9th of Nar, 229: It Doesn't Look So Bad

It Doesn't Look So Bad
Summary: The night after the recent naval battle.
OOC Date: 12/Jul/2014
Related: A few hours afer The Greater Foe
Eoin Kierne 
Darfield Docks - City of Stormvale
At the edge of the water, a fair sized port has been built up over years. There are berths for ships, from larger schooners to small fishing vessels. There is a large pier that stretches out into the water, built for even larger ships there may be or for when the port is extraordinarily busy. The pier is large enough for four or five to walk abreast, a feat of ingenuity that might have borrowed from Weston experience. Around the dock, the ground is rocky with only a few hardy weeds daring to poke their heads up. The smell of salt from the ocean permeates the air here.
9th of Nar, 229

It's been several hours now since the fleet returned, and activity at the docks is starting to wind down once more. The injured are all moved, the damage has been assessed (although very little has yet been repaired), the stores have been refurbished, and gang-plank watches are now at their posts. It's too dark now to do anything useful, but that does not mean that Eoin is not still about, keeping busy and largely driving many of the sailing masters and such batty for having failed to bugger off and leave them to it by now. Having just been very, very politely shooed off one ship he now makes his way towards where his own is birthed. The Lady Aoife, flagship of the fleet, and one of the most heavily damaged that returned. Pausing near her bow he blanks everything else out as he peers up at her flank in the torchlight, looking to see how bad thigns truely are, and purpahps also flashing back a little to events earlier in the day.

With all the energy of a man with a great pent-up need to do something of use, Kierne has put himself to what use he can over the course of the last day. He's been waiting… more than two weeks, now, for word of being sent off on the mission his Uncle's chosen for him, and the word of the return of the Prince and his company probably has something to do with that delay. But with all there is to do, even a fellow like Kierne, unschooled in the ways of seamanshp as he is, can lend a hand… or a back… or a bracing pair of legs… just by being a hale and healthsome body with the ability to lift, pull and move things. The fact that he has a good foundation in field first aid's also let him serve as orderly, getting the injured to the infirmaries. With nothing really left to do, he still returns to the scene of the labor, scavenging around for anything that looks like it might need moved or righted. The light down by the ship there draws him, and he coughs once or twice on his way into the pit of his elbow so as not to creep up on the man there as he comes up behind him to peer at the damage.

Eoin hears the coughing, although he doesn't actually turn to see who is approaching until he can sense them close by. A glance in the torchlight, then the briefest of upnods in recognition before he pulls his cloak a fraction tighter around him. He returns to staring at the hull for what seems an eternity, to him at least, before something in the back of his head tells him it's polite to make converation and not just ignore fellow nobles who stop by. He doesn't turn, nor does he speak above an audible mutter, but it's conversation. "I'm told she'll likely never sail again. To much damage to the timber." Not that much is obvious mind, bar the obvious like broken siderails, but then the torchlight isn't the best.

Kierne has noticed the sailors rather on the jumpy side, on the whole— he wasn't coughing to invite conversation, only not to startle anyone by suddenly showing up in the night. "It doesn't look so bad," Kierne murmurs back, "But then, I'm no shipwright, so best listen to someone who knows." Just words, really. They don't mean much, but words provoke words. There's silence for a little while, then, "But you OK?" Those are real words.

Eoin doesn't respond for a long time, almost long enough that it's entirely plausible to think that he might some how not have heard. The change comes suddently though, as he straightens himself and turns away from the ship, towards Kierne and sounding for more like his usual self as he replies. "I am well, thank you. Busy, but well. There is much needs doing yet but I fear there will be little chance for noticable progress until the light returns."

Kierne finds eye contact if it's offered, shifting his head to one side to try to find it if not immediately offered, watching there for any expression along with the words. "Yeah," he agrees, "You gonna try to get some sleep?" he wonders, as though not sleeping were an equally reasonable option.

