Page 179: Who Hath a Story Ready
Who Hath a Story Ready
Summary: Cordelya wakes up to find her possible new sworn sword doing his duty as a guard. She ends up finding him to be an intelligent friend.
Date: 12/1/289
Related Logs: Ironborn Invasion
Cordelya Markus 
Flint Campsite
The Flint Camp at the large war gathering halfway between Stonebridge and the Roost.
Thursday, January 12, 289

"Take, then, this your companion by the hand, / Who hath a story ready for your ear." - Measure for Measure, Act IV Scene I

Being that Cordelya is taking shifts with the poor, ailing Gedeon Rivers, her sleep schedule has been non existant. She chases her husband off to war and hasn't slept at his side other than that very first night! Earlier in the afternoon, after being relieved from her fever vigil by Mistress Senna, Corrie came back to the Flint tent and went almost immediately to sleep on the mat in the back. Meanwhile, her husband's hired another sword and, without a sworn for herself, she's suddenly gained a guard, all while she slept. It's now nightfall and she's shifting up and off the mat. The stays on her dress are still loosened and her spill of brunette waves are a total wildling sort of mess. She stifles a yawn as she pats on stockinged feet out into the larger camp tent. "…Andy?" Her light voice huskily inquires.

He's unfamiliar, though he's the look of a Riverlander about him, this man that stands guard over the Lady Cordelya. He'd been seated on a chair, the creak of it betrays that, though he's standing before his new mistress can come upon him. Never hurts to make a good impression, after all. Markus is wearing boiled leathers, his blade worn at his hip no matter how unnecessary it might be this deep in the camp. "Milord is about business, Lady," he informs, brushing a bit of his dark hair out of his vision. "He did not say when he'd return."

Corrie blinks, staring at the darkhaired, unfamiliar man in front of her. Not one of her husband's men, not one that she knows. He's got a sword, though it's not out and he's standing respectfully. She tries to blink the sleep out of her eyes, a delicate wariness overcoming her elfin features as she looks around, towards her lightly dozing maid in the corner, and back to him. It's like she's trying to see if he is real or not, and she's simply not entirely… Certain. "…You are… truly here… who -are- you?" The first four words are more spoken to herself than him, but then she directly presents him that question, the tall, straw thin woman standing on edge, several feet from him, a restless tension all through her delicate frame.

He quirks a brow in consideration of the woman, not privy to the discussions a husband and wife share, no matter that he would think the Lord to have informed her before putting him here to watch over her sleep. "Ser Markus Ilgrave, my lady," he informs her, his tone restrained and respectful for the woman. He does, after all, look past that question about being really there, did he not? "I was assigned by Lord Anders to stand watch?" he adds, hopefully prompting some recognition from the woman. Or so he hopes.

A few more moments pass, the odd, tall woman staring at him like he might just be a figmant from her dreams come to life. Surely not. Corrie draws in a slow breath, trying to think back to the words her husband said when she had come home hours ago, half asleep and exhausted from her watch over the bastard Knight. "Ilgrave. Ser Markus. Gods…" She breathes out, dragging a long, slim hand across her eyes as she tries to shake off whatever she was feeling, rubbing the surreality of dreams away. "…Yes. I think he said something. I… I am sorry. It has been several long nights with the ill Ser Gedeon. I am not quite myself." She offers with a flickering little smile, even if those words are partially a lie. Once she's finished rubbing at her eyes, she stares at him once more. Yes. Still there.

Not certain if he should be concerned or humored, the knight settles for something in between and notes dryly, "Seems quite the parade of those interested in the well-being of the bastard Rivers." Markus, for his own part, seems a touch impassive to the whole matter. "How fortunate for him." It's then his brow hitches up just a fraction and the man asks of his lady, "Shall I send for one of your maids, then?"

The lady moves over for a pack in the side of the corner, kneeling beside it in a large pool of her own skirts, her long fingertips digging deep inside. "I, in truth, suspect we are all bored. The men wish to march, the women wish to support and help heal where we can, and all we are doing is standing and waiting. So… Gedeon gets his share of well wishers. He's also got quite the stubborn wound. It is a good challenge to those of us who have studied chiurgeonry for years." At least Corrie tells it like it is. Finally, she finds whatever she was seeking in her bag, a medium sized steel flask of sorts. She brings that over to the table where mugs for tea and ale rest. "My maid is there… let her sleep. She gets little enough trying to keep myself under wraps." She smirks a bit, pouring a good dose from that flask into a mug. "Is there tea prepared? Or ale on hand?"

