|A Good Many Things|
|Summary:||Anton and Jerold discuss them.|
|Throne Room - Four Eagles Tower|
|Great pillars rise above the occupants of the room, the ceiling arching across the structural supports in a lovely feat of construction. The north and south walls have expansive windows that filter in sunshine during the day while ornately designed torches provide light at night. The room is large enough to host a great feast for quite a number of people but the tables are typically kept elsewhere. The Lord's Throne is at the west end of the room on a dais with a high, circular window that brings in the setting sun with the late afternoons.|
|29 October, 288|
The tournament has passed, and various notables of the Western Riverlands have gone their seperate ways. Of the dignitaries still in residence at the Roost are the Mallisters and Valentins. Yet, as the Knight of Oldstones arrives in the central chamber of Four Eagles Tower, it is only Lord Jerold and a few retainers who await. the Lord of the Roost has a glass at hand, and had been reading a letter when his herald announces the arrival of, "Lord Anton Valentin, the Knight of Oldstones."
A minor injury to his horse kept Ser Anton from the lists, reportedly, and he observed his fellow lords' defeats from the stands. Time was spent in conversation with many of them, over the course of the tournament, renewing old acquaintances and making new. With all of the commotion, however, there was little time to speak with the host himself, which is perhaps what brings the Knight of Oldstones to the throne room today. "Lord Jerold," he greets him as he strides into the room, his nod polite, "Good day."
Jerold has set aside his letter and glass by the time Anton has entered the hall, rising to his feet and starting down the dais steps to meet the Knight of Oldstones, "Lord Anton. My congratulations on the conduct of your household in the grand melee. You and yours represented Oldstones proudly."
"Thank you," Anton replies, "We did our best. Your captain of the guard was a worthy opponent, as always, as was your new son-in-law, Ser Quentyn," he offers. "A unique fighting style on that one." He gestures back at the letter abandoned on the dais and asks, "Am I interrupting? I had hoped we might speak, now that the festivities are largely completed."
"Great stature is a blessing, as much for a warrior as for any statesman, Lord Anton," Jerold observes with a polite smile punctuating the light pun. "No, Ser. I had been anticipating an opportunity to pass words with you. Shall we sit?" he queries, motioning aside to chairs which line a table, so that his guest need not look up to speak with Jerold on his throne.
Anton smiles politely in return, acknowledging the joke and agreeing, at once as he nods, "Very true." He steps toward the table and its chairs with a nod, replying, "Yes, let us." He pulls out a chair and sits as his host does, neither before nor after. "There are a good many things we might discuss," he says, "Perhaps as host," he smiles, "You might choose where we begin."
"As you like, my Lord," Jerold concedes, as the two Heads of House sit. A brief aside to motion for an attendant to fetch a pitcher and fresh goblet for Anton, should his guest like. "I have spoken with Lord Jason Mallister, Ser Anton. The Lord of Seagard is in agreement with me on the subject of your man Ser Gedeon's letters. A courier has been sent to Riverrun to gain the authority of the Lord Paramount in forcing the Lady Nayland to surrender the letters for inspection by Lord Hoster. If she has destroyed them it will go poorly for her. Toward that end, I must ask that your Ser Gedeon pen as accurate a summary of those letters as he is able to recall, should counterfeits be put forward by his enemies."
Anton nods at the offer of a drink, and waits for his goblet to be filled as he listens to Jerold. He nods, "I am pleased to hear it, Lord Jerold," he replies, "I hope that Lord Hoster will do this shortly. Whether they surrender the letters or have destroyed them as I suspect, it will force some movement on the subject, and the Lord Paramount's attention. I will speak with Ser Gedeon about this. I know he will be eager to offer any assistance that might speed some resolution of this business."
Lord Jerold nods once to Anton's answer. "As I know not whether Riverrun has any Ravens trained to find Oldstones, I have requested that Lord Tully's answer should also be sent here, as well as to your own holdfast. I trust no insult is taken in this precaution, Ser?" the attendant fills Jerold's glass, but as the two lords are still speaking, Jerold does not yet drink. "I know that several among my household would wish to see Ser Gedeon safely escorted to Riverrun, when the summons comes. I wish to reaffirm what has been said before: your House has the protection of mine throughout the resolution of this business, Ser."
