|A Busy Day Ahead|
|Summary:||Jacsen summons Anais and Lucienne to share some news, and sets them to a task.|
|Related Logs:||I'm sure there're lots. Riverrun ones.|
|Some Random Room At Riverrun|
|Uh. There's a window.|
|18 November, 288|
It's just past the time that most would break their fast, and it would seem Jacsen Terrick has done just that. A bowl of fruit sits on the table beside him, and a cup of half-drunk wine. He's staring out the window, for all that such is something he rarely does, propped up by the sake of his cane. He has in his hands a leather folio, though it seems rather not the focus of his attentions. He'd send an invitation for his wife and for his sister to join him, and now he waits, back to the door, silhouetted by the light from the rising sun.
As their stay in Riverrun stretches on, Anais has grown increasingly restless. Each day brings a new list of things to see and people to meet in the area, but even in Riverrun, there is only so much to be done. Early this morning, she left with some guards and handmaids to go for a ride along the river. It must have been a sedate ride, since she's still looking fresh when she returns to the tower at Jacsen's summons, drawing off a pair of gloves and tucking back a few flyaway strands of hair that have escaped from the braided chignon at the nape of her neck. "Good news?" she asks hopefully as she enters, summoning up a small smile.
As she appears after Anais, it is fairly clear that the lady Lucienne was roused from an extended slumber; her hair is hastily brushed but unbraided, her eyes still sleepy, and her face is a little flushed. She's pulled on one of her simpler dresses, laced instead of buttoned, and a pair of thin slippers. She peers silently around from behind her brother's wife, curious also for the answer to that question.
"News, at the least," Jacsen answers his wife, glancing over his shoulder at her as she steps into the small sitting room, his smile emerging with faint mirth as he espies the state of his beloved sister. "Are you feeling alright, Enne?" he asks, turning about to better face both of the women, shifting some on his cane. "Come, sit, and let's share a bit of news. You've both a busy day ahead of you."
Anais quirks a brow over her shoulder Lucienne, though it seems directed more at Jacsen's last words than at the other woman's state of dress, or lack thereof. "Do we?" she asks, moving toward the hearth to check on a pot left nearby when she left this morning. "Tea, Luci?" she offers, peeking into the pot and giving it a gentle swirl.
"Perhaps just a touch too much sun," is Lucienne's answer for her brother, give in a dismissive tone and accompanied by a short shaking of her head. Her eyes flutter closed for a long moment, blinking open more alert and awake as she crosses to take up a chair. "Thankyou, no. Please, what news have you, my dearest brother?"
"I've word of our brother, though it is vague and secondhand from a Nayland, so I know not that I trust it fully… it has him near the Twins," Jacsen tells them both, setting his leather folio down and taking up the wine cup instead. "Of more immediate import… my meeting with Lord Hoster and Ser Gedeon went better than the first. Between the two of us…" He takes a small sip of wine. "We may well see the Stonebridge returned to rightful hands."
"Jacsen?" Anais murmurs, a quiet offer of tea for her husband as she pours for herself. There's the slightest clink of porcelain on porcelain at the mention of word of Jaremy, though she stills her hand afterward, setting the pot down carefully. "Stonebridge is good news," she says first, slowly. "But what would Jaremy be doing at the Twins?"
Lucienne pauses, hovering above her seat at the mention of Jaremy. Struck dumb, her eyes widen, and her lips press thin. She draws in a deep breath through her nose before sitting properly, taking more care to settle the skirt of her modest dress than it deserves. A great many sentences start to form on her lips, but all go unspoken, deferring to Anais' question.
That seems to be the topic driving him to drink, though the answer his sister gave before did earn a curious glance. "He was last known to be near Stonebridge, seeking to gather men to fight alongside him," Jacsen points out, "So I would not doubt he is at the same or similar. Though why he would be at the Twins…" He shakes his head. "As I said. Word from a Nayland, even if he seems one of their more reasonable sorts… is not trustworthy. It could be a half-truth, or a complete fabrication."
