|A New Sheriff In Town|
|Summary:||Riordan requests Rygar's presence to discuss some important Stonebridge matters, as well as to give his cousin a well-deserved promotion.|
|Related Logs:||A New Battlefield and Harpy Feathers and Tiger Stripes|
|A modest room but with a large high bed that is set with four posts in rich mahogany. A blue rectangular rug is angled in the center of the room. A chest for storing the visitor's goods is at the foot of the bed and a grey blue cover settles over the bed. A hearth to the right of the windows which rests between it and the bed is done over with a iron screen meant to be removed when in use. A pair of chairs rest near the window and about a small circular table set with a candle. On the same wall as the door rests a low chest of drawers, a basin for water and a few wooden mugs rest there for use.|
|Mon Apr 16, 289|
A servant passed on the message this morning to Rygar, telling him that the Lord Regent, Ser Riordan, requested his presence at his earliest convenience. Not a summons, but a polite request for Rygar's counsel. As he got an early night's rest last night, Riordan has been up since early, and a fair number of servants with him, coming in and out of his chambers. By the time Rygar arrives, Riordan is seated at a table by the window of his chambers, and the table itself is cluttered near to breaking with scrolls and parchments, records and documents of all shapes and sizes. Clearly this is the reason for the parade of servants. The young Nayland lord, for his part, is currently only lightly dressed in a pair of nice yet simble breeches and boots, with a loose white shirt fluttering as he moves to call out. "Stanley, I need the grain documents from last month!"
The chamber door is rapped upon twice from outside, before it is opened, and Rygar fills the doorframe. "Ser," he greets his cousin evenly, giving a short dip of the head and shoulders toward Riordan. He does not shut the door until Riordan either addresses him, or sends his retainer from the chamber.
The guards outside Riordan's room make no move to stop Rygar, clearly having been told to expect him. Stanley the retainer, meanwhile, bobs his head once. "Yes, m'lord." And, quick as that, the cousins are alone. "Good morning, Ser Rygar," Riordan greets pleasantly, though his smile is a mite distracted as he shifts a few papers around before him. "Help yourself to a drink, if you like, Cousin," he says, gesturing to the chest of drawers against the wall, which contains a pitcher of water, as well as one of some appropriate morning wine. The wine is untouched, though the water has clearly been drunk from, as a half-full cup of the stuff sits nearby. Once the door has been closed, Riordan leaves off with his attention to the papers for now with a frustrated sigh, before turning his smile in full to Rygar. "Rest well, I hope?" he inquires.
Rygar steps fully inside as the withdrawing Stanley draws the door shut with his departure, and nods once, curtly. The motion does not appear to pain him, today. Finding wine and water, the stern Nayland elects not to drink. "I did." without further ornament, his eyes flick to the papers which serve as the source of Riordan's exasperation, before regarding his cousin, and awaiting the cause for his presence.
"This is what I get for leaping in the deep end of the river head first, I suppose," Riordan says, gesturing to the documents as he stands, and moves across the room to pick up the glass of water, and take a refreshing sip. "Still, I am starting to understand at least one word in five. I suppose that is a beginning." He turns to his cousin, giving the knight his usual good-natured, lopsided smile, no longer distracted, before he gets to the point of the meeting. "You'll be pleased to know that I did not make a complete mire of my talk with the Lady Valda, after you left. I got frustrated enough to speak my mind, which she seemed to find pleasing. At least enough to seem willing to work with us without complaint, for the moment." He gives a short laugh, and says, "Do you know, she even expressed a wish that I had been around and of marrying age when a husband was being sought for her." He seems amused by the idea.
Rygar sniffs sharply. "Good," he voices first to Rutger's salvaging of his talk with Valda. "That were a fine insult to begin your acquaintance, I am glad to hear that you overcame it." Drawing a short breath, he adds further, "The late Ser Geoffrey was renowned for his short-sightedness. In many matters, not the least of which that of his bastard. It would take effort to be a worse match than the late Knight of Stonebridge."
"Indeed. I did not think she meant that I was her equal, in her mind. Simply better comported then the late Lord," Riordan says, before taking a long draw of water. He does not seem perturbed by the possability of Lady Valda's opinion on the matter, or Rygar's for that matter. Setting the empty cup down, he folds his hands behind his back as he addresses his cousin. "And for what it be worth, Cousin, my words were not meant as insult. I realize now why they might have seemed such, but thankfully, the Lady Valda was quicker still in seeing my questions for what they were. That, or she simply did not want to let it cause a rift in our relationship." He idly waves the matter away, before clasping his hands once more and moving on to another matter. "Regardless, the talk was productive. She even was the one to broach the matter of a new marriage between Isolde and House Nayland."
Rygar inclines his head slowly at the words. "Again: good, Ser." Drawing an unhurried breath through the nose, he speaks on, "This is much what we had hoped. The questions of succession could grow complex, but nothing so dire that a proper wedding contract could not set such to rest," he notes idly.
