|A Quiet Moment|
|Summary:||Jerold and Evangeline take a moment to have a discussion.|
|Related Logs:||Ties That Bind, The Missing and the Dead|
|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.|
|The 31st day of the 12th month, 288 AL|
Within the throne room, a table has been placed before the Lord's seat, with a map of the Cape of Eagles spread upon it weighed down by a clay pitcher half full of (very watered) summerwine. The ruling chair is vacant, though, as Jerold has just entered from a side corridor, summoned by word from his wife sent through his squire. Jerold has made a habit of dressing in a fine gambeson rather than a rich tunic, so as to hasten the donning of his armor, should such be needed.
Evangeline's glass is already half-empty, her fingers white as the thin bone clutches around the goblet. Nevertheless, she rises in one graceful moment as her husband enters, dark gaze seeking his familiarly as she questions, "Did the young lord say—?"
"That the Greyjoy were outside, calling for me over my brother's body," Jerold finishes the sentence with composure held hard in answering what Patrek had told him as he steps toward Evangeline. "Was the boy wrong?"
"No, he told it true. I am sorry, my lord," Evangeline murmurs, setting aside her own cup to pour wine for Jerold and to draw closer still to press it onto him. "It is as we feared. They are here for conquest and will stop for nothing less, unless we may turn them away by force."
"Of all the lies from Ironborn lips, I rue that this is the first truth," Jerold answers quietly, eyes going downcast a long moment, before he raises ahand to accept the offered goblet in both hands, briefly taking Evangeline's hand into his in the motion, though his next words are not for her: "Revyn, my brave brother. May the Seven keep you and bless you, until we meet again." He exhales to clear a thick throat, countenance wooden. "Has his wife been told?" Exhaling again, he fixes upon business rather than dwell any longer on the dangerous grounds of sentiment. "Lord Jason is besieged as well. It will be the better part of a fortnight before the Westerlands Fleet cain relieve Seagard, and come to our aid, Evie."
"I will tell her." The words are soft assurance, Evangeline's fingers tightening against her husband's as she lingers close, dark eyes sliding over his features for all that they are familiar. "We must plan for our stores to last for a month, at least, then, if not more. We have too many mouths to feed and not enough tucked away in our cellars. Is there no possibility to repel them with our own men?" she questions slowly.
Jerold nods once, lowering his gaze again as Evangeline accepts the unhappy task of telling Revyn's widow, before looking up to his wife again beneath greying brows. "A month, as you say. But no, my Lady," he answers her last with regret. "My guards count more than three hundred Ironborn outside the walls. Even if every man and woman within this castle were a warrior, it would be a hard fight. With but two dozen of our Household Guard and ten knights? No." He shakes his head. "I have set Jacsen to seeking out suitable volunteers among the smallfolk, to assist in standing watch, and taking arms along the wall, but we cannot repel them. The banners of Orkmont are massed against us, with the further hundreds of Old Wycke ravaging our countryside." The admission visibly pains the embattled Lord of the besieged Roost.
"And more, besides, with Maron Greyjoy and his thrice-cursed thirst for revenge," Evangeline points out with a hint of regret, her fingers drifting to smooth at the grey hair of Jerold's temple before she pulls away. She finds her own glass again, settles in a chair. "He is demanding that we send Ser Kevan to him, insisting that he will kill our smallfolks. That he has a knight, as well." She pauses, sipping from her glass before admitting, "I very much doubt that he would not do this even if we did give him what he wanted."
Jerold exhales. "Lady Anais' man Ser Coyn, most likely. He had gone missing in the assault," the lord exhales wearily. "I know not whether Ser Kevan is yet in our service, at last I'd known he too was among the retnue of our good-daughter. Inquiry into this must be made, as- whether or not it will stay his hand- I would wish to know whether I tell Maron Greyjoy that we will not do as he bids, or we cannot."
Even the watered summerwine does some to regain Evangeline's nerves, her nod a firm thing where she answers, "We have until dawn tomorrow, at the least. His threat was made for executions at such a time." Her cup raises once again to her lips, as if drawn there by a magnet, she finishes it quickly. "The King must come. This is an attack on his kingdom. They wish to win us away from him; Balon has crowned himself traitorously."
"That the King will come, I do not doubt," Jerold voices, settling into his own seat alongside Evangeline's. "But he is across the whole of Westeros from us. It will be a month at the least before he and his banners can come. Well sooner will Lord Lannister's fleets set these pirates to flight. He is Warden of the West, this is a challenge to Lannister prestige as much as to King Robert's."
"Then we only need hold out. This least we can do," Evangeline says, shifting closer to her husband with the rare drop of guard to allow her head to fall on his shoulder. "There is not much more the Seven can throw at us that will shake us further, at least," she adds quietly, the tiniest wry hint of humor to the words.
The weary lord cracks his grieving with an affected smile and sniff of amusement. "Indeed," he nods, looking aside to the woman in the throne next to his own. A hand is offered between them, palm up to invite Evangeline's own. "There shall soon be no disaster left to befall us, my Lady."
The slip of thin fingers within Jerold's is slow, though sure. It is soft in the twine of them between his, Evangeline's lips lifting in a tired smile. "I am sure the world will give up, soon," she assures with a nod. A pause. "How do you find the Ser Blayne to be performing in his duties, in suh a crisis?"
"Ser Blayne did his part and took a worrisome blow in doing so, though the healers say he shall recover," Jerold recounts. "Once he is able, I would see him set to training whichever volunteers stand forward for arms among out smallfolk. But truly, my dear, there were none of us prepared for this."
DUMP: Anais and Lucienne have tea with the database.
"Some less so than others, surely. It was only a silly worry, that he may be distracted by his courtship with the Nayland retainer," Evangeline murmurs mildly, though she lifts away to smile at her husband with the brush of a thumb over his knuckles casually. "Do not discount your son, to see the task that you set him through."
"What's this?" Jerold wonders aloud, with brows frowning at the talk of a Nayland retainer. Talk of discounting Jacsen is put off for a moment, as he awaits clarification. "A courtship?"
"I assume. He did state his intention to marry her, at which point I believe she would leave the Nayland service perhaps," is replied dutifully, Evangeline studying the furrow of brows.
"I had not heard of this," Jerold voices, half to himself. "While I'll not command my retainers who they may or may not take to wife, I must wonder what business a thrall of the Naylands has in the Roost." Lips draw together in a tightly neutral line, before he draws a swallow of the dilluted summerwine. "Oh, for the days when rickart Nayland's jealousy were my most pressing worry."
There is something soothing to the edges of Evangeline's words, warmed by affection and wine where she assures, "Do not let it worry you, then, my love. We will find out in due time, as long as we are aware of it."
"In due time," Jerold echoes, soothed, but still a touch rueful. "There remains so much we must wait to learn in due time." Exhaling slowly, he adds, "I take comfort that Lucienne departed early enough to be well clear of this. With Seagard holding the coast, Stonebridge will be a far safer place than our own halls, for some time."
"We must find comfort in those little blessings, that she is safe and that Ser Jarod is near at hand to keep her so," Evangeline replies agreeably, stirring up to refill her glass. Once done, she will turn the talk to much more mundane things, like the contents of their store rooms.