When they do finally get around to waking up, in that case, Kellyn is going to be waking up and vaguely swatting at her waist. “Told you, Jonn - not while I’m tryin’ to sleep.” Poor Lann - of all the people to be compared to….
Curled up in a tangle with her fellow Northerner, Marian shivered awake in the cool before dawn, and has been rather selfishly trying to leech warmth from Elyn ever since. Now that she hears someone else taking nearby, she raises her head and blearily peers around.
Avoiding the ineffectual efforts of Kellyn to remove him from her pants, the pine marten continues nosing around for the fruit he’s scented in some pocket of the garment, proving that even when Kellyn doesn’t have a Lannister around trying to get into her pants, a marten named for their famous ancestor is more than willing to take up the slack - at least in the name of breakfast.
As Marian shifts beside her, disturbing her pillow - Marian’s shoulder - the Ryswell maid lets out a grumble and forces eyes crusted with dried brine to open to the morning sunlight. A searching hand finds the bag beside her, but the pine marten who’d spent most of the night sleeping on her stomach is nowhere to be found. Thus, as she, too, lifts her head to inspect their surroundings by morning’s light, the first word out of her mouth is a hesitant, “Lann?”
A tangle of limbs slowly resolves itself into three ladies, all huddled together for a modicum of warmth. Indeed, all up and down the narrow section of shore movements and low groans sound in the morning air as the unhappy flotsam of last night’s disaster come back to life. Reyna Saltcliffe frees herself from her sleeping companions and looks around her in disbelief.
A groan accompanies Carmella as she stirs on the rock. Sariah’s been awake for at least an hour now, but she’s done little good. She’s sitting in the mud alongside the rock, her large eyes fixed on Carmella, looking quite worried. Carmella’s hand goes to the back of her head where she smacked it against the rock in her choking as her eyes slowly flicker open. With another groan she struggles to sit up and get a better look around. “What ... where are we?”
Rosalind stirs a little from where she slumbered next to Kellyn. She winces a little as she moves, feeling pains from her torn calf, which was wrapped with a strip from her silk undergown. Sitting upright, the girl rubs her eyes tiredly, peering around her.
Sitting up seems ever so much effort. Then again, all the sounds of stirring, the light, the ... wriggling? It’s enough to make Kellyn sit up a bit - and then look down at her new friend in surprise. “...” A shake of the head, and then she groans, trying to twist all the stiffness and aches of the strange sleep. Nope. No speaking just yet. She’s taking a quick mental inventory of the where they are, what’s happened, and then reaching down for the marten. Not sure what to do with him just yet, but stopping the thieving seems like a good idea. “Bollocks,” is her brilliant assessment of the situation.
“I think, of all of us”, says Marian, tongue thick with thirst and sleep, “that Lann is likely to be the most comfortable of our entire company.” Still, she pushes herself up onto one elbow, shivering again as she peers around the beach in search of the furry little creature.
One moment she is looking around, the next Reyna has lurched off of the large rock and is on her knees at the tide line, retching painfully into the water. When she has finished, she rinses her mouth with a handful of salt water and, coughing painfully, turns back around to continue her assessment. What she sees causes the pampered and petted daughter of Highgarden to sit back down in the mud to fight back tears.
Sitting up slowly and wincing at the stiffness of her body after a near-drowning and a night on a rock in the cold, Elyn grimaces and hmphs under her breath at Marian’s assessment. “Doesn’t mean he won’t make our lives difficult - although, honestly, can things /get/ any worse?” She forces out through gritted teeth as she makes her way off the rock. “We’re gonna need water and food soon, and-” Elyn pauses as Reyna rushes to the tide line.
“But perhaps we ought to make sure everyone’s all right first.” She says, glancing a last time at Marian before limping closer to Reyna. The gashes in her legs won’t allow her to kneel but she does bend over, putting a gentle hand on Reyna’s shoulder. “Do you still feel ill?”
Sariah squeaks and leaps up alongside Carmella, muttering on about nothing and everything, her explanations make no sense. Carmella groans as she tries to move off the rocks. “My back,” she moans and sinks back down. It isn’t entirely comfortable, but it feels a little better than trying to get up. “I had wine but the bottle broke,” Sariah says mournfully, holding up the top half of a broken bottle for Carmella to see. For some reason that causes Carmella to smile a little. She reaches out to pat the maid’s cheek. “Where’s Ser Giles?” Carmella asks the maid.