Inclining his head to Rygar, Riordan studies his cousin for a moment, before turning to refil his cup with water. "As I told the Lady Valda, I have little personal desires of my own in these matters, in one direction or the other. My commitment to it is entirely to further the ambitions of my Lord Father, and to extend Nayland interests. My father has yet to speak directly on the matter to me, so I can only surmise that he will wish for one of his sons to wed the Lady Isolde when the proper time comes, to cement relations once and for all. Even if the Lady births a son, she will need more then one heir. And if she does not, the need becomes all the more crucial." He takes a sip from the cup, moving to stand by the window, and gaze out at it. "Whether the husband shall be Rutger, myself, or even another, is unknown to me. But whoever it is, know that he will have my full support, and I will do all I can to see that the Lady Isolde supports the union when the time comes. I have already taken to renewing communications, carefully of course, by writ, and look forward to doing so in person once her lying in comes to an end."
"It shall be the choice of Lord Rickart whether to encourage the cultivation of Stonebridge as a cadet line, or as part of the prime Nayland household, but much shall depend on the life and gender of Lady Isolde's child." A short snort, "Daily I am relieved that the precaution of a year before the brith of a babe were enforced." A fresh breath is drawn, "Whatever the outcome, you are correct: our immediate duties are clear."
"Indeed," is Riordan's single response to Rygar, as he continues to look out the window. Taking another sip from the cup, he glances briefly over his shoulder, saying, "Ah, and Cousin. I've spoken with Lady Valda on the subject, and communicated with my Lady Goodsister as well. As of now, you are appointed to the position of Sheriff of Stonebridge." He quirks a smile as he turns to face Rygar fully once more. "I assumed you would want to forego a ceremony, though if you wish, I could arrange for something." Was that an offer, or a threat? Moving on, he says, "Your duties will change little. You will answer directly to me, and I wish to be provided with daily reports. As well, I will need to be brought up to speed on the investigation into my brother's death, and precautions against future such, especially in regards to my goodsister Isolde and her child. These will be priorities. I will also be speaking to Ser Bruce about security in the tower, and would appreciate advice on that matter also."
"That will be unneccessary," Rygar notes to the mention of a ceremony, before dipping his head and shoulders at the appointment. "Very well. Then I ought inform the Ser that I have ordered three of the smallfolk taken and put to the question. You shall be appraised of thier answers." Drawing a fresh breath, he orders his next thoughts, and speaks on, "As to security, you may trust in Ser Longbough's judgment. He is a most capable man, and the recent war has put his loyalty to our House past doubt. For the Lady, I say her present companions- those who have been with her for many years- ought be maintained. In this, their loyalty to Isolde above our family will serve us well, though I suspect you already intended as much."
Riordan does not blink at the mention of smallfolk being seized and put to the question. He simply nods, and says, "Very well." After taking another casual sip, in which time he gathers his thoughts, he nods his head. "Our thoughts are alligned in this, Ser Cousin. My intent is to make it impossible for her ladyship, or my brother's child to be got to. I wish for myself to be the target of any would be assassination, either because I am viewed as the easiest to get to of those most important in this area, or simply as a distraction so they can make an attempt on their true target. I will take precautions, of course, as I have no wish to throw myself on an assassins blade simply to be the hero, but if that is what it takes to do my duty, then I stand ready. I trust, however, that between your own efforts, and those of our own Ser Bruce, it will be unnecessary."
Riordan pauses to take another sip of water, before saying, "We also need to look over a possable withdrawal strategy should the worst occur, and King Bob rule against us. Should the unthinkable happen, then we must make sure our way back to Stonebridge is secure. My father has no intention of giving up, and neither do I. My biggest concern is the Lady Isolde. Shut in as she is, it would be easy for her bastard brother to take control of her and the babe, if we left them in the Tower to his 'mercy'.
"A noble sentiment, Ser," Rygar notes simply to Riordan's first. "But any foemen with the conviction to resort to such infamy must be aware that your only danger is posed through Lady Isolde's child. Were Isolde and her babe to perish, the next in line would be Lady Valda, not yourself." Talk of withdrawal draws his brows together. "So long as she is legitimate, Lady Isolde is a Nayland. In the event of so great an injustice as you describe, the Lady and her household would be afforded the protection of the Fortress of the Sevens, until Stonebridge could be rightly restored. A withdrawal of the infrastructure and House Guard is likely, as is that of the treasury and arsenal House Nayland has invested in the holding."
"Regretfully true. Well then, we will need to ensure that they do not get a chance. If there is anything I can do to speed the hunt on, Cousin, you've but to ask." That said, Riordan nods to Rygar's other words. "Very well. We need not advance the plans too far - it is still a far from likely possability, and even if the worst should occur, we will be able to buy ourselves time by requesting a reprieve for our House's withdrawal. My Lord Brother could use such time to travel to King's Landing and attempt a reversel of the decision." This thought brings a sharp grunt from Riordan, giving a mournful shake of his head. "It would not be the first decision of late that the 'good King' has had the mind to reverse. Still, though, as you are so fond of saying, preparation is priceless." Inclining his head then, to Rygar, he says, "Well, Cousin, I suppose that is all I needed to speak with you regarding, for now, unless you've something more that should be discussed?"
"As you say," Rygar echoes with a slow nod to Riordan's former words, before addressing the latter to the negative. "There is nothing at present, Ser. As noted, I shall send you word as it comes to me."
"Very well then, Ser Cousin. Or, should I say, Ser Sheriff." Riordan offers Rygar a last large smile, before dismissing him. "I look forward to hearing of your progress."