|A Man and His Sword|
|Summary:||Ramsey comes to find Jacsen to get his thoughts on recent events, interrupted by Roslyn before it gets too interesting.|
|Date:||28 Jun 2012|
|Jacsen's Tent - Seagard|
|Poppy, poppy everywhere.|
|Thu Jun 28, 289|
The majority of the purple-and-gold tents have come down in the Terrick tent, leaving the campsite looking bizarrely empty in comparison to how it stood throughout the tournament. However, a few tents remain; Lord Jacsen's is one of them, amongst a handful of others. It is this tent that Ramsey is directed to by the young page Willem, who is returning from fetching some things for his Lord, and sees the man into the tent after checking if Jacsen is ready to receive a guest. The Terrick is on his feet, leaning on a cane, some ink on his hand from having been writing letters. "Welcome, my Lord," he greets. "Please. Come in." He gestures to a pair of seats that face one another across a small low table. "Willem, some refreshments."
While he's waiting to be seen, Ramsey will prop his spear against a nearby hitching post, no need to carry the unweildy weapon instead. Then when he's shown in, the Charlton will stride in with a smile on his face. He sweeps his cloak back and greets Jacsen in a cheerful voice that's carrying a heavy foriegn accent. "Good day! Thank you for your welcome, a man is happy to be meeting Lord Jacsen. I am Ramsey Charlton." He crosses the tented area with an easy, natural grace and well sink down into the offered seat. "It looks like you are packing to leave. My timing was fortuitous, I think."
"Yes, the Terrick main body departed earlier today," Jacsen says, looking a bit bemused by Ramsey's energetic entrance. Or perhaps it's his accent. "As for fortuitous timing, my Lord, I must admit I was not expecting a member of your House to be visiting me… anytime soon," he says with a small smile. He seats himself across from the Charlton, the cane laid against his chair, and waits to speak again until Willem has laid down a simple plate with some food and drink. "What can I do for you, Lord Ramsey?" he asks, looking over the man with some curiosity.
"You see, that is where Ramsey is unique." The man replies, his dialect going further off into foreign territory. "I have not lived with my house for many many years. My grasp on the political matters here? Very shaky." As the food is laid out he smiles, "Thank you." He'll reach for the beverage and have a sip, "The situation between my house and the Naylands. I am seeking objective opinions on the matter. I am hoping you might share some." He grins while asking, "And perhaps explain why it is that you did not expect a Charlton to seek conversation."
The red wine is not terrible, but it's by no means the best drink around. It's mediocre at best. "I imagined you had spent some time abroad," Jacsen says mildly of the obvious accent, tipping his head to Ramsey. "The situation between House Charlton and House Nayland is… interesting, my Lord," he says, choosing the ever-neutral and infuriating word. "I'm afraid few of my opinions end up being objective or neutral, though I'd be happy to shed light on matters from my perspective, were it desired." Picking up a cup of his own, he smiles over it to the Charlton man. "Simply being pragmatic, Lord Ramsey," he answers plainly. "There is little House Charlton would want from us in our current state, or so I had thought."
Ramsey chuckles. "Just so." He agrees of his time abroad. He has another sip of the wine, not seeming to mind it's quality. "Interesting is a very good word, Lord Jacsen. I would be very interested," there's a little quirk of his lips as he uses a derivitive of the word, "to hear your perspective. That is very much what I am seeking. A man comes back to his home to be immediately swept into arrest over crimes his house supposedly did. He finds himself wondering after his family, no?"
"As I hear it," Jacsen says slowly, drawing out time to ponder his words before speaking. "A host of Charlton men are on the move for Stonebridge and have taken hostages on their way there. It seems your House would use them to force the Naylands into handing over their prisoners, as was demanded. But I imagine Charlton men are prepared to draw steel, should it come to that." He shrugs, slowly swirling the wine in his hand contemplatively. "Stonebridge being a major hub of trade and traffic, such things are bad for business, yes? Especially with Terrick's Roost in such need of grain, which must likely pass through Stonebridge to reach us - tariff and all."