Rosalind begins unwrapping the crude dressing on her leg. “Kel, are you all right?” she asks. The gash is fairly deep, with jagged edges and in the better light, Rosa tears another strip of her undergown and begins cleaning it carefully. She grits her teeth a little against sharp twinges, but determinedly continues her treatment of her injury.
Reyna shakes her head bleakly. “No, it’ll just happen once,” she says absently. “I’m alright now.” Her voice is hoarse and pained, but it is steady enough as Reyna gets back to her feet. “Your poor legs, Elyn! They look…just like mine.” And she very nearly laughs, for all the legs protruding from the tattered skirts around them are grazed and scabbed.
“I think so,” Kellyn confides as her eyes slit and she turns the small furry beast in her hands. “Stabbing headache. Sore. Look to whoever needs the most help, Ros. Give me a few moments.” Her voice rasps and behaves raggedly, but she looks - compared to many of the others - in passable shape. Perhaps because so many people tried to keep the pregnant woman away from the worst of events. The animal is set down again and she gives it a pat. “Hurry off before we remember how little we have in the way of food,” she suggests to Lann before she begins patting herself down and retrieving bruised, waterlogged bundles of fruit from the soggy, dragging layers of cloth.
Lann scurries down the rock into the mud once released - only to swarm up onto another rock a few feet away, still watching Kellyn with avid, lecherous eyes. Or perhaps it’s the fruit. To be sure, if she takes her eyes off it - it just might go missing.
Marian rolls her shoulders and self-consciously stretches, before swinging her satchel into place on one shoulder and setting off to check how the lower-born castaways faring. Having managed to swim rather more on the surface of the water than those encumbered by sodden dresses, she also seems to have suffered comparatively few scrapes - though she looks more than a little cold, gait distinctly stiff-legged and rather unsteady as she moves into the mist away from her far-from-comfortable bed.
Patting Reyna’s shoulder awkwardly, Elyn straightens with another grimace. “I’ll be all right, Reyna.” She assures, then glances around behind her. “I’m more concerned with some of the others. But we have a few medical supplies, and I think we can see to anyone’s injuries. The more pressing need is for water. But with cliffs like those, we’d better hope we find a stream somewhere down the beach.” She muses aloud, eyeing the towers of rock and plants behind them.
Ser Giles and the other guards look a bit ragged as well and have had far less sleep than any of the ladies. One of the gold cloaks is missing his cloak for it has been used to cover one of the other ladies still asleep. They pay the women little mind for the time being as they seem to be focused on the cliff, eyeing it for footholds or anything else that might help them climb it. “We’re going to need some rope!” shouts one of the guards who has climbed up a few feet.
Reyna nods to Elyn. “Or…at the top,” she says dubiously, peering upward. “But perhaps we should wait here. When we don’t return…” She looks, for a moment, near to tears again as she finds Marian nearby. She moves toward that lady, lowering her voice. “Have you anything to prevent… er, to ensure that…” she breaks off, coughing.
After she finishes cleaning the wound in her leg, Rosalind re-wraps it with the torn strip of silk. She does this neatly and efficiently, though her brow is furrowed. Looking over at the northwomen, Rosa asks, “Did someone say they had some healing supplies?”
Kellyn begins untying the gown legs if only to try and let some of the heavier layers begin to dry. “If there isn’t any rope - perhaps we could make something out of some of these ruined skirts when they dry.” She lifts her voice and says, “I have some fruit - it might have soaked up a bit of salt and the like, but - well, it’s something.”
“At the top?” Elyn replies to Reyna, glancing from her back up to the cliffs with another wince. After a moment, she shrugs, however, glancing back to Reyna. “The guards seem to think we need to climb up there…and I’m not sure how a ship could get close enough to rescue us with all those rocks. Perhaps we will have to.”
At Rosalind’s question, Elyn glances around and answers a heartbeat later, since Marian has wandered out of earshot. “Marian and I do. My supplies are pretty basic, but I think Marian might have a few more things.” Leaving Reyna’s side to approach Rosalind, Elyn gives the bandage on her leg a querying look. “I can give you something for pain and to stave off infection…”
Attempting to sit up again Carmella rubs at her eyes and tries to look out over the water but the mist that hangs over them obscures most of the view. “We need to ... where are we?” She asks the question a second time as she tentatively starts to stand. Her legs are much like the others, scratched and coated with dried blood. Her skirt is still tied up near her hips, though Sariah leans over to help untie them. Carmella begins to wander, though she nearly trips more than once, the narrow shoreline is quite littered with rocks. “Ow!”
