Keeping an Eye on Things

Keeping an Eye on Things
Summary: Notherners and Southerners exchanging pleasantries while obeserving the destruction of three trebuchets.
Date: 02/08/2013
Related: Several, Closing Feast, the Tourney; will add links later
Jerric Sammel Eldrick Deidra 

Somewhere in a camp to the North of Laketown
In the scene set.
July 25th, 1329

The once large camp, well over 500 men, Knights and siege weapons is but a shell of it's self. Over half the men have gone, the rest are still striking the camp while the Engineers continue work on the last of the engines. The last to leave will be the stalwart Riedels, which is the norm for the Rhaedan. Standing infront of the battle tent that flies the Crow Lion sigll of the Kingdom is Jerric. Still in his battle dress he leans forward on the small camp table where maps and parchements are laid out. "Well, as soon as the last of the Brivey men make their way, it will be up to you, Sir Sammel, to make your men ready."

It was upon his land that most suffering had been delivered in the conflicts between the North and South, and from the looks of things the Riedel knight was not particularly enthusiastic about the camp being struck and their men pulled away from a good position. Sammel shifted in his armor, gauntleted hand scratching at cheeks that hadn't seen a shave this morning. Golden stubble alighted amidst his tan features. "We'll leave, Your Highness," he grumbled, head bobbing in acquiescence of the Prince's orders. "I'll be interested in seeing what comes of all this, though." His pale green eyes were turned to the south, watchful.

Standing to the side of the table are Lord Eldrick Lohstren and Sir Deidra the Swift, the representatives of the South, humble in numbers probably, but not in presence. The Deputy Commander of the Blue Guards turns a touch to cast Eldrick a glance. Dark brown hair is tied to a ponytail at the back of her head, presenting the massive bruise that covers the left side of her face below her steely green eye with merciless candour, although already not the dark blue of the first days anymore, rather of a green-yellowish colour - a reminder of her defeat that left not only a huge dent on her helmet, apparently. She is clad in her steel armour, and the blue cloak which easily identifies her identity, but Deidra does not seem too worried about it. Steely green eyes shifting from her fellow Southerner to Jerric, and then to Sammel.

"I know you don't approve, Sammel, friend. But it is a way to get Nin back. Besides, they don't have an army capable of crossing Laketown and then getting across the bridge before we can react. Sure, they might get a toe hold but they would pay dearly to hold on to it." Jerric says clearly loud enough for the "guests" to hear. Pushing with his arms, the table creaks in protest, he stands upright and looks first to Deidra and then to Eldrick "So, what say you? Are you happy with the progress so far?" There is little in his tone save to be noted except for the obvious dislike of the two in the camp.

"You know I care for Princess Niniane as much as any loyal man of the North, Your Highness.." Sammel said, frowning. "But I can't help but feel we're weakning our position dangerously." It looked like it took him an effort to keep further complaints from escaping, and in the end he smoothened it over with a: "I'm sure you're right." A couple of steps see him move a little away from Prince Jerric and the Southerners, catching one of the Ridel knights so he could dictate how he wanted the men of his House to move out. In which order, at which march speed. He was still within hearing range, and occasionally sent further cool looks at their 'guests'.

Eldrick stands beside Deidra, near to Prince Jerric's camp table. As the Rhaedan royal addresses Sammel, Eldrick's countenance remains stoic and composed. Only when Jerric speaks to him does the Lohstren answer with measured cadence and steady tone, "The striking of your Highness's camp proceeds with the efficiency we have come to expect of our cousins of Rhaedan."

"It is a way to keep the peace, my prince.", Deidra replies, to Jerric's remark to the Riedel. Her steely green eyes come to linger on the Rhaedan and it is not the usual contempt for Northerners to be found within them, rather a certain urgent stare. "You should be aware that there are more pressing matters waiting to be tended to, with all due respect…?" There is a low grumble beneath that layer of politeness in her tone, maybe a certain impatience. After exchanging a glance with Eldrick she is quick to add however: "The progress is as swift as would be expected, my prince. That is, what I have been able to observe."