Anais is quiet for a long moment, cradling her teacup in her hand as she moves to sit gracefully in one of the seats near the hearth. "True or not, it's a dangerous tale. If Jaremy - or someone they can pass off as Jaremy before he dies a conveniently disfiguring death - is causing trouble in the Riverlands, it reflects poorly on our house."
"Any moreso than his valiant escapades so far?" Lucienne's voice is bitter, barely contained. She crosses her ankles, her eyes held firmly on her hands folded in her lap. "Which Nayland informed you? And whyever would they?"
"While I'd prefer we stopped Jaremy before he does anything too damaging, Lucienne is right. The harm he can do has mostly been done, unless he truly tries to take up arms… but Lord Jerold has already named him for an outcast, so we must be content with that." He finishes the wine and sets the cup down, taking a few steps over to another chair and slipping down onto it. "It was Ser Rutger that informed me so. It was, and is, his wish that we take steps to end this feud between Nayland and Terrick… or so he claims. That bit of knowledge was meant as a show of good faith. I've men already in the area scouting for signs of him."
"There's the way things should be, and the way they /are/, Jacsen," Anais cautions gently, taking a sip of her tea. "Jaremy has been disowned, and that /should/ mean that his actions don't reflect upon us. That doesn't mean they won't anyhow." She watches her husband, gaze carefully guarded. "How well do you know this Rutger? Are you sure it might not be a ruse to encourage us to send armed men into their lands?"
Lucienne leaves a beat after her brother's wife, before adding, "If they know where he is and what he is at, why have they not seized him? Anais is right, m-" She stops, lifting her flushed face solemnly to Jacsen. "Maybe Ser Rutger would wish to paint us as breaking the peace to take Stonebridge by force, if your meetings with the Lord Tully are progressing well, as you say?"
Jacsen occupies the chair with a certain grave sort of presence, eventually curling his left hand into a fist that he might rest his chin upon, while the other hand lightly taps at the chair's arm. "It does matter, Anais. In all of this, there are two sides… those that will interpret Lord Jerold's action as fact, as it is by law, and those whom were going to stand against us regardless of what happens." He looks between the women. "Still, I am loathe to take him simply at his word… I've also news from Lord Jerold that some levies have been raised at Stonebridge."
"Fairly so, if there's someone - Jaremy or not - rallying peasants near their lands," Anais notes with an arch of her brow in regards to Stonebridge raising levies. "I'd hope you'd do the same." Her tea rests forgotten in her hands, a thin curl of steam rising from the top.
Lucienne lapses back into silence, her lashes falling to her cheeks and her jaw tightening. A tiny crease forms on her brow, and it is this that prompts her roll her shoulders back and let go of a breath. With the exhale, she forces herself to unwind a measure - but she adds no comment.
Jacsen's eyes remain on Lucienne for a long moment, considering her, though in the end he settles for huffing a breath and reaching for a clay jug from which he pours another cup of wine. "We must prepare for what this could bring, but… this is not the whole of why I asked you both here. As I said, things progress well with Lord Hoster, but there is more to be done."
Anais looks to Lucienne as well, though she doesn't say anything just yet. She shifts ever so slightly in her seat, setting her teacup aside on the table next to her, before turning her attention back to Jacsen. Waiting.
"More to be done," echoes Lucienne, lifting her eyes again to her brother, this time expectantly. She is still other than the gentle rise and fall of her chest as she breathes, the only remaining tell of her tension.