Marian spends only a short time with the assortment of crew, servants, entertainers and guards before hurrying back to the marginally-less embarrassing company of the other high-born ladies. There, she perches her satchel on a rock and sets about inspecting the contents by light of day. “Anyone who needs treatment, or wants their injuries looked at, come to me”, she calls out. “Myself and Elyn are used to treating wounds far worse than these, and we should be able to patch you up.”
Rosalind looks up as Elyn approaches. “I should not take the milk of the poppy, I think we’ll all need our wits about us and the pain is tolerable. I worry that the wound edges are already irritated and the surrounding skin is pale and macerated with too much water. I’ve cleaned it, but I’ve nothing that hasn’t spent long hours in the water to dress it.” The bastard girl speaks as though she knows what she’s talking about. “Myrish fire would be ideal, assuming we have any that survived the voyage. Barring that, there are other options of course. Maybe a little willowbark tea. Even boiled water and salt would help. Tis not so deep that it requires packing, but those edges concern me.”
Under cover of her rummaging, Marian locates a particular little wax-sealed pot, peering at the marking before quirking a smile to Reyna. “To settle your stomach?”, she asks quietly.
“No, my stomach will be fine now. I only meant…” Reyna looks uncomfortable, glancing around at the milling ladies. “To keep everything where it belongs,” she says cryptically to Marian. “And my gown is muslin. I can spare some of it for bandaging, if it is needful.
Elyn looks to Rosalind for permission before pulling the makeshift bandage away to examine the wound for herself. Replacing the material, she voices in her quiet contralto, “I’m afraid I’ve no better bandaging material - what I do have has been equally exposed. But salt water has its own healing properties - even if we’ve no fire at the moment to heat it.” Elyn opens the salt-encrusted satchel at her side, rummaging through and finding the small, wax-sealed containers wrapped carefully in bandage material to keep them from breaking - unfortunately, at least one pot has done so. “Bedamned.” She mutters. Pulling out an intact one, Elyn extracts a piece of dried willowbark from it and hands it to Rosalind. “Chew on this. I’ll be right back.”
Nearing Marian, Elyn spares a glance for Reyna before asking, “Mari, the pot containing my Myrish fire broke last night. Do you have any? Or some firemilk?”
Marian looks up as Elyn addresses her, offering a wan smile, before resuming her rummaging in her satchel. She passes a sturdy little pot with a honey-wax seal to the Ryswell, before carefully levering the stopper out of another. That, she offers to Reyna. “A dab on the end of the finger should help, though I suspect that it will taste rather… memorable, with the addition of salt and sand from your hand.”
“I said rope!” yells one of the goldcloaks again as he jumps down off the cliff. “Less you expect all these women to be able to climb that!” He gestures towards the cliff. Ser Giles and some of the other guards take off to find any rope they can, or anything that can serve as rope. “Ain’t gonna have a fire until we can get up there, these bushes are worth shit,” he says, yanking a scraggly little tree out of the side of the cliff and dropping it to the ground in disgust.
Claiming the pot from Marian, Elyn returns to Rosalind’s side, proffering the pot to the other woman. “‘Tis clear from your words you know what you’re about, so I’ll leave you to the application of it while I see to some of the others.” Elyn says quietly with a smile before moving off.
Nearing Carmella, Elyn gives her a critical look. “I’d say you should watch where you put your feet, Lady Carmella, but glad am I that you can even see straight this morning. You had quite a bump on the head last night. How are you this morning?”
Rosalind takes the willowbark and chews it until Elyn returns to her. “Thank you, lady,” she tells the northwoman. “I’ll help you, as I’m able. I have had some instruction in the healing arts.” And she opens the stoppered pot, taking a sniff at the contents, and begins to apply it to her wounded leg. By the looks of it, she recognized the ointment.
Reyna eyes the little pot dubiously, but she duly dips her forefinger. “Whatever is necessary,” she murmurs, popping the finger gamely into her mouth. In the next moment, her eyes bulge. “Oh, vile!” she gasps, coughing. After composing herself, however, she fumbles under her skirts of golden muslin—golden once upon a time, anyway—and steps out of a white muslin under skirt, which she hands to Marian. “Er, you might want to cover yourself a little better, if it’s not needed for bandages.” That said, she turns to approach Rosalind and Kellyn.