Sammel is the next to receive a glance from Deidra, and he will not have to wait long for a comment. "It's all about weakening positions, Sir. Don't you think Lord Eldrick and I here feel somewhat *weakened* as well?" She snorts. "That's politics, I'd say." The grim expression on her face does not exactly point to the fact she enjoys the situation. Eldrick's comment earns a short and almost inaudible chuckle from her.

Jerric studies the Lohstren for a time before he allows a smirk on his face "I would any amount you wish for efficiency between a Rhaedan armor and a Taniford army, Sir," and the sir gets slurred out. He turns his attention to the Blue Guard and holds his hands out "All that you have been allowed to see?" He turns fully in a circle looks "There is little more to be seen! You can see it all from here." Then he rolls his eyes a bit as he looks to Sammel. "Perhaps our Taniford friends think we are hiding something?"

When Sammel returned, he had managed to snag a squire to follow in his wake, carrying a tray of four tankards of ale. The handsome northern knight cracked a charming grin, and his stare was direct as it fixed on Deidra. "Between you and me, I'd rather just cut you down where you stand, Sir. But what can a loyal vassal do but give his Prince peace when it is peace he most assurely wants, eh?" His laughter came without warning, a riot of sound born deep in his chest and stomach, good natured and easy on the ears, completely at odds with the words he'd just spoken.
"Eh. It's the heart of vipers, your Highness. When you spend every waking moment planning treachery and lies, well, how can you expect to ever believe anyone else has -actual- honor? No matter. Here. Have a drink! It's too damn hot, and if I have to stand here watching men move in the heat just so the Queen can be satisfied, then I'd rather do it with ale in my hand. Cheers! To.." he paused, considered, then added: "To Peace!"

"Oh, true, your highness.", Deidra replies with a sour look to her face. "I have seen all there is to see, as you said." Her voice raises a little in indignation - although still subdued, somewhat. "We are your guests, and thankful for your hospitality." She hesitates, one brow arching above one of those steely green eyes, before she shrugs and accepts the mug of ale from the Riedel squire. "I would not expect you to do otherwise, Sir.", she replies to Sammel as she takes her first sip. "It is what makes all of this so very hilarious, does it not?" Her temper boiling inside of her, still kept in check by her Blue Guard discipline - yet, some days spent in the enemy's lair can have a slightly irritating effect on people. Sammel's toast makes her raise her mug, however little convinced she might appear. "To Peace, Sir."

Eldrick turns a steady look to Sammel at the barb to southern honor, but the Lohstren knight's expression remains solemn. He accepts the offered tankard, before voicing. "For the sake of both efficiency and honor, I will say this:" his eye returns to Jerric. "The placement of this force here is mere farce. I credit your Highness with more wit than to reduce and destroy Laketown, thus thy trebuchets serve no purpose save show. The conditions of thy bargain with my Queen made no presumption as to where these troops are removed, so I shall be content to see the withdrawal of thy men from this bridge, and the clearing of Count Westmark's artillery from the Rothim crossings." He adds a breath later, "To peace," before drawing a taste of the drink within.

Jerric is quick to take up an ale as sammel brings them over. He watches the two, his trusted friend and the Taniford Guard. A crack of a smile as he lowers the ale "Indeed you are right, Sammel, indeed you are right. Vipers." Jerric looks smug "But now, down to business," he begins at there comes a crashing sound and the big arm of the trebuchet comes crashing down. Half in and half out of the water. He cuts his eyes rather quickly to Sammel, there comes a a shrug, then he looks to the Tanifords "There, that one won't be used again," and to make a point of it, half of the arm floats in the lazy river, heading west and the other lays on the ground. Though careful examination would show that it had been cut to help with the breakage. "There," he points "destroyed the last of the three. The other two are already in parts being moved north. I would invite you to go see but then you get to the heart of Rhaedan and that was not part of the bargain." The Prince looks between the two "We could set up a bit of a spar if you two feel like it, to take our minds off of such nastiness as," his eyes bore into the Guard's "you hold my dear sister little more than a prisoner.
Jerric laughs loudly "Why Sir, you perceive much. Yet if you had troops on the other side they would be hard pressed to attack in the face of my engines, no?" He shrugs, does not discount the observations of the Lohstren "Now, I assume you will report to the Queen that my men are moving, no longer here at the bridge as she wished?"