Eoin had neither been seeking, nor avoiding, eye contact himself, but once Kierne makes it he does nothing to pull away from it. His expersion is purposeful; there is a lot of work to do, he is in charge of getting it done, he has a purpose. It perhaps does not quite reach as far as his eyes though, they've still got a hint r two of a thousand yard stare to them. The idea of sleep though earns a shake of his head, followed by, "not now, too much to do," by way of explaination.

Kierne won't point out that there's not much to do here 'til morning. He knows well enough the sorts of things that chase sleep away. And the benefits of having something on hand to keep busy, that just kind of goes without saying, in the aftermath of a battle. "Yeah. You need a hand with anything?" he asks, ready and willing to be put to task, voice flat in the offer, brisk, speaking of the suppport of physical labor, keeping offers of emotional support for the sub-sub-subtext.

Eoin's mental list of things to do vanishes just as soon as Kierne offers to help. He stuggles for a moment to recall any of them at all, but can only manage the few he has to do himself, like briefing the King. An awkward pause is avoided though, as mere moments after the offer is made, his stomach rumbles. Loudly. There's a flash of confusion across his face before two and two eventually makes four and he notes, "you could find me somewhere with a kitchenfire still burning. Breakfast was a many hours ago."

Kierne lifts one hand to his head, scratching at the back of it as he looks aside to the House across the docks. "You want something hot, Lala's kitchen might still be open. Else, I've got road rations stowed in the stables. If you don't mind cold, at least it'll be filling." He packs road-rations every morning, these days, in case he needs to leave. If not, they serve him well for a midnight snack.

Eoin follow's Kierne's glance to the house in question and considers, almost blankly for a moment, before he shakes his head slowly. "Not tonight I think." Not that he seems overly keen on the idea of trail rations either mindand after a brief pause to think of other options he tiltes his head towards the Lady Aoife. "I have a cook, who has a galley," he notes, "and what is the use of being admiral if you can't have the galley fires relit for dinner?" THe determined tone is drifting away somewhat, being slowly replaced by something a little more spaced. Talking of spaced, he then draws a pipe from out under his cloak and huts for a light, before offering some of the leaf to Kierne if he fancies it. The smell of it would seem to suggest that it's not all straight tobacco.

Kierne lifts a hand to wave off the offer of a smoke. Eoin needs it more than he does, right this instant, after all. "Is the cook still…" alive? in one piece? "On the ship?" he settles on asking. The ship might well be deserted, as far as he knows.

Eoin draws deep, then leans his head back and exhails, taking the opportunity to blow a single smoke ring up high in the air as he does so. Then he nods once, at the question, giving no indication he noticed the slight hesitation. "He was loading supplies last I saw," he replies, "just in case. Doesn't tend to drink over much. Valuble trait really, given he has control of the fire onboard." Theres another moment's pause and then it occurs to him that moving might aid in the process and he turns for the gangplank, gesturing for Kierne to join him should he so desire.

Kierne looks up into the air, watching the grey disappear into the black with both eyebrows arched, impressed! "Sounds like the plan, then," he assents, following after. He's not going to pass up a meal, not this kid. He's still growing, after all. "How do you do that?" he asks, "The, uh, smoke ring thing?" he wonders.

"Long nights with nothing better to do than practice," Eoin replies deadpan as he makes for the gangway. The pair of crewmen on watch recognise him of course, and since Kierne is obviously with him he's not questioned as he boards. A few other sailors also appear to be up and about, either heading down to try and find a pub still open, or just milling, so one of the latter is sent below to pass word to the galley while the Admiral moves insead towards the sterncastle. That bit at least is still structually sound. "I said anything but fish," he states, almost as an after thought. "I hope that's alright."

"I mean, is it with your tongue, or—" Kierne finally gives up looking for hints. He doesn't smoke enough to have really gotten any practice at it, but it looks super cool, so he thought he'd try. "I like fish," he shrugs, "But I like everything else, too, so whatever's good by me." He turns to look behind him as he walks, just taking in the terrain of the deck by night.