Carmella turns her head towards Elyn, though she’s half-bent over rubbing at her angle. “Huh?” The sound is tired on her tongue and it takes her a moment to realize who she is talking to. “I’m ... fine. Just a little…” She reaches out and grabs for Elyn’s arm or shoulder. “Why ... why is the ground moving?” she asks with genuine confusion. “And spinning, why does it spin?”
Kellyn remains in her standoff with the fruit watcher, letting the bit of food dry out along with some of the underthings. She has not moved much as yet. Stillness simply seems somehow soothing. And it allows her to look out over all of the movements and try to take a mental inventory of the resources they have at hand. “Rosalind, I have a few scrapes, but nothing serious. If there is any left when others have finished tending their wounds, I’ll take some. But I shouldn’t need it now.” Reyna’s approach sees a tired, resigned expression. “I am pleased that there seem to be so few lost - is anyone badly injured?”
“I think not,” Reyna replies, sitting down on a smallish rock and holding the little pot out to Kellyn. “A little dab on the finger, Marian says. It will keep the child strong. I’ve… sampled it myself. Nasty stuff, I fear. Is all well with you, Lady Kellyn?”
The pine marten has turned his attention to grooming his salt-stiff fur, although ‘tis perhaps merely a ploy, as he continues to glance towards the drying fruit.
Rosalind finishes re-wrapping the gash on her leg, looking up at Reyna with a depreciating little smile. But there is something searching in her gaze as she regards the Saltcliffe lady. “We’ll live, to be sure. I lost some skin off my leg, but all will be well. I wondered how you fare, lady? The heat spell recently and the….” she breaks off, looking sharply over as Carmella appears to be having difficulty. “Oh, no.” She tries to struggle to her feet. “Help her down, look at her eyes.”
Marian chuckles ruefully, accepting Reyna’s underskirt, eyeing it thoughtfully before glancing around the beach and the scattered array of casualties half-visible through the mist. She makes no move to return it to its intended purpose as clothing, instead starting to sort out cleansing agents and other medicinal remedies.
Even before Rosalind can speak, Elyn has already reached out to grip Carmella’s arms and help ease her onto a sandy patch mostly free of stones. “Lady Carmella, would you mind telling me about your family? Their names and ages?” Elyn queries gently, her tone polite but insistent as she peers carefully at Carmella’s eyes, shielding them from the wan sunlight and then removing her hand again in a testing fashion.
The guards begin gathering whatever pieces of rope they can find. Some that was tied to the barrels to scavenged but it is hard to tell if it will be enough. Ser Giles takes the light blanket that Carmella had tied around herself before they jumped ship and adds it to the pile.
Carmella looks at Elyn with renewed confusion as she looks to wobble a bit where she stands. “I ... brothers and sisters, I have both. There’s ... Doran and ... Anders and ...” She groans and holds her head. “I have to sit down. How are you still standing with all the moving?”
The fruit - well, it lies there. It’s a far less interesting pet than the marten. Its mistress accepts the pot, but does not dip into it yet. “Rosalind has been watching out for me - we are fortunate to have so many gifted with knowledge of the healing arts.” Frustrated finally by the tangles weighing down her head, she pulls the tattered mesh from her hair and shakes the still damp mass out. The shaking leaves her reeling a bit. But her attention is pulled back towards Carmella, obviously with some concern.
As Kellyn looks away from her limp bits of fruit…one goes missing. It springs to freedom over the edge of the rock and meets its end in the jaws of a marten now curled around it in the mud.
“I am, I suppose, as well as might be hoped,” Reyna says to Rosalind, with an automatic sort of dipping of her head politely, as if to someone inquiring after her health at a tea party. “Please, lady, look at Marian’s mark there on the seal,” she says then to Kellyn. “I wouldn’t give it you if… here.” And she dabs her finger in again, steels herself, and tastes the vile stuff once more.
Rosalind sees that Elyn has things in hand and abandons trying to struggle to her feet. Between exhaustion, dehydration and the injury, Rosa isn’t about to go running off anywhere anytime soon. She sinks back down to the earth, though she watches Elyn and Carmella intently.
