(121-08-08) Journey to King's Landing
Details for Jorney to King's Landing
Summary: In order to see Eiris Flowers become Eiris Hunt, the Hunts and Hightowers travel to King's Landing.
Date: 8-8-121
Location:
Previous Log
Characters
eiris-huntormund-hightowerlynesse-hightowerlyonel-hightowermartyn-hightowerasten-huntarron

The preparations for the trip take a month if not more so its been delayed at least that long and once upon the road, Eiris does come, Petyr her trusting Gelding carries her for a good portion of the way. Carriages and wagons bring up a good portion of the hunting group that is going to spend a good month or so at the landing for a visit.

The Hightower retinue is impressive, behind the carriage of the lords and ladies is the Master of the Hunt and his daughter. Eiris is dressed in riding leathers, something her father recently gave her as a gift. Her birthday will be during their stay so her gift came early. They are polished, oiled and hold tight to her. They flare open to layers of skirts that make it impossible to see her legs when she sits astride. It makes Flowers appear rather regal if martial. Her red hair is caught in a braid and wound around her hair, pinned into place and the skirts beneath are in Hightower colors, whites and reds.

The day is growing a little late, though they are getting longer it doesn't provide that much. More light so the sun is late, growing golden in its huge as sunlight dapples down through the trees overhead. Eiris breaks the line of formation and comes up beside the carriage to look in on the children and that's when it sounds. There is a horn from the woods and a roar of voices. Bandits. Arrows suddenly appear hit the side of the carriage and take down a few guards. There are not many as they hit the ground but enough to draw concern.

Bandits on foot and armed with swords are clubs start to swarm from one side and deadly on the next. Eiris was already backing up as the arrow had very nearly clipped through Petyr's ear and thudded close to her chest. Her eyes widen and she hurries her horse closer to the side of the carriage, "STAY DOWN!" She says to the children within, the nannies also lower. "Do not come out." She says and turns Petyr around as the mass of the force is on her side. His ears flatten back and the gelding stomps and wields her about, making it nearly impossibly for her to get control of him.

She doesn't want to leave the carriage but another arrow or two wizzes past her, glancing off the leather of her shoulder and making her whip about in the saddle. Her bad foot make it hard for her to move the way she wants.

Another arrow comes speeding in the direction of the woman of his heart and the window of the wagon but there's suddenly a shadow covering her and a blur of white and red movement beside her and the echoing thump of that arrow embedding itself in the tower shield emblazoned with the Hightower. The other hand grabs at Petyr's bit to reign him up and keep him in place. "Get inside!" Ormund commands her and then lifts up the shield again to protect her retreat from another volley.

"FATHER!" The screams of terror from all three of his children inside is more slicing than any sword or arrow.

"STAY DOWN!" Ormund replies to them and he draws his sword. "TO ME!" All of the wagons start to go forward or even go in reverse and the guards begin to circle up as well. It is then that a rare sight is witnessed by those around him. The Valyrian Steel Sword, Vigilance comes from the Lord's sheath with a song and still sings in his grasp as the glint of it halts a few bandits in place, blinded by the reflection and the realization of what it is and who exactly they decided to rob. An arrow pops Dawn on the butt and it makes her rear up, but Ormund leans with it and they make an impressive sight as he bellows, "For the Seven and HIGHTOWER!" Then he and several of the men that immediately came to his call strike into a formation and go charging towards the larger force.

The thunk of the arrow is heard rather than seen as suddenly the back of him is there. Her lips part as she breathes heavily and nods to him. She does not hesitate and climbs down and quickly into the carriage with the others. She looks to the nannies and the children. "I want you all on the floor, forget the seats, get on the floor," She moves out of the way by climbing on a seat and allowing the rest of them to huddle to the ground. "As low as you can get, the carriage will protect us." She promises.

As the men charge, the cry heard and giving heart to the rest of them, she peeks out of the carriage. The conflict wages as men meet bandits and swords clang and armor clashes. Petyr is somewhere, having run off and Eiris tries to find her father. A few of the guards remain behind to watch the carriage but as most are drive off to the right in pursuit a second force rises at the left, smaller but still outnumbering the group that was left behind.

Swords clash, shine and one comes splintering against the side of the carriage and rocks it a bit. The guards call-up to the carriage driver and suddenly they are moving, lurching forward as the noble children and their charges are kept safe. Eiris looks out the carriage window to see the face of a man, rather men clinging to the carriage. He glares at her and she gasps, trying to grip the door and give it a shove to try to unsettle him but her red hair is grabbed and she's jerked half out of the carriage.

Ormund and his men drive many of them back right off the bat. The bandits, for the most part, are not on horseback and so they run when pursued. More arrows are shot at them from vantage points in trees or further away.

Little do they know however that they are being led into a trap. Those bandits who do actually have horses are waiting back and so when their cohorts on foot - those that escape the knights and their lord come around a bend those five or so on horseback rush forward with swords drawn to engage the shielded foe. One comes barreling straight for Ormund, his sword raised.

Little hands grasp at Eiris and do their best to keep her in the wagon. Something bonks her head from behind as an eating knife comes into view to stab at the hand grabbing her head. "Leh Aywis GO!" He is in no danger of being flung out at his nanny is doing her best to cling to him and drag him down, because let the bastard get dragged out, he's much more important!

