|A Lady of Standards|
|Summary:||Exiled from Stonebridge, Gedeon seeks a favor from his favorite Westerling.|
|Related Logs:||Answered As A Knight|
|The Stone Bridge — Stonebridge|
|An ancient bridge crafted of shaped stone, built in the long lost days of the River Kings. Narrow- only wide enough for a single large wagon at a time- it is of double arched construction, leaving a lane to either side of the river's center for boats and barges to pass beneath. This bridge marks the furthest point upriver which a masted vessel can reach. The best crossing between Seagard and the Twins, the bridge is well worn, with the newest addition being a row of six pikes mounted into the arch of the bridge, each displaying the tarred heads of Ironborn raiders.|
|23 April 289|
There is a quiet lull as Bruce Longbugh departs but no one has yet arrived with a pavilion or the items Gedeon Rivers has requested. The half-septon is perusing a letter or composing one, perhaps to send back to Oldstones or on to Terrick's Roost. Ser Rivers/Tordane is leaning up against the start of the bridge on the east bank, thoughtful as he studies the buildings of Stonebridge on the other side.
The young, broad shouldered guardsmen who left to fetch Danae returns to the bridge at what is likely a slower pace than which he departed. The small lady thanks him for his service and dismisses him before she approaches the Stone Bridge. Shading her eyes against the late day's light as she regards Ser Rivers' stance across the breach, observing his features with interest — perhaps trying to determine if the Knight is any the worse for wear. Low words are spoken to her own guard that leave him guarding the Stonebridge end of the Bridge, still firmly in the center, while his lady steps onto the divide.
His thoughtful observation allows Gedeon to take note of the slight Lady Westerling and her retinue as she arrives, and he straighten to a more proper and polite posture as she steps onto the bridge. There is a wry glance at the posted men that would keep him from doing the same, and so he waits on the east bank for Danae to approach before offering her a deep bow. "My Lady Westerling. I thank you humbly for answering my summons."
"Ser Rivers," Danae greets softly, casting a short look through her lashes towards the posted armsman as she moves past them in a whisper of skirts and silks. To the knight she inclines her head graciously, offering a slight smile in place of a curtsey until she has reached the opposite embankment. "I did not think that it would be quiet so soon a summons." She pauses to look back across the bridge, signaling her guard to join them as she thought the meeting would take place upon the bridge and not — so decidedly across. The fellow arrives, looking slightly relieved at his lady's order and retakes his quiet position on /this/ side of the large structure. "But, I would not have offered without the intent to come — now tell me, what has caused you to be so ejected from Stonebridge?"
"For just a little while longer," Gedeon agrees for his name. "This has, my lady." He draws the king's letter from his belt pouch to offer to her. "The Naylands have taken the news rather poorly, and now I am not allowed within the walls of the city the king wishes me to rule."
There is an inquisitive hitch to Danae's brow as Gedeon replies to her greeting in such a manner, shortly remedied as he withdraws that letter from his pouch. The Westerling lady moves to stand beside him, accepting the letter and briefly reading through it with widening eyes. Her pale flit from the (mostly) elegantly scribed words up towards the Ri— Tordane knight and back again, exhaling a low breath before she speaks, "I cannot voice surprise that they have." A small, slow smile curves her mouth. "Ser — Gedeon, I am unsure if I should offer you congratulations or wish you a strong sword arm. Now, what do you need of me?"
"The story doesn't end with that letter. The men posted on the bridge refused to allow access to the courier that brought it, and once I crossed the bridge to receive it, Ser Rygar marched forth on horse and in full armor to call me traitor and liar and challenge me to a duel." Gedeon's expression is wry as he speaks on. "As a refusal would shame me before the very people to whom I should be lord, I have accepted. But, there is something I need commissioned, and I have no leave to go into the town and see it done. I ask, my lady, if you might take on the task of having a Tordane banner made that I might place it over the pavilion and hold it as my standard when the duel begins."
Fingers curled gently around the exceptionally important bit of paper, Danae's hand only shakes a little as she hands it back to Gedeon after hearing the remainder of the story. "Ser Rygar made it so you would have little choice but to accept with such claims made in public and in full armor," she opines softly and a touch wry, although without consternation for the Nayland Lord. It is a move well played. "However the King may have decided… Is this to the blood, good Ser or the death?" There is a flicker of emotion that causes her voice to skip as she voices her question, pausing with a huff to brush a stray curl back from her features. Shaking her head at herself, Danae looks up at Gedeon with clear blue eyes. "When is the duel to begin?"
"Of course," Gedeon agrees for Ser Rygar's intent, accepting the letter and tucking it away again. Very well-played indeed. "The duel is a judicial one, so it must be to death or yield. But should I yield, it would say that I confess to being a traitor and a dissembler, and should Ser Rygar yield, it would be to withdraw those accusations and confess he slandered me. So. In seven days, we fight to the death."
"And that you cannot do under any circumstance or measure," Danae states quietly, looking up at the former Rivers with honest concern, "Nor that he would do under threat of hot irons." Not if he wishes to take Stonebridge fully and Rygar is to stern a man to do the same. "Ser Gedeon — were I a woman inclined to hysterics, I believe this avenue of our acquaintance would be the appropriate time for them," she opines with a crooked smile, just briefly touching his elbow with a hand before removing it. It is well that she is not. "Seven days, a blessed choice…it seems so short a time. I will see to it that you have your standard before that time. Will you inform your Lord Valentin of your choice?"
"How grateful I am that you are not such a woman," Gedeon replies with a warm smile. "You are composed of admirably sterner stuff, my lady." As her hand retreats, the knight-and-maybe-lord reaches to catch her fingers in his, lifting them to place a quick kiss to her knuckles before allowing their retreat. "Thank you, my lady. I am, once again, in your debt. And, yes, we write to Lord Valentin now. And the Terricks, as I doubt the Naylands will send word to them of what has transpired."
Danae responds to that warm smile and the compliment with a slow, small one in turn — one which Gedeon has seen only briefly before. His placement of that quick kiss causes a brief flush of colour to rise to her cheeks, her fingers curl inward against her palm as it is withdrawn. "You need your arms to be steady on your sword not catching swooning women, after all," she quips briefly, before merely inclining her chin at the notion of his debt. "I will be certain that they shall hear of it."
"Perhaps I might manage both," Gedeon murmurs, his voice dipped low and teasing, but then he sombers and returns Danae's nod. He can offer only the inadequate, "Thank you, my lady."
At his tease, the skew of Danae's smile slips somewhat croooked. Instead of returning it, she regards him with eyes clear as the Western seas as she says, "In seven days, I may be able to reply to that with 'my lord'. Gods grace you in what is to come, Gedeon Tordane." The small lady dips into a curtsey, offering him the same respect that she always has, and takes her leave.