"Very bad for business, yes." Ramsey agrees with a little nod, watching Jacsen curiously. "Terrick is being a victim in this altercation as much as Ramsey was for returning home the night he did. I think so." He leans forward, setting down the cup and smiling in amusement. "There is irony. The very unrest the Naylands accuse Charlton of doing and arrested us to prevent, they are creating. This is very frustrating for Terrick?"
"Have they?" Jacsen replies evenly - he's genuinely interested in Ramsey's answer. "House Charlton quartered a sizeable force of men in Stonebridge when its men were out searching for the kidnapped ladies. Now Charlton rides on Stonebridge - provoked, yes - and takes its own hostages in response. Does it hope to conclude this matter without bloodshed, I wonder? And is this not all part of the greater picture on the claim to Tordane Tower, in the end?"
"I do not know if there were hostages taken. If you seek to wiggle the truth from my lips, you will not get it." Ramsey says with a little chuckle. "I will tell you what I do know, and maybe we can piece together the puzzle from this?" He suggests, waiting to see if the man is interested before he leaps into a long-winded explanation.
Jacsen smiles politely, taking the man's assertion of ignorance at face-value. "I should hope to have truth from you, my Lord, not falsehood," he says with a bit of humor in his words. "If this is the first you've heard of it, then I suppose I am the one to break the news. I am informed that the Charlton force has clashed with Erenfords and taken several Lords as prisoner. One would assume - one would hope - to bargain for the Charlton prisoners at Stonebridge." He purses his lips for a moment before continuing. "The question of Stonebridge is a problematic one, of course. It has been ever since it changed hands. But I am interested to hear your thoughts on the matter."
Ramsey chuckles, "I did not speak my meaning clearly." He pauses for a moment, a thoughtful expression pinching at his brows. He speaks more carefully then, the accent greatly diminished, "What I meant was, I do not know if the rumors have any truth. I have been here. Before I was here, I was a prisoner in the tower." He takes up the wine and sips again, quiet for a moment.
"The Erenfords are friends of the Naylands?" The man holds a rueful smile, "You see why I seek more opinions? I do not even know who is allied with who. But, here is what I know. I arrived in Stonebridge two days before the arrest. I was told the Charltons were there. I had a desire to speak with them. The first night I did not meet any. I was tired and very drunk. The second night they were not free for talk, many were still resting after the bandit attack."
He shifts again, a restlessness to the man, "Deeper in that night, while we were asleep, the Naylands came into the inn, yelling for arrests. There was no talk, there was no asking for us to leave. Go peacefully or be taken by force. That is what happened. That is why I do not think this was about Charltons being in Stonebridge. They were not asked to leave. Ramsey thinks this is about orchestrating something bigger. Why make a big fuss over arresting a house when you can tell them to go unless you are wanting to make a big fuss?"
"Ah," Jacsen says simply. "I'd misunderstood." But it seems to be made clearer to him now, and he takes a sip of his wine as he mulls over Ramsey's words. "I don't believe the Erenfords are particular friends of anyone. But I don't confess to any profound knowledge of the workings of Frey vassals. But with so many men quartered in Stonebridge, I do not think the Naylands would have been keen to ask politely for Charlton men to vacate; no, an offense is given, an assumption made, and action taken." He looks at Ramsey with a raised brow. "Which is not to say it is part of a bigger ploy. Naylands are not to be trusted."
"Mmm… maybe I am a man that moves around a fight instead of through it. Ramsey would have asked first." The young Charlton smirks, "Ramsey is not a Nayland." When Jacsen speaks of the Naylands as not to be trusted, Ramsey's smile grows rueful again. "It seems that way. At least, the ones at the tower, no? I did not know anything of the Naylands when I came here. Arrest, accusations, theft, and mistruths are all that I have come to know since. Though, the Lady Jocelyn has been very kind." He asks curiously, "You have your own reasons to mistrust the Naylands?"