A man in a tree getting a bead on one of the men in the charge drops with an arrow to the throat and Asten knocks another arrow and looks down over the edge of the wagon from where he stands on the roof. Lyonel within feels like a great warrior even though his knife only gives a little scratch. But the bandit with Eiris' hair falls off the side of the wagon. "Eiris!" Her father's voice comes from above in a 'get the hell back in the wagon!' way.

Unlike Petyr, Dawn is a trained war horse, so when she's in charge her head is down and the pain from the nicks and bruises is ignored. Only carrying Ormund where he needs her to be is her concern and she is bidden to prepare for a ramming. As her shoulder slams into the chest of the incoming horse she lets out a bellow and brings one of her hooves down on the enemies front nobby knee and she gives the thigh of the rider a chomp as Ormund gets a slice to his ear but his shield deflects the sword for the most part.

Up and up the knight lifts his shield and then from underneath the plane of the shield comes another glint in the sunset and the rider doesn't even feel the penetration or withdrawal of Vigilance through his heart. He doesn't realize he's dead until he drops into the hoof churned soil and then gets trampled by his own unbalanced horse. There is no time to pause for relief or celebration of the victory. Ormund must quickly prove to the bandits the mistake they've made.

Free of that rude hand clutched into her hair, Eiris hears the call of her father and dips back into the wagon, swaying in the seat as she looks to the little lord. "You are your father's child, my lord. Thank you." She says. She winces though, some of her red hair having been pulled out but its not falling yet with its caught in her braid. The wagon continues on, jostling as shots come and a couple of bandits, one upon Petyr start to catch up to the carriage. When leans forward, thrusting his sword into the window so that Eiris must duck and keep low. Screams fill the air as the wagon is forced along the road and slightly up an embankment where the first right wheel becomes stuck and strands the wagon. It means they come to a jolting halt.

The bandits still have some heart in them even when first presented with the Knights of Oldtown. Arrayed in their colors and looking fearless. But people are hungry still dealing with what is left of the long Winter. A couple more bandits remain, rallying they rush the knights and strike forward towards what they think are the leaders.

One comes into the opposite side from Ormund's shield, meaning to take advantage and hamper him with a heavy hit with a double ax. It comes down heard, meaning to break his arm and send him reeling but it leaves the man open. A rookie mistake. A few more arrows pepper the group but there seems to be less of them but for what reason?

Asten is busy above the wagon, trying to defend it as Eiris hazards a lookout, noticing the movement of people coming around them.

Ormund's ears are ringing and his arm feels like it did after Bristles. But the blow was buffeted enough and the withdrawal did leave the ax wielder open and with an upward slash and a squelching sound, the bandit's horse is soon wearing a mantle of his rider's innards.

It is the familiar sound of a disgruntled Petyr behind him that swings his attention back towards the caravan. "BACK TO THE WAGONS!" The knights and guards that were with him do as ordered, only one mortally suffers in the change of orders and gets a spear to the back when he was turning about. One bandit with a dagger below on foot gets Dawn's back hooves in the face and chest when he slashes at her tendons trying to unseat her rider. She too heard the distress of her pal Petyr and her drive to get Ormund carried to his aid needs zero guidence from Ormund. Together they gallop to the rescue. One of his literal bannermen are relieved of one of their banners and the red and white flag becomes blood soaked when Ormund uses the spear head at the top of the banner as a make shift lance and make the charge at Petyr and his rider.

"PROTECT THE WAGONS!" Is his command and it's followed by each member of the caravan that is within earshot. Their offensive quickly turning into a defensive on the offensive as they encircle around those circling around the wagons.

Inside the wagon, Lyonel was trying to give a gallant bow to his maiden in distress, but the lurch sends the boy back onto the floor and the nanny drags him back underneath her, chiding him as only a nanny can. Lynesse is the next to break away from her septa to climb up so that she can untether Royal Blue's cage and make sure that he's brought down from by one of the windows. She gives a scream when that very same window shatters and glass sprays over her.

The bandits that the knights engaged are on the run, but some are circling after. Their forces are not altogether conditioned to face knights so those who have a mind to live are abandoning the cause. THey only picked off a few of the Hightower retinue and more of their own has passed. No one has told the secondary group now circling the wagon and carriage.

As the window shatters, Eiris gasps and looks to Lynesse. Throwing herself forward, she carries the lady down with her into the seat and covers her with her body, "stay down, please, Lynesse, please…." she says, lifting her head just a bit to get a look outside and sees a figure come up to the windows.

Asten is too taken with the one side, his spear having been caught he is fighting with the bandit to free it when other slices at his leg. The Hunt goes down and grunts, hitting the top of the carriage with a sound that makes the children inside scream. Eiris touches her side where the hunting knife is and pulls it then as the door opens behind her and Martyn and his nanny are reached for. "Stay Lynesse" she hisses and pushes up, lunging with that small knife to stab at the hand. The man cries out and pulls back as the Huntress presses through that door and quickly closes it behind her, slamming it shut as she presses herself into place and holds out that knife as the bandit looks to his bleeding hand, "Cunt." He grows at her.

Flinching a little, she holds her ground. He's no downed beast to skin and field dress but his skin will give just as easily. But in his hand is a club and he lifts it ready to step in on her. "Whatcha going to do bitch?" He asks her and then she lunges, trying to catch his neck and he laughs, stepping back and swings his club into her side - not hard but enough to knock the wind out of her and send her stumbling.

