting as the idea is he takes a moment to weigh it carefully before asking cautiously, "And what is in it for them? I can see a lot that could benefit us from a permanent beach head, but why would they be so eager to destroy any friendships amongst their neighbours that they may now enjoy?"

Kathryna considers that with a slight roll of her shoulders. "I think they have been stepped upon and considered neutral, weak tree lords for too long. They wish money, trade, strength and power for their people as well. This is one way to take it. And… they will gain a marriage in the trade as well. My hand to the younger brother." She still keeps her tone as neutral as possible, like they were discussing the crewing of a ship.

Nares takes his time over that, drawing in a long, slow breath and then letting in out again in a similar manner. "So they are weak, and want us to make them stronger?" It's an interesting proposal, he'd admit to that, but he's still not sure he trusts it. "And when the Terricks and the Mallisters bring torches to their woods in revenge? I can perhaps see it working for a short while, but we are ill used to fighting in such terrain and it would be tricky to make anything lasting of it." He would add, 'we could use them certainly, while it lasts' but isn't quite sure enough about the state of Kate's feelings for Dafydd to openly suggest taking what they can while they can and then leaving the Camden's to burn.

Kathryna shakes her head quietly. "They are not weak. I've seen their archers work… Protecting their space and their home? They will be very, very effective in doing so. I never even dreamt the martial capability of a good team of archers in a high position. And… I think we could make each other stronger." Kate's quiet another long few moments, her ice eyes narrowing a touch more in his direction, trying to study his features and figure out how he's feeling about this whole mess.

Nares is frowning, but more in thought and concentration than displeasure. Give it time, and it'll probably make more sense to him, but for now it's so far out of his normal world view it's tricky to try and make such a mental leap in such a short time. "So their strength is in their home, in such that they'd struggle to defend beyond it. Thus we get a base that they defend?" See's he's trying to get it straight. "And is this something that’s come from Lord Greyjoy or your Uncle?" Translation: is this to be shared by all the Ironborn, or just the Harlaws.

Kathryna shrugs cooly, "I've written to both of the matter. I am here serving at both's pleasure. I only have wish to see the Iron born have a rightful place in these lands. If we can manage that on two fronts, then all the better." Kate responds, voice icy cold as ever. She is doing her best to prove this matter with the Camdens has not made her weak, though perhaps she's in denial about all of that. "The last I heard from the Lord Paramount, he asked about possible allies. I gained him some."

Nares nods slowly as Kate answers, his expression is still on the sceptical side, but to give him his due he hasn't laughed in her face and suggested that maybe the Maester had been right. "And you were hoping my arrival was bringing an answer to this question?" he poses, still unsure as to just what the whole Gatehouse thing was about.

Kathryna gives a small grunt of disapproval, shaking her head to him, though not too harshly. That still makes the room spin multiple ways. "No… I was just hoping for something more comprehensive. Though… I suspect I have realized what the message means and, unless I'm good… Very good, it probably means my death." Her jaw tightens just a bit as she speaks that realization aloud. "When they come to attack the Roost… they wish me to take and hold the gate house from inside."

Nares' jaw clenches, just a little, but visibly when the words 'means my death' are uttered. He says nothing for a moment, although the detailed explanation does relax him just that little bit. When he does speak his tone is almost as cold as her's. "Mine too, by the sounds of it. What time scale are we looking at here?" Practicalities. Still, there are worse ways to go than in pitch battle with your enermies. "And where would this Camden deal fit?"

Kathryna brings her shoulders into a bit of a casual shrug, "I am… not certain. They've never given me a time line, probably in fear I might be found out. As for the Camdens, I think if they are willing to take this step, it might delay things a touch while we set up matters. I hope it does. If we are to do this right, there is no reason to rush into the matter recklessly when we can strengthen our position." And then her ice eyes lay heavily upon him, head shaking in return to the comment about his life. "No. I… was going to tell you, if you would be willing, to go North. Go to the Camdens. I told them I'd train their women… you can do the same. Ensure they are actually strong allies for us, through and through. Oversee the construction of their docks."

Well, that idea reintroduces the lightness that had been sucked out of the conversation so far as Nares is concerned. He laughs for a moment then shakes his head to Kate, "So, you're telling me there's going to be a big fight here and you want to send me away from it? Okay, so I'd rather have my crew at my back but you can't really expect me to not be around with that sort of prospect looming? Besides, what do I know about building docks? I've burnt a few in my time, but I wouldn't know where to start on making a new one."

Kathryna smirks deeply at him, drawing her legs up onto the stone beneath her so they can fold crossed and she can move to fully face him now, putting the sea to her side instead. "…I'm giving you a chance to very possibly survive this madness and sew true alliances in these lands. You might not be a builder but you've been around enough docks in your life to know what will and won't work." Perhaps she does actually still care somewhat for him, she's certainly being protective. But then, that was what she did back home. The body guard. The protector.

Nares shakes his head again, "It's no sign of weakness to have multiple pairs of hands for an objective such as that. We don't sail alone, we don't fight alone." He turns to face the water again and asks, "You really expect that I'd choose to go hide in some trees and talk nice while here would be the perfect opportunity to show our Lord just exactly what I can do compared to his feeble son?" He takes another deep breath, reining in the urge to get angry. "I'm not a diplomat Kate, for better or worse that's your job. How about you go to the Camdens and I'll stay here?" His jaw is set for now and he's keeping his breathing steady, looking out towards the horizon.

Kathryna narrows her eyes a bit more at him as he comments on her going to the trees and he staying here. She smirks slightly sceptically. "Why did you come here, Asvald? In truth… It was not just to give me a one word message." She states flatly, sitting straighter now, letting her feet fall back to resting flat on the ground. She's not getting up yet, but she is a hint more forward bodily about this all.

"I came because our Lord, your uncle, ordered it," Nares replies, then turns back to face her. "I stay because I have no better option at the present. I lost my boat Kate, and until I can work out how to get it back then there is very little there for me. I have to let your cousins think they've won, wait for them to let their guard down, forget about me. Then, only then can I make my move." His voice, steadily rising as he continues, is then rested for a moment and dropped back down to a level more appropriate to a conversation. Turning to what he considers to be an unspoken subtext he adds, leaning closer "Don't get me wrong Kate, what we had was great, but if I'd wanted you like that I'd have taken you."

Kathryna smirks coolly to him, shaking her head. "You'd have tried." She bandies back, slightly teasing and slightly fierce at the same moment. She never was that easy. "Alright… you came because you were ordered. And he told you to nothing but give that message and support me? I appreciate that. I do. And god knows two hands will be better than one when the time comes. But.. if I had any fucking clue when that time was going to be, I could plan better. Part of me suspects we were both sent here to our deaths, and I have no wish to die." She's doing her best not to sound scared, but she is clearly frustrated.

Nares will let that one go. Too many years have passed to truly know what might have happened, and besides, there are more important things to discuss. Straightening up again he turns back to the sea, still obviously annoyed, but not full on angry. "I have no wish to die either, but I prefer to see this attack as an opportunity to gain back what I have lost and that, that Kate, is worth the risk of trying to hold that gatehouse." Another ragged breath, "even alone, if that’s what is called for." She'll know him well enough to know that he's serious about that.

Kathryna considers that quietly, finally folding into standing. She nods. "Well, we'll see what happens. I am still in touch with home. It is good to have back up here, truly… And we always worked well together. We will manage this. One way or another." She flashes him one last smile then begins heading off back to town. "Now, I think I am going to go drink some lunch. Ale works far better than anything that old Maester could give."