"Then you are as I am," Jacsen says to Ramsey, watching the man with interest. He cocks his head toward his cane. "Fighting is inconvenient for me. Much easier to glide tangential to it, yes?" He smiles knowingly and takes another sip of the wine. "I don't know Lady Jocelyn well. Lady Roslyn seems an honest sort. But the Naylands as a whole, no, they are not to be trusted. They are a family whose ambitions know no bounds. And whose enmity with my family span generations."
"Just so. I am a water dancer. Sometimes water pushes through, but usually? It will go around." Ramsey says with a little grin. "There is much that I am learning of the Riverlands though, and how they are very… particular towards what a man does and does not say." When Lady Roslyn is brought up, the Charlton's eyes narrow slightly, "Yes. The lady Roslyn I have met. She very honestly had me swear an oath to my god and then denied me what was agreed upon. I find this very offensive. I am learning I am alone in this opinion." He shakes his head with a troubled expression on his face.
"To your god?" Jacsen asks, intrigued by the singular. "And what was it that you were denied, Lord Ramsey? Perhaps you, too, are learning that the Naylands are not to be trusted in your own way." But he sounds somewhat disappointed to learn that Roslyn may be less than honorable like the rest of her family. "We Terricks are a house of honor, my Lord; if an oath was sworn and not upheld, then we would find it highly distasteful. So perhaps you are not alone in your opinion."
He sniffs, "There was discussion back and forth over my sword's return, and I swear to the Seven that I would not draw it while a prisoner of Nayland, so long as it was given back to me." He smirks, "She cleverly pointed out that I do not worship the Seven, and I must credit her that. So, I gave oath to R'hllor, which is a very serious thing. Ramsey was told he would not get his sword." Then he gestures towards his hip, "As you see, he still does not have his sword back. It is a small matter to most, but important to me."
Jacsen narrows his eyes at his hip, then gives Ramsey a serious look. "I will speak to her on the matter, Lord Ramsey, for I believe us to be friends. If she promised you the return of your sword with your oath, then that is as she should have done. Oaths sworn in the presence of gods should not be a trifling matter." At least he says gods instead of the gods. Strange man with strange beliefs.
Ramsey lifts his brows a touch when Jacsen declares them to be friends. "It was not hers to promise is what I believe the truth of the situation was. This makes sense, yes? Many say the lady is a good woman, so I do not wish to bring any trouble to her. I do not know if she purposely trifled with my desires or not. Next time. I will be more careful." He gives a little shrug of his slender shoulders, "There was still little I knew of how far to trust the Naylands at the time."
"Trust nobody, Lord Ramsey," Jacsen says with a shrug of the shoulder. "House Charlton certainly has not shored up much trust in late days. A gesture of faith is fine and well between honorable men, but when it comes to important matters, always prepare for the worst. Especially in dealings with the Naylands." He raises his cup to the strange man with those words. "You will not find an abundance of trust either, I would expect, with your foreign speech and foreign gods. But these things matter not to me; I am a straightforward man. I deal in business, and my business is the Roost."
"What has Charlton done to make trust so uncertain? To know the faults of my house would be useful, if I am to meet others and how they might treat me based upon such things." Ramsey questions with a keen interest in his eyes. Though, there is a smile when the man speaks of being so straightforward. "I am glad that they matter not to you, for my sake." He says with a laugh. "What sort of business does the Roost have? You said you could speak with Lady Roslyn. What could Ramsey do for Lord Jacsen?"
"Marching in enough men to occupy Stonebridge while the defending force was out was seen as an act of aggression," Jacsen points out mildly. "Whatever the intent was, you must see how it was viewed by others. As for the current force marching to Stonebridge, well. I am inclined to believe that Nayland cannot match Charlton for strength and numbers in battle, especially in such an indefensible position, but they have nefarious ways." The cup comes up to his lips again. "The Roost starves, Lord Ramsey," he says bluntly. "The reavers and raids have left us wanting for grain, and our fields suffer. We seek foodstores, or a reasonable loan to acquire them."