Eyes red and puffy Lynesse screams and smacks the inside of the door. "Eiris NO!" She sobs and then she looks around and opens up Royal's cage. It is with a few winces as his sharp talons sink into her bare hand that she pulls the bird out, unhoods him and then with a command the bird swoops to the window and makes ribbons out of flesh and pops the eyeballs of the bandit that was making a lusty reach into the wagon to grab up Martyn's Nanny. When the face drops away the bird returns to Lynesse who braves the dig of claws into her hand and gives him praise and pets though she is still shaking and sobbing crying for Eiris.

When both of the boys inside realize that Eiris has left them too they begin to scream for her as well, Martyn's voice loudest of all, "MOMMY!!!"

Lynesse's septa have stopped her praying to the mother and begins pleading with the bandits that are rocking and swarming their wagon. "Please, only women and children in here! Have the Mother's Mercy! Have Mer—" Her pleas are cut off when her throat is stabbed through by a man that's suffered so much this last winter he's had enough talk from septons and septas about the Gods mercy. This, of course, has everyone in the wagon screaming and things - anything is picked up by nannies and children alike to begin throwing at the invading bandits that get into the windows.

Lord Hunt is down and rather injured but there is one clever idea that he can manage and one of the lanterns that dangle from the roof at the corners of the wagons is snatched up and poured upside down over the edge of the wagon onto the bandits below. He calls out the name of one of the guards nearby and the guard seems to understand without much communication at all and the rider swoops past the oil-soaked vagabonds and drags his lit torch across their backs. This act draws the attention of Eiris' attacker and the second blow that was meant for her is swung backward and there's a sickening crunch and scream as the torchbearer's horse gets its jaw broken and the guard goes flying into a cluster of bandits and is quickly kicked, clubbed and stabbed to a messy end.

The screams of his children are a magnet to the lord. He leaves the man on Petyr to die with his banner run right through him. Least the saddle won't be open for another bandit to steal Petyr. That's good enough for Ormund right now as his children do come above his love's horse in the grand scope of things and he with Vigilance start to charge for the wagon.

The cries are enough to strangle her heart and Eiris struggles a moment, nearly running back to them but at this point, offering her back as she is recovering is not a good idea. She turns her attention back to her attacker so when that next strike starts to come she is ready to move but it never does. When his club goes the other way she has precious few seconds. She turns the hunting knife in her hand and rushes forward, barreling into him and driving the knife into his chest. Blood wells upwards, against her hand, staining her sleeve and as he pushes at her frantically she falls back without her knife. She hits the ground not far from the poor guard who had fallen to the clubs and jabs of a small group of bandits.

The shock will happen later. The children are screaming she sees more bandits as she rolls to her stomach. Pushing herself up, Eiris half stumbles forwards towards the man choking on his blood and yanks her blade free. Children. Her children. They are hers as far as she cares to admit and though she is not a lioness there is the blood of wildlings that runs through her.

She doesn't think twice about the blood and hurries back to the carriage and goes to get the door open seeing the blood. Panic sweeps through her, startling Roy as she drags the door open only to feel the rough grasp of a bandit. Her blade clatters free of her hand and she can see Ormund, not very far away as he closes the distance when the man starts trying to squeeze the life out of her. She's pressed back against the carriage, unable to reach the blade on the ground as she kicks and is lifted just a little, the air choking free of her lungs.

Ormund finds another stubborn, hungry bandit with a spear, ready to try to strike Dawn and her rider through. Desperation in his eyes he plants the end of the spear and readies himself, gritting his teeth as the knight just might do the job for him.

There are few left, but they are blinded by the fact until one begins to call out in fright. A few start to scatter but those dedicated to the carriage are hoping to find something inside that is not children. One actually gets through that open door next to Eiris and starts to grab for Lionel, reaching his leg to drag him out as he screams and kicks. Eiris can hear him, she can not help him and she can see an archer, taking aim at Ormund.

Asten is trying to drag himself over the edge, trying to get to the screaming Hightower Lordlings and his own daughter who is going red in the face.

Three things happen in near unison. Dawn is reigned back so fast, too fast that she goes toppling over, but it saves her from being impaled on the spear. As she falls one way, Ormund launches himself the other way and the spear penetrates the tower shield and slices into the white silk of the billowing sleeves of the lord's shirt. Red and white are his colors and he wears them proudly. The third thing to happen is after landing on top of the spear wielder a look of surprise crosses his face as an arrow sinks into the flesh of his back and stops in his shoulder blade. That arm was just getting usable again!

As he slides his arm, twice injured out of the shield he gruesomely bashes the man under it into a bloody muddy pulp. Vigilance is pulled up into position again and he hacks and stumbles through the crowd and finally, there's momentarily more lift to Eiris as Ormund rams into the back of her assaulter and his bad arm goes around the man's throat. It is a close call for the woman because the tip of Vigilance comes very close to slashing her when it appears out of the top of the bandit's rib cage. It is like a hot knife in butter as it splits the man in twain and then he's slumping into Eiris as the man drops between them. To wrap his injured arm around her now to pull her back towards the doorway of the wagon.

Vigilance is rather simply rested flat bladed on the shoulder of the man with hands on his heir. "Get your filthy hands off my son." Ormund pants out. He is tired and weak but all it would take is a tiny fumble from the lord and the bandit would lose his head. "SURRENDER AND MERCY WILL BE GIVEN!" That bellow took the last out of him and he's now as much leaning on his Lady Flowers than he is supporting her. The shout was for the good of those that are left. Trying to draw their attention that they were no match against the knights and men — and women — of Hightower.