The deck itself is clean and ucluttered, Eoin has a good crew, and a number of them have obviously found ways to keep themselves, and their minds, busy these past few hours. "Start by not inhailing," Eoin offers, which while techincally is step one, it's almost perhaps the obvious one. And maybe the reason he only blew the one ring. Moving to lean against the nearest siderail he gazes down the length of his ship towards the bow, forgetting Kierne's existance briefly as he attempts to come to terms with the fact he'll be loosing her in the next day or so. There are so many memories after all, although some of the more recent ones cause him to snap back very much into the present and with a snap that the poor lad does not deserve, "no fish."

"Yeah, I mean. No fish is fine." It sounds kind of weird to Kierne to say so. "It's your table, I'm only a guest," he offers up, lagging behind a little and then hurrying to catch up, breaking into a lanky lope and then returning to a stroll when he reaches Eoin's side. "So you just hold it in your mouth."

Eoin takes another long draw, inhailing and savouring this time, so there's no show. "Yes," he replies after a slow exhale, "and shape it. Like I said though, it takes practice." Something he doesn't have the patience or concentration for right now alas. He does offer it across again though, just incase Kierne has changed his mind. It's at that point that a sailor appears to report that the galley fires are lit, and bring the first heated things up. Two goblets of mulled wine it appears, to see away the evening chill.

Kierne will take the pipe, this time, taking a mouth—nah, a breath of it. It's not like one try's going to get him there, whereas a breath of the smoke will at least kick in with a little buzz. He holds it a while, himself, closing his eyes and then flaring his nostrils to let it out, looking like a cross between an angry bull and a meditating monk. He hands the pipe back, "Thanks. I guess I'll have to get my own pipe if I really want to get it. But it'll wait. Oh, man, that's… perfect," he takes one of the mulled wines.

Eoin is starting to chill out a little more now as the herb makes it's presense felt in his system. Taking the pipe back he doesn't imediately raise it again, but instead pretends to take offense at that last and snorts, "you expected it would be anything else? I am Admiral you know." Still, despite quite literally having his pick of the navy, his crew is still almost entirely the one he brough from Greenshire almost a year ago. Taking his own goblet he sets the pipe down on the siderail, but the water seems still enough that there is little chance of him loosing it overboard. Then, then he drinks. Perhaps a tad too fast at first, for it is still hot, but he learns quickly and slows himself to sips before he asks, "so. How come a freshly spurred knight has nothing better to do than hang around the docks at night, do do I not need to ask that?" He tilts his head towards the whorehouse at that, it beening the conclusion he's drawn.

Kierne does the opposite, sipping slowly at first until he's sure of the temperature, then drinking more deeply once he figures he can handle it. He lets out a breath into the cool night air that almost looks like smoke, itself, from the heat of the drink. "Whew. Just waiting upon my cargo, Admiral. I've got my marching orders, but have not yet been provided that which I'm supposed to bring with me. I've heard of troubles in the region, though, so I'm assuming at this point my orders are in a state of flux. When my Uncle has decided whither my spurs shall be sent, I'm sure I'll be… heh… the last to know. I usually am," he grins.

Eoin raises an eyebrow at the mention of the word 'cargo' but decides not to ask. Lakeshire's business is not his, for the most part anyway, and certainly not when it doesn't pertain to fleets and costal defenses. More wine is sipped, then swallowed in larger amounts as it cools, before he offers of his own plans, "like as not I'll be out again in days rather than weeks. There are new built carracks needing crews, and an ocean to patrol. I daren't let the Laniveer get that close again." He ducks his head a little at that last point, yes, his beacons meant his fleet was out in time but still, they got too close.

Kierne twists his lips ruefully to one side as he listens, nodding his head. "We've all gotten a little lax, or else are too concerned with matters at home. For my part, I had plans to take on a small retinue and ride north to Crosswynds to see to its upkeep. But my Uncle tells me to heel, and I do, because I suppose he has some task or other he'll need me for. And we saw what happened to Prince Logen when he went out on his own. For all his heart was in the right place, for all the good he did at Crosswynds. He should have stayed back and waited for orders. Hard though it is."