He frowns a touch at the suggestion he leave the maid to sleep, sucking in his cheek as he watches the Lady of Flint's Finger move about the large tent's interior. "There's ale, aye," Markus confirms for her, crossing over towards the keg, scooping a mug along the way. He's not entirely certain he's thrilled with playing servant, though he seems willing to do so to spare the Lady the need to do it herself. "I'm not terribly good at preparing tea, I'm afraid."

"Ale is fine. Probably better, in truth. War is no time for tea. Get us both some, yes?" Corrie asks with a slightly wry smile. She accepts the mug once he has brought it, adding whatever she had from that flask in a good dose and then sealing it back up to go in the pack. She mixes the two with a swirl of her wrist and then downs a good gulp, not lady like at all, of the stuff. A small sigh escapes her lips. "That…is a far better way to awake. Do forgive me, Ser Markus… You are no waiting maid. Sit, relax… I… " She sighs again, sinking down into a folded cloth and wood chair, still half disshelved from sleep, "I don't really stand on ceremony when it comes to family, in our private areas. Doing it out among the fields is enough to drive one mad, or turn one into a mechanical man, not a human…Just a puppet to pomp and circumstance."

Once he's delivered her mug, Markus turns back about to pour himself one, though he'll be careful not to hit the stuff too hard when he's supposed to be keeping an eye on the lady and her sleeping maid. "Your lord husband would not take well to my relaxing, I think," Markus points out, joining her in taking a seat. He can't help but smile a bit at watching her tackle the ale, following suit a moment after. "As my lady wishes, of course. I'm pleased for the chance to serve." Or earn steady coin for a while, more likely.

Cordelya waves it off quietly. "Corrie, please… when the tent is quiet and we're not having to put on heirs, just Corrie." She affirms, flat and practical. She sprawls back into the chair a bit more, still half drowsy and sluggish of limbs, though the ale does seem to be helping a bit. "And my lord husband isn't -here-, is he? He's no doubt off stalking around, trying to light a fire under some Frey's fat behinds. But you are here, and we are relaxing, and if you are to be one of the new guards, you might as well tell me about yourself. An exotic looking one, aren't you?" Of course, up in the Finger or even out in Greywatch, everyone's pale. It's strange to seen tanned, swarthy skin.

"For now, anyways. I've only signed on for this campaign," Markus explains to the woman as he lifts his mug, his eyes watching the woman wearily over the rim. She'd not be the first Lady to talk about how they are relaxing and her lord husband is not about and mean something very pointed by it. He's not certain he gets that sense from her, but it doesn't hurt to be cautious. Or intrigued, as the case may be. "Not to my mind, my lad- Corrie, I mean." The name doesn't seem to flow as eloquently off his tongue as it might, his diction rather perfect, though touched with an accent that is not immediately familiar to most. "I'm born of the Riverlands, though I suppose I've not been back home in quite some time."

The lady looks relaxed, that's certainly true. Corrie's not yet tightened the stays on her bodice or bothered to pin back and tame her hair, but there's none of that come hither look in her eyes. If anything, even in her half drowsed state, Corrie looks like some little girl waking from a long nap only to find twenty years have passed and she's all long, willowy limbs and hips. A hint confused by life, a hint lost in wonder by it all. Still, she watches his exotic self across the rim of her mug. "Or Cordelya, if you prefer. And… if not home, then where? I am fond of stories, Ser Markus. If you'd be willing to tell them, I'd find you quite happy company."

He taps his mug with a forefinger. "Stories… oh, I've a few of those, I suppose. Not sure most of them are appropriate for you, Corrie," Markus points out, having decided upon the mode of address he'll use, at her bidding no less. "They're mostly about war. Granted, a lot of it is a bit more exotic than this mess…" His non-mug holding hand indicates the tent. "Haven't been back in Westeros all that long, y'see. Spent most of my time in the Free Cities, since the- since Good King Robert took the throne."

His commentary about the 'Free Cities' makes Corrie's pale jade eyes go half wide as saucers. Exotic indeed. Subconsicously, she sits up straighter and just a bit closer as she looks him over, leaning one elbow upon the small folding war table between them. "The Free Cities? By the gods… that's… So far…" She breathes out thoughtfully, setting her mug of ale down and giving him all her attention. "And I am no child, Ser Markus… I can handle any story you'd be willing to tell. I know I might look young but I -am- a woman wed, and more intelligent than most out there. It cannot be worse than some things I've read in books." And there's an oddly mischevious light in her eyes as she says that. Almost naughty. She probably likes the worst of books, mostly hidden from lady's eyes and yet she finds them!