The archer, for how true his shot is found an arrow coming out of his chest when on of Ormund's own guard's rallies to build a line after the lunge through the air of their lord. Eiris chokes, gags as she is lifted further and finally released with the growing slack of her attacker's hand; dead, he falls. Coughing, rubbing at her neck she spills into Ormund, blood and viscera dotting her clothing, her hand and her face. She says nothing but as her dizziness passes she moves with him.

The bandit goes still with the press of the blade and Lionel is let go as the man stays still. Eiris feels Ormund give after the bellows and her arms go around him. Shaken, she still stands proudly next to him, pressing her hand into his back.

The cry from the Lord of Oldtown is enough to shatter the mettle of those bandits still able to run as his men begin to cut down the rest. Asten hits the ground, gritting his teeth and hobbles over to grab the man in the wagon out and shove him to the ground, his sword pressed to his neck so that Ormund can give in finally.

Eiris can feel the tide turning, the sound no longer of chaos but of order and her own voice lifts, spirited by a desperate need. "TO YOUR LORD!" She cries out and tries to hold him securely against her, leaning into the carriage. "My love," her voice sounds hoarse, "You did so well…we are safe. The children are safe." She breathes and tears are starting to flow as she pressed her forehead to his, not caring who sees, offering him a quick kiss that is breathless and emotional. They have little time for anything else when two of his men move over to help him, trying to ease him away to where he can sit.

Fingers dripping with the blood of their enemies and his own leave streaks on her cheek as he returns the kiss and rocks his head just slightly to nuzzle his forehead against hers. He finds a seat in the opened doorway of his family wagon and when he slumps against the doorframe six little arms all wrap around him where they can and he leans his head against them and kisses at their hair and faces where they can. Martyn though breaks away and starts to sob and make reaching gimme grabby hands at Eiris hiccuping and sobbing begging for, "Mommy!" Lynesse also reaches out one arm to try to draw the Flowers into their family hug as they all console and cling to each other in grief and shock about what just happened.

Eiris does not notice the blood that patterns her face or likewise the streaks he leaves. Her chin tips up and she returns that moment, relief washing over her. As he moves to sit, she stands there and does the best she can not look down at her hands or the man somewhere ahead of her that she plunged her knife into. It is the sound of the children that draw her and turning to cross towards them all, she does so nearly numbly until she gathers Martyn up into her arms, leaning past Ormund to do so. Tears streaking her face in silence she makes a soft sound as her lips find his face, forehead and then clutches him to her cheek and breast. The willful hand of Lynesse leans her forward into Ormund, pressing her chest to his reclined figure while her hands hold fast to Martyn before one snake out and touch Lynesse and then Lionel. "It's okay children," she finds her ragged voice. "Its okay.." she tries to soothe them all.

Finally, she collapses lower, going to her knees to press her head to Ormund and find better access to the children and most importantly so Martyn can see his father. "We are safe little one," she manages a smile for Martyn.

Asten struggles, limping upon his leg as the guards begin to gather up the horses and the fallen but the Hunt stands just aside, "My Lord.." he manages to break in. "We must right the carriage and seek the hospitality of the nearest noble family to recover, Ashford or Meadows I believe sir, depending on which way you wish to go." IT is a question that hangs in the air -something the men need to point themselves in the right direction.

Reality sets in. The time that they have as a family, without care for who sees how in love and caring of each other they are, is short lived. Ormund nods, squeezing his children and lady close, giving them each kisses before his hold on them slacks and he starts to pull himself back up. He knows that Eiris has Martyn so he picks up Lyonel as he stands. They can watch as he transforms. His spine goes rigid, his shoulders go back, head up. Broken arrow still poking out his back he takes as deep a breath as he can, fills his lungs and gestures for Lynesse to come out of the wagon. "Children to the supply wagon. Remove the septa's body. Let's get this wagon clean and out of the mud. Gather the bodies…" He gestures with the arm not holding his heir to one side of the road where the bodies to be laid out to make an account. "Bring the Maester. Women and children first." One more kiss is given to the side of Lyonel's head before he is finally passed over to his Nanny so his orders can start to be followed. The next command he says is different. A tone that many here have never heard in his voice. "Bring me, prisoners."

Eiris watches the change, rising as well so that she can step aside and look to Lynesse. She reaches her hand down and grasps for the ladies. "Lynesse, I need you to take care of Martyn, yes. And go get your hand seen to by the Maester. I need to help gather the horses and make sure we have everyone accounted for. I will be with you soon, I promise." There is an earnest look in her green eyes as she lowers Martyn and does not kiss him, not with those eyes on them. "Go with your sister. I will be with you soon. Everything is okay now," she promises him before she slowly rises and looks to Ormund's back, staring at the arrow a moment before she is stepping into the carriage and searches for royal. Not finding him she grabs his cage and tries to ignore the haunted open eyes of the Septa. "Blessings." She whispers and then pulls herself out. She has a task and pulling the heavy glove from her belt she tugs it on and then begins to the arduous task of finding Royal, letting out a whistle and shaking the bell on her glove as her hand lifts.