"I will see what I can do." Ramsey says with a small nod, then the young man grins, "There was much to be eaten at Stonebridge. Perhaps if my house *is* doing these militant things, a success would bring food to Terrick so much sooner, yes?" Before the other man has too much time to interpret *that*, Ramsey rushes on, "You spoke of gods, Lord Jacsen. You worship others? Mine is one god, but he has many names. Also, I know of The Seven very well, also. The Warrior, the Mother, the Stranger…"
"The Naylands bought the Groves surplus, which we had been bidding for," Jacsen says with a nod about Stonebridge having much to eat. "Now we are left with few options but to deal with them. Even if we were to somehow buy food from your House, it would still have to pass through Stonebridge, and they would exact their tariffs. And thus they strangle us, their old enemies." He shrugs helplessly. Such is their situation. "Yes, the Seven. As most do. This god you worship, Lord Ramsey, will he bring you favor against the Naylands? If so, then perhaps I shall light a candle for him also."
"He might if I were to pray for such a thing. That is what you desire, for Ramsey to move against the Naylands?" The Charlton asks directly, that faint smile on his lips again. "Two houses working together would be much stronger, no? You said you are a straightforward man, Lord Jacsen."
Roslyn seems to have a sixth sense of when there must be talk about her, because yet again, here is talk of Naylands and thus does she appears, though she seems to be intent on calling on Jacsen. Clad in a dark red gown of wool that almost pools like blood on her frame in the evening light, she is accompanied as a matter of course by Senna as is proper. She introduces herself to the guard likely at the tent in murmured words, begging him to ask if his lord is recieving.
"I am divided on the issue yet," Jacsen admits. "With Stonebridge in Nayland hands, we find ourself strangled for trade. But our families are ostensibly working toward reconciliation - a marriage of Lady Roslyn for my lord brother Justin." This is no news to those who have been paying attention to the gossip. "She would bring with her, if negotiations are successful, lowered tariffs at the bridge and a dowry of grain and coin besides - which we need. Additionally, they have the surplus of grain we seek to gain. But. If there were a proposition that would see us with grain and a friendly House controlling Stonebridge, I would be amenable to discussion." And, of course, that's when the guard outside announces Lady Roslyn. A raised brow is directed to Ramsey. "Though I am loathe to put this discussion on hold, my Lord, perhaps we could broach the subject of your sword with Lady Roslyn." If he agrees, or at least doesn't object, he'll call for the guard to let her in.
Ramsey nods thoughtfully. For all his joking around, the man doesn't seem incapable of understanding the finer politics involved. When the guard announces the arrival of Roslyn, of all people, the Charlton laughs. "Perhaps we can. I will need more wine for this." He says with a grin, reaching for his empty cup to see about refilling it.
Without objections, Roslyn draws into the tent with an immediately offered curtsey, her gaze lifting to Jacsen with a slide of dark eyes even before she catches sight of Ramsey. If she is surprised, her expression shows little of it. "My lords, I did not mean to interrupt," she says with polite warmth, "If you would rather, I can come back tomorrow." She glances to Senna, her fingers buried in her skirts as if prepared to leave.
Jacsen pushes up to his feet using the arm of the chair for support when Roslyn enters, returning her curtsy with as much of a bow as he can muster. "Lady Roslyn. You are no interruption or inconvenience; even if you were, I could call to mind none better." Although having a Charlton and a Nayland in the same tent could be a little tense right now, the Terrick seems right at ease. "Please." He gestures to an open seat, which would have all three of them sitting around the low table which has a small plate of food and drink. Not much, considering the state of the Roost. Sitting back down, he reaches over to refill Ramsey's cup and pour a fresh one for Roslyn once Willem brings her a cup as well.
Ramsey will stand when Roslyn enters and bend a graceful, formal bow. "Lady Roslyn. It is a pleasure to see you again." He says smoothly, his accent and dialect noticably curbed with the greeting. Maybe he's taking Jacsen's words to heart. "There is no interruption." He echoes, still giving the woman a good-natured smile. If there is tension, the estranged Charlton isn't showing much. "Lord Jacsen named you a friend. Perhaps someday I can say the same. I hope."