Relieved with whatever she sees in Carmella’s eyes, Elyn helps the Dondarrion girl to settle onto the sand gently. “Now, just sit here for a bit, Lady Carmella.” Elyn says quietly, although the other lady surely needs no urging to do just that. ““Where did you hit your head?” She queries, continuing to watch Carmella’s eyes carefully. “Do you have a headache? Is there any ringing in your ears?”
“Reyna!” A look of exasperation crosses Kellyn’s features. “Of for grief’s sake - I was waiting until there was water so it would not make me even thirstier, you daft thing!” The voice is, indeed, still creaky from the want for said water. “You might consider that yourself - I was fortunate. I think thirst is more a danger to both the child and myself at the moment.” A hand drops absently to Rosa’s shoulder. “Now sit down, or if you feel well enough - others had picked up cloths or blankets when they leapt. There should be more scattered. I can help.”
Marian busies herself with making a few bandages, though she leaves most of Reyna’s gift largely intact for the moment. She watches proceedings around her as best she can through the mist, much of her attention focused upon Carmella.
Indeed, Carmella needs no urging to sit down. She drops to the ground in a movement that lacks any sort of grace. “A bit,” she says, looking up at Elyn as she rubs at her head again. “‘specially back here,” she adds, moving her hand to the back of her head where it had smacked against the rock last night. “Feels kinda ... bumpy,” she muses to herself and then looks back at Elyn. “Heads aren’t bumpy, right?”
“I wanted to return it to Marian, but if you wish to keep it, I doubt she will protest.” Reyna bends her head to Kellyn, then moves away to do as she is told, fishing a silken blanket from the mud and moving into the water to rinse it clean as best she can.
Rosalind looks over at Kellyn, “I feel well enough, but am not sure how well I can walk.” Her brow furrows, looking a little frustrated with herself. Then, shaking her head to dispel those feelings, she queries, “Do we have any idea where we are?”
“That depends, my lady.” Elyn replies dryly. “I’ve seen many a lad with too many hours in the practice yard end up with bumps both temporary and not. Though the ladies seem to find them fetching as the knights that sport them. But if I may?” Wincing at the gashes in her legs protesting the movement, she moves around to crouch behind Carmella, putting gentle fingers against the indicated place. “Oh yes, you’ve quite the knot there.” She affirms, probing to discover the extent of the injury.
The guards work at tying the lengths of rope and cloth they have together. When they’ve determined they have enough the guard who had been climbing earlier slings the bundle onto his shoulder and begins to ascend the cliff again. It’s slow-going and he curses quite loudly and often.
Kellyn leans forward to, of all things, kiss the top of Rosa’s head rather tenderly. The maternal instincts do rear their heads at moments. “Sit for now, then, and the men will help us up, I suppose. I will be back.” That said, she moves off in Reyna’s wake and actually attempts to help. “Here - let me take one end of that. These things are heavy when they are wet.” Though it does look like the men might have all they need as far as spare blankets. “I do hope they do not think we will be doing that ...”
Marian moves to deliver one of her “clean” bandages to Elyn, sparing a worried look for the back of Carmella’s head, before setting off again to begin patching up the men-folk as best she can. If cliff-climbing is to be the order of the day, then they can put up with being repaired first to improve their chances of making it to the top…
Before moving off, Kellyn squints and looks about. “Well - somewhere along the river. But where exactly I can not say.”
Reyna looks past Kellyn for a moment, paling as she watches the man scaling the cliff. “Oh, surely not,” she says, surrendering half the blanket to the other lady. “Be careful, lady. I should never forgive myself for inviting you if anything comes ill with the child. And I think… the Kingswood must be up there, if I recall the maps.” As between them, the two women wring the blanket as dry as they can, she adds, “Perhaps the men will find something to eat up there.”
Someone, meanwhile, has found something to eat, and the pine marten relishes his salty bit of fruit, curled beside the large rock as he is.
As the first guard nears the top another steps forward to address the women. “Ain’t nothing for us down here. No food, no water that’s suitable to drink, no wood for a fire. We’ve gotta get up there if there’s any chance of making you lot comfortable. No idea when some fisherman might come by and no promise that he’ll do anything to help us.” He speaks loudly, expecting to be listened to and his tone is not kind. “Got a rope to tie around them that can’t climb. Ain’t gonna be comfortable, but it’s all we got. Get another man up there to help haul you up. It’ll take some time I reckon, but we get you up there and we can start a fire and figure out where in the seven hells we are.”