The men move then, dragging over one of the stragglers they managed to catch. His legs trailing behind him, he pleads with them to let him go. He's nothing but skin and bones as he is dropped before the lord and lowers down, "Please, my lord," he begs, those hungry eyes lifting to look up at the Lord of Oldtown. A few more others, one more feisty and ready to fight with his fists are thrown down before him totaling four in all. "That is all we could find my lord."

The Maester who seems to have a cut upon his brow is hurrying over to check on the lord. Carrying with him a bag of goods that he saved from the wagon. It is for the arrow he moves now, but stops when he sees the display.

Ormund points his bad arm, perhaps to prove that it's alright enough to move like that, towards the wagon where the children and women have been taken until their wagon is cleaned and set to rights again. The maester knows Ormund well enough to know not to press the issue and so he follows the wordless command and goes to try to take care of the women and children first. Sedatives for the nannies, a bit of spiced warmed wine for the children and a single stitch and bandages for Lynesse's hand. "Look, my lady, it's the constellation of your birth." He points out to her as the pattern of the scars does, in fact, resemble that almost exactly.

Meanwhile, as the children are being cared for and out of sight, the interrogation begins. "Clap them." Short for clapping them in irons, for those still with a feisty streak. "You." He points to the one begging. "What in the name of the Seven do you think you're doing!? Do you have any idea who you've just attacked?" He paces before the prisoners, but his eyes, like piercing icicles, never leave their gaze from the man in question.

The chime of the bell, the whistle of the huntress cuts through the stark slow simmering anger of the Lord of Oldtown as he questions their once attackers. One starts to growl and lift up meaning to rush Ormund but is caught short and struck on the back of the head by a sword hilt. It stops him short and crumbles him to the ground where he groans. The others go still and the remaining look ready to speak. "No, we do not know, we are hungry. Our children, my lord, have mercy. Please."It comes from the jibbering coward who quails before his possible retribution for his acts. He shakes and trembles, lifting his hands imploringly to Ormund. "I came only for hopes of coin..for my family. My lord, please, I will swear to your family, to your House..please..anything." The other two, though eager to be out of the irons that are unceremoniously placed about their wrists are not so forthcoming and just bow their heads, one giving their coward cohort a scathing look.

Eiris must drift further afield, whistle and giving a shake of the bell. She steps up a small rise and waits, watching and barely hearing what is transpiring but mere echoes of the pleas. Her head turns and to look back when she hears a sound. Turning her head about one of the bandits is moving, trying to go out of sight and when he sees her notice him not far away he starts to rush her as her lips part.

Out of the corner of his eyes, he noticed one of his men started to gather up Dawn and his shield. He calls the man's name and holds out his hand and the tower emblazoned tower shield is brought over to him. The shield is held very close to the sniveler's face. "Do you know what this means?" He leaves the shield stuck upright in the mud like a tombstone before the prisoners. "I am Ormund Hightower, Lord of Oldtown. I am aware that times have been very hard. If you had come to me, with bowls and outstretched hands."

He leans down to stare down the most aggressive of the bandits. "You would be eating and bringing your families food and coin right now." The pacing continues once more, "Instead, you came with arrows and swords and you attacked WOMEN AND CHILDREN. My Children."

One of the men has just started to remove the septa. "Bring the good Septa here." He makes sure that each of tgets get a good look at the dead body of the septa. "You are cursed. By your own choices. Even The Mother will have no mercy on your souls. The Warrior spits on you and your cowardice." He points up, "If the Gods will have no mercy on you, then why should I? If I had your black hearts, I would be sending my men to track the other men, hunt them down like the rabid dogs you behave as and follow them home. Then attack your homes, terrorize your children and murder your good women that are begging for mercy. That would only be just, would it not? Punishment befitting the crime?"

His men, and Asten, know him well enough to know that is not what he would ever in a million year order them to do. They know that when he makes a gesture it is to tell them to indeed track those that fled, learn what village these men came from and return to him with this knowledge, leaving the village unmolested. But the prisoners don't know that and he is fine with letting them think the worst right now.

As the emblem is displayed before them, several do not know what the tower alight means but the other's face drains slowly of color and Ormund's words ring true. One of them curses beneath his breath and lowers himself to the ground,. "Mercy my lord. Times have made us desperate. Please …" The others begin to echo hearing the threat in Ormund's voice that they have no idea is only that. They prostrate themselves and the one with the most sense presses his hands to his lips and extends them towards the shield. The men break away and head to trek the others.

Ormund's wrath is something to be hold, cold calculated and as the men who are brought before him quail there are those that have yet to see or hear his intentions. Like the figure of the man that barrels into Eiris and sends her to the ground as they both tumble down the other side of the incline. She hits the ground in a tumble, groaning as Royal's cage is left behind on the rise showing where his had been. Rubbing at her neck, she starts to push herself up when she feels the weight of the man behind her and she's pressed into the ground. As she looks back she notes the fact that he is dirtyis not scruff, its a boy near a man - about her age that has yer and is stuffing his trembling hand against her lips cutting off the cry she lets lose. Her eyes wide and she kicks at him a she pleads, "Please…don't..please!" He says.

"Pile their dead around them. Let them behold where succumbing to desperation gets them." He leaves the criminals to wonder what their fate actually will be and he heads for the supply wagon. The maester is immediately on him. And his jerkin and shirt are quickly removed so that the Lord's wounds could be tended to. But it's about then that Ormund has done a head count, "Where's Eiris?" Up Ormund stands with a great sigh of aggravation from the maester. "EIRIS!?" He bellows and steps up onto the wagon to get a higher view to search for his missing love. "Eiris!? ASTEN!" He calls after the man that's pacing away following the tracks. "Eiris is gone!" Every man doing clean up work is commanded, "Find her!"