He laughs a bit at the last, chasing it with another swallow of ale. "Is that so, Corrie?" Markus asks, her name finding purchase on his tongue a bit easier after a few tries. "You know," he warns, with a glimmer in his eyes, "There are women in the Free Cities that could make the most bold Westerosi woman blush, even a Dornishwoman, I think." His gaze keeps more or less on the Lady's features, no matter her casual lean forward and her less than secured attire. "Most of them are about battle, as that's how I earn my keep, you understand. You've heard of the horselords, the Dothraki?"

Cordelya just -stares- at him, the smirk on her lips rather deepening. "I will say I find the whore's books of Dorne to be more interesting than the few manuals from the Free Cities that I've managed to touch. Both are quite… explicit, but the Dornish courtseans are better at being creative with -their- bodies, as well as their lovers, than the brothels in the Free Cities. And yes. All of them would make most women of Westeros swoon. And I pity the husbands of all those women." It seems Anders Flint is quite a lucky man. The comfortable, confident knowledge in the woman's jade eyes carries a sort of heat to it most noble women simply do not seem to care ever express. It's a heat that -does- belong in whore houses, not in noble courts. Cordelya then just quietly grins, settling back in her chair and taking up her mug again. "But… tell me of these Dothraki? I have heard of them, they travel in great bands and camps of horses and men… across the grass plains, no?"

"Just the same," Markus agrees with a bob of his head, running a hand through his hair before he continues. "They're all about their horses, see. They ride them, fight on their backs, eat horse meat… hell, they even fuck like the animals," he says, apparently finding the woman easier to be comfortable around. The knowing look in her eyes might do something to put him at some ease. "Bend their girls over and ride their- well, anyways. They fight with these damnable swords that look like a sword halfway up the blade, before it bows out into more of a scythe, almost. Against armor they're not so great, but the horse lords aren't ones for that. And when that blade finds flesh… I've seen a man cut clean in two, right across the middle."

Cordelya doesn't look really sick at the thought, but almost analytical. "Well, such positioning for love making is sometimes ideal for conception of a child, but that's a whole other matter. The blades…" She breathes out in consideration, taking another gulp of her ale as she draws her thin legs up onto the chair where she sits, folding them at the ankles and letting her knees stick out under her dress. "I can imagine they'd be very effective in horse back combat. Disable your opponent's horse before you disable him. I also do not imagine they are fond of the same steel armour our men are."

Markus shakes his head. "No, it's too heavy, would slow them down… the damn bastards are quick on horseback. They don't cut their hair, either, like we do. The men all wear long braids, just all of it tied in one long strip, and the longer your braid, the more respect they afford you," he shares. "Something to do with how they cut their braids off when they lose a battle, so if you've managed to let yours grow, you must've defeated many enemies in your time." He doesn't round back to the discussion of Dothraki sexual positions until the end, adding, "Don't know if many of the women'd call that love making… Though I suppose I'm not so tender a soul either, so what do I know?" He chases that thought with a long sip of ale.

Cordelya smirks a bit more, "From what I've heard of the Dothraki, they love their horses well enough. If they take their women as they do their horses, it -must- be an act of love." She winks to him, only slightly teasing, but she is actually clearly studied in these things for a woman who has never been out of the Riverlands. She then finishes off her ale and sets the mug down with a quiet sort of sigh, filled with dreams and distant thoughts. "It must be lovely… to be quite so free. Just roaming the plains, grass and horse… To look at man's hair and know his strength. Maybe these Dothraki have it right compared to our complicated chains."

"Do you think so, really? The Dothraki do not build anything, they leave nothing of permanence in their wake," Markus points out, "No legacy, nothing to mark the momentous events of their people… Besides, I like a good soft bed once in a rare while," he insists.

Cordelya considers that quietly, her head tilting, spilling heavy brown curls across one of her thin shoulders. "…Surely they tell stories, no? They have great legends, great traditions. That is a way of leaving things behind. My own family keeps traditions, history, lore… some of the longest known lore of these lands, and it is all by mouth. The oral tradition can be as strong as a castle made of stone, and it runs as deep as blood."

Corrie's argument is a good one. It's enough to at least get one or two tales of the Free Cities out of Markus as they sit over their ales and speak. Not the best of his stories, but no doubt those are saved for another time. Still, it lets them relax with each other, though soon enough Markus is called out to actual duties, Cordelya's maid awakes, and the conversation comes to an abrupt end.