Sammel merely smiled behind his tankard as he took a slow swallow of the contents. He had let every person present pick whichever container of frothing ale they desired, leaving him to simply pick up the very last one available. His eyes flicked away from Deidra to take in the sight of the Trebuchet coming apart, his mouth twisted in half a grimace. "Damn waste of good wood," he muttered to himself. He had looked briefly like he intended to say something in regards to Edrick's comment of 'farce', but he let it go. Leaving Jerric to do the talking, deciding perhaps that he had already antagonized their 'guests' enough for now.

While her gaze moves to inspect the destruction of the trebuchet most intently, Deidra hears Jerric's words all too well. "A spar? You must be joking. If I should engage in any combat with Sir Sammel here, it would not be training match I assure you." Her voice calm and matter-of factly, as she gives her reply to the Rhaedan prince. "As for hospitality…" She turns, gracing Jerric with her full attention now. "I was in charge of your brother's protection while he was a 'guest' at Wolveshire. There hasn't been a single time when he had to face mistreatment, as long as I was his guard. Rhaedan prince."

The Lohstren lord holds his words until the Blue Guard has made her own answer before regarding the northern royal evenly. "No, Highness," Eldrick returns simply to Jerric. "The conditions of the bargain betwixt thyself and my liege were explained to me as such: first, that the force placed at this bridge be removed, which I am most pleased to see underway. Second that the Westmark trebuchets closing the Rothim crossings be removed. These.." he looks to the felled war machine, "Are not the offending machines of thy vassal of Westmark; thus the good Sir Deidra and myself come before prepared for a journey.. a trip that most certainly is within the bounds of your bargain, Highness."

Jerric looks Deidra over, from head to foot. "Of that I am sure, Sir." With a chuckle "I am sure he was well looked after." He turns to Sammel and gives a wink "Wouldn't you say so, Sammel?" But the words of Eldrick catch him up short "By now the other's are in Brivey or even further to Malgrave as I promised Sammel they would be his at the end of this since moving them to Sipdon is out of the question. What you ask, Sir, is out of the question. There are no longer any engines here. That was the deal your, your Queen made. You can see that for yourself." His eyes narrow as he leans forward "I have not asked about your own troops across the borders of Hadleigh have I? Nor the men that was taken from our lands and burned at the stake. I am honoring your Queens demands. You shall go no further than here." His voice has risen in volume as does his anger.

"Funny, Prince Stefan was of the opinion our hospitality would go /that far/ as well. But in that he was wrong, Prince Jerric.", Deidra replies coldly. "So… leave your insults to your minions, highness." Steely green eyes flitting to Sammel, assessing him for a short moment. Then her gaze is on Eldrick, and hearing his answer makes her assume a less relaxed stance. "This was about the shores north of Laketown as well, your highness," she confirms with a firm voice. "It is what you and the Queen have agreed upon."

Eldrick remains cool and stoic in the face of Jerric's rising temper, his words kept level and composed in tone. "The bargain my Queen made included the removal of the Westmark trebuchets, Highness. Do I understand correctly that your Highness claims these-" an unhurried gesture of one hand to the felled trebuchets, "-Are the trebuchets of Count Westmark? If by these acts your Highness considers his duties fulfilled, I shall carry faithful word of what has transpired here to my Queen, and if my understanding of your bargain is flawed then you shall have my apologies. Until then I must caution your Highness that my Queen may not consider the terms of the bargain met."

Throwing up his hands before he makes two fists and puts them on the table and leans onto them "Sirs, your Queen made a bargain. I am keeping it. To the letter. Now you can see with your own eyes that it is being done. But I would expect nothing less than for /her/ to go back on her word. I caution you both, take my words to heart and keep them as they are spoken to be given to your Queen." He pauses and looks to Deirdra and Eldrick "You tell her that I have kept my word and that you have seen for yourself that I am doing so. If she now feels she must change /her/ bargain, the bargain she made, then all of Eikeren will know that the Queen of Taniford is worthless in her words and not one to be trusted as well with out any shred of honor. I shall have the Guilds and the Temple here to see that my army and it's engines are removed from this spot. They can then tell all of Eikeren what they have witnessed as well. I want my sister back, one way or another." He takes a breath "Now, you are free to roam the camp, see that the men are packing and leaving, to ensure your safety I do hold the right to assign guards to escort you." Again comes another breath "Do I make my self clear?"