The camp awakens from its dealings to learn of Eiris' disappearance and the roars of the Lord of Oldtown can be heard even by the boy who has her half pinned. Slowly she nods and he releases her mouth, her head turning to look up at the ridge. "Go…" Because he's young, she's hopeful and not wanting to see more death. As he scrambles up he looks at her. "Thank you.." she hesitates, "wait..wait.." she says and from around her neck comes the beautiful piece that Ormund gave her. She quickly works at the clasp and then shoves it into his hand. "Sell it…" she says and he stares at her. "GO" He runs then, taking off down the line of the ravine as she fixes her collar, dusts a hand to her hair and begins to haul herself back up the incline, which takes a little work in the layers of riding skirts. A she begins to crest the rise there are guards nearly on her position. "I am here, I lost my footing and fell." She tries to calm them all. She may get a few looks from the guards for her misstep that took them from their duties and she swallows, lifting her chin as her father gives her a look and then goes back to tending to the orders previously given.

Unconsciously her hand lifts to that spot around her neck. Her fingers brush at her bare skin but then she had not shown anything was there. Bloody streak marks smear down her cheek and a few dots pattern the rest of her face. She grabs for the cage and hauling it up with a grunt moves on, whistling and calling for Royal though now she has a guard with her.

Both Lord and Maester give a sigh when word gets back that she has been found and he finally allows himself to be tended to. "Doshit 'urt Faffa?" Lyonel asks as he sips his wine and watches the Maester slice at the wound a few centimeters more so that he can slide the barbed arrowhead back out without ripping the skin. "Life is worth the pain my son." He reaches out his good arm to ruffle his heir's dark chestnut locks.

"Everything is going to be alright now. I am so proud of the three of you." "I ssstabssa bad man. Ssaved Ewwish." "Did you!? That's a good boy." All three of the children then start to gush and babble on to their father recounting what had happened in the wagon. Ormund is grateful for the distraction as he is sewn up and packed with poultices and bandages. "Now the other men…" The Maester wasn't done to his liking, the bandages could have been done better, but again he knows better than to argue with the Lord when it comes to the well being of the other men and so he takes his medical supply kit and goes to check over the survivors.

Ormund takes only a handful of minutes to just sit. Let the tiny bit of milk of the poppy take away the pain and then he opens his eyes when he feels silk being slid over his head. His little Lynesse got one of his other shirts and is carefully helping her father dress himself again. "Your mother would be so proud." This makes Lynesse tear up and hug her father again. "When the King says that she's not a Bastard any more, will Eiris be our mother Father?"

Ormund smiles a little and caresses her cheek with now clean fingers. All three of the children are looking at him hope filling their eyes. "A surname, nor a wedding is going to keep Eiris from being a mother to you. She loves you so, and you love her and that is the only thing that is needed. But I hope so children. I hope so." He kisses them all and then Ormund bows his head to the nanny's and from the bottom of his heart he thanks them for all they did and entreats them to continue their good service.

Ormund then strolls through the caravan site, taking note of what they've lost, what they still have and he often itches the side of his nose as he ponders what to do now. But he has some time to think, because he needs to wait for the trackers to return with their report. Because that there will be the fulcrum of his final decisions.

Tirelessly Eiris works to bring the kestrel back and as the day grows longer she still an not find him and so starts to circle back the other way always with her guard now. She is not seen for some time as things are taken care of.

Bodies are piled and put before the mean that are clad in irons still and scouts have yet to return from their pursuit of the fleeing common folk turned bandits. That leaves the rest to gather their own dead, lay them out to honor them and prayers to the seven are lifted, muttered and whispered amongst the camp. The carriage is pulled free of its spot and set to rights. The horses checked and fed, brushed down as the blood of the Septa is scrubbed and cleaned as best it can to allow for the use of the carriage again. It is a long day. A very long one.

The men come back with news finally and preparations for camp are being prepared in case they are to stay.

"My lord there seems to be a small village to the north and east, not sure the territory and what lord holds sway over them but they are in bad sorts. Many look to be near starvation. They have lost many and the children, my lord. They look beyond weak and their parents are worse off. They held no resistance to us." His men hurt no one but have returned with the news, weary and looking to the line of their brethren upon the ground.

Eiris enters the camp from the other direction and a small settles triumphantly to her lips. "I have him," she proclaims as she moves to Lynesse. Royal is in his cage that she tries to holds in both hands and finally she rests him upon the ground. "He was feasting on a rabbit. Not hurt at all." She says and looks to the children. SHe's still covered in blood, earth and her throat is sorely bruised with handprints.

One of the nannies is politely asked to attend to Eiris, she is Martyn's nanny so it's a it ironic since the two women have the most strain together. But she bobs a curtsy and will act as a maid to Eiris to help her get washed up and dressed in clean clothes. As he passes Eiris there is just a brush of the backs of his finger against the back of her hand. Though the look he gives her is one she'll recognize, it's his chiding look, like when she tried to do things with her toes falling off. She scared him, and she'll get a scolding for it later, but he is just so happy that she's alright that it will wait.

The Lord of Hightower returns to the criminals after the news was given, "Who is your Lord and Master?" The question is generally asked of all of them, but he is laying that icy stare on the sniveler.