Rosalind listens to the instruction given by the guard and though she pales a little at the thought, she steels her jaw and nods. “We’ll do what is required.” she murmurs.
Reyna looks to the guard, gathering the blanket into her arms and relieving Kellyn of that burden. “Well, Rosalind shall require the ropes, and Carmella and Lady Kellyn as well,” she says, looking to Elyn and Marian for confirmation. “The rest of us will shift for ourselves. Have your men found a route up that is best… er, easiest? Or does it make no difference?”
Elyn accepts the bandage from Marian, but most of her attention remains on the goose egg on Carmella’s head. Satisfied with her examination, she leans back and moves around to look the girl in the eyes again. “I can’t better clean it or treat it until we find some fresh water. But chew this for the pain in the meantime. Try to keep as still as you can for now. And if the pain worsens or you feel like you’re going to be sick, tell Marian or myself, all right?” Elyn urges, handing over a piece of willowbark and rising to her feet painfully.
As the guard approaches and addresses them all, Elyn’s winter-pallid eyes rise to the cliff and widen in apprehension. Reyna, however, receives a nod from Elyn. “Carmella is going to be too dizzy to do more than sit for a while.” She confirms.
The guard looks to Reyna first and then laughs roughly. “Any you women think you can climb that are free to be my guest, but I ain’t gonna be responsible for you breakin’ yer necks,” he tells her. “I’m here to see you safely up there, but if you want to try yer own way?” He shrugs. “Ain’t enough men to watch the lot of you.” He looks up and over the assembled. “So, who’s first?”
Rosalind says quietly, “I’ll go. Waiting won’t make the cliff any shorter. I will need help with ropes, I do not know if my leg can bear my weight just now.”
Looking at the blanket in her hands, and then at Rosalind, Reyna asks, “Can this be fashioned into a sling? It may be necessary for Rosalind, and Carmella as well, and anyone else so injured.” And she bends, offering her shoulder to the Hill to help her rise.
Carmella leans back some more, moving slowly until she’s flat on her back again. She doesn’t drift off to sleep though. Her eyes are wide and she takes in what little there is around her. “This is better,” she murmurs to Elyn, giving her a little smile.
Giving Carmella a return smile, Elyn pats her arm before lifting pale eyes to the cliff awaiting their ascent. “It’s something I might have attempted when I was younger and more foolish, but in my current condition, I’ll take any assistance.” She replies to the insistent guard. “I think perhaps Lady Kellyn and the more injured ladies should go first, however.”
The guard turns back towards the cliff, gives some instructions to Ser Giles and the others remaining below. He can be seen gesturing towards Reyna and her blanket, likely a mention of the sling idea. With a few more words exchanged the man begins to climb himself so that there are two men at the top of the cliff to help pull the women up. Ser Giles turns and scans the gathered women and his frown doesn’t improve much. “Best get started now,” he calls out.
Rosalind nods to the knight, getting awkwardly to her feet. She manages to hobble toward him, but as she said, her injured leg has difficulty bearing her weight.
Kellyn walks back to gather up the little bit of food she salvaged from the wreck - minus that taken by the small furry thief, and then moves over to give Rosalind a bit of support in her teetering way over. “Up you go now. I will be up shortly.” She glances towards Elyn. “I will go after those more injured. I promise.” A quick pat down begins at her side - check, the bottle Reyna handed her, the fruit. Just a quick tally.
Rosalind is not allowed to go more than a few paces before Reyna has slipped her arm under the younger girl’s arm and around her shoulders. “Lean on me. I’m small, but I can bear your weight, I think,” she says, holding the blanket out to one of the men. And so she aids Rosalind into the care of the men on the rope, stepping back to let them do their job and looking finally toward Carmella before remarking to Kellyn. “I wish I were of more use.”
Giving Kellyn a smile, Elyn leans down to give Carmella as much assistance as she can. “Lady Carmella, I know you’re dizzy, but we need to move you over to the cliff. Do you think you can sit up - perhaps stand? I will help you.”
Rosalind is grateful for the help and keeps a brave face on as she is fitted with the ropes. Level-headed despite the fear gripping her belly, she asks some intelligent questions about how best to be positioned so she does not bang her head against the cliff face.