Eoin had it in his head that Tyrel had sent Logen, so there's a brief moment of confusion before he decides it's likely one of those things he missed the neuances off by being at sea. Letting it go with a nod he peers into his goblet then drains the rest of his wine, swopping goblet for pipe on the handrail before turning to gaze out to sea briefly. "Your uncle spoke in ways which lead me to believe he fears a threat in Darfield. Perhaps he keeps you near to counter that." He himself assumed Aidan meant Hadrian, but he never actually asked, "you have been guarding the Dutchess have you not? Perhaps he means to keep you at that while there is still risk?" Thats pretty much entirely speculation on his part mind, but it fits the facts as he knows them.

"Perhaps he does. And while I recognize that it's a needful task, you'll have to pardon me if it doesn't seem… a mite frivolous, with armies moving in against us." Kierne sighs, glancing aside to look at Eoin. "But, hey, I was eager to go to war before, and when I got there all I wanted was to come back. So I suppose it's the soul's natural inclination to be discontent with what it has, which is plaguing me so."

"Thats starting to sound dangerously like your philosphy again," Eoin notes, before he takes another drag on the pipe. Then, in mild, yet definitely mock, rebuke he contines, "I'll have you remember that you're on a Greenshire deck young man. No philosophy here, just fresh air, good wine, good food, fine company, and excellent bards." A pause, "or in this particular case, Master Palmer for that last one. Although I shouldn't mock him too badly as he can hold a tune far better than I."

"You do know that the committment to swearing off philosophical inquiry in search for happiness in the simplicity of life is a philosophy of its own, don't you?" Kierne will return mockery for mockery, laughing as he does so. "But it's well. Your board, your rules, and I'll keep out of the textbooks," he yields with good Knightly obedience. "Does he know the one with the braggart whores?" he asks.

"Any more of that sort of talk and I'll have you escorted ashore," Eoin deadpans, although the fact that he remains relaxed is likely a good indication of how serious a threat that actualy is. Then switching topic he replies with a nod, "to three different tunes that I've heard. He may have kept more for belowdecks as it were." Another drag, another slow exhale and then a final stare out to sea before he glances down towards the bowels of his ship and says, "come, let us find out what is keeping the cook."

"I only know the one," Kierne smiles affably, "It goes like, da-DUM de-dum, de DUH DUH DUM," he tries to hum along, but, honestly, the boy's not very musical in nature, so he's happy enough to be distracted by the hunt for the cook. "Alright," he replies, sounding quite game.

Anyone who's ever heard both of them attempt music will surely agree that Elisabeth has the talent of both of them. Eoin, would never have made a bard, lets put it that way. Pausing only knock out the remains of the leaf in the pipe and then grab the now empty goblet he asks, "tell me, does it smell as if he's ready for us?" He still hasn't recovered that particular sense and so now is focusing on learning to live without it instead. "His baking of a morning used to be enough to get anyman out of their hammocks."

"Well I don't smell—woah, yeah," Kierne changes his mind as he heads down after Eoin, "Something's cooking down here, for sure. Man, smells good, too. Now I'm hungry." As if he's not always hungry. "I can barely imagine sleeping in a hammock. I feel like I'd try to turn over and then fall down."

"Good," Eoin concludes succinctly as they head into the lantern lit area below deck. There appear to be a few crew sleeping, or trying to, but most appear to be off the ship, no doubt getting very very drunk. "You get used to it," he then offers, not entirely sure what else to say about hammocks as it's entirely natural for him now. Then catching the eye of the cook he points back towards the stern again, where the officers live, and is rewarded with a nod of understanding before he turns andheads in the very direction. Drawing a hand down over the stubble of his lower face he states simply, "come, let us find somewhere to sit, then I can work on whatelse needs to be done tomorrow while we wait for everything to be ready, and before that herb catches up with me."

"'Kay," Kierne agrees. "Wanna make, like, a list? Sometimes that helps me get my head straight, just writing down all the things I need to do so I can look at it all in one place." He follows along after Eoin. He'd ask about what happened out there. Really, he would. It's not like he's not curious. But he seems to think it's not the question for right now. Food, drink, company, focus on what needs done next.

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