He pushes forward the folio he'd set on the center table. "The last testament of Geoffrey Tordane, and Ser Gedeon's letter from his father's deathbed. Both of them as yet found fault with, and so both considered true. Read them, and consider them together, and you'll note that Lord Geoffrey never does name or mention Isolde's taking Stonebridge should her elder brother fall," Jacsen explains. "The testament even sounds, very much, as if it expects Gedeon to die, and Geonis to ride in a tournament celebrating his father. And so it was sent. After Geonis fell on the field, in his last hours, Lord Geoffrey wrote his letter to Gedeon, outlining the truth, and his desire for what should come." He lets out a breath. "Lord Hoster is inclined to agree that, with a witness to put the writing on Lord Geoffrey, which Gedeon claims he can provide… the matter is such as we describe, and will declare for us." There is a massive 'but' hanging in the air, there.
Anais arches a pale brow, head tilting slightly. "A witness of a man writing a testament in the midst of battle. The Trident, no less," she replies, lips twisting in a grimace. "That seems unlikely."
Lucienne listens, mostly waiting for the instruction that seems to be long in coming. She refrains from looking at the documents, having seen them already, and picks up instead on what is left unspoken. "However…" she urges Jacsen to continue, intoned as a question.
"Not the midst of battle. According to Gedeon, his father died some hours later," Jacsen remarks, though he does not take long to get to what he has yet to say. "We must prepare for any challenge, legal or otherwise, that the Naylands might try to present to this decision. To that end, I have secured Lord Hoster's permission to make use of his extensive library. I cannot hope to go through all of it on my own."
Anais's head remains tilted, thoughts flashing through sea-blue eyes in an instant. "That could be useful," she muses. "There were things I couldn't access before, when I was looking in the library at Terrick's Roost for other information. Other ways around the situation if Stonebridge itself couldn't be reclaimed. Though I imagine it's also likely to be like searching for a needle in a haystack," she muses, tapping a finger to her lips.
Lucienne's shoulders sag just a touch, but her pinkened expression remains mostly neutral, save for the quick darting about of her eyes as she contemplates. Eventually, she dips her head in a nod. "If I might have a moment to find something to eat, first? Then you shall have the rest of my day for the pursuit."
At that, Jacsen's eyes flick over to Anais. "Would you be so kind as to fetch the tome I left in the bedchamber, Anais?" he asks, with an apologetic look for her. "I've scrawled a list of some of the books we'd be best to look for, if we're to make any progress that is beyond, as you say, a needle in a haystack."
There's a flicker of something across Anais' features, the slightest arch of her brow, as she's turned away from Lucienne. It's a barely noticeable pause, easily explained by the distracted noise she makes as she straightens. "Mmm? Oh, yes," she replies, rising smoothly from the chair. "I'll have to see if I packed the bookstand as well." And with those words, she moves into the bedchamber, rustling about in their things.
Lucienne sends a look after Anais, and even a slight smile; she keeps such as she turns back to Jacsen, cutting to speech before he. "A headache. Too much sun. What sort of books are you looking for, what other challenge do you anticipate?"
Jacsen does not seem to be quite buying what it is Lucienne is selling, but he lets a breath out and simply nods. "Fine. We're looking for court histories, legal texts. We need better understanding of the precedents behind inheritance and conflicting wills. Not that they are quite conflicting, but…" He frowns, still not pleased with his sister's answer, but says nothing.
"They aren't conflicting," Lucienne breezes on, ignoring the frown from her brother. "The Lord Anton and I were discussing it, and he pointed out: the testament never claims Isolde as trueborn, unlike Geonis. Both letters can be held true, if the hand that writes them can be verified. Isolde was to be married to Jaremy for her happiness - which she finds instead with the Lord Ryker. All of Lord Geoffrey's wishes are able to be fulfilled, if only Gedeon should inherit Stonebridge."
"As I noted before. But yes, I heard something similar from Lord Anton, and it is this logic, along with much other reassurances has seemed to win Lord Hoster over. Still, we cannot expect that the Naylands will not level some contentious charge against the logic of it, hence our research," Jacsen advises. "Though do not tax yourself overmuch, Enne."
"A day spent indoors should suit me well," assures Lucienne, beginning to rise from her place. "But first, breakfast. By your leave, my love?"