“We’re leaving so soon?” Carmella asks dreamily as she rolls her head towards Elyn’s voice. “But it’s so nice here,” she murmurs as she reluctantly sits up. Sariah, who had been helping the men gather rope has returned and looks to Elyn. “I can help her,” the maid says, slipping an arm under Carmella to help her stand. Carmella doesn’t argue with either woman, it is a rare moment where she quietly goes along with what she’s told.
Elyn gives Sariah a penetrating look, and does not release her supportive hold on Carmella, help the maid guide the lady towards the ropes and the cliff. “Carmella, I need you to focus as much as you can. When they take you up the cliff, keep your eyes closed, or you’ll get more dizzy. But even if your eyes are closed, I need you to concentrate. Stay awake, and try to keep focused. Recite the names of the Seven, or your brothers and sisters, or tell yourself a story. Do you understand me?”
Carmella begins immediately. “Mother, Father ... Maid, Crone, Warr…” She babbles off the names of the Seven over and over as they walk towards the cliff. She tilts her head back a little to watch the men haul up the first lady but she doesn’t say much about it, she simply watches. Ser Giles leaves the other guards to it for a moment and heads over to Elyn, Carmella, and Sariah. “I can take her from here,” he tells the northerwoman.
Reyna touches Carmella’s arm as she moves past her to gather another blanket from the tumbling surf, her brow furrowed in weariness and concern. She brings it to shore, and holds one end out to Kellyn with a brow raised in silent question.
Rosalind keeps her eyes on the cliff face, white-knuckled grip on the rope. She keeps her breathing slow and even, apparently choosing to focus on that while she is lifted to the top.
Seemingly more willing to relinquish the Dondarrion’s care to the knight than her maid, Elyn nods and steps back, then turns to assist others as needed.
Kellyn steps forward to take the end of the blanket. Her focus moves from watching the progression of ladies up the cliff face to helping with the blankets. “Well, with any luck these will help us stay warm at night if we are not found by evening. A bit of shelter if it turns sunny out.” Small talk again, just focusing in on those bits of practical life that seem day to day when life has become anything but.
“I do hope they’ll help,” Reyna replies, stepping back to stretch the blanket between them and begin twisting it. “Surely someone will have remarked we didn’t return with the morning tide, but who would expect this to have happened? Won’t they all just think we’re waiting for the evening one?”
“Well, they certainly won’t hurt. And it keeps us busy and distracted - never a bad thing,” Kellyn muses as she keeps her hands busy with the blanket. She considers Reyna’s words about expectations. “Well - I can not say. They are men. I imagine that there are some who might have protective instincts that surge. Husbands, fathers to be - they overreact sometimes.” When she mentions fathers to be, she glances up towards Reyna’s face, a slightly inquisitive expression on her own
Rosalind reaches the top, disengages from the ropes. She murmurs her gratitude to the men at the top, then sits quietly, out of the way, while the others are brought up. It’s clear that the Lannister bastard truly endeavors not to be any more of a burden than necessary, to the guards and the knight.
With most of the ladies seen to by their companions, Elyn turns her attention to resealing her jars of medicine. As she refastens her bag, she suddenly stops, lifting her head sharply and glancing around. “Lann?” She calls once before stalking off, looking behind rocks and splintered pieces of the ship that have drifted up with the morning tide.
“My lord can hardly be judged by the measure of other men,” Reyna replies, not meeting Kellyn’s gaze. “And he has commitments to my brother and Lord Fossoway at the moment that must… that must override personal concerns. He is as like to send Ser Osric Vikary and the Smiler as he is to come himself.” But her cheeks have colored under Kellyn’s insinuation, try as she might to divert the other lady’s attention. “And Ser Jonn? Will he have missed you at once?”
“I was not judging your husband. There are many women here - husbands, brothers, fathers. One is bound to have a family member that will sound a note of alarm. Or at least I choose to be optimistic.” Kellyn steps back so that they can snap the blanket out at length to try and shake any clinging sand from it. The color in the cheeks is noted, but not commented upon. “Who knows with Jonn? Were I able to predict his moods and actions, I imagine I would be a much sought after guest in the city!” The call for Lann pulls her attention for a moment and Kellyn looks at Elyn. “Is that a guard, or the little furry thing?”
Ser Giles helps Carmella into the fashioned sling, making sure all the ropes are quite secure before he gives the signal for them to start pulling. Carmella remembers to close her eyes a little too late. There’s a quick gasp from her, “I’m spinning again!” But soon the recitation can be heard of the Seven and she has her eyes firmly shut.