"You are always too kind," Roslyn replies for Jacsen's words first, her lips lifting in a soft smile even as she settles herself at the chair before accepting the wine. "Lord Ramsey, a pleasure indeed. I would not have thought that a man who does not worship the Seven or practice our way of the sword would be at a tourney like this, when your family must need you more?"
Jacsen smiles and inclines his head to Roslyn, a brief but knowing look given her way at Ramsey's words. But then her words have his brow flinch up before he tames his visage to a more neutral expression, looking to Ramsey to see how the man takes it. "A man can still enjoy a tournament even should he hail from afar," he offers, though there's no rebuke in his tone.
Ramsey straightens and watches Roslyn for a moment, still smiling. "I appreciate many forms of culture, Lady Roslyn. I do not need to practice something to appreciate it." He replies, sliding down into his own seat again. When his wine is refilled he gives Jacsen a nod, "My thanks." Then he looks back to Roslyn, "Why do you think my family has need of me any more than your family does of you?" He questions in a curious tone.
"We have heard word of trouble with the Erenfords, but surely if you are here, they must only be rumors," Roslyn answers apologetically, a soft whisper of it to her words as she smiles at the man before lifting her wine to her lips for a long, slow sip. "It is true, Lord Jacsen. What did you make of it, my Lord Charlton?"
Jacsen sits back in his not-exactly-comfortable chair and listens as the conversation unfolds, sipping his wine. A smile is given to both Ramsey and Roslyn in turn at their words, but he speaks none in return, content to stay silent for the time being and watch the two of them.
"Surely." Ramsey replies with a little smile over his wine cup. Then he takes on a thoughtful look when she asks about the tourney, "I enjoyed what I saw of it. I did not attend all of the events, but many people have been met." He answers, then asks, "And you?"
"It was a grand week, I must say. Did you miss the jousting, my lord? Lord Jacsen's brother showed well, newly knighted but he won his tilts against much more experienced knights," Roslyn answers easily, all warm and polite even where her smile is flashed briefly at Jacsen where she speaks of his brother.
"Both my brothers," Jacsen says, returning Roslyn's smile with one of his own, though his is a bit affected. Perhaps for his banished bastard brother, now sworn to Stonebridge, where the conflict is surely heading. "A grand week indeed. I have enjoyed myself immensely here, and surrounded myself in much good company." The smile comes easier at that. "I count you among that number, Lord Ramsey, though we are but newly met," he notes to the man. And since the initial pleasantries (insofar as they were pleasant) seem to be past, he clears his throat and says to Roslyn, "Lord Ramsey was telling me about his ways, which are unfamiliar to me. But in the telling, he made mention that his sword remains away from his person due to unfortunate circumstances. I wonder if we might be able to assist him in reuniting him with it, my Lady."
Ramsey gives Roslyn a wry smile, "I did miss the joust, but that was of my own choosing." He says without further elaboration. Probably for the best. There's a nod given to Jacsen, "His first tourney as a knight, yes? That is very good. I saw many jousts in King's Landing. Usually the young knights did not do so well." The man has another sip of his wine and gives Jacsen a grin for the counting of him amongst good company, "I feel the same, Lord Jacsen." He says agreeably, then falls quiet to let Jacsen do the talking. Also for the best.
Roslyn catches at her lower lip at the question, a hint of a frown playing at the corners of her lips. "I wish I could," she begins with a depth of feeling, apology written easily along her words as she looks from one lord to the other. "I have attempted to before, as I made promise to Lord Ramsey, but my brothers know better than me in matters such as this. It is not a woman's place, is it? Though, I am sure your sword shall be returned to you soon, my lord."