Eiris allows herself to be cleaned but is not likely to change, taking her time with wiping her leathers off as her skin is seen to by the nanny. She offers the woman her thanks, her eyes lowered, turning her head ever so slightly as she acknowledges the brush of his hand. A faint smile pulls at her lips and she resigns herself to bing tended - it is a strange thing and one she eventually takes over to finish up, feeling the scratchy dry blood upon her neck and shoulder.

The man lowers his head and then speaks, "House Grandison holds dominion over our lands, my lord," he says finally and there are sounds from the men around him. "The Lord shut us out when we sought help…it has been so long. The winter so long." He says, his voice quailing a measure or two.

That is enough for Ormund's men as they look to their lord in the lengthening shadows of the day. Do they go? Do they stay? Grandison is long the way to King's Landing, a smaller House.

"Are we that close to the border?" He strokes at his goatee after another little scratch of his nose. "Maester Arwyn." The young sage comes over quickly. "Is any of the men in dire need?" Another factor of his decision. If anyone needs a more sound and stable environment it will be given. If not they will just circle the wagons until morning.

"Bring four sacks of flour to the village. If any man is recognized. Bring him to me. We'll seek hospitality with Grandison on the morrow. The men who rose arms will be put to his justice. I'll inform him that the villages will be provided for, and that Boromund will learn of his failure."

By, provided for, he has plans of bringing those willing to come, back to the reach and put them in the service of House Meadows. But "stealing" smallfolk, even those turned away by their lord is not something Ormund will do, so Grandison will be confronted.

Afterw,ards he gathers Asten and Eiris, "I hope you both will forgive me the delay." But to him, all of this is a bit more important than a hunting trip that will is just a cover to make sure a message gets seen by the king. "I'll also be sending Lyonel back. I should have listened to my gut and not my heart."

"We are, my lord, we have very little ground left to cover before we reach King's Landing." The man listens to his instructions and gives a firm and quick nod, "Right away, sir. We will see it done," he says and off his men go, true, loyal and efficient as they are moving the sacks of grain to several horses to share the load and mounting up to head towards the village before nightfall. They are gone without a second wasted.

Eiris is clean of blood now and Asten has had his leg bandaged and set right. He still is favoring it as he knuckles his chin, "My lord, I do not think any of us are up for hunting at the moment, we are at your disposal." Eiris merely nods, looking back at the noble children knowing how much it will break their hearts. "If I might say so, my lord. We are nearly there where your son will be safe upon arrival. If you send him back there will be fewer to guard him and the journey longer. I think it would be …more of a risk to split your men in case there is trouble for the young lord on the way back," she expresses and offers him a smile. "This way he has the full attention of his father's men in full and I am sure after you speak with Grandison he will want to see us safely to the Landing for the transgressions of his people. If not..I would ask him for it."

A dry chuckle comes at comment of their being in no shape for hunting. "I have picked my advisers well. Of co,urse I'm not as certain as you that 'safe' and 'King's Landing" belong in the same sentence."

He reaches up both of his hands to hook around both the back of the neck of Asten and over the shoulder of Eiris. It is then though that Ormund notices the lack of necklace and bruising at her neck and he frowns and one finger lifts to caress at the blemished skin. All he does is look at her expectantly for an explanation. "We will move for Grandview in the morn. Circle in, watch shifts, see to the wounded. I am proud of all of you, thank you for your service. Let's eat and sleep and pray we rest well. My the gods bless each of you."

He calls to his camp and then he personally goes to pick up two loaves of bread and a waterskin and strolls back to the prisoners. One whole loaf is given to the Sniveler he's already asked around the men and the Sniveler didn't so much harm anyone but merely was caught trying to rob the supply wagon. The bandit that lunged for him gets a small rip of bread. The others get equal portions of the second loaf. They all get to share the waterskin. You will most likely be put to death. Your fate is in Lord Grandison's hands. But die knowing that you nearly killed a Lord that will make sure that your families will never suffer the fate you nearly reaped upon his own family. Count yourself lucky it was I you attacked, other lords would have indeed put your villages to the torch for the horrors you inflicted on the innocent."

Ormund then returns to his wagon and now that plans are solid he can finally take more than a few moments of time to himself. He chooses to spend it with his family and men around the campfire made, all present there get to witness a bit more of the Man instead of the Lord as they share stories about the day and are all grateful to be alive and eating together.

"Gone," Eiris simply says but gives him a faint smile. Asten watches them both and seeing to his lord he claps him on the back hopefully not too close where the arrow went in. "We will set camp and I will see about setting the round of watches so that we can sleep soundly." Asten hobbles off, his dark hair swaying down his back so aged with grey he seems a decade older than he is. He starts rumbling off orders and men begin moving to make sure all is in order and that wagons and supplies offer the best position of protection.

Eiris gives his hand a squeeze as she turns, moving to follow the others as she helps gather wood and stack it to the side. Torches are made and assembled for the peremeter and a few of the Hightower archers find good postings for themselves. The fire is well and going for the evening by the time the others sit to eat. Eiris remains near the children, but somewhat apart as she eats a bit of her food but in the dying light, she gets and gathering a small pale heads for the tiny little creek not far away. A guard goes with her and with a linen in hand she will tend to herself.