Sammel had done like a good 'minion' does, stood nearby and provided the Prince with his silently brooding support, one hand idly fingering the hilt of his sword. Now and again arrived some messenger or the other to deliver updates and request instruction; there were always issues when camps were struck. Wagons breaking down, different knights reading orders differently since there was no actual battle at hand, and they were more occupied with privilege and position jockeying than anything else, and Sammel left to play the damn manager of massively inflated egos.

A snort and an irritated grumble is all the reply Deidra has to Jerric's long speech. Her green eyes flitting to Eldrick she folds her arms before her, she chooses to remain silent for the moment. She does not look intimidated though, nor anxious. Just irritated at Jerric's need to show off his superior position at the moment. Her gaze lingers for a moment on Sammel's hand, fidgeting with his sword hilt, and the hint of a smirk appears on her features. If that is how it is supposed to end, then she will not be the one hiding in the corner.

"Prince Jerric," Eldrick returns, still stoic in the face of the Rhaedan's rising ire, "It is never your clarity of purpose I doubt, only the full depth of your comprehension. I begin to suspect that your Highness may not truly be aware.." A short glance aside to Deidra and back to Jerric. "The Count Westmark has built machines by which he may bombard ships and souls of Sollinger and Lohstren near the mouth of the river Rothim. It is these which so offend the spirit of peace between our realms. I shall presume that you speak so rudely of my liege's honor due to the unknown machinations of your vassal, and not through any malice of your own."

Jerric remains as he finished but does turn his head to Sammel questioningly "If this is true," he pauses and thinks for a time, eyes still on Sammel "Send word that they are to be dismantled in plain sight." The Prince of Rhaedan turns back to the two "There, it is done. You can watch from across the river. But no further shall /you/ travel into Rhaedan lands." His gaze turns directly to Eldrick "You have men across the bridge at Hadleigh. They are to be removed. As you are well aware I have not shutdown trade there, but you take an aggressive posture. I won't tolerate this. The engines at the mouth of the river shall be dismantled, your men will move back from the bridge."

Sammel answered Deidra's smirk with a the suggestion of a lifted brow. "As you wish, your Highness. Would you like me to see to it in person, or will it suffice to send one of my knights to deliver the message?" It sounded as if the man did not have much of an opinion himself as to which was preferable. His earlier grumbles had died away, probably because they had proven so insufficient in changing anything at all. Nobody liked a constant repeat performance. His eyes slid towards Eldrick and Deidra. "You didn't really think you were going to travel the length of our Kingdom, did you, after your Queen has banned Northerners from her lands? As the Prince says, witness can be done from your side of the river."

Deidra's mien is alert, yet pensive as she hears Jerric's decision. Her gaze flitting to Eldrick again she mutters: "This is all they are going to give us, my lord. And it has been the Queen's intention to get them out of our lands, has it not?" Sammel's raised brow is noticed and met with a challenging smile and her head bobbing upwards a little, almost in an invitation.

Eldrick regards Sammel a brief moment, a dry note coloring his stoic speech, "I did consider it unlikely, though an exchange of hostages seemed excessive for anything less." That admitted, he returns his solemn eye to Jerric. "I see no need for a garrison opposite Hadleigh. If such will put your Highness more at ease, I shall send the word presently." That concession made, he draws a fresh breath. "Unless your Highness has any further business for us, I believe we are concluded." To Deidra, he comments with a nod, "I would seek nothing more and would accept nothing less, Sir."

With a shake of his head to Sammel "Just send a Knight to inform Sipdon to dismantle them. That will be enough. I need you here to," he glances to the Tanifords "keep an eye on things." He once again pushes off the table and smooths his surcoat, the one with the two lions and the crown "I have things that I must attend to. See that my words get to the Queen, if you would." Then to Sammel "and if you see Guinevere, tell her that I am looking for her, if you would."

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