Jacsen nods to Ramsey. "Yes, his first as a knight. We are all very proud of his performance." His cup now empty, he moves to refill it for himself as Roslyn speaks. "Would I that your brothers had your sense, Lady Roslyn," he says wistfully. "I am sure you made your best effort, as you can." Turning again to Ramsey, he offers apologetically, "There are other opportunities yet, Lord Ramsey. As the good lady says - I am sure your sword shall be returned to you soon. It is only right."
Ramsey looks between the two, his well-groomed, handsome face a bit smoother of expression than it has been. His pale eyes flick back and forth. "Perhaps R'hllor is testing my patience, no?" He finally says with an easy smile. "Still, I hope it is not tested too much longer." He focuses his gaze on Roslyn, "That you asked was a great kindness, Lady Roslyn. Thank you for taking the time to do so."
"Or the Seven, perhaps," Roslyn suggests simply, inclining her head is a soft tilt of her chin towards the lord before she glances back to Jacsen. She smiles, a slip of a warm thing as she lifts her wine to her lips for another long sip. "I believe we both wish the same, or that I could handle these matters myself. But, I only do what I may to support them, for all that I wish I could have retrieved the sword."
"It will come in time," Jacsen says. He could easily be referring to Ramsey's patience being tested, Roslyn's brothers having sense, or her handling matters herself; he gives no indication of which as he sips at his wine, his eyes on the Nayland lady as the cup comes up to his lips. "Does pressing business bring you to my door, my Lady?" he asks. Though it's less of a door and more of a tent flap. "I know we left some matters… unresolved, when last we spoke."
Ramsey looks over at Roslyn again, smirking, "Perhaps the Seven." He concedes, chuckling softly. "Or perhaps it is simply the Naylands, no?" He lets his gaze wander back to Jacsen, "If matters of unresolved discussion hang between you both, a man can be on his way." He drinks deeply of the wine, "Holding my tongue is proving more difficult, it is true. It might be better if I leave before I bring offense. I am very good at bringing offense."
"None so pressing that it could not wait until tomorrow or the next day, Lord Jacsen, though I had only thought to finish our discussion," Roslyn answers simply, her thumb trailing lightly across the rim of her glass as she considers its contents. At Ramsey's word, she drags her gaze up to meet his with a smile, adding in a polite, "The Seven guide much in our lives, even the actions of others. But, it is true that I would not wish any offense to exist between us, if we are to be friends."
"Indeed, this is a tent where I would have us all be friends," Jacsen says with a chuckle. "Or, failing that, friendly. Lord Ramsey, we should speak again, and soon - we have our own discussion to finish, yes?" He smiles at the man with a nod. "And no; stay, Lady Roslyn. I've other business I must soon tend to, and I know not how long I will remain in Seagard before I depart for the Roost. I imagine you will not be staying long yourself, so I would seize your visit as an opportunity."
Ramsey drains down the rest of the wine and sets the cup down. Then he stands again in a fluid motion and gives both a friendly smile. "Just so. Friendship is more enjoyable than animosity. I am a man that enjoys life." He answers, clasping his hands behind his back. "Lord Jacsen, my thanks for a very pleasant talk and your hospitality. We shall speak again, yes." He says agreeably. Then he gives Roslyn a flash of his charming smile, "My lady…" He bends a graceful bow to both and then moves to duck out of the tent.
"My lord," Roslyn anwers even as she rises to curtsey humbly to the man, a hint of apology in the practiced line of it before she straightens. Her gaze lingers on the tent flap for a moment, a hint of thoughtfulness touching at the darkness of her gaze. Then she is turning back to Jacsen with a smile, saying first, "When do you depart for home?"
Jacsen pushes himself half out of his seat and gives Ramsey a polite nod. "I shall look forward to it, Lord Ramsey. If you're able to bring more definitive news than the… rumors I have heard, we can speak more in depth also. Until then, farewell." He settles himself back on his seat after Ramsey leaves, Willem coming to the table unbidden to clean up the Charlton Lord's cup. "I shall depart when essential business is concluded here," he says, which isn't much in the way of an answer. "Sooner better than later, I expect. I shall want to be home." For when shit hits the fan.
ROCKS FALL EVERYONE DIES