She is washing her skin, removing a few layers to begin wetting her hair and unbraiding it so that she can pull the bits of leaf and plant matter from her hair. Her hair is red so it hides the blood that has matted it. She winces, the cut on her scalp from the glass is already healing but the water momentarily runs with blood as the guard remains with his back turned, scanning the wood in the grey of the evening.

Arron, the guard, is alerted and goes hand to the sword when there is a rustle. But he goes at ease when it is Ormund that comes out of the darkness. The Lord only need give a tilt of his head and the Guard relieves himself of his duty and goes to stand at a greater distance to still keep watch. "Now then. What aren't you telling me?" He asks as he settles down on the edge of the water toying with a bit of reed he pulls out of the soil by him and then out comes his boot dagger to begin to whittle at the reed. His eyes are on her, but they focus on her face, looking her in the eyes, through them into her mind and soul, searching.

Straightening up, hands to wet hair, she squeezes it out and shakes out her hands before letting russet curls fall about her face in the growing dark. "Do not be mad with me," she begins, the front of her dress is loosened, made so to wash the blood away that had gone too low and some still remains far out of sight. None of it truly her's. "One of the bandits..a boy..young man, close to my own age caught me unawares when I went looking for Royal," she begins and reaches down for the linen cloth, carefully wiping at her bruised neck. The bandit imprints of the bandit's hands that seized her by the neck are becoming painfully clear. "He was half starved, desperate…he didn't want me to give him away. I do not think he even attacked us but hung back. I gave it to him…told him to go." She lowers her gaze. "If whoever he sells it to gives him a fair price…it will feed him for months if not far more. I could not keep it knowing that…seeing his face." She swallows and lifts her gaze. "I have never had to want even if our home was small but I have seen it, on the people's faces. I never want to again so be angry with me if you must. It is all I could offer him." She has no money, after all, none of her own really.

Ormund takes a deep breath and pinches the bridge of his nose. "That's all? Of course, I am not mad. I understand what you did and why you did it. I just hope the necklace doesn't bring him more harm than good." Anyone he tries to sell it to no doubt will think he stole it. "We will do what we can for the innocents of the village. This boy included. Hopefully, you will see him again and he can return the necklace." He reaches out to stroke her cheek with his fingers. "And you? I can tell when you are trying to appear better off than you are. Is it just your neck?" His hand trembles a little as it once again caresses at the bruising very lightly. "I could kill him all over again." He frowns at himself, but it's true. That beast, what he was doing to her, what he said to her, all of it makes Ormund feel like he put the man to death too quick. Something slower would have suited him better and these feelings make him feel less of a good man and ashamed.

"I was more in danger with my foot the way it was…I am bruised..perhaps more than I would care to be.." she takes his hand and lowers it to her side as she hisses. "I do not think anything is broken. I saw you…I knew I would be okay even before you brought him down." She whispers and leans her face in close to his, coming to rest her forehead in place upon his own. Slowly she steps closer a breath slowly exhaled as she wets her lips. "I love you, Ormund. I will fight for you and yours till my last breath. All of you. I will be fine..sore but fine," she says with a soft smile upon her lips. Those green eyes open to look up at him, her nose brushing his as they steal those precious moments. Her breath starts to hitch as the brush of her nose brings her lips close to his, so very near and they catch, the top to his. She does not press him, knowing his oaths but here is a sudden flush to her skin as her eyes half hood, looking up at him through the thick edge of her lashes.

The breath that he exhales shudders in the relief that he finally has all the information and that she is alright. He kisses her softly, then passionately and then softly again. "I love you so much. I don't know what I would have done if I did lose you. Please, swear to me, no more wandering. I don't wish to clip your wings, just sing before you fly?" He rubs at her back and then abandons the flute he was going to work on to instead cuddle her up and just hold her. She is not pulled onto his lap and if anyone did catch them, it would be very clear that her virtue is completely safe.

Nuzzling her nose to his, Eiris lifts her hands to smooth through his hair. Slowly she threads her fingers through it and down his neck with a soft sigh. "I promise…I will sing whenever you wish me to. You will always know where I am," she promises him. Slowly she draws her head back to get a clear look at him, her eyes wander over his features thrown in shadows and greys. There is a sudden flush of color for no reasons as she is silent but then her lips press to him again, willing another kiss from his lips. Finally, it breaks, her nose resting once more to his and she glances up and towards the guard, Arron. "Ormund." There is so much in the weight of his name form her lips. Her eyes slowly close and she keeps her words to herself, fingers merely stroking through his locks, humming to herself as she drives away whatever she had been on the verge of saying.

The weight in her saying his name hits him so heavy he chuffs out a breath like she's clubbed him. He kisses her back and nods, he knows what she's feeling, he's feeling it too. "Soon my love." He promises her. They've been waiting for almost over a year now, and they are so close. King's Landing is closer than their home now. The finish line nearly in sight.

They linger together a while longer, soft touches and gentle kisses and finally they must return for they will be noticed as missing. Her hand holds his as they start to depart the moment that the guard comes into sight she brushes her fingers to his and steps aside. Her chin lifts and she crosses with him towards the others.

The night will go well enough, no one to bother the Hightower camp in the middle of the woods. The day dawns bright and clear with a blue sky overhead and the group breaks camp, the carriage relocated and cleaned out of glass so the children can be resettled. Eiris makes certain a wool blanket is draped over the dry blood from the Septa that was not able to be removed. This time she sits with the other nanny and the children as they make their way to Grandison House as Ormund wishes.

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