Again Anton listens, and nods when Jerold has finished. "I take no insult, Lord Jerold, but thank you for thinking of it. I trust that Ser Gedeon and I will be informed as soon as a raven from Lord Tully arrives." He nods once more at the next bit of business, inclining his head with a smile, "Your hospitality and generosity are very much appreciated, Ser, and I know that I speak for Ser Gedeon on that point as well."
Jerold dips his head in acceptance of the offered thanks. "You shall," he notes to the question of being informed. "In light of the unsafe roads between the Roost and Riverrun, Lord Jason has added his protection to mine, in committing an escort of knights to see you and yours safely to Riverrun, on that day." A drawn breath, "My dear daughter has expressed an interest in seeing Oldstones for herself. Should the time come in the near future when such a visit might be welcome, I wonder whether such a visit would be acceptable to you, my Lord?"
"It is more convenient for Lord Jason," Anton says with a nod, "I am pleased to hear he has offered. Should Lord Tully request our presence, I am sure my own men and I will welcome the opportunity to once again ride with the knights of Lords Terrick and Mallister to answer his summons." He lifts his wine, sipping it and setting the goblet back down before he nods. "Of course, I would welcome the Lady Lucienne's presence in Oldstone whenever she would like. Now that there is a road cut, it will be a much less trying journey."
"Indeed," Jerold notes simply to the word of the easier travel, on account of the new road. "Whenever you should choose to extend such an invitation, Ser, know that my dear daughter has my permission to undertake such a travel." Lord Jerold sits slightly back in his chosen chair, resting one elbow upon the tabletop. "It would be a most heartening sight to see Valentins riding alongside Terricks and Mallisters once more, Ser. Lord Jason has spoken of his kind recollection of your good father, Ser Cyric."
"I am pleased to hear that, Ser," Anton replies with a nod, "I will certainly speak with her about the best time for such an invitation to be made." He smiles, and then again as Lord Jerold goes on, inclining his head in acknowledgment of the compliment once again. "I am honored to hear it. My father always spoke very highly of Lord Jason. He spent more time in service to the Lords Mallister than his several previous lords combined, I believe. I was glad to have the chance to fight in his host during the war."
"Thanks be to the Seven that such days are behind us, proud though we all were to have endured it as we did, Ser," Jerold voices with a reserved smile at the talk of pride in the days of Robert's Rebellion. "As host, I would be remiss in my duties if I did not offer the next pass of speech to my guest. Ser Anton, what further word would you have of me?"
"Thanks be indeed," Anton echoes, solemnly. He lifts a brow at the prompt, and takes a sip of his wine, wetting his lips before replying, "I believe you are not unaware of my interest in your lady daughter's hand. I would ask, Lord Jerold, as lord to lord and man to man: how stand your thoughts on the subject?"
Jerold answers after a moment's consideration. "I have said prior, Ser… that while Jacsen bears my seal, and one day shall inherit all of my lands, titles, and duties, it is the man who marries Lucienne who shall have my greatest treasure." Jerold looks directly into Anton's eye as he draws the next breath. "You are a worthy lord, Ser. Accomplished at arms, and without any blemish upon your honor as befits a knight. That your house is not wealthy matters naught to me. You have behaved as befits a man of noble blood within my hall, and my dear daughter speaks well of you." His shoulders rise with a drawn breath. "As lord to lord, I find no fault with you as a suitor, and am inclined to grant you a period of courtship. As man to man, I wish before all else to see my daughter happy, Ser."
Anton takes a long sip of wine and lowers the goblet to set it down in precisely the same place it was before, exactly within the ring left upon the table top. He does not break Jerold's gaze as he does this, but it is only after it is completed that he speaks. "I take that as high praise, Ser," he replies, "I understand how precious a daughter, particularly one such as she, must be to her father, and the extra care you take in this matter comes, I know, from that very admirable concern for her happiness. I will gladly agree to begin with a period of courtship."
"It is intended as such, Ser," Jerold voices to Anton's initial words naming it praise, and his voiced opinion of the courtship. Taking hold of his own glass, he raises it in toast, "To the future of your House, Ser. May the Seven smile upon you."
Anton lifts his cup, replying, "To the future of both our houses, Ser. May the Seven smile upon us all," before he drinks.