|A Difference Of Opinion|
|Summary:||Anais and Lucienne have one in regards to the Roost.|
|Related Logs:||Plenty that I will not be linking.|
|Tournament Fields — The Twins|
|The fields where tents and the like are set up.|
|May 26, 289|
The camp is in a state of organized chaos at the moment, with various parts packing up as much as they can in order to prepare for the splitting of their forces. Some will return to the Roost, others will pass through Stonebridge, and a smaller contingent will return to the Roost by way of Hag's Mire. Anais is part of the latter group, though at the moment she's as far as she can get from the noise and the mess of the preparations, nursing a mug of something warm and little else. She's looking a little worse for the wear this morning, eyes tight at the corners and cheeks paler than is usual. Perhaps a little bit of overindulgence at the dance the previous evening?
Lucienne has managed to drag herself out of bed at an early enough hour to have her hair brushed to a sheen and braided, but still late enough that she shows none of the signs that Anais seems to this morning. Laced into a more hardy, travel-friendly black dress, she pauses a good few steps away from her goodsister, contemplating her approach. "Anais?"
Anais looks up from her mug at the sound of her name, a pair of slow blinks all it takes for her to summon up a small smile. "Good morning, Luci," she offers, her voice perhaps softer than it usually is. "Forgive me, I fear I may have enjoyed myself a bit more than was prudent last night." Worn or no, she is coiffed and dressed all the same. "And I hardly got to see you at all." She moves to close some of the distance between them, leaning forward to kiss the air at Lucienne's cheek. "Will you be coming home to the Roost, then, or is it back to Middlemarch?"
Lucienne accepts the air-kiss, pressing a small smile of her own in return. "I heard that you joined the party in the square," she offers apologetically, an excuse for the lack of facetime the prior evening. "I'll be returning home, at least for a time. I feel that I'm needed there far more greatly than at Middlemarch, currently. Will you be travelling with us?"
"I had to pass through it to return to camp, and I owed one more dance," Anais explains in regards to her stop in the square, as though it were nothing. "Kincaid made certain I was all right, though. As for returning home, I'm afraid my road will take me through the Mire. Lord Riordan came and spoke with Lord Jerold, and in return I'll go and speak with Lord Rickart. Jacsen would have done it himself, I think, but his leg ails him terribly without the herbs Mistress Avinashi needs for her creams. He will be happy to see you home, I think." There's a slight tension in her shoulder at the mention of being needed at the Roost. "Things are not so terrible at the Roost, though. Between myself, Lady Muirenn, and my cousin Lady Saffron, all is as well in hand as it can be. Though with Saffron headed to Stonebridge and me traveling so much, it will be good to have another pair of hands."
The darker-haired Terrick certainly doesn't press the issue any further, since Anais speaks so lightly of it. Lucienne reserves her judgement, and looks slightly disappointed as Anais explains her travel plans. She draws a long breath, and allows herself a deep sigh. "I had heard entirely different, to be honest with you. The Lord Kittridge Groves mentioned that he'd been given the impression we were not considering making an offer for their harvest. Has Lord Jerold offered a response regarding this proposed betrothal for the Lord Rickart, then?"
"Well, Lucienne, we are doing the best with what we have," Anais replies with forced cheer. "Which is very little, it's true, but more than many places have made do with before. As for the Groves harvest, no. We had not made an offer for it because it was well-known that the Naylands had already done so. In addition, Lord Rutger is courting Lady Rosanna, and knowing the state of our finances as I did, it seemed it would have been an insult to their house to make the small offer we could have. Lord Kittridge was kind enough to investigate the lack of an offer, and when I explained the situation, suggested that they would be willing to accept land in exchange for the surplus. However, as I am not in the habit of giving away other people's inheritances, I couldn't simply agree to such terms. Which is, coincidentally, what I also told Lady Briallyn Haigh when she inquired as to whether we would sell land to a Westerling." She pauses to draw a breath herself, spine straightening. "Lord Jerold indicated that he would truly not prefer to give away lands, though if there were no other options, the Groves were the lesser of two evils. And I am inclined to agree with your Lord Father. People are movable, adaptable, and can be replaced. There is, however, a severely limited supply of land."
Lucienne listens, quite patiently, as her goodsister responds. If she would like to interrupt, she bites her tongue, and is left blinking somewhat surprisedly as Anais reaches her conclusion. Her posture unchanged, she delivers her reply mildly: "Your people are starving and turning against you. Would you rather pay a Frey vassal for the food in a month's time, when things are far more dire? The Groves are our allies, bannermen to the same liege, and those lands are of no use to us without smallfolk to work them. My father, in his grief or otherwise, needs wise counsel, not a posse of yes-men. That is what I mean when I say I am needed in the Roost."
"How exactly would you know anything about the people of the Roost right now, Lucienne?" Anais returns with an arch of her brow. "You ran off to Middlemarch. In the meantime, I've been doing everything I can to maximize our food. Crab pots, clam digging, /rabbit hutches/. Do you know what it takes to capture rabbits for a captive breeding program, Lucienne? I went to Stonebridge. I witnessed Ser Gedeon's foolishness. I've made nice enough with the Naylands to get at least a single shipment of food out of them."
Slowly, she starts to pick up speed and intensity, though the volume of her voice doesn't change. "In the course of this tourney, I've gone begging to every house in the Riverlands trying to find someone with a surplus to sell who might be willing to sell it on credit or even just at a lower price than the Groves are offering. I've asked my father for loans, and I'm an inch from going begging to my dear, sweet cousin Magnola who married into the Lannisters in hopes that she might be willing to give me something out of pity. Your family sold my dowry and I've sold all but the last scraps of my pride trying to keep the Roost solvent."
Her knuckles tight on her mug, she takes another step close to Lucienne. "I understand that you needed time to mourn the loss of your mother. But don't you /dare/ try to characterize everything I've done for the Roost as nothing more than being a yes-man to your father."
Lucienne's jaw snaps open, right about the accusation of her running off to Middlemarch. Her knuckles whiten as she clenches her hands together tightly in front of herself, but there really is no way to get a word in. As Anais steps toward her, she scoots a step backward, darting a look behind her to ensure an even footing. It is apparent that Lucienne is considering responding an myriad of ways, as her lips twitch and her ire flashes in those dark eyes, but eventually all she offers is a sharp lift of her chin before grabbing up her skirts in an almightily huffy swish and turning to stride in the opposite direction.
Anais knows better than to count that as a win. But in the presence of an almighty hangover and the absence of anything more constructive to say, she simply watches the other woman leave, waiting until she's a good distance away before letting out a long breath. Deflated, she pours what remains in her mug out over the coals of the fire before passing it off to her guard. "I know, Kincaid," she sighs before he can say anything. "That isn't going to do me any favors later. I know."