“Lann is the stoat. Or is it a weasel?” Reyna closes her eyes against the sand that flies as they snap the blanket. “I didn’t think you were judging him. I suppose I was only wondering aloud. I should like to think he would drop everything, but I truly don’t know. As for Jonn…” she folds the blanket in half, then moves toward Kellyn to match the corners. “Jonn loves you,” she says softly. “He will come for you.”
“Little furry thing?” Elyn echoes, pausing in her search and dropping a piece of driftwood to look up at Kellyn. “He’s a pine marten.” A quick glance to Reyna and back to Kellyn. “Have you seen him this morning? He was gone when I woke.”
“I do hope they will be alright,” Kellyn murmurs as she hears Carmella’s call as she rises. As corners snap together and they step back and together again in something like a choreographed dance. “Ahh - yes. Pine marten. He was by the rock I was on this morning.” Kellyn gestures. “He was eyeing the fruit.” As for Reyna’s words? Well ... the less said on it the better perhaps. Just a cautious look at her, and then a purse of the lips.
There is something imploring in Reyna’s face as she steps back in the dance of two women folding a large blanket, her eyes on Kellyn. “I didn’t say it to hurt you,” she says, stepping back toward Kellyn. “I never have wanted that, despite appearances.” She relinquishes the folded blanket, and goes down into the water for the last one to be seen nearby, gathering it into her arms and squeezing it with her face down.
Once Carmella is pulled to the top the guards quickly get her out of the sling and lower the rope to bring up another woman. Carmella staggers a few feet away from the cliff’s edge and lowers herself to the ground while muttering, “Mother, Father, Maiden, Crone…”
“Ah, thank you.” Elyn replies, nodding, and returns to her search, directing it towards the rock she thought she remembered seeing Kellyn on earlier. A rock here, a piece of waterlogged wood there…still no marten.
Rosalind reaches a hand toward Carmella, “Here, lady. Come rest while we wait for the others.”
“Reyna - I didn’t think you did. You know him. I do not wish to place too many hopes where they have been disappointed. I am thoughtful. And far too tired to worry about any of that. Let us simply get through the day and find our way home, and pretend this whole thing didn’t happen until then.” Kellyn stretches her arms over her head when they are freed of the blanket. She hmms. “I do not see any others. Now let us get you up atop the cliff with these, yes?”
Stopping behind a rock, Elyn bends over and lifts a salt-laced pine marten up by his sable ruff, letting him squirm and drop the rind of the fruit he’d been gnawing on all this time. “There you are, my little thief.” The Ryswell maid notes dryly, giving the weasel a gentle shake before placing him in her bag and refastening the clasp. With a final glance around, she moves back towards the cliff to see how the Lady-Lift is progressing.
“You go, lady,” Reyna replies to Kellyn, turning round with the wet blanket in her arms. “Elyn and I will finish this, and I’ll follow you up.” She smiles then. “After all, you’re with child.” And she shoos the Lannister lady toward the rope where the men are waiting and already reaching for her.
“Alright,” Carmella says willingly as she moves where Rosalind directs. She glances around her but doesn’t seem to take in too much of what she sees. “Yes, over here is much better,” she murmurs as she settles against another rock.
Rosalind pats Carmella’s hand gently. “Much better.” she agrees, but whether or not she is just being polite remains to be seen.
Marian joins Elyn, tucking away medical supplies in her satchel as she peers nervously up towards the clifftop. “Should we stay down here until almost everyone else is up at the top, in case anyone falls?”
“Perhaps one of us should,” Elyn replies to Marian, putting a restraining hand on the top of her bag, where Lann is trying to wriggle free. “But I think one of us should get up there to see to the wounded as well. That knot on Carmella’s head worries me.” The Ryswell maid pushes back strands of salt-stiff hair, glancing at Reyna. “Are you all right, Lady Reyna? Ready to go up?”
“I’m alright,” Reyna says to Elyn, for all that she is wet again from her labors. “I will wait until all the others are up. I must… do something useful, and I can at least try to salvage whatever has washed up for use later.” She glances over her shoulder. “Maybe something will turn up for Marian to wear.” And she moves off down the strand, looking for anything that might help them survive.
The guards eventually see all the women up but it is a long and slow process and the sun has passed its apex by the time the last woman is carried up and over the edge of the cliff. The remaining guards use the ropes to haul up any last items that might be salvageable